42% of NYC students opt for remote learning; up from 26%, DOE says

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NEW YORK CITY — With one week to go until the start of the academic year, the number of New York City students opting for all-remote learning is on the rise.

According to Department of Education data released Monday, just over 42% of the city’s 1 million public school students have requested a remote learning curriculum — up from 26% on Aug. 10.

About 58% of students intend to return to classrooms next Monday for blended learning, which involves a mix of weekly in-person and remote learning. That’s down from 74% of students on Aug. 10.

The number of students choosing remote learning is expected to change, as parents can opt into the curriculum throughout the school year. Parents can also opt to bring their children over to blended learning at certain points during the academic year.

The shift in preference toward remote learning comes as the leader of the United Federation of Teachers union has repeatedly cast doubt on the DOE’s ability to reopen schools safely by next Monday.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew said Monday that Mayor Bill de Blasio and DOE officials have not made enough progress in establishing the safety protocols needed to reopen.

Mulgrew also said the city still has not provided enough teachers to cover a staffing shortage created by those who were granted reasonable accommodation to work from home.

“If you asked me if we were ready to open today, I would say we are not,” he said.

Mulgrew suggested that the union would seek another delay in opening school buildings if safety protocols are not met on a widespread level.

De Blasio, however, insisted that schools will be ready to by next Monday.

The mayor announced the DOE will be adding 2,000 teachers to its ranks to help offset the staffing shortage as well as the launch of a “situation room” to monitor coronavirus outbreaks.

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