TRENTON — A New Jersey lawmaker wants to allow parents to choose a different school district for their children if their home district unilaterally adopts a mask policy for students.

Under the bill, parents could create an educational savings account, which could then be used to allow their school-aged children to attend a school in a district that does not mandate masks on students, according to the bill sponsor, state Sen. Michael Testa, R-Cumberland.

The Franklin Township district in Somerset County recently announced that a mandatory masking policy would be reintroduced.

“Sadly, we expected school bureaucrats to once again push their power over students and their parents with renewed masking mandates,” Testa said. So, this bill gives parents the ability to fight back.

Testa questioned the effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19 among schoolchildren.

For example, he noted that a 2021 study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention covered more than 90,000 elementary-school students in 169 Georgia schools and found that forcing students to wear masks “lacks a well-grounded scientific justification.”

"Kids shouldn’t suffer to make adults feel better. My bill restores parental control to local education,” Testa said.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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