Erie Co. officials working closely with local school districts to decide safest way to reopen schools

Erie County

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB)–County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says her office plans to work with schools on safety precautions no matter what the state decides will happen this upcoming school year.

That means making sure our districts get it right, and only return to schools if it’s safe.

But, according to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, his office has been hearing a lot of concern when it comes to childcare if schools don’t reopen.

This was an issue the county says parents dealt with throughout the end of last school year after students switched to remote learning in March.

But officials say there is help for parents, including teachers who have kids of their own when it comes to making sure their children are being taken care of.

“You can actually qualify for daycare assistance even if you’re working. There’s a lot of people who work and get the assistance. There is a certain dollar threshold and it’s basically up to 200% of the poverty level, you can get some assistance from the ECDSS for daycare subsidies,” Burstein said.

Dr. Burstein says if schools do go back to a classroom setting, it won’t look like it did last spring. There will be plans in place to make sure people are safe and socially distanced.

Districts statewide must submit their reopening plans for the upcoming school year to Albany by the end of this month before Cuomo makes his decision the first week in August.

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