Regarding Spring Break

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

A Message from LUT President John Caulfield

Brothers and Sisters of the LUT,
By now, you have seen Dr. McDonald’s email regarding the spring break.  To be clear, this was done by Executive Order, by the Governor.  His order holds the force and impact of law.  Here is a statement from NYSUT:

TO:              NYSUT Board of Directors
FROM:        NYSUT Officers
DATE:         March 30, 2020
RE:              NYSUT Alert - Continuity of Learning
Dan Fuller, Deputy Secretary for Education to Governor Cuomo, has advised that school districts are expected to provide continuity of learning (i.e., continued instruction), distribution of meals and childcare each day of the closure through April 15, 2020, including during what was previously calendared as Spring Break.  Failure to provide for all three will likely result in a loss of state aid.

The language of this statement is hard and clear.  It is also insensitive.  You guys have been nothing short of spectacular.  Your name was called, and you answered.  You are heroes.  Unfortunately, heroes don’t ever get a break.  They never get to rest.

The Governor is using his sweeping power to curb human loss due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and we all have a part to play.  Nurses, doctors, and first responders have had no rest.  Neither have you.

Initial claims from the US Dept. of Labor indicate that 3.28 million people were added to the unemployment line for the week ending March 21.  More than 80, 500 claims were filed in NYS last week.  An increase of 520% over the same period last year.

You continue to work, you continue to rise above, you continue to be paid.  You continue to do your part!

I know that you have entered a different kind of difficult. As if your jobs weren’t hard enough already…

Parents need a break, we need a break, nurses and doctors need a break…

Our break isn’t coming next week.  For that, I am sorry.  I wish I had a magic wand to make that happen.  I don’t. Neither does Dr. McDonald.  This is not in our hands.

I don’t have a good answer for you as to how the State is going to deal with those districts that decided to move up their spring break.  All I know is that the recent Executive Order is clear.  It expects the continuity of learning since order 202.2 on March 18th or risk losing state aid back dated to that day. 

Levittown cannot afford that, and I am worried about Levittown.  State funding is at risk in a time where the budget is expected to be the leanest in our lifetime.

I cannot be worried about what other districts did or didn’t do.  We make decisions that are in the best interest of our teachers and students, here and now.  I cannot speculate what the outcome for others will be….I can only say that I am glad we are not them…

I am glad to be here with you…

We have been doing what we have been told to do since the beginning.  Keep doing that!

Keep doing what you are doing…keep the good will alive…keep your families safe…keep yourselves safe…keep your students engaged…

Keep being Heroes!