Austin-area school mask requirements remain despite Texas Supreme Court ruling

While Sunday’s ruling only applies to Dallas and Bexar Counties, it could have implications down the road for districts like the Austin Independent School District,

"I'm sure Austin ISD is going to follow through on their mask mandate, and they are free to do that. This decision has no direct bearing or obligation on that particular school system," said Dr. Eddy Carder, a constitutional law professor at Prairie View A&M University. "It has a predictive quality about it in that it gives an idea of how the Texas Supreme Court perceives this issue, how they will come out on the issue with regard to the totality of the state and other districts."

After the ruling came down, Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted Sunday that it should serve as a reminder to all ISD’s that Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order stands—with Abbott last week threatening to take any district that requires masks to court.

Legal experts expect the Texas Supreme Court’s final ruling could have statewide implications with regard to mask mandates, and some say it’s possible the case could end up in the US Supreme Court.

Late Sunday night, Austin ISD posted on social media, saying, "Masks will still be required in all Austin ISD schools and facilities."

In addition to Austin, Hays Consolidated ISD, Del Valle ISD, and Manor ISD all say they will require masks. Leander is strongly encouraging masks but not requiring them, as is Round Rock, though that city’s school board is calling a special meeting Monday night to discuss COVID-19 protocols.

Saturday night, Eanes ISD announced they would require masks, but in a tweet Sunday night the district acknowledged the Supreme Court’s temporary ruling. District officials now say they hope to see the legal issue resolved soon, so they can provide parents with an updated decision on masks before school starts.

For a complete list of which schools in our area are requiring masks, click here

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