‘This President Needs A Lesson’: Arizona Will Sue Biden Admin For Holding School Funds Hostage Over Mask Mandates

‘This President Needs A Lesson’: Arizona Will Sue Biden Admin For Holding School Funds Hostage Over Mask Mandates

Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced Friday that his state would sue President Joe Biden’s administration over threats that the federal government could claw back federal education dollars unless he imposes a mask mandate for schools.

Ducey joined Fox News host Martha MacCallum on “The Story,” and he argued that Arizona should be permitted to put the money toward efforts to help students — particularly those in lower income areas — get caught up academically.

#BREAKING: Arizona Gov. @DougDucey tells @MarthaMacCallum that his state will be suing the Biden administration for having threatened to pull their COVID-19 funds because they won’t implement a state-wide school mask mandate. pic.twitter.com/14bwDVyxEa

— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 21, 2022

MacCallum began with a letter, written by Republican Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, to the U.S. Treasury:

“It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the U.S. Department of Treasury … is again trying to overstep its Constitutional bounds and dictate Arizona how our state should run and fund our schools.”

She then introduced Ducey, noting that he planned to offer an update on the situation. “What is the next move with Arizona and the federal government on this fight?” she asked.

“Good to see you, Martha. Thank you for having me. Arizona is going to file a lawsuit against the Biden administration, against this federal overreach and continued bullying and attacks on our state,” Ducey replied. “We are going to use the dollars that Congress has appropriated to catch our kids up in school. We want the dollars to go to the families that need to get their child inside a classroom, that is functioning, with the teacher in front. Joe Biden needs to focus on the border or helping Ukraine or fixing Afghanistan. Why doesn’t he stay in his federal lane and let us educate the children in the state of Arizona?”

MacCallum noted that Biden only seemed interested in how the federal money was being spent in states like Arizona, where leadership had opted not to implement mask mandates in schools.

“What I find fascinating about this is the $182 billion that went to school systems across the country and supposed to use it for testing and mitigation,” MacCallum continued. “President Biden said, ‘We weren’t too happy with what happened to some of the money. Once we give it to them, it’s their money to spend the way they want.’ Why is it the only place that they’re watching where the money goes is Arizona?”

“There’s been no accountability to the unions for the amount of money that they’ve been given. They continue to focus on Arizona,” Ducey agreed. “For some reason, this president is obsessed with masks and with mandates. He has a very little focus on math or reading or writing. That’s what we’re trying to get our kids caught up along with American civics so they can understand federalism. This president needs a lesson in it.”

Ducey said that Arizona planned to offer summer programs to help students make up some of the learning deficits resulting from school closures and extended remote learning, saying that his goal was to make the funding portable so that parents could choose the school situation that best fit their children.

“In Arizona, we’re getting them back in the classroom with a teacher at the head of the classroom. If a school system will not work with us, we’re giving family flexible – families flexible dollars to go anywhere in the state to serve their child well,” he said.

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