State schools

State schools commissioner demands reopening guidance from governor’s office

State Department of Education Commissioner Betty Rosa is demanding reopening guidance for schools in Albany.

The state Department of Health said it would not issue instructions as New York’s COVID-19 state of emergency has been lifted.

But Rosa rejects that rationale and released a statement on Thursday asking for advice on how to proceed with reopening schools – and alluded to Cuomo’s political spiral to make his point.

“The circumstances surrounding the Executive Chamber this week should not prevent the Department of Health from fulfilling its responsibilities to the public, as promised by the governor’s office for months,” Rosa wrote.

Rosa said she sent a letter to DOH Commissioner Howard Zucker asking for a reopening roadmap amid growing anxiety over coronavirus variants.

The state Department of Health said it will not issue reopening guidelines because New York’s COVID-19 state of emergency has been lifted.
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“There is an urgent need for timely guidance and oversight from the State Department of Health to local and school officials as they navigate these uncertain times,” Rosa said in her statement.

The city’s Department of Education is also working on final guidelines before the first day of school in a few weeks.