NYC teachers union wants plan for next school year; mayor says not yet

Reopening Schools

NEW YORK CITY — The 2021-22 school year in New York City is just seven months away, and the head of the teachers union says if this year has taught officials anything it’s that they need to start planning now.

Remote learning could still be in the mix next fall, as the city grapples with an in-person teacher shortage because of medical accommodations and families’ fear of returning to the classroom amid the coronavirus pandemic.

UFT president Michael Mulgrew said the first thing the Department of Education needs to find out is whether parents are comfortable sending their children back to school.

When asked to shed some light on a plan for the next academic year, Mayor Bill de Blasio left parents and teachers in the dark, only saying September is a long way away considering the current state of the pandemic.

The mayor said the DOE will always be sensitive to families and educators who might have concerns but there is still plenty of time to work that out.

Justin Krebs, the secretary of the School District 15 Presidents Council, said parents don’t want to be left in the lurch; they want their input included to feel confident when heading back to school in September.

Krebs argued that putting a plan out now gives all stakeholders time to discuss resources and prioritize potential issues.

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