New York City Council Header
File #: Res 1336-2020    Version: * Name: Creates statewide guidelines on closing schools during a biological crisis.
Type: Resolution Status: Committee
Committee: Committee on Education
On agenda: 6/18/2020
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling on the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation that creates statewide guidelines on closing schools during a biological crisis.
Sponsors: Robert F. Holden
Council Member Sponsors: 1
Attachments: 1. Res. No. 1336, 2. June 18, 2020 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 3. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 6-18-20, 4. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - June 18, 2020

Res. No. 1336

Resolution calling on the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation that creates statewide guidelines on closing schools during a biological crisis.

 

By Council Member Holden

Whereas, On March 7, 2020, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency to help the State of New York more rapidly and effectively contain the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus, COVID-19; and

Whereas, According to the New York City Department of Education, there are 1,126,501 students in 1,866 schools in the New York City school system, the largest school district in the United States; and

Whereas, Recognizing the role of social distancing in reducing COVID-19 contraction and transmission, on March 16, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.4, directing every public school in the State of New York to close no later than Wednesday, March 18, 2020; and

Whereas, Before Executive Order No. 202.4, schools in other states and urban school districts such as Los Angeles and Seattle closed, teachers in New York City organized sick outs, student attendance in New York City schools plummeted, and elected officials, public health experts, parents, and educators in New York City called for school closings; and

Whereas, A March 15, 2020 article in The New York Times reported that closing public schools in New York City would alter the lives and routines of 75,000 teachers and over 1 million parents in addition to the over 1.1 million children; and

Whereas, School closures alter students’ routines and obligate parents to arrange technology for remote learning, child care for children staying home, and food for children who access it through schools, making notice of school closures critical to students and families; and

Whereas, An April 22, 2020 New York Times article reported that 63 employees of the New York City Department of Education have died due to COVID-19 at the time of publication; and

Whereas, As demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic, where over half of COVID-19 cases and almost three-quarters of COVID-19 deaths in the State of New York have occurred in New York City as of May 27, 2020, the impact of an infectious disease may vary by region; and

Whereas, Deciding to close schools during a biological crisis involves understanding health, emergency management, safety, and education issues, school closure guidelines should be based on consultation with government, public health and education experts; and

Whereas, According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, “Evidence-based Tool for Triggering School Closures during Influenza Outbreaks, Japan,” evidence-based guidelines may provide a straightforward and practical tool for deciding to close schools; and

Whereas, Guidelines on closing schools that include consultation with government, public health and education experts and a consideration of evidenced-based criteria would, amid a biological crisis, promote public health and provide predictability and facilitate the lives of school employees, students and their families in their home and work lives; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls on the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation that creates statewide guidelines on closing schools during a biological crisis.

 

 

 

NLB

LS #14549

5/28/20