“So whatever we, do we do all at the same time. So I understand the mayor’s position, which is he wants to close them until June. And we may do that. But we’re going to do it in a coordinated sense with the other localities. It makes no sense for one locality to take an action that’s not coordinated with the others,” Cuomo said.
When pressed about if the mayor’s decision is invalid, Cuomo said it was his “legal authority in this situation.”
“That’s why, when I closed them, we closed them statewide,” the Governor said. “It was not just New York City that we closed. We closed at that same time the island and the northern suburbs, and then we coordinated in all of upstate.”
Cuomo said it’s not clear when the decision to close schools for the remainder of the school year will be made.
“It’s not going to be decided in the next few days because we don’t know. I can’t tell you what June is going to look like. I can’t tell you what May is going to look like,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo’s position was echoed by Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, who said the fate of schools for the rest of the school year should be made in “harmony” with the tri-state region.
Freddi Goldstein, the mayor’s press secretary, stood by de Blasio’s decision in a tweet.
“The Governor’s reaction to us keeping schools closed is reminiscent of how he reacted when the Mayor called for a shelter in place. We were right then and we’re right now. Schools will remain closed, just like how we eventually – days later – moved to a shelter in place model,” she tweeted.
Earlier, De Blasio said it would not be viable or safe to bring schools back as the crisis continues to churn in New York, the epicenter of the outbreak.
That leaves more than 1.1 million children at home learning remotely in the hopes of curbing the spread of coronavirus. The state already closed all schools through the end of April, and other districts around the country had decided to stay closed through the end of the academic year.
Online education, however, will continue.
De Blasio spoke of the trauma that New York City kids have endured during this crisis.
“It’s been a tough, tough time,” de Blasio said. De Blasio said social distancing is working, and now is not the time to stop it. Indeed, the stay-home strategy is “the best way forward to protect all of us,” de Blasio said.
“If we brought kids back for a few weeks, it wouldn’t add that much academically. The risk simply did not outweigh the reward,” de Blasio said. “It just proved there was not a clear reason on what we would gain to help out kids but the challenges and the problems were very, very clear. And we knew there was a clear danger that if we came back some schools would have to close because of individual cases of coronavirus, and it would create so much disruption and confusion.”
The plan now is to reopen schools in September. De Blasio announced a five-step plan to serve students and the system:
1.) Get “internet enabled digital devices” to facilitate remote learning by the end of
2.) Expand parent help line and tech support hours and staffing
3.) Launch new online activities and programs
4.) Graduate seniors
5.) Prepare system for opening in September and address the learning losses children have sustained.
United Federation of Teachers President President Michael Mulgrew said he agreed with the decision to keep schools closed.
“Keeping school buildings closed is unquestionably the right decision. Learning continues. Thanks to the efforts of our educators, remote learning is working in New York City,” he tweeted.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE
Where are the testing centers
See how our communities are making a difference
Free educational resources for parents and children
How you can help victims of coronavirus
Coronavirus news and live updates in New York
Coronavirus news and live updates in New Jersey
Coronavirus news and live updates in Connecticut
New York City updates
Long Island updates
How coronavirus is leaving ghost towns in its path
Coronavirus prevention: how clean are your hands?
Social distancing: What is it and how does it stop the spread of coronavirus?
Coronavirus closures and cancelations
Coronavirus tips: What Americans need to know
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus
Total count of COVID-19 cases based on patient address
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.