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51 IL Schools on Probation for Defying Masks Mandate

August 24, 2021 / Athletic Administration
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker placed 51 school districts on probation for noncompliance with his statewide masks mandate.

Back on August 4, Gov. Pritzker issued an executive order mandating masks to be word by students and school staff, regardless of vaccination status, according to a report from WGNTV.com. The order, according to the report, is following the updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 and the delta variant.

ihsaFacing pushback from parents and staff in their communities over the forced masks mandate, school districts across the state say they have consulted legal advisors about the liability and litigious hurdles they would face if they defy the Governor’s order.

In coordination with the governor, the Illinois State Board of Education State Superintendent Dr. Carmen Ayala issued a statement to the schools, warning that the executive order is backed by the force of law, WGNTV.com reported.

SEE THE FULL LIST OF ILLINOIS SCHOOLS PLACED ON PROBATION HERE.

“Noncompliance is not an option,” Ayala stated, according to WGNTV.com. “I will not compromise the health and safety of students or staff, nor will I risk even one child’s life. A [non-complying] district would first have its recognition status changed to ‘On Probation’ and would be asked to submit a corrective action plan. Failure to address the deficiencies would lead to nonrecognition, meaning total loss of access to state funding and loss of the school’s ability to engage in any Illinois High School Association and Illinois Elementary School Association athletic competitions.”

Additionally, a non-compliant school would be unable to take part in Illinois High School Association (IHSA) athletics, and a diploma from a non-compliant school would not be acknowledged by the state.

» ALSO SEE: CIAC, Gov. Lamont Encourage Vaxx of HS Student-Athletes

The timeline of how the process will be handled by ISBE is listed below, courtesy of WGNTV.com.

  • ISBE will reach out to the district to schedule a conference to discuss compliance issues with the district.
  • Within 60 days of this conference, the district is required to submit a corrective plan to the Regional Superintendent of Schools and State Superintendent.
  • ISBE will respond to the corrective plan within 15 days after receipt.
  • If no plan is submitted, or if no approvable plan is received within 60 days after the conference, the State Board of Education may act to change the status of the district, or of the affected school or schools, to “Nonrecognized.”

To read the full story from WGNTV.com, click here