NYC Public Advocate: More Time Needed to Safely Reopen Schools

The Mayor needs to listen to the students
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[NYC Schools Reopening]
Williams: "The Mayor needs to listen to the students, parents, teachers, scientists and school staff, who are imploring him to prioritize safety, not a schedule."
Photo: Twitter

Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams issued the following statement after the Mayor and Chancellor announced that in-person learning would be delayed until September 21, originally scheduled for September 10.

"Re-opening strategies need to be deliberate and methodical, guided by science and framed in equity to minimize risk. I've implored the administration to delay the reopening of school buildings in service of that goal, but I am deeply concerned that eleven days is not nearly enough to meet the monumental task before the city, and that the administration will fall victim to the same logistical failures and logical fallacies as it did previously, just with a new date.

"We need more time for preparation and less focus on a looming, unrealistic and unsafe deadline amid deep budget uncertainty. Our approach must be intentional, not incidental - implementing the most effective system of remote learning possible while working to restore in-person learning in phases, beginning with those who have the greatest need. If we face the same shortcomings on September 21 that we do today, nothing will have changed but the calendar, and further delay will be needed to put in place critical safety infrastructure before gradually phasing in re-opening. The Mayor needs to listen to the students, parents, teachers, scientists and school staff, who are imploring him to prioritize safety, not a schedule."

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