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COVID-19: Parents Are Ultimate Decision Makers On Sending Kids Back To School, Cuomo Says

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that parents will make the ultimate decision on reopening schools.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that parents will make the ultimate decision on reopening schools. Photo Credit: ny.gov

Parents will have the ultimate say in determining whether or not children return to the classroom in the fall, according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

During a COVID-19 briefing in New York City, Cuomo said that parents are the ultimate decision-makers who will determine whether or not to send their children to school, depending on districts’ reopening plans.

“We’re going to make a decision on reopening (as a state) later this week, but just because districts put up a plan doesn’t mean that parents will send their kids or teachers will come,” Cuomo said. “It’s not a matter of ‘Well, the government said schools are open and now everyone must go.' It’s not going to happen that way.”

Cuomo said that he has been hearing from parents who are concerned about some districts’ plans to reopen, and have raised questions about testing protocols.

“Parents are informed, probably more than anyone in the country, because these are their children,” he said. “They’re going to have questions. We need the parents to be comfortable, we need the teachers to be comfortable, and we need children to show up to school.”

Cuomo said that school districts should open up a dialogue with parents and begin discussions, possibly in video chat rooms, as the academic year rapidly approaches.

“Time is short, so they should be starting now, because parents will make the ultimate decision,” Cuomo said. “No one is going to tell me if I’m going to send my child to school. I’m going to make sure it’s an informed decision, and I’m not going to trust it just because some school district comes up with a plan.

“This is between the school districts and parents. The ultimate decision-makers are the parents,” he continued. “They’re not going to send their children to a school, even if it’s open, if they don’t believe it’s a safe environment. All they care about is the school their kid is going to.” 

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