KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Both the Kansas and Missouri attorney generals have signed onto a 24-state lawsuit against the federal vaccine mandate for Head Start programs.
The petition, spearheaded by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, is in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana to block the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from enforcing a mandate that would require all staff, volunteers and other people who come into contact with Head Start students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 31.
The federal mandate also said anyone ages two and older at a Head Start program must wear a mask.
Head Start programs are administered by the Office of Head Start within the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and help fund services for children.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a news release that his reasoning for signing on to the lawsuit is that that vaccine mandate "will place greater strain on the availability of early childhood programs for low-income Kansas families."
“Kansas families are already facing challenges finding child care,” Schmidt said in the release. “The Biden Administration’s adoption of this one-size-fits-all mandate will worsen child care shortages. This mandate is likely to result in the loss of staff, closure of facilities or at least reduced capacity for low-income children. It is another example of the administration taking shortcuts and failing to consider consequences as it rushes forward, and the courts should strike this mandate down as they have others.”
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt also had similar reasoning for signing on to the lawsuit.
“Head Start Programs provide much needed resources for underserved communities, single moms and other parents who may be struggling to provide care.” Schmitt said in a release. “Additionally, requiring volunteers, teachers and contractors to be vaccinated by the end of January will certainly lead to job loss and program cancellation, harming those underserved communities who rely on the Head Start Program. We’ve heard from parents across the state about how these mask mandates are harming their children. The Biden Administration does not have the authority to issue these onerous mask and vaccine mandates, and as we have with all of his illegal edicts, we will fight them vigorously in court.”
The other state attorney generals who signed onto the lawsuit are from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming and West Virginia.