More than a dozen school leaders call on governor to return control to districts

Posted at 5:36 PM, Feb 02, 2022

GENESEE COUNTY, NY (WKBW) — More than a dozen school superintendents in Genesee and Orleans counties issued a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul asking that control be returned to individual districts on issues such as masking.

The letter, signed by 13 school superintendents, calls on Governor Hochul and New York State Health Department to develop an appropriate guidance for an exist strategy regarding mitigation measures but not mandates.

"Our schools successfully provided in-person learning throughout the 2020-21 school year, supplemented by online learning as needed. A number of our schools remained open full-time. Our plans worked. Despite that reality, for the 2021-22 school year, local control regarding universal masking and COVID testing was removed, and the one-size-fits-all mandates implemented by the state caused unnecessary challenges for us. As the pandemic transitions to become endemic, those unnecessary challenges are becoming more acute," wrote the superintendents.

The districts say they want full control restored to school districts.

"We respectfully request for you and the NYSDOH to develop appropriate guidance for an exit strategy regarding all mitigation measures, but not mandates; and we request for local control be fully restored to our school districts to enable us to make decisions appropriate for our individual communities, in consultation with our local DOH," stated the superintendents letter.

The superintendents are from the Albion, Alexander, Batavia, Byron-Bergen, Elba, Holley, Kendall, LeRoy, Lyndonville, Medina, Oakfield-Alabama, Pavilion, and Pembroke districts.