Pressure is mounting on the city to close public schools, and now, the call is coming from inside the classroom.
The United Federation of Teachers, the city's teachers' union, is calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to close schools, its president Michael Mulgrew said in a statement this afternoon.
"We don’t suggest this lightly. We understand the immense disruption this will create for our families. But right now, more than a million students and staff crisscross the city every day on their way to schools, putting themselves and others at risk of exposure and increasing the likelihood of bringing exposure into their homes and communities," Mulgrew said.
This follows calls from many city elected officials, including Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who has urged the city to move toward a summer school-type model that would close most schools but allow students who need to be in school - to access meals, or because their parents must work - to attend some open locations.
Attendance has dipped in recent days, and school staff have told NY1 it's dropped sharply today, though official figures won't be released until 4 p.m.