Gov. Cuomo: Many school districts still need to submit full plan

As many as 1 in 7 New York school districts have yet to submit a plan to the state's health agency for the opening of the new school year amid the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

The governor said districts that don't submit their plans by Friday cannot provide in-person learning this year. He said state health officials are reviewing plans and will work with district leaders on incomplete submissions. 

"How you didn't submit a plan is beyond me," Cuomo said in a Monday conference call with reporters.

New York originally set a July 31 deadline for the state's roughly 700 school districts to submit reopening plans to both the state's health and education agencies. The state Education Department said 86 school districts, including New York City, requested one-week extensions to submit plans by last Friday. 

New York City's education chancellor, Richard Carranza, said Monday that around three-quarters of students in the nation's largest school district have chosen the option of going to class in person at least a few days a week; 26% opted for online learning only. He said about 15% of teachers in the district have asked to work only from home and not be physically present in the classroom.

School districts have until Aug. 21 to post their plans for remote learning, testing and tracing on the websites. 

"You're not going to dictate to parents that they have to send their children" to school, Cuomo said.

And Cuomo warned school officials in New York City and statewide that they have just three weeks to provide three to five public sessions with teachers and parents on reopening plans.

"They have to start and they have to start soon, because you don't want to rush these conversations, you don't want to create more anxiety for the parents and for the teachers," Cuomo said.

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