NYS Department of Education steps up to guide schools

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(WETM) – After the State Health Department decided to not issue guidelines, the Education Department issued a notice yesterday saying that they would take on that role.

“I was personally very glad to hear that the state education department would be releasing guidance,” said Steuben County Manager, Jack Wheeler.

With just four weeks until school starts, local officials are breathing a small sigh of relief, after the State Education Department issued a notice yesterday saying that they would be developing a summary guidance document for school districts. Now, local officials are waiting on that guidance before making any rules.

In the notice, the Education Department side-eyes the Department of Health:

“This is necessary, in the light of the continued absence of health-related school opening direction and assistance from the Governor’s Office and the State Department of Health.”

Statement from Betty A. Rosa, Commissioner of Education

Until last Wednesday, school districts in New York had been receiving guidance from these two sources for the past 16 months.

“The state health department essentially abandoned their obligation,” said Wheeler.

County officials are hoping to collaborate with other counties in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes area on uniform guidance for the region. Local officials have been working diligently over the past week to figure out a plan.

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