Governor Cuomo Cuts K-12 Stakeholders out of His Plan to Re-Open NY Schools

Board of Regents Ensures Parent and Educator Voices Will be Heard

On April 28, Governor Cuomo announced the creation of an advisory board to advise the State’s re-opening strategy for businesses and schools. The New York Forward Re-Opening Advisory Board, created by the Governor and his former aide Jim Malatras, includes a who’s who of CEOs, board chairpeople, corporate business executives, major sports team owners, a restaurant owner, and college and university leaders. One glaring omission: representatives from NYS K-12 public schools.

Re-opening public schools will be, arguably, the most challenging aspect of New York State’s re-opening plan. Our schools are designed for collaboration, integration, and cooperation, not social and physical distancing. New York’s public schools are already increasingly overcrowded with class sizes steadily rising and state funding steadily falling. In order to design a safe and successful transition for everyone who will be re-entering our brick and mortar schools, the Governor must immediately take steps to ensure a process that includes firsthand knowledge of student populations and their needs, school building logistics, busing and transportation logistics, and staff challenges.

We applaud the Board of Regents’ decision to correct this omission by stating their intent to create a statewide task force comprised of “educational leaders, parents, school board members, and other stakeholders.” We look forward to assisting the Board of Regents with this immense task and bringing these important voices to the table to ensure a re-opening strategy that safeguards the well-being of students, educators, school staff, and their families.

-Long Island Opt Out

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