NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 15: A school bus is stopped while picking up a student in Manhattan's East Village on January 15, 2013 in New York City. Drivers of the city's school buses are set to go on strike tomorrow after negotiations with Mayor Michael Bloomberg failed to reach an agreement; over 150,000 children will need to find an alternate method of transportation to school. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Students can ditch their masks on the school bus.

Masks will not be required on South Carolina school buses in the upcoming school year.

With the school year just a month away for our Palmetto state schools, this was an announcement some parents have been waiting for.

It all started with state legislators putting a mask enforcement provision in the state budget. It states no school district can use any money from the budget to enforce mask mandates in “any educational facility.”

South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) leaders interpret that to mean districts cannot require students, teachers or staff to wear face masks while at school.

What becomes tricky is school buses are owned by the state -not the school districts. That is why an SCDE spokesperson says they got rid of the mask mandate on buses as well.

Despite South Carolina schools dropping the bus mask mandate, masks are still required by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the federal mask mandate, so SCDE still recommends everyone uses them. One parent says she is ready to get rid of them for good.

Other COVID protocols like cleaning and ventilation were dropped by the department of education too, but parents are extremely focused on the masks.

The South Carolina Education Department still encourages masks on buses and within schools. Nothing in the state law prevents any school district from enacting their own masks rules on buses.