Governor Cuomo Announces Compliant School Districts Permitted to Open

NY State Government: Week in Review

This morning, Governor Cuomo announced that under current infection rates and conditions, school districts in compliance with New York State Department of Health (DOH) and State Education Department (SED) guidance would be permitted to open, should the individual districts choose to do so. Governor Cuomo added that this decision was subject to change should infection rates increase.

In his remarks, the Governor noted that of the state’s 729 school districts, 127 have yet to submit plans for review by SED and DOH and that 50 districts’ plans require additional action in order to be considered complete. Both state agencies continue to review reopening plans and expect to notify districts of the status of their plans’ compliance by Monday evening.

Governor Cuomo also announced several new requirements for school districts. School districts will be required to compile plans that address: (1) remote learning and equity in the learning process; (2) COVID-19 testing strategies and processes; and (3) contact tracing planning and processes. These plans must be posted for public review by the end of the week of August 9.

The Governor further announced that school districts will be required to convene a minimum of three public, online discussions with parents by August 21. The “Big 5” school districts (representing New York City, Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, Utica, Albany, Yonkers and Mount Vernon) will be required to hold no fewer than five sessions. Additionally, each district must hold at least one meeting with its administrators, teachers and staff to discuss the district reopening plan.

While no official guidance formalizing the Governor’s remarks had been released at the time of this writing, Manatt will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available.

A press release on the Governor’s call is available here.

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