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NYSUT Says Governor Cuomo’s State School Reopening Guidance Plan Has New York State “Moving In The Right Direction”

Published Tuesday, July 14, 2020
by NYSUT News & Staff
NYSUT Says Governor Cuomo’s State School Reopening Guidance Plan Has New York State “Moving In The Right Direction”

(ALBANY, NEW YORK) – The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Union says Governor Andrew Cuomo’s school reopening guidance plan has New York State “moving in the right direction.”               

Schools in New York State can reopen in September if the Coronavirus infection level is 5% or lower in their region by the first week in August, but will remain closed if the level rises to 9% or greater before the day school opens, Cuomo said on Monday (July 13th).

Under the guidelines announced by the Governor, schools throughout the state would be allowed to open given current conditions, with the infection level statewide Sunday at 1.08%.

The region where a school is located must be in Phase 4, the last phase, of reopening.

The 5% level must be a 14-day average, while the 9% level would be a 7-day average.

If the levels hit 9%, “that means the virus is moving rapidly and it is not intelligent to reopen," Cuomo said.

“(Then) We hit an emergency stop button,” he said.  “It’s very simple, it’s clear.”

NYSUT President Andy Pallotta released the following statement:

“As we’ve said throughout this process, health and safety of students, families, Educators and other School Staff, and equitable access to a high-quality education must be the top priorities in reopening schools.

What we’ve heard from Governor Cuomo, Chancellor Rosa and the Board of Regents has us moving in the right direction.

The fact-based, data-driven approach to reopening outlined today stands in stark contrast to the reckless approach that some other states and the Federal Government are trying to ram through.

We will review in detail the final state health and educational guidance to ensure it does indeed balance the educational needs of our students with the advice of health care experts.

But make no mistake, for schools to reopen the right way - with health, safety and equity in mind - we know that Federal and State Funding will absolutely be necessary.

State guidance may be the road map for districts, their School Staff and their families to work on reopening plans that are right for their communities, but nobody should be discounting the need for the resources to actually pull safe, equitable reopening off.”

NYSUT represents more than 600,000 Members in education, human Services and Health Care.

The Statewide Teachers Union is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA) and the AFL-CIO.

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