Public schools in New York City will remain closed through the end of the school year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Saturday. More than 1.1 million students at more than 1,800 schools will go without regular schooling for more than three months in the city that has become an epicenter of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. Closures of schools in the city’s five boroughs has forced teachers to adjust to remote instruction and turned more than one million parents into part-time teachers. De Blasio initially resisted the move, but shut the system on March 16, saying, “This is not something in a million years I could have imagined having to do.” Hours after de Blasio’s announcement, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed the mayor had no legal authority to close schools and, if such a decision is made, it would be state-wide. “We may do that but we want to do it in a coordinated sense with the other localities,” Cuomo said, adding that de Blasio’s announcement was an “opinion” only. Schools in more than a dozen states and many more local school districts have already confirmed closures through to the end of the school year.
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