An upstate judge ordered the New York State Department of Health to issue guidance on new Centers for Disease Control guidelines that permit schools to reduce social distancing between students from six feet to three feet.
In response, UFT President Michael Mulgrew issued the following statement:
Health, education, and political leaders in Albany have been discussing the new CDC guidelines that would generally permit localities to reduce the social distancing between students from six feet to three feet. These discussions have become moot since an upstate judge has ordered the state to immediately issue these guidelines, and localities must implement them in consultation with local stakeholders.
Roughly 70% of New York City public school families continue to prefer remote learning for their children, and so the immediate impact of such a change will be confined to the limited number of buildings — predominantly elementary schools — where space limitations mean that some students now attend fewer than five days a week.
We will be discussing with the DOE how to reprogram such schools for the remaining weeks of the school year while maintaining the other safety precautions, including mask requirements and random testing, that have kept schools the safest public places in New York City.