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District 39

Brad Lander

Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, Kensington

“I’m relieved to hear that in-person school re-opening will be delayed by two weeks. Now we need to double-down and use the time to insist on real progress on what needs to happen to make schools safe for learning. Principals, teachers and staff need the time to prepare curriculum and schedules. The City still needs to use the delay to inspect every building, get nurses, PPE and testing in every school, roll out childcare plans, and support schools to implement outdoor learning.

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Citing the coronavirus’ disruptions to NYC schools and the need to advance racial equity, six New York City Council Members, led by Council Member Brad Lander, will introduce a resolution calling on the NYC Department of Education to prohibit the use of screens (usually drawn from 4th graders’ spring semester) for middle school admissions for the 2021-2022 school year. 

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“Outdoor space in streets, parks, and playgrounds will give schools much needed flexibility as they plan to safely bring our students and teachers together this fall — for outdoor lunch, gym, recess, instruction, and related services. I’m grateful to the city leaders who listened to our pleas for this common sense plan to increase the footprint of our schools at this urgent moment. 

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The debate about when, whether, and how we reopen our public schools remains one of the most wrenching. So many families (my staff and my own very much included) are desperate for their kids to be back in the classroom. We know their growth and development — and the chance for a more equal city — hinges on good public education.

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“I’m glad to hear that City Hall is taking seriously the need to rapidly scale up child care supervision, and enrichment so that families will have support on the days students will be learning remotely. Finding the space and the staffing needed to serve the 100,000 children each day who will need supervision and age-appropriate enrichment activities while they are not in the classroom is a huge undertaking, but essential to supporting working families.

The NYC Department of Education proposal for our public schools this fall will have students in the classroom just two to three days a week, on a rotating basis that will make life extremely difficult for working parents, especially low-income families with less job flexibility and fewer child care options.

The NYC Department of Education has put forward its plan for our public schools next fall. They call it “blended learning.” But to many parents, it sounds more like “disaster.” They are asking: with kids in school only one-half or even one-third of the time, how could I possibly go to work? It’s a question we can and must answer.

“We are glad to hear Mayor de Blasio’s announcement today that, pending a vote from the New York City Board of Health, New York City child care providers will be able to safely reopen on July 13th. As we have said repeatedly, there is simply no way that New York City can successfully rebuild our economy in the months and years to come without accessible and affordable child care for working parents.

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This summer, every single NYC public school student will receive $420 in “Pandemic EBT,” a federal program to help families buy food while students are learning from home due to COVID-19.