Area Superintendents to Hochul: 'Pathway to Normalcy' should include return to 'local control'
All 13 school district superintendents in Genesee and Orleans counties have signed a joint letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul asking that local control over public health protocols be fully restored to school districts.
The letter was written in response to a request from superintendents from Saratoga Springs for the NYS Health Department to develop a "Pathway to Normalcy" so that schools have an "exit strategy" from universal masking.
The letter states that local superintendents support the request but suggest it doesn't go far enough.
"We believe the pathway should come in the form of guidance that school districts, working closely with their local health departments, can use to develop plans that work best for their respective communities," the letter states. "With that in mind, local control should be fully restored to all school districts in New York State because the needs of each region differ, and we are fully capable of navigating the remainder of the school year with input from our local DOHs, as needed."
The letter notes that over the past two school years, the state has implemented "one-size-fits-all mandates" that caused unnecessary challenges for the predominately rural districts in Genesee and Orleans counties.
"As the pandemic transitions to become endemic, those unnecessary challenges are becoming more acute," the letter states.
To read the full letter, click here (pdf).