Mayor de Blasio ‘very confident’ NYC will stick to latest school plan

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday said he’s “very confident” the city will stick to its new back-to-school schedule — following the last-minute decision the day before to once again delay in-person instruction.

Hizzoner was grilled during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on whether he could guarantee to parents that students would be back in the classrooms by Oct. 1.

“I need the health care situation to cooperate always,” de Blasio said. “But I want to tell you, based on everything I’ve seen, based on how well New Yorkers have worn those masks and done the social distancing and fought back the disease really in a heroic way, I feel very confident about that date.”

An 11th-hour deal between de Blasio and education unions was announced Thursday to push back in-classroom instruction from this upcoming Monday, when all grades were set to return to school. Now, kindergarten through fifth grade students will go back for in-person learning on Sept. 29, with middle and high school kids heading back on Oct. 1.

The delay was the result of mounting pressure from parents and teachers who say schools aren’t ready to safely reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Fifty-eight percent of city parents had opted for a blended learning model that would have students alternate between classroom and remote learning.

Asked whether the city could nix the in-person plan altogether and go all-remote, de Blasio pointed to 3-K and pre-K kids, as well as special needs students in the Department of Education’s District 75, who will begin classroom learning this Monday.

“If it was headed there, then why are 90,000 kids going to be in classrooms next week? Come on,” the mayor said.

“This is happening,” he added of in-classroom instruction. “It’s happening literally Monday morning. That’s what people need to watch — watch the facts on the ground. We’re going to show you this school system moving forward.”

New York Post

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