Oregon school district loses COVID funds for ditching masks

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ALSEA, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Education says it will withhold federal COVID-19 relief funds from a small, rural school district in western Oregon where the school board recently voted to end state-required masking.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Department of Education Director Colt Gill wrote to Alsea School District Superintendent Marc Thielman and board chairman Ron Koetz this week saying the federal funding “requires school districts to comply with all state laws and regulations.”

The Department of Education said that by abandoning required face coverings “they should expect rapid transmission of COVID-19 that will prevent students from participating in in-person learning.”

The district’s schools are closed this week because of a surge in cases.

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