Mayor Bill de Blasio — facing a coup from parents and teachers over
his refusal to close city schools amid the coronavirus –has finally
succumbed to the mounting pressure and agreed to shut them down,
well-placed sources told The Post on Sunday.
The closure will occur early in the week, a source added. Gov. Cuomo
told 1010 WINS radio that “all schools in downstate New York will be
closing,” specifically adding Tuesday or Wednesday.
Hizzoner had been stubbornly repeating his opposition to the move, insisting he was “very reticent” because of such things as leaving healthcare workers to scramble for childcare amid the spread of the coronavirus.
The about-face came soon after The Post published an online editorial
Sunday urging him to “close the schools!” — reflecting increasingly
harsh criticism over de Blasio’s failure to do what scores of other
districts around the metro area, state and country have done to contain
the deadly and particularly contagious coronavirus.
The city teachers union had vowed to file a complaint
with the state Department of Labor on Monday arguing that the schools
were “unsafe” to be in, while Queens Borough President Sharon Lee urged
parents to keep their kids home from school even before de Blasio
finally made his announcement.
De Blasio was expected to make the announcement at an evening press conference.
The move also came shortly after Gov. Andrew Cuomo reversed course on the issue, too, and said it is now time to close down the city public-school system.