NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio just got the 'green light' from the governor's mansion to move ahead with his vague 'hybrid outline' for reopening NYC schools in the fall.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said all school districts in the state can reopen in September if they have low infection rates but is leaving the exact details up to local school districts to ensure 'maximum flexibility'.
If another wave of infections emerges, guidance will change, Cuomo said.
As schools reopen NYS is requiring all school districts to:— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 7, 2020
1) Post their remote learning plans & their testing/tracing plans online
2) Set dates for 3-5 discussion sessions with parents & community (prior to Aug 21)
3) Have at least one separate discussion with teachers alone
NYC is now one of the only big cities in the country that will offer some form of in-person instruction now that Chicago and LA schools will be focusing on entirely virtual education. Extracurricular activities like sports will be suspended for the semester, however.
With the state now on track to reopen, there's little doubt that in 1 month public officials in NYC and elsewhere around the state will be dealing with a surge in new cases, which the media will immediately make into a much bigger problem than it actually is, resulting in the city being completely shut again by October.
Parents of NYC students now have until Friday to decide whether to "opt out" and start the year with remote learning.
"By our infection rates, all school districts can open,” 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."
NYC has the largest school system in the US, with 1.1 million students. Parents across the city were left struggling to juggle work and essentially home-schooling their kids in the spring. Teachers Unions have opposed reopening in-person, but the pressure on Cuomo from parents was clearly too great. Some have projected that school closures would crush the NYC economy, one of the most vibrant engines of economic growth in the US.
In other news, Con Edison and the governor's office announced on Friday that 200,000 homes in Manhattan are still without electricity in the latest Manhattan blackout following the hurricane earlier this week.