NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – The United States Secretary of Education sent a letter to Governor Bill Lee and Tennessee Commissioner of Education Dr. Penny Schwinn stating that the governor's recent executive order may be infringing on federal laws.
In the letter, Education Secretary Miguel A. Cardona laid out that Tennessee's actions of blocking school districts from enforcing mask mandates may infringe on the districts' authority to keep students and educators safe, which is required by federal law.
Cardona wrote that he had learned about the recent executive order "prohibiting local educational agencies (LEAs) from adopting requirements for the universal wearing of masks" and said the order was concerning to the Dept. of Education.
"The Department stands with the dedicated educators who are working to safely reopen schools and maintain safe in-person instruction," Cardona said.
Cardona said his office is looking to partner with the governor and Schwinn's teams "on any efforts to further our shared goals of protecting the health and safety of students and educators."
News4 reached out to the governor's and Schwinn's offices for comment.
Governor Lee released a statement Thursday afternoon on Twitter reiterating his statement that "Parents know better than the government what’s best for their children."
Regarding the Biden Administration letter: Parents know better than the government what’s best for their children. pic.twitter.com/II850ENYJv— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) August 19, 2021
Read the full letter from Education Secretary Miguel Cardona below: