Bill de Blasio Keeps NYC Schools Open, Teachers Union, Parents Upset, But No One’s Forcing Anyone to School Are They?

has big plans for new york, still figuring out how to deal with snowNew York City decided last
night to keep public schools open today despite a snowstorm
forecast
, a decision now being
criticized
by the teachers union, whose president insisted
safety trumps the desire to keep schools open.  The mayor
defended the decision, saying “so many families depend on their
schools as a place for their kids to be during the day, a safe
place, a place where they’re not only taught but get nutrition and
they are safe from the elements.”

Yet De Blasio also
issued
a winter storm travel warning for today last night,
advising residents to stay off the roads.  For New Yorkers who
expect kings of their mayors, the decision to keep schools open
seems in contradiction to the travel warning, and
many of them are pissed
. But de Blasio is not the boss of New
Yorkers. Attendance may not have hit 50 percent the last time
schools remained open during a snowstorm,
in January
. You should actually be able to see an attendance
estimate from the NYC Department of Education sometime this
afternoon here. WNYC
noted numbers for teachers attendance wasn’t as publicly available,
but reported that in the January storm absenteeism appeared far
higher than usual. New York City schools, like most districts, have
a system for teachers to call out and substitutes to be deployed.
Given that “perk,” it’s unfair for the teachers union to argue that
all schools should have been closed for safety. Their contract lets
them take a day off, more easily than a lot of other workers in New
York City. New York City parents, meanwhile, should know that the
decision to send their child to school rests with them alone. The
mayor’s decision to keep schools open fulfills one of their
theoretical functions, to serve as a place for children to go when
their parents are at work. The ultimate decision, even for New York
residents accustomed to having their government choose for them,
lies with New Yorkers, not de Blasio

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