Statement of NYSSBA Executive Director Robert Schneider on the Closing of Schools for the Remainder of the 2019-20 School Year

FOR RELEASE: May 1, 2020

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 320-2221 cell


We commend the governor’s decision to keep schools closed for the remainder of the academic year. Clearly, schools are not ready to open for classroom learning, and they won’t be until we can adequately protect our students and staff.

No doubt everyone – school board members, administrators, teachers, students – is anxious to return to school and some semblance of normalcy.

But there is nothing normal about the times we live in. With more than 300,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, New York State has become the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic. It would not be safe to open schools now. Too many issues remain unresolved, including how we can safely transport students to and from school, create classroom environments that allow for safe distances between students, and put in place other public health safeguards that will protect our school communities.

The governor’s decision today, in our view, was the only responsible choice.

Finally, to the graduating Class of 2020, our heart aches over the loss of milestones in your high school career – graduations, proms, and so many other rites of passage that typically occur at the end of your K-12 education. You have worked hard and your accomplishments need to be celebrated at the appropriate time. But for now, keeping you safe is our paramount concern. School board members across the state salute you and your achievements.  



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