New York Mayor Makes Big Announcement on Schools

Bill de Blasio hopes they'll reopen in September
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2020 11:00 AM CDT
America's Biggest School System: Done for the Year
In this March 31, 2020 file photo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at the USTA Indoor Training Center where a 350-bed temporary hospital will be built in New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

The nation's biggest public school system is closed for the academic year. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement Saturday and said his city's schools will remain closed until September, the New York Post reports. "It will help us to save lives," said de Blasio, who called it a "painful" decision and "the right decision." He said the reopening will be "unlike any reopening we have ever seen," but Chancellor Richard Carranza cautioned that the coronavirus itself will determine what happens when: "Everything is on the table, but nothing has been decided because circumstances in terms of public health will determine when we open again," he said.

De Blasio's announcement comes on the heels of similar decisions by Washington, Pennsylvania, and about a dozen other states (which are mapped by Education Week). But judging by this New York Times article, New York City is dealing with its own problems caused by the school shutdown. Roughly three quarters of the city's public school kids are low-income, and about 114,000 are homeless, meaning they might not have access to remote learning. They also need free or low-price lunches, so some school buildings remain open for meal pickups. And roughly 200,000 students have disabilities, so service providers are trying to give them remote therapy. (Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered mixed news about the state's coronavirus numbers.)

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