State Set To Release School Re-Opening Guidelines

Government officials, school administrators, and parents across New York are wondering whether—and how—schools will re-open this fall.

On July 8, 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out a timeline for plans and decisions regarding school re-opening. The Governor stated that his administration was in the process of finalizing guidance on school re-opening, adding that the guidance will be finalized on July 13. Gov. Cuomo noted that school districts were expected to submit school re-opening plans by July 31. The Governor added that “‘during the first week of August, the state will announce a decision on whether or not [schools] reopen, and we want to make that decision with the best available data because facts change here day to day and week to week.’”

Gov. Cuomo has made it clear that he will make the final decisions regarding school re-opening. Last week, after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City schools would re-open in the fall, the Governor’s office called Mayor de Blasio’s comments “‘premature.’” On July 8, after President Donald Trump stated his strong support for school re-opening, Gov. Cuomo responded, “‘School reopenings are a state decision, period. That is the law, and that is the way we’re going to proceed. It’s not up to the President of the United States.’”

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms calls upon Gov. Cuomo to make decisions about school re-opening carefully but promptly, and to keep the needs and interests of nonpublic schools in mind as he does so.