With the New York State Chair Committee of Education conducting hearings yesterday regarding the reopening of schools and the coronavirus pandemic, New York State Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon called for the Chair and Department of Education to provide a complete overview on how districts are prepared to address the health and needs of children, teachers and staff within the schools.

Assemblywoman Buttenschon said that any review that is undertaken must be comprised of all facets of the education system, including staffing, food and activities offered to students.

“New York State’s educational reopening process during this public health crisis has resulted in an array of mixed emotions among parents, staff and students,” Buttenschon stated. “We have several school districts completing individual plans that impact parents and our youth’s education differently. We need to ensure that a threshold is upheld across the board. Our teachers are our platform for our future generation. Their health, both mental and physical, needs to remain a priority while we work to reopen our schools. I am calling for immediate attention to the fundamental needs within our school districts at this time.”

Assemblywoman Buttenschon said that now is the time to act in order to provide additional comfort, safety and peace of mind for those who are currently struggling to adjust to the newly implemented school schedules that have been set in place.

New York State United Teachers and the United Federation of Teachers recently called for the state policy just as New York announce initial decisions on reopening plans submitted by roughly 700 school districts. Assemblywoman Buttenschon has received countless proposals regarding the resumption of in-person classes and is working to uncover a clear directive on how contact tracing and quarantines will be conducted to protect everyone within the schools.

“I hear from constituents every day regarding fear and concerns over the school’s reopening process,” Assemblywoman Buttenschon said. “These parents and teachers need solid answers! We need to check the guidelines to ensure that every school is adhering to them and specify how we will maintain this structure as schools begin to welcome their students back.  We’re stepping into a school year that’s unknown. We’re unsure what this will look like as we continue down the road and COVID-19 continues to be a serious health concern for adults and children. Health, and how we are keeping out teachers and students safe, needs to be our priority.”

Assemblywoman Buttenschon has been an advocate for the continued education and safety of families during the coronavirus pandemic. She continues to bring school and community-related concerns and issues to the attention of the administration, including calling on the Governor and the state Department of Health for guidance on school’s reopening and is looking to ensure that every school is giving a proper number of PPE for students and facility upon re-opening.

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