New York City’s principals’ union declared a vote of no confidence in Mayor Bill de Blasio for his plan to reopen schools on Sunday and demanded the mayor turn over control of the city’s schools to the state education department.
The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, which represents principals in the nation’s largest school district, reached the vote after de Blasio flip-flopped on reopening policies and reportedly failed to ensure schools are taking proper health and safety precautions, like stocking personal protective equipment.
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The mayor has twice delayed reopening schools, and on Friday, New York City’s Department of Education suddenly changed course on staffing procedures and decided to allow some teachers to work from home. The principals’ union told CBS2 New York that it was not made aware of the sudden change and said the school district still needs 1,200 more teachers before reopening.
De Blasio promoted his plan to reopen schools on the basis of New York City’s dwindling case rate—though the city’s 23,800 coronavirus deaths are more than the deaths in any other state.
One teacher told CBS2 New York that he believes the mayor has not heeded teachers’ concerns about reopening, like the lack of PPE, inadequate COVID testing, and improper ventilation.
“I’m really pretty angry at this point that none of our concerns have really landed with the mayor,” Nate Floro said. “The last thing we need is less Democratic support. I have absolutely no confidence in the mayor, of course, but I think what we need to do right now is empower schools and teachers to be able to do what we know how to do.”
Elementary schools are set to open on Tuesday, with middle and high schools following on Thursday. Ninety-thousand preschool and special needs students already returned to classrooms last week.
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