Assemblyman Jeff Gallahan (R,C-Manchester) is calling on Gov. Cuomo and state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to release plans for getting children back in schools five days a week following comments during a budget hearing made by Zucker in which he said the Health Department is looking to develop and implement guidelines that would allow more students to be in a classroom than currently allowed under the “six-feet rule.” Gallahan believes students and teachers alike will benefit from more effective instruction, more social development in students, and the safety and nourishment that schools provide students who live in unsafe environments that are not conducive to learning.
“So long as we can do so safely, our kids belong in our schools where they can be safe, nourished and in an environment suitable for learning and social development,” said Gallahan. “We have shown students can play sports safely less than six feet apart, and now we need to take the next step toward getting our kids back on track and developing into well-rounded young citizens. The sad fact of the matter is that home isn’t always an effective or safe environment for learning for some students, and more than that they no longer have a safe place to go where they know they can get a nutritious meal. School is about more than academics. It’s a place where students can know they’re safe and learn to become members of a community, and that just can’t happen when the only contact students have with their peers is through a screen.”