Treasury Department Issues Warning to Arizona Governor Regarding Federally Funded Grants
This week, U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Adewale Adeyemo addressed Arizona Governor Doug Ducey in a letter warning him that two state grant programs would be ineligible to receive federal funds due to provisions undermining COVID-19 public health safety measures.
Earlier this year, Ducey launched two grant programs that awarded federal funds contingent on compliance with a state law that outlawed mask mandates and vaccine requirements. The first grant program was created to award $163 million to schools staying open during the pandemic who do not have mask or vaccine mandates. The second $10 million grant program awards low-income families with vouchers for private school tuition, online tutoring, or childcare—but in order to receive funds, families would have to show that their current school had quarantine policies for exposed students or was “subjecting them to physical COVID-19 constraints,” including masks.
While the restriction on mask and vaccine mandates is being addressed in a high-profile court case, the Treasury Department has emphasized that these grant programs will not receive federal funding until their non-compliance with public health measures is addressed. CEC has consistently opposed voucher programs because they divert public funds from public education and because Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) rights are not assured.