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Deer Valley High School in Glendale, Arizona. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Treasury Department informed Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) Tuesday that he cannot use federal COVID-19 funding on education grants directed at discouraging mask mandate in schools, AP reports.

Why it matters: In a letter to Ducey, the department said Arizona was misusing the funds by utilizing them to undermine compliance with public health measures aimed at stopping the spread of the virus, per the New York Times.

The big picture: “We are concerned that two recently created Arizona grant programs undermine evidence-based efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19,” deputy Treasury secretary Wally Adeyemo wrote in the letter, per the Times.

  • Arizona was allotted $4.2 billion in federal pandemic aid and has received roughly half of that amount to date, the Times reports.
  • Ducey created the grant programs in August in order to intensify pressure on schools defying the state's ban on mask mandates, per AP.
  • They consist of a $163 million grant program that provides $1,800 in extra funding per student—with the caveat that schools with mask mandates are ineligible—and a $10 million program funding vouchers for families who wish to leave schools with mask mandates or other COVID-19 restrictions.

The bottom line: If Ducey does not change or end the programs in the next 30 days the state may see the federal aid rescinded, per the Times.

Go deeper

17 hours ago - Health

DeSantis touts bonuses for unvaccinated police who relocate to Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference Friday in Kissimmee, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced plans Sunday to "hopefully sign" legislation to provide a $5,000 bonus to police officers who relocate to Florida in order to avoid COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Why it matters: The governor's pledge during an appearance on Fox News comes amid escalating tensions with the Biden administration over its upcoming vaccine requirement for federal workers.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
14 hours ago - Health

COVID vaccines for kids are getting closer

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Millions of kids under 12 could begin getting COVID-19 shots "within the first week or two of November," NIAID director Anthony Fauci said on ABC News' "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" over the weekend.

Why it matters: This would be a major milestone for getting approximately 28 million more kids protected as they prepare to gather with family during the holidays and spend more time indoors due to cold weather.

14 hours ago - Health

A choose-your-own COVID booster adventure

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

COVID-19 boosters are now available for many adults who want one.

  • But the various combinations of who should get one and when now that mixing and matching shots got the OK just made the process much more complex.

Why it matters: The CDC has yet to issue final clinical guidance but the panel's discussions and interim clinical considerations last week show picking whatever shot they want leaves room for confusion.