Senator Ed Rath has introduced legislation, S.5718, that would permit school districts to open to students for in-person instruction if the school can always maintain at least 3 feet between students.
“Getting our children safely back into schools is critical," Rath said. "For the past year, children have had their daily routines completely upended. While virtual learning was necessary early in the pandemic, schools have proven that they can safely bring children back.
"I continue to hear from parents who share their concerns about their children falling behind academically and greatly missing the social aspect of in-person learning. Now that teachers have been prioritized for vaccination, allowing the three feet of social distancing would be another tool in helping get children back in the classroom.
“While some counties and school districts have made spacing adjustments on their own, a unified approach is necessary. Additionally, it has been seen in other areas of the United States that bringing back students does not contribute to significant community spread.
"I have also met with the New York State American Academy of Pediatrics, who shared their support of this measure. I am hopeful that this bill will help get our children back into the classroom and allow schools to focus on educating our children."
The bill, S.5718, was introduced on March 16th and was referred to the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs for consideration.