Today, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that his administration will implement a mask mandate for all public and private schools and daycare facilities in the commonwealth despite having repeatedly stated that he would not do so.
Commonwealth Foundation Vice President Nathan Benefield issued the following statement in response:
Just months after voters rebuffed Gov. Wolf’s penchant for acting unilaterally with a landmark constitutional amendment, and days after saying he would not implement a statewide school mask mandate, the governor has contradicted both the will of the voters and himself. His blatant self-contradiction was made today without support from the General Assembly and despite the decisions made by a majority of school boards to allow voluntary masking. And he is doing this with dubious legal authority and no end in sight.
As important as concern over the questionable legality and the inconsistency of the governor’s actions are, though, it’s imperative to keep in mind that he is, again, taking choices away from parents. By changing his administration’s stance on a mask mandate, he is choosing to make the desires of the Pennsylvania State Education Association union the law for everyone. He is kowtowing to the demands of his largest campaign donors rather than respecting what parents think is best for their children.
Instead of this domineering approach, our political leaders in Harrisburg should empower parents to decide what is the best educational environment for their children. Legislation introduced by Rep. Natalie Mihalek and Sen. Ryan Aument would give decision rights to parents, not bureaucrats.
Commonwealth Foundation experts are available for comment. Please contact Michael Torres at 850-619-2737 or email@example.com to schedule an interview.
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