New York City Schools Delay Opening Amid Staffing Shortage

(Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday in-person classes for most students will be delayed for more than a week as the city struggles with staffing and equipment.

Most elementary school students will not return to in-person learning until Sept. 29 while middle and high school students will learn remotely through Oct. 1, according to the Associated Press.

Schools that serve special education students, as well as 3-K, Pre-K and District 75 schools will open for in-person learning Monday.

“We are doing this to make sure all of the standards we set can be achieved,” de Blasio said during a press conference.

The mayor said the city and union officials felt okay when it came to protective equipment and cleaning, but that staffing was the biggest issue. (RELATED: New York City Teachers Union Says Schools Are Not Ready To Open)

“The thing we all came together on and said really had to be nailed was the staffing,” de Blasio said.

The city is set to add an additional 2,500 teachers who come from the Department of Education (DOE) substitute teacher pool, current DOE staff and the CUNY system, according to de Blasio.

The decision comes after de Blasio announced Monday 55 school-based DOE employees tested positive for COVID-19, according to NBC4 New York. Of the 55, 45 are teachers. However, the positivity rate is around .3 percent, per the same report.

Earlier this month, de Blasio delayed the original Sept. 10 start date to avoid a teacher strike after concerns rose that the schools were ill equipped with protective gear.