Long Island school boards side with Hochul in mask fight

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A Long Island school board association is siding with the state in a confrontation over school mask mandates.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman defied Gov. Kathy Hochul last week in issuing an executive order allowing individual school districts to scrap mask requirements for kids.

Blakeman argued that individual school boards should have the right to independently make that determination based on their specific circrumstances.

But the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association blasted Blakeman’s gambit and said that Long Islanders are rightly beholden to Hochul’s mandate.

“New York State Education Law is clear as to who has authority over schools,” NSSBA president Michael Kelly wrote in a letter to Blakeman.

Kelly argued that school boards are creations of the state rather than the county.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman sits on a stoop.
Blakeman argued that individual school boards should have the right to independently determine whether masks should be required or not based on their own unique circumstances.
Bruce Blakeman for Nassau County
NYS Governor Kathy Hochul addresses the media in her Manhattan, NY office.
Hochul rejected Blakeman’s order, affirming that the state’s order supersedes his efforts.
James Messerschmidt for NY Post

“Counties have no more authority to direct school board matters than do schools to legislate county affair,” Kelly said.

Hochul also dismissed Blakeman’s school mask order, arguing that the state’s order supersedes his efforts.

The NSBBA called on Blakeman to withdraw the order.

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