CORNING — Congressman Tom Reed is taking a different stance when discussing who should make the final decision on reopening school districts in New York State.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said during a news conference Wednesday morning that the state should make the call, while President Donald Trump says the Federal Government is responsible for the call.
Reed, however, tells WNYNewsNow that the local school districts should be the ultimate decision maker.
“Since the Governor believes, and I agree, that the call in ultimately opening the schools is not the national government, the President’s prerogative, I would hope the Governor would look himself in the mirror say, well that’s true for him, in regards to the schools are run by the school districts and superintendents,” Reed said. “The school districts should be the ones making the determination whether or not to keep the schools open for their respective districts in the state.”
Reed, however, says that he believes Cuomo will say that the school districts won’t have “the authority to make the decision. Only the Governor, King Cuomo, can make this determination.”
The Congressman also says that the Federal Government could have some influence on the reopening of schools because they have the “power of the purse,” which he says “is not a bad thing” in terms of encouraging reopening of the schools.
Cuomo stated during his briefing that guidance from his office would be finalized Monday for school stakeholders, with plans from the stakeholders to be submitted by July 31 for a final decision for reopening slated for the first week of August.
With that, WNYNewsNow asked Reed about what he’d like to see in the Governor’s guidance. He says he wants the Governor to acknoweledge that each school will have an individualized plan, and he additionally wants the Governor to say what metrics and risks the Governor would be observing.
“How are you going to make sure you have access to the personal protective equipment necessary to do this? What is your standardization plan for the school district? What are you expecting in regards to the sharing of information for teachers, employees and administrators, vis-à-vis, also students? And how are you going to expect the interaction of the information being exchanged between the school officials, the private entities such as parents, loved ones, and also the public health officials?”
Reed says that’s just “a sampling” of the guidance that he would like the Governor to issue.
WNYNewsNow will continue to follow the story of the schools potentially reopening as it develops.