NEW YORK — Could New York City public school students have a remote learning option by the new year? If a state senator from Queens has his way, the mayor would be forced to offer the option now.
Sen. John Liu said he has the long-term solution for the remote learning option his constituents are calling for: legislation.
The proposed bill would force the city’s Department of Education to offer remote learning when the CDC designates an area with a high rate of COVID-19 transmission.
If the proposed bill were law as of Wednesday, the entire New York City public school system would be forced to offer a remote option. The CDC’s map shows all five boroughs with a high virus transmission rate — more than 100 cases per 100,000 people.
Currently, only medically fragile students with certain conditions are allowed a full-remote learning option.
After 18 months of disrupted learning during the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio has insisted students need to return to the classroom for their physical, mental and educational wellbeing.
Liu, however, said City Hall is out of touch with parents on this issue.
Education Trust New York, a student advocacy group, commissioned a survey of more than 800 parents, 90% of whom agreed that in-person learning is ideal. But in New York City, the survey found 79% of parents would like the option for their children to learn remotely.
The proposed remote learning bill could be voted on as early as January, when the state Legislature is back in session.