On Wednesday, Gov. Doug Ducey’s office sent a letter to two Arizona school districts expressing concern that their COVID-19 quarantine policies went against state law.
The letter sent to both the Peoria Unified School District and Tucson’s Catalina Foothills School District detailed their district’s requirement that unvaccinated students, who have been exposed to COVID-19, isolate for 10 days.
The Governor’s Office said that a different requirement for unvaccinated students goes against the law that says a school district or charter school can’t require a student or teacher to get the COVID-19 vaccine or wear a face mask to participate in in-person learning.
The Governor’s office concern voiced in the letter is that the district’s quarantine policies could lead to too many kids missing class and students possibly not meeting mandatory attendance requirements.
“Adding on these qualifiers and keeping kids out of their classrooms for 10 days at a time contrary to the law is not in anyone’s best interest,” Kaitlin Harrier, Ducey’s education policy advisor, said in the letter. “Our kids deserve more time in the classroom, not less, especially given the challenges the pandemic has inflicted on their education already.
The Governor’s Office said the policies must be overturned immediately. PUSD responded in a statement, acknowledging receipt of the letter but it would continue to follow the requirements from the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Maricopa County of Health Services concerning quarantine and isolation. “We look forward to working with the governor’s policy advisors and ADHS if there is a need to make changes to our current practices and to communicate any changes directly to our community,” PUSD’s Danielle Airey said in the statement.
There is no information received from Catalina Foothills School District.