ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that all schools will remain closed for at least an additional two weeks due to the coronavirus.
Schools were originally supposed to be closed until April 1, but with the number of coronavirus cases continuing to rise, they will remain shut until at least April 15.
“Public education is very important. It’s important to all of us,” Cuomo said. “On the other side of the balance beam is public health.”
The Governor had initially directed schools to close by March 18 and to remain closed until April 1 in an effort to flatten the curve.
“We also said that we would waive what’s called a 180-day requirement — that every school has to teach for 180 days,” he said.
But now there is an extension on the closures after the Governor said they reassessed the situation.
“I don’t do this joyfully, but, I think, when you look at where we are, and you look at the number of cases still increasing, it only makes sense to keep the schools closed.”
Cuomo said schools will need to continue to follow through with their plans to provide meals, distance learning and childcare for essential workers.
David Albert, a spokesperson with the New York State School Boards Association, said it was the right move.
“If he is based on his medical experts saying that schools should be closed until the 15th, then we support that, and obviously, we want to do what’s best for public health,” Albert said.
“It’s what we expected, but districts were very anxious to get official word this week because they need to advise parents and teachers and bus drivers and all the other employees involved with having our schools operate,” Bob Lowry, with New York State Council of School Superintendents, said.
The Governor also said the state has lost $10 billion to $15 billion in revenue due to the virus, and the state will have to cut education aid.