Jul 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

New York City schools will not fully reopen in fall

Bill de Blasio

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at a press conference on Wednesday that schools will not fully reopen in fall, and will instead adopt a hybrid model that will limit in-person attendance to just one to three days a week.

Why it matters: New York City, once the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., is home to the nation's largest public school district — totaling 1,800 schools and 1.1 million students, according to the New York Times. The partial reopening plan could prevent hundreds of thousands of parents from fully returning to work.

What they're saying:

"Through a mix of in-school and at-home learning we can make more space in every classroom and building. That means most kids coming to school 2 days a week. It’s a first for NYC public schools but it’s the only way to bring kids back safely. What we WON'T do is ignore the science and recklessly charge ahead like our president. We will do it the right way. We will keep everyone safe."
— De Blasio in a tweet

The big picture: Other states have announced they will fully reopen schools in fall despite major spikes in confirmed COVID-19 cases. New York has taken a more cautious approach to reopening.

  • Florida Education commissioner Richard Corcoran said this week that schools will fully reopen in fall.
  • Massachusetts has said schools can reopen with at least three feet of distance between students, per NPR.

Yes, but: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) could still claim authority over NYC schools and block De Blasio's timeline for reopening, per the New York Times.

  • And the plan is based on current case numbers, meaning fluctuations could alter de Blasio's vision for reopening schools.
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