“With everywhere else being open, it is unthinkable that certain forces are pushing to close New York schools again. We must be doing everything, in all of our power and capabilities, to keep our children in school. The data tells us that school is the safest place for kids to be, rather than out on the streets with no safety measures and spiking violent crime. We must protect our kids’ educational futures by keeping our schools open,” said Deputy Leader Andrew Lanza.
New York Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and Deputy Senate Republican Leader Andrew Lanza today penned a letter to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, supporting him on his decision to keep NYC schools open, and urging him to maintain this policy.
“As you well know, the pandemic and subsequent move away from in-person learning have taken a devastating toll on our children’s educational attainment and mental health. Keeping students in the classroom remains the best way to not only stem these troubling trends but, as the data suggests, protects students from harm,” wrote the Senators.
“This pandemic has had tragic, long-term negative impacts on our kids both emotionally and mentally. Remote learning has been a disaster, and we must listen to the science and keep our kids in school. Elected leaders and school officials must focus on solutions that keep our classrooms open. Education is the ladder of opportunity in America and this state cannot afford to ruin the learning and emotional well-being of our New York students,” said Leader Rob Ortt.
Remote learning has had a detrimental impact on students, one that continues to be felt today. One case study found achievement losses declined at such a rate between fall 2019 and 2020 that, on average, students lost roughly one-third of a year’s worth of learning.
In addition, achievement declines were not the only effects of a move away from in-person learning and the burdens of the pandemic. Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Children’s Hospital Association declared a national emergency in child and adolescent health citing both a decades-long rise in childhood mental health concerns, but also the tolls of the pandemic.
The Republican Senators will continue to urge the New York City Mayor and all elected leaders to reject any current or future school closures.