Williams, Treyger Respond To Mayor's Support Of Phased School Reopening

November 23rd, 2020

Press Release

Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams and Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education, released the following joint statement after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signaled that when public schools re-open, it will be through a phased approach beginning with District 75 and younger students before considering upper grade levels.

"Phased-in reopening is the right strategy now, and it was the right strategy many months ago, before the tremendous trauma, chaos, and cost were incurred by the original rushed and ever-shifting re-opening effort. While we are relieved that the Mayor is now following the recommendations laid out in our original plans formed by listening to advocates, scientists, and affected communities alike, the months of failed leadership and frenetically shifting strategies make us skeptical that the eventual reopening will be in line with the Mayor's encouraging comments today. Additionally, crucial elements of implementation, including the timeline, remain unknown and unanswered for.

'While the Mayor may regard us as 'professional critics,' we share the same ultimate goal - safe, accessible, high quality education for our students. But reaching that point, especially in person, requires an approach that is guided by science and framed in equity and justice, one that we have discussed for many months. Until that standard can be met, it is even more critical that the city improve remote learning for parents and students, teachers and administrators, who are relying on the city to meet the moment and keep its promises."

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