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Leaders speak out after Governor falsely accuses local schools of not submitting reopening plans

On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo set a new deadline for school districts across New York, which he said failed to submit a plan for fall learning by the end of July.

He says there were 107 districts in the state that failed to submit a plan for in-person learning. They will now have to do so by Friday, August 14th if they want the state to allow them to consider it.

However, a number of districts on the Governor’s so-called non-compliant list actually submitted plans, and had those plans posted to district websites despite the claim.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

“There are 107 school districts that have not submitted their plan – for those 107 school districts, how they didn’t submit a plan is beyond me. If they don’t submit a plan by this Friday, they can’t open,” Governor Cuomo said Monday. “The main arbiter here of whether a school district has an intelligent plan to reopen and whether people have confidence in that district’s plan: It’s going to be the parents and it’s going to be the teachers, and that requires discussion, and that’s going to be a dialogue. Parents don’t have to send their child. The parents are responsible for the health and safety of the child, and they’re not going to send the child if they don’t believe the plan makes sense. A teacher is not going to come back into the classroom if they think the classroom is not safe, and that’s right. The school district has to have that dialogue by the 21st to fully comply with our rules.”

School districts in the region who appeared on the list included, Arkport, Bradford, Corning, Hammondsport, Odessa Montour, WebsterCortland, Victor, East Bloomfield, Geneva, Seneca Falls, Palmyra-Macedon, and Red Creek.

Several media outlets that posted the list, later took it down because so many districts said they received confirmation from the state late-last week when submitting plans for approval.

Seneca Falls Superintendent Jeramy Clingerman was one of those leaders who spoke out after the Governor’s announcement on Monday.

“The district did submit its plan in a timely manner with submission formally taking place on Friday, July 31,” Clingerman wrote in a letter to family and the community. “This is the same date we uploaded our plan to our district website.”

“At this time the district is working with the State to address the issue. The safety of students and staff, throughout the planning process for reopening school, has been the top priority and will continue to be,” Clingerman added. “Sorry for this confusion and I will be sure to notify all families when our plan has been approved.”

Palmyra-Macedon Superintendent Bob Ike shared a similar story.

“It is the understanding of the district that this notification was an error,” a letter from Ike to parents reads. “The district did submit its plan to the State Education Department in a timely manner with submission formally taking place on Friday, July 31 at approximately 9:08 a.m. The district did submit its plan to the Department of Health in a timely manner with submission formally taking place on Friday, July 31 at approximately 9:13 a.m.”

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

He says the district is working with the state to correct the error.

“The safety of students and staff throughout the district is a top priority, and Pal-Mac will continue its diligence in adhering to all safety guidelines outlined by the State,” added Superintendent Ike.

As of Tuesday morning, the Governor’s website still listed the incorrect list with districts falsely identified as having not submitted a plan.

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