New Yorkers question mayor’s motivations for re-opening schools in New York City¬

Can schools tether tax-paying New Yorkers to the city?

NYC School buses, Photo by Pom’ (CC BY-SA 2.0)

(NEW YORK, NEW YORK)— After months of caution, De Blasio’s decision to partially re-open New York City’s public schools has elicited panic and confusion among concerned parents. The Brick Underground’s prescient story on a possible “second exodus” of New York families provides another possible interpretation of the city’s motives: preventing the flight of families who provide valuable tax revenue for the city.

As more New Yorkers seek property outside of the city, many more reported that they too might leave if schools were to remain entirely closed in the fall. Already the city has seen well-off New Yorkers fleeing to far-off suburbs they once may have eyed with scorn. This comes at a time when New York City was already forced to make painful cuts to its budget, with thousands laid off during the pandemic.

Yet it need not be so dire. As of July 13, there have been 315 new cases reported in New York City. That’s a far cry from New York’s April peak of 8,021 new cases, or Florida’s record setting 11,458 new cases, reported on the Fourth of July, which continue to rise while the GOP-controlled state stubbornly refuses to enforce any precautions. Other countries that have recovered from earlier COVID spikes only to reopen later have not yet reported any significant rise in cases—so long as the necessary precautions are in place. The only question is whether New York’s beleaguered DOE can invest in the needed testing and infrastructure to protect its most vulnerable students.

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