Governor Andrew Cuomo say he’s concerned about the prospect of teachers striking if they feel working conditions are not safe for them in the fall.
Cuomo is expected to make a decision on district’s reopening plans this week.
Nationwide, teachers have been voicing their concerns about what they say are inadequacies with reopening plans. Last week the American Federation of Teachers said it would strike – and support any individual group of teachers that felt striking was necessary – heading into 2020.
Cuomo says his concern is specific to the working conditions teachers experience inside classrooms amid the pandemic.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the national average for positive tests has been 8%. However, in New York State that number is below 1%.
Cuomo says that if New York’s positive rate pushes into the upper-single digits – they will look at closing schools. However, late last week, he told parents and districts that they should plan on seeing the school year start in September.
But parental comfort is also a big question.
Cuomo highlighted the need for better remote learning and proper COVID-19 testing capacity. He stressed the need for fast turnaround times for results, which has been a problem around the country.
“If the parents don’t feel comfortable, they’re not going to send their children,” Cuomo told reporters. “And we’ll accomplish nothing if we open the schools but a significant number of parents decide to keep their children home.”