AG Slatery Sues to Block Federal Head Start Mandates

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III has joined a multi-state lawsuit challenging the Biden Administration’s recent mask requirements for toddlers and COVID-19 vaccinations for staff and volunteers in Head Start Programs.

“We have consistently opposed mandates in the context of education, defending state statutes passed by our General Assembly.  This challenge is consistent with our past positions, especially in the context of education.  Again, these are issues best prescribed by states who are responsible for the safety and health of their citizens and who are most familiar with circumstances facing educators.  The ‘one size fits all’ approach is not workable,” said General Slatery.

Head Start provides much needed resources to underserved children and their families. The program provides early childhood education and resources, including diapers.

Teachers, contractors, and volunteers in Head Start Programs who are required to be vaccinated by January 31 will cost jobs and programing.

The states allege that the Head Start Mandate is not only beyond the Executive Branch’s authority, contrary to law, and arbitrary and capricious; but it also violates the APA’s Notice-and-Comment Requirement, the Congressional Review Act, the Nondelegation Doctrine, the Tenth Amendment, the Anti-Commandeering Doctrine, the Spending Clause, and the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999.

In addition to Tennessee, states joining the lawsuit led by Louisiana include: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, and West Virginia.

Source: Tennessee Attorney General Office, Herbert H. Slatery III