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The Treasury Department is threatening to cancel more than $170 million in federal stimulus money and withhold future funding from Arizona, it informed the state Friday, after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey used the money to set up programs opposing the school mask mandate and COVID-19 mitigation. Measure.

important facts

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Arizona set up a grant of $163 million Program Which provides funding to public and charter schools using federal stimulus money – but will only give money if schools are open to in-person learning and don’t have a mask mandate.

It raised $10 million. also established Program It gives money to children and their families whose schools are closed for in-person learning or need masks, which can be used on education-related expenses such as tuition to go to another school.

The Treasury Department wrote in a letter on Friday that those policies are an “ineligible use” of federal funds – which were provided to help states “reduce” costs related to the pandemic – because they are “inappropriate for COVID-19″. undermine efforts to contain the spread.”

The Biden administration gave Arizona 60 days to redirect its funding or redesign grant programs, otherwise it would void state funds used for those programs and potentially lead to future finances. Will withhold nutrition until the problem is resolved.

Treasury Department First warning Arizona to fix its policies in October or risk losing funding, but the state in its response noted “no plans to be described” to change its programs.

Ducey’s office has not yet responded to a request for comment, but has written in the past Letter For the Treasury Department the state believes its programs are just and that the use of federal funds is fair.

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