The letter sent to Texas, like the ones to the other states, said that the bans on mask mandates “may be preventing schools in Texas from meeting their legal obligations not to discriminate based on disability and from providing an equal educational opportunity to students with disabilities who are at heightened risk of severe illness from covid-19.”
The investigation was opened following the release of a Sept. 17 memo from the Texas Education Agency that says “school systems cannot require students or staff to wear a mask.”
Biden had said last month that the Education Department would take steps to prevent governors and state legislatures from banning school district mask mandates.
The letter to Texas, like the earlier ones sent to other states now being investigated, says that the nation has experienced “significant increases in the number of new covid-19 cases in the general population and specifically among school-age children.”
“Reports show distressingly high rates of hospitalization of children with covid-19,” it says. “National data also show that children with some underlying medical conditions, including those with certain disabilities, are at higher risk than other children for experiencing severe illness from covid-19.”