NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces all schools can reopen

Date: 2020-08-07 20:51:09

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New York City’s public schools can hold in-person classes this fall, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced, paving the way for the district to become the only major U.S. system to open its doors despite growing unease among teachers, administrators and parents.

“By our infection rates, all school districts can open” with tight precautions, Cuomo said Friday on a conference call with reporters. “Everywhere in the state, every region is below the threshold that we established, which is just great news.”

Parents of pupils in New York City have hours to decide whether to opt out and begin the year with all-remote learning.

While Cuomo said districts have permission to resume in-person classes, that doesn’t mean they will. For months, Cuomo has insisted that he has sole authority to decide. But it’s up to local officials to decide how and when to open, putting an onus squarely on the shoulders of longtime rival Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Of the nearly 750 districts, more than 120 have yet to send in a plan and 50 are incomplete, Cuomo said. He didn’t discuss New York City’s plan.

De Blasio tweeted “We’re committed to getting this right. We will open safely.” The city will learn Monday whether the state considers its reopening proposal complete, said mayoral spokesman Bill Neidhardt.

New York City’s system, the largest in the U.S. at 1.1 million students, is defying a national rush to online education. Officials have spent the past five months planning for a hybrid schedule in which students would attend school one to three days a week, depending on a building’s capacity. The rest of the time, the district intends to offer online learning.

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