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New York City public schools "will be back in their classroom in September, all in-person, no remote," Mayor Bill de Blasio told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday.

Why it matters: Some 1 million students in the country's largest public school district will return to class for five days a week in the city that was once the epicenter of the pandemic, where de Blasio now says "COVID is plummeting."

What they're saying: "We're almost to 8 million vaccination doses since day one. And it's just amazing to see the forward motion right now, the recovery that's happening in New York City," de Blasio said.

  • "But you can haven't a full recovery without full-strength schools, everyone back sitting in those classrooms, kids learning again. That's what we're going to have in September," he continued.
  • "We know, especially now, more and more kids and staff will get vaccinated. We've made vaccination available everywhere. It's time. It's really time to go full strength now."

Go deeper

May 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

It starts on the first day of school

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Children of color face harsher standards for discipline and punishment from their first day in the classroom.

The big picture: "Black youth, particularly boys, are more likely to be suspended and expelled from school than their peers," says Marc Schindler, executive director of the Justice Policy Institute. "Folks have viewed that as the start of the school-to-prison pipeline."

Schools question the role of police on campus

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Department of Education; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Some school districts are weighing removing police from their hallways and offering more mental health services to students as a way to address behavioral issues that too frequently escalate into disciplinary matters, especially among Black youth.

Why it matters: Advocates of these initiatives point to a lack of evidence that increased police presence in schools actually improves safety and instead could "significantly disrupt learning environments."

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