Cuomo Announces When Decision on New York Schools Will Be Made
Parents, students and teachers won't have to wait much longer to find out if schools can reopen this fall.
On Wednesday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York State will decide whether schools will reopen in the fall during the first week of August.
"We will reopen the schools if it is safe to reopen the schools. We will make that decision based on the science and the data. A decision will be announced in the first week of August. Wait until that date to make a decision because the facts may change," he said. "None of us have been here before. We're all trying to figure out to do things in a very complex environment."
New York State is now consulting with stakeholders on guidance on how a school would reopen in September. Guidance will be finalized on July 13. Over 700 New York school districts must submit reopening plans to state officials on July 31.
"We have been consulting all stakeholders on guidance for how a school would reopen in September. We have 700 school districts in this state, and they range from rural to urban to suburban areas. Localities are very involved in their schools and school decisions, so we have been meeting with them," Cuomo said. "During the first week of August, the state will announce a decision on whether or not those schools reopen, and we want to make that decision with the best available data because facts change here day to day and week to week. A week can be a lifetime with this virus because everything changes so quickly. The schools say they need a decision made by the end of the first week in August so they can then turn on the switches and get everything ready for September, and we'll look at the data in that first week and then we'll make a decision."
On Wednesday on Twitter, President Donald Trump threatened to cut federal funding if students aren't back in their classrooms in the fall.
"In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS," Trump tweeted. "The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!"
Others note those countries weren't impacted by the coronavirus as much as the United States. Gov. Cuomo says only states have the power to open schools.
"School reopening are state decision, period. That is the law and that is the way how we're going to proceed. It's not up to the president of the United States. There is something called the constitution that guides government power and the President doesn't have the authority to open schools," Cuomo said during his briefing.
Trump also tweeted he disagrees with the current CDC guidelines on schools.
"I disagree with @CDCgov on their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools," Trump wrote. "While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I will be meeting with them!!!"
Later on Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence announced the CDC is changing its school reopening guidelines after Trump's tweet.
"Next week, CDC is going to be issuing a new set of tools, five different documents that will be giving even more clarity on the guidance going forward," Pence said.
Cuomo says he wants schools in New York to reopen. He says he understands how important schools are for New York children, but it must be safe.
"If it's not safe for my child, it's not safe for your child," Cuomo said. "So we will get the data and make the decision in August.