NEW YORK — The state governor and the New York City mayor are at oddsover whether public school sites in the 1.1 million-student district will be shuttered for the rest of the academic year to curb the coronavirus.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday they would close, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo swiftly responded that the decision was his to make. De Blasio responded on the PIX11 News.
“I respect the role the Governor has to play,” he said. “My job is to protect the people of my city and that means the kids, the parents, the educators, everyone. And I am, of course, concerned that we all recover together. But really my issue is not what happens in the rest of the state or the rest of the metropolitan region. If the New York City schools cannot be safely reopened, we’re not going to reopen them.”
Cuomo also stood his ground Monday, saying the call could only be made by him and that school closings would have to be coordinated with districts surrounding the city.
Mom of two Natasha Capers, who’s also with the New York City Coalition for Educational Justice, agrees with de Blasio.
“I think what is not the right thing to do is to be in this kind of like, battle between himself and the governor about who gets to make what decisions when and where and why and listen,” she said. “Nobody cares.”
Her concern is for the students, including her own children.
“My high schooler came and asked me things about trigonometry and I told him to consult Google and YouTube,” she said. “I can’t help that like they’re, they’re at a point where I can’t help them”
School buildings in the nation’s largest school district have been closed since March 16.
While these conversations continue, some students still don’t have the technology they need to do their school work.
De Blasio said the situation will be remidied by the end of the months, with partners like UPS and FedEx pitching in to help get laptops and tablets delivered to students.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.