Under pressure from teachers unions to delay the school reopenings, NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio announced Thursday that classrooms will only open on September 21 for pre-k and special ed students, contrary to the original plan for all students to return next week.
Now elementary school students will return to class on September 29, and middle school and high school students on October 1. Even then, students will attend class only two or three days a week; the other days they will complete assignments and watch online instructional videos that school officials describe as remote learning.” Students whose parents do not want their children to return for in-school instruction are allowed to opt for all-remote learning.
De Blasio also announced on Wednesday that he will furlough himself and his entire staff to try to slow a $9 billion hemorrhaging of city revenue lost during the global coronavirus pandemic. He had previously blamed for-profit nursing homes for exacerbating the outbreak and pushing up the state’s death toll, even though it was New York law itself which required nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients.
De Blasio predictably blamed the federal government, too, for the lack of aid that he believes might have otherwise prevented “tough cuts” to the city’s budget. “I couldn’t have imagined no action from Washington D.C. up to this point,” he said. Democrats never take responsibility for their own mismanagement.