Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Talk out of School with Beth Ellor & Brad Lander: REC centers, safe reopening of schools, and need for child care & wraparound services next year

In today's podcast of Talk out of School, I spoke to Beth Ellor, a former Kindergarten teacher and preschool director, who described what it’s like working at the REC centers, which opened up to serve the NYC children of essential workers when schools were shut down in mid-March, including the various health and safety protocols they have followed. She discussed how the conditions in the REC centers relates to the safeguards that schools must use if and when they reopen in the fall.

I briefly summarized recent guidance from Gov. Cuomo, the NY State Department of Health and the Board of Regents for the reopening of schools, and explained how if NYC schools do reopen, to ensure social distancing most students will only be able to attend school in person 1-3 days a week, depending on how overcrowded their particular school is.

Council Member Brad Lander then joined us, to explain how the city needs to provide child care and wrap around services for young students on days when they are not attending school.  We discussed where the funding will come from and the need for more federal and state aid.

Resources and links:

Governor Cuomo’s announcement of the metrics that will determine whether schools can be reopened in NY state in the fall.

Guidelines from  the state Department of Health and the Board of Regents.

Class Size Matters and NYC Kids PAC proposals for the safe reopening of schools; letter to the Board of Regents and Summary of ideas from our June 20 conference.

How the need for social distancing brings in sharper focus the inequities of class size across the city.

Council Member Brad Lander’s oped and draft childcare plan.

Information on the increase in wealth among NY state billionaires during the pandemic.

NY Legislature bills that would raise revenue to support our schools during the pandemic and help pay for child care and wrap around services, by increasing taxes on the ultra-wealthy.

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