UPDATE, SUNDAY A.M.: Neither side appears ready to back down in the ongoing debate over who has the authority to close New York City Schools for the remainder of the school year.
A day after Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city’s schools were closing, Governor Andrew Cuomo continued to say that the final decision was his.
“We won’t open schools one minute sooner than they should be opened but we won’t open schools one minute later than they should be opened either,” Cuomo said Sunday. “I do not know what we will be doing in June. Nobody knows what we will be doing in June.”
Earlier Sunday, de Blasio said that schools should be closed until September. “This is not a legal or jurisdictional question,” he said. “This is a moral question.”
UPDATE: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio does not have the authority to declare schools closed for the year.
“He didn’t close them and he can’t open them,” Cuomo said after de Blasio claimed that schools would not reopen until September.
“It is my legal authority in this situation,” Cuomo said. “It’s not going to be decided in the next few days, because we don’t know. I can’t tell you what June is going to look like. I can’t tell you what May is going to look like. But I can tell you it will be a metropolitan-wide decision. And it will be coordinated with the business decision.”
EARLIER: New York City schools, which officials dragged their heels on closing during the early stages of the pandemic, are now officially done for the remainder of the school year, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday.
The decision was reached to help curb the pandemic curve, de Blasio said.
“It will help us to save lives,” de Blasio said, speaking during a press conference at City Hall. “It’s the right decision.”
Now all eyes will turn to the Los Angeles Unified School District. Schools Superintendent Austin Beutner said a decision would be made next week after the end of what would have been spring break for the system. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state education officials have indicated that schools are done, but the decision has not been finalized for the state’s largest system, LAUSD.
However, the trend appears to be toward staying closed in Los Angeles. “Normal is not returning any time soon,” Beutner said earlier.
For New York, de Blasio said the plan is to reopen schools in September. He promised it would be “unlike any reopening we have ever seen.”
There are no guarantees on that reopening, though. Chancellor Richard Carranza said health conditions would determine when schools actually open.
“Everything is on the table, but nothing has been decided because circumstances in terms of public health will determine when we open again,” he said.