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Cuomo: Districts Need To Convince Parents Schools Are Safe

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will announce later this week on what terms that schools can reopen during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But he put the responsibility for the details back on schools Monday, saying they need to better respond to the concerns of parents.

The state’s 700 school districts were to have submitted their plans on July 31. Cuomo says some of those he’s seen are “indecipherable,” while others are incomplete. The governor says he will issue his decision on whether schools can partially or fully reopen later this week, based on data about the rate of the spread of infection in the state.  He says ultimately, though the schools will need to win the trust of parents who will send their children to the schools. 

“I don’t care what any bureaucrat says,” said Cuomo. “If they don’t have a good plan for reopening, no kids are going to come and no teaches are going to come.”  

The governor says schools should immediately hold virtual meetings with parents, to make sure their concerns are addressed. 

Cuomo says he won’t OK a school reopen plan that isn’t safe.    

The governor was particularly critical of New York City’s reopening plan, which would offer a combination of remote and in- classroom learning, and shutter schools if the rate of transmission of the virus reaches over 3%. 

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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