Cuomo orders New York schools to remain closed

The governor acknowledged that the rollout of remote learning had not gone 'perfectly.'

New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference on the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in New York (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all K-12 schools and colleges will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year.

Cuomo’s decision that schools stay closed throughout the spring was made in the best interests of students and educators. He tweeted that their well being had to come first.

“Given the current situation, K-12 schools and college facilities will remain closed for the rest of the academic year and will continue to provide distance learning,” he tweeted.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to the media and tours a newly opened drive through COVID-19 mobile testing center on March 13, 2020 in New Rochelle, New York. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The governor added, “This is the best course of action to keep students, educators and staff safe.”

READ MORE: New York governor orders statewide lockdown to ward against virus

 

He further expanded on his decision during his daily coronavirus briefing. There was simply not enough time to come up with adequate social distancing, which is required to stop the spread of the virus. A final decision on how to proceed with summer school will be made at the end of the month.

“You have 30 kids in a classroom, but with social distancing you can only put 10 kids in a classroom,” he said. “OK, so get another two classrooms with another two teachers? I can’t.”

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The 1.1 million children enrolled in the New York educational system will continue remote learning through the end of the school term. Cuomo acknowledged that the rollout of remote education had not gone “perfectly,” which has included not all students having access to the technology needed for online courses. He also praised parents and their kids for making the effort to make the best of the situation.

“We had to do it in a rush and there are lessons to be learned here,” Cuomo said. “It basically functioned well and teachers did a phenomenal job stepping up to do this.”

Cuomo signed an executive order in April closing schools through May 15 in response to COVID-19, which has overwhelmed the country, especially New York. There have been 19,000 deaths out of more than 308,000 cases.

Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa and interim commissioner Shannon Tahoe released a statement in approval of Cuomo’s decision to keep the schools closed.

“We are continuously inspired by the work of educators, staff and parents across the state to provide instruction throughout the pandemic,” the leaders said. “We know it hasn’t always been easy, but we must continue to forge ahead for the benefit of our students.”

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