July 6, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Governor Andrew Cuomo said he has made no decision as to whether schools will reopen in September — despite Mayor Bill de Blasio announcing Thursday that New York City public schools will do so.
The opposing statements reignited their long-standing argument over who controls schools and yet again has created confusion for New York City parents and teachers.
De Blasio said Thursday that the Big Apple is “full steam ahead for September” and confirmed that public schools would open again on the first day of the new school year.
However, today, Cuomo — who has repeatedly argued that only the governor has the power to close and reopen schools in New York — said he doesn’t know if schools can open come September.
“We don’t yet know if we are going to reopen [schools],” he said at a press briefing. “We’ll follow the data and make a decision on the data.”
Cuomo said the state has directed all 700 school districts in New York to develop a reopening plan for the new school year.
“Every school district is coming up with a plan to reopen, that doesn’t mean they are reopening,” he said.
He mentioned New York City schools specifically.
“New York City is coming up with a plan pursuant to that request on what it would look like to reopen the New York City school system in September, but there has been no decision yet as to whether or not we are reopening schools,” he said.
The mayor and governor have butted heads several times on the issue of closing and reopening city schools.
They first had a spat over whose decision it was to close the schools when the coronavirus pandemic began in March and again when de Blasio said schools would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year.
Cuomo said New York still needs to ensure children are safe in schools before they return.
“We want kids back in school for a number of reasons, but we’re not going to say children should go back to school until we know it’s safe.”
He said the situation is fluid and there is still time to make a decision.