With an in-person start date of September 10, New York school districts have until Friday, August 21, to submit plans to the Department of Health.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that a number of school districts have yet to submit a plan for the new school year. If districts fail to meet the Friday deadline, they will not be allowed to open in person.
“The parents are responsible for the health and safety of the child, and they’re not going to send the child if they don’t believe the plan makes sense,” Governor Cuomo said.
Because of the diversity of New York state schools, Cuomo says that “it is essential, and mandatory, that school districts have conversations within their communities to address all concerns.”
Added Cuomo. “A teacher is not going to come back into the classroom if they think the classroom is not safe, and that’s right.”
Due to the record low numbers of Covid hospitalizations and infections, Cuomo announced that it was safe for schools to reopen for the fall. While teachers expressed reservations in July, Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers says that “parents and teachers must be confident that schools are safe before they can reopen” but “in New York City that is still an open question.” For Mulgrew, aggressive testing and tracing must take place.
Even with schools closed, the state offers children who lost food benefits due to COVID-19 school closures access to meals through the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program.
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