Hawley calls on Hochul to give schools local control over COVID-19 policies
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has written a letter to Gov. Hochul at the behest of school districts within the 139th Assembly District requesting that she put forward guidance to school districts that would provide a “path to normalcy” by ending all state-mandated COVID-19 mitigation measures and returning control of such policies to local school districts.
In recent weeks, school district superintendents throughout the state have called for the creation of such a plan, following an over 90% decrease in new COVID-19 cases statewide since infections peaked on Jan. 7.
“If we’re looking at the data to guide our decisions as policymakers, it’s become clear the time has come to restore authority to local school districts to make the best decisions possible for students in their communities,” said Hawley. “I’ve always been guided by the belief that local decision-makers know how to best serve the interests of their neighbors. Throughout the pandemic our rural school districts have managed to implement creative and effective solutions to comply with mandates, as difficult as that’s been with how many students lack reliable broadband access.
“If their rightful authority to design and enforce policies of this nature is returned to them, I’m certain the measures they choose to implement will be ones that both enhance the learning experience for students and protect their health, without disrupting their education.”