The city’s last-minute move to push back the reopening of its public schools and limit mandated coronavirus testing earned it a failing grade from some parents and teachers Tuesday.
“What I don’t understand is they had all summer to plan this, and if they needed to work something out with the union, they could’ve worked with them all summer. Instead, they waited until the last minute,’’ griped Upper West Sider Anne Sullivan, 47, who has a first-grader in the system.
“I have to take a leave of absence from work!” she said. “I don’t know what else I can do. It’s either that or hire full-time help, which is really expensive.’’
Manhattanite Ariana Pender, 39, who has a 5-year-old son in public school, called the decision to delay a “good’’ one — but said the way the city got there leaves a lot of room for improvement.
“I had an innate feeling that they weren’t prepared — they just don’t have it all together,’’ the mom said.
“They never experienced anything like this ever in life,’’ she acknowledged. “They have to pay attention to all these details, and they’re just not ready.”
Another city parent warned that any kind of mandatory testing will be a major issue.
“I think there is going to be a lot of pushback on that,” the dad said.
“A lot of parents have concerns about vaccines, rightly or wrongly. What makes the DOE think they’re going to be OK with randomly testing them in school?’’
But some teachers complained that limited in-school testing isn’t enough, although they don’t mind the 10-day delay in classroom reopenings.
“It gives us more time to prepare,’’ said Annie Tan, a teacher from Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
But with limited testing, “I think a lot of us also think this is kicking the can down the road and that there are still a lot of unaddressed issues.”
Liat Olenick of the United Federation of Teachers’ MORE Caucus called the delay in classroom instruction “better than nothing.
“But I think we’re still going to face a lot of the same problems on Sept. 21,’’ she said, referring to the new start date, which is 11 days later than the previous one.
“I think the delay is definitely necessary, but I really don’t think this new plan addresses most of the problems we have with a reopening.
“It’s a minimal step forward toward addressing testing. But we still have transportation issues, what to do in neighborhoods with higher rates, budget cuts.”
A middle-school teacher from Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn responded of the new plan, “Is it perfect? No.
“But I think the testing element is key here, and that does give some reassurance to us.’’
Either way, schools safety-agent union chief Greg Floyd blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio for causing at least some of the upheaval even before school actually starts.
“Did we really think schools were going to open on time? Who are we kidding?’’ he said. “You had the whole summer to implement this. Why is this mayor always late to what he has to do?”