NEW YORK - The union representing over 6,400 of New York City’s school leaders announced Sunday that they had declared a unanimous vote of “No Confidence” in Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza over their “failure to lead New York City through the safe and successful reopening of schools.”
The Executive Board of the Council of School Supervisors & Administrators made the announcement Sunday, calling on de Blasio to cede mayoral control of the Department of Education for the remainder of the coronavirus pandemic and for de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza to see the immediate intervention of the New York State Education Department.
“School leaders want school buildings reopened and have been tirelessly planning to welcome back students since the end of last school year,” said CSA President Mark Cannizzaro. “They must now look staff, parents, and children in the eye and say that they have done all they can to provide a safe and quality educational experience, but given the limited resources provided them, this is becoming increasingly difficult. During this health crisis, school leaders have lost trust and faith in Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza to support them in their immense efforts and provide them with the guidance and staffing they need. Quite simply, we believe the City and DOE need help from the State Education Department, and we hope that the mayor soon realizes why this is necessary.”
“All summer long, we’ve been running into roadblock after roadblock, with changing guidance, confusing guidance — often no guidance," Council President Mark Cannizzaro said in a conference call with reporters.
Cannizzaro stopped short of saying a strike was on the table. “We’re right now in the middle of a pandemic. Our kids need us,” he said.
Earlier in the summer, the teachers union said schools weren't ready to open because of safety issues such as outdated ventilation systems and lack of school nurses. But after most of its safety demands were met, the union now supports the city's reopening plan.
The principals union has warned of a major staffing crisis created by a deal in August between the de Blasio administration and the United Federation of Teachers that mandated schools create three groups of teachers — one to handle all-remote students, another to teach hybrid students in the classroom and a third to teach hybrid students at home. On Friday, the city made another agreement, allowing more teachers to work from home if they're teaching students learning at home.
In its no-confidence resolution, the principals union said the mayor and chancellor “have entered into grossly irresponsible staffing agreements that fail to prioritize the needs of school children and their families.”
De Blasio's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday. A spokeswoman for the state Education Department said the department is “aware of the situation” and is “monitoring New York City's reopening."
With the Associated Press.
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