NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday that a final decision on when and how to reopen schools in the state will be made in the first week of August and consultations were still going on.
“On July 31, local school districts will submit their plans on how they would reopen,” Cuomo told a news briefing. “August 1-7, the state will announce the decision on whether or not those schools reopen.”
Cuomo, a Democrat who has frequently sparred with President Donald Trump on the response to the coronavirus pandemic, stressed that any decision regarding schools was up to the states, after Trump threatened to cut off funding to schools that do not open in the fall.
“We will open the schools if it is safe to open the school,” Cuomo said. “Just to be clear, the federal government has no legal authority when it comes to schooling.”
Cuomo also took a swipe at Trump for criticizing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation’s health protection agency, for what Trump called a “very tough & expensive” plan to reopen schools.
“...Oh really, did you know Mr. President better than your health experts how to protect the health of students? Do you really want to disregard children’s safety?”
Earlier on Wednesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a plan for reopening the country’s largest school system in September which the state would have to review and approve.
Reporting by Maria Caspani in New York, Editing by Franklin Paul and Sonya Hepinstall