‘Delaying school for 10 days without calling for adequate funding so that schools can meet the needs of this moment, it does nothing.’
The Tuesday press conference where Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew announced a deal to delay the reopening of New York City public schools had the air of finality.
“Everyone knows kids have been through so much, so much trauma that can only be addressed with consistent help from highly-dedicated, highly-trained adults, our educators, our mental health experts, everyone who is going to be there for our kids, and that includes all the other folks who work in the school community,” de Blasio said. “That’s all going to be happening again on Monday, September 21st.”
That’s unlikely to be the last word on school reopening in New York City. There is still the possibility that the city’s case counts will head back up, as they have in Europe. There are still concerns about how the city-wide threshold for opening schools and keeping them open—a positive test share of 3 percent or less—will affect neighborhoods experiencing virus prevalence at higher levels. Just Thursday, the Success Academy chain of charter schools announced that it had concluded that “continuing to be remote through at least December would provide the best learning experience for students.”
An education advocate told Wednesday’s Max & Murphy Show on WBAI that the brief delay in restarting school had not resolved many of the concerns some parents and teachers harbor.
“Delaying school for 10 days without calling for adequate funding so that schools can meet the needs of this moment, it does nothing. This random figure of testing 10 to 20 percent of the student population – that’s so far from adequate,” said Asamia Diaby, the New York City campaigns organizer for the Alliance for Quality Education. “We’ve seen all across the country – Georgia, Florida, in all of these places—they reopen school prematurely and the cases just go right up.”
Hear the conversation with Diaby below, or listen to the full show, which includes a discussion about the controversy over the emergency relocation of hundreds of homeless people to hotels on the Upper West Side.
Max & Murphy Full Show of September 2, 2020
With reporting by Sy Schimberg