Gov. Laura Kelly has signed an executive order that mandates the use of masks in schools, daily temperature checks and hand sanitizer in each classroom.
That order mandates that all students, faculty and staff and vendors entering a school building wear a face covering.
Exceptions to wearing a mask include when consuming food, during activities where it isn’t safe to wear a face covering and persons with medical or mental health conditions and those with a disability.
The executive order also mandates social distancing and hourly use of hand sanitizer.
Kelly said Monday during a news conference she will sign a second executive order later this week that delays the start of school until at least Sept. 9.
The Kansas State Board of Education will vote on that order this week, according to Kelly.
While the executive order mandating masks doesn’t require the board of education’s approval, the order delaying school does.
According to an article published July 17 by The Associated Press, the 10-member board is facing pressure from GOP leaders to vote against Kelly’s school delay order.
"These same leaders have downplayed or downright ignored the threat of COVID-19 and have used their platforms to promote politics instead of public health," Kelly said. "As they did with my mask order, these leaders have abdicated their duty in the middle of an unprecedented crisis, putting the burden of the decision-making on local officials and school boards.
"Real leaders confront challenges head on, they don’t sit back silent and wait for the situation to get worse. I am taking a stand for what I know is right. I will continue to use every resource and tool available to my administration to protect Kansans and keep our economy open for business regardless of the political push back."
According to The Associated Press, Republicans have an 8-2 majority on the board.
"I am asking each state board of education member to put politics aside and think about our children, their parents, their teachers and the survival of our mainstream businesses," Kelly said.