WGXC-90.7 FM

State teachers unions make reopening demands

Aug 07, 2020 6:00 am
Rachel Silberstein is reporting for the Times Union as the public schools move toward reopening, the New York State United Teachers, or NYSUT, and the UFT, the United Federation of Teachers, are demanding clear protocols from the state on how school districts should respond to a potential outbreak of COVID-19. In the event that occurs, the unions are recommending a two-week closure period and a return to remote learning until the school buildings are declared safe. “This is no time to take risks,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “If the state allows school buildings to reopen, districts must be prepared to close them in the event of a positive case. ... Clear state guidance is needed to ensure that confusion doesn’t obstruct serious efforts to stop the spread of this virus in our schools and in our communities," he said. Unions are also demanding statewide directives for how contact tracing is to be conducted as well as the ground rules for mandatory and precautionary quarantining for anyone exposed in schools. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is expected to make the final call about whether school districts may reopen by Fri., Aug. 7. Cuomo's comments this week, which to some seemed to be saying that school districts should conduct their own COVID-19 tests, upset some school leaders who noted that it runs counter to the state's own Health Department guidance. Read the full story in the Times Union.