HEALTH

Utah joins lawsuit against Biden’s Head Start COVID-19 mandate

Dec 23, 2021, 2:42 PM | Updated: Dec 27, 2021, 6:46 pm
Head Start...
FILE: Head starter 4-year-old Annaleah Rodriquez enjoys a snowcone at Salt Lake Community Action Program. Photo credit: Michael Brandy

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has joined 24 other states in a lawsuit against President Biden’s mask requirements for Head Start students and vaccinations for their teachers.

The lawsuit claims that President Biden’s latest vaccine mandates are unconstitutional and that the federal government is overreaching its authority.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said in a statement that the mandates are “arbitrary and capricious,” and violate a number of different laws. Reyes also claims that the mandate will cost jobs and impede child development.

 

Head Start is a combination of federal government programs with the goal of promoting school readiness of infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children from low income families. The programs also “engage parents or other key family members in positive relationships, with a focus on family wellbeing,” according to its webpage.

Parents or caregivers are eligible for Head Start services if they make 100% or less of the federal poverty level.

The White House says it is implementing a six-pronged strategy to ensure the safety of students and teachers during the pandemic. Along with requiring masks for Head Start students and vaccinations for Head Start teachers, the plan calls for states to adopt vaccine requirements for all school employees.

The President’s plan also calls for more funding to reopen schools safely, regular testing for school staff and students, and a review of vaccinations for individuals under the age of twelve.

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