Mask mandates scrapped in largest US school districts: data

All of the nation’s 500 largest school districts have eliminated their requirement to wear masks on students – after the last holdout, Newark, New Jersey, eliminated the requirement, new data shows.

The Garden State’s largest public school district made face coverings optional for students, staff and visitors starting Monday.

“Since Newark Public Schools removed the district’s mask mandate, the number of top 500 school districts with a mask mandate for students is now zero,” he said a tweet from data provider Burbio on Tuesday.

As of last month, only seven of the top 500 school districts still required masks for learners, according to the website, which has tracked K-12-COVID-19 rules throughout the pandemic.

Others that recently dropped the mandate included Prince George’s County in Maryland, Jefferson County in Kentucky and Philadelphia, Burbio co-founder Dennis Roche told The Post.

Philadelphia masks
Philadelphia Public School students will return to mask-wearing at the Masterman School in Philadelphia in May 2022.

Ann Arbor in Michigan, Pittsburgh and San Diego eliminated the requirement late last month.

“A handful of districts require (masks) for employees or visitors in certain circumstances,” Roche said — like Sweetwater, California, which requires masks for unvaccinated employees and visitors. Only six major school districts had similar adult-only policies.

According to the tracker, the last time a majority of major school districts required masks was in February.

Anderson School mask requirement
Students and parents on the first day of school at the Anderson School in Manhattan.
Robert Mueller

New York City public schools eliminated masks in early March, with the exception of children under the age of 5.

Districts across Connecticut were also allowed to go mask-free on the last day of February, and many New Jersey schools followed suit over the next month.

The Newark Board of Education announced last Friday that the district, which has 38,000 students, would repeal the mandate effective Monday.

According to education news source Chalkbeat, the requirement came during the summer programs and the first week of school. Mask mandates scrapped in largest US school districts: data


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