Parents To Mayor: Make Up Your Mind On School Closings

Bloomberg Promises Decision For Wednesday By 5 A.M.

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — It’s a waiting game to find out if New York City children will go to school Wednesday.

And some parents are angry saying Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s late call will leave them scrambling for child care, reports CBS 2’s Demetra Ganias.

We’re expecting a snowy mess when we wake up Wednesday morning, but students and teachers might just get a snow day. The problem is they’ll have to wait until 5 a.m. to figure it out. That’s a problem for many parents, especially because the mayor has already declared a weather emergency.

When Ganias reached out to the Department of Education about the late call to close schools she was told that Mayor Bloomberg and Education Chancellor Cathie Black will compare notes and make a final decision. However, many parents are begging for more of a heads up.

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“By this evening, at least by 8 o’clock this evening. Let us know something, so we can prepare for tomorrow,” one Upper West Side parent said.

When asked what she is going to do if she has to work and the kids are home, one parent from Brooklyn said, “I really don’t know. I’m stuck, just like the last time.”

That woman stayed home with the kids during the Dec. 26 storm and she’ll do it again, but no faking sick.

“I’m honest, because sometimes there’s no way to commute with the streets the way they are,” she said.

School buses are a major factor in helping the Department of Education to decide whether or not to cancel school. So it’s not just about how much of the white stuff falls, but how safe it is to be on the road.

The Department of Education is advising parents to create a contingency plan, so children are not home alone.

The DOE also said school staff are “responsible and obligated” to report to work on time.

It’s not all sympathy, though, for teachers commuting from outside the boroughs.

“I don’t think teachers should live outside of the city, personally,” one man said.

And some argue the game-time decision is wise, given the weather’s fickle nature.

The last time schools were closed by snow was Feb. 26 of last year. In fact, schools were also shut down by snow on Feb. 10.

In New Jersey, many parents – like Dr. Patricia Czernizer – were relieved that their kids’ schools announced that they were closed, meaning their children wouldn’t have to brave nasty road conditions, reports CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

“That way, I will wake up in the morning, do my thing, and he could stay home and worry about going the next day,” Dr. Czernizer said.

However, some parents complained that the cancellations, many announced late Tuesday night, made it difficult to make arrangements for child care their younger kids while they went to work.

More from Christine Sloan
  • nina

    OK, so there is a chance that school will be closed Wednesday & the announcement may not be made until 5am. Make contingent plans tonight for tomorrow, so that way at 5am when schools are closed you’re all set.

    It used to be that schools didn’t cancel until 9 or 10pm the night before or at 5am the morning of. And I am talking about suburban schools where buses & carpools are most often the mode of transportation. People just need to start taking responsibility & stop throwing blame all over.

    This is weather, something that can’t be predicted to the exact. And if schools were cancelled already & the snow didn’t come…. everyone would be in an uproar about that.

    • Lily. suck it.

      I’m a high school student and this is the year my attendance counts, should I be to blame if I LITERALLY can’t get to school or am late on a day where it takes 25 minutes to walk to a train station 3 blocks away from me? And don’t say I can leave earlier if I want to be on time because I just shouldn’t have to do that ifidon’t have to. And how INCONVENIENT is it to have to get up at 5 in the morning to know for sure if I have to go to school! It’s not fair to parents or students and he has to power to make it fair! Believe me, I’m not a fan of complaints but Bloomberg doesn’t have to be such a friggin d-bag. Of course parents can choose whether or not to send their children to school, but wouldn’t it just be the DECENT and convenient thing to do to give us ONE day off? And just to make a note on Bloomberg’s character–WHAT A FRIGGIN HYPOCRITE. It’s a snow emergency stay off the roads! but he’s allowing kids to travel to school by themselves. Come on now.

  • Mnbcx

    bloom guy really doesn’t care for safety of us working people does he?!?!
    He has to go…

  • Alex

    This is silly . Sucks that he’s still considering leaving schools open. I have an hour and a half commute each way and I’ve got to walk a lot to go to schools. I’m even gonna have to wake up 45 mins earlier….. Not to mention I have midterms (worth like 15%) in my first period class and if I’m late due to trains (trains arrive above ground at my stop) that’s valuable time gone.. And if I’m unable to get to class and I miss the midterm, the highest I can get is a 70 on it… BS

  • G

    I have a sitter and a responsibility to her as well and her safety. This is no longer an intelligent debate…join back in when your feeling a little less self righteous and smug.

    btw- I don’t consider myself a terrible parent nor am I asking society to take on my child care issues. I mean really?

    • sand

      I thought it was an intelligent enough debate. I’m sure you’re not a terrible parent. Seriously. Bottom line is that Bloomberg needs to decide already. Sorry if I offended.

  • jenn smith

    Bloomberg is an idiot!! People work and need to make arrangements. He needs a reality check.

  • John

    Bloomberg is completely out-of-touch with the working families in the city he supposedly represents. Sone emergency, and yet he still doesn’t know about the schools? Really? Stay off the road, except for teachers, of course. YOU can risk your necks….everyone else? Stay home.

    I live in Queens and teach in Queens, but I have NO intention of risking my safety tomorrow. If The Emperor wants the schools to stay open, let HIM come and sub tomorrow!

    • clipper

      Well said. I teach in the bronx and live in Manhattan. Who cares about the teacher and bus drivers and parents who drive their kids to school? Not Bloomberg. Probably not Black, either.

  • J. Ferreras

    It’s horrible….already both of my daughters don’t have school….I teach in NYC…so what do I do? Use a sick day?….That’s NOT FAIR!!! Who do I call for child care at 5am? And should I find someone, it would most likely be in NY. At what time exactly should I leave for work? At 5:01am? How safe is that when we are expecting icy rain under snow!

  • Nelly

    I think Bloomberg should make up for the last mess. If he does close tonight, I believe the December 26 fiasco would be almost forgotten (like how he “forgot” to clean Brooklyn! Brooklyn ENY was “visited” by a mini bobcat on Saturday Jan 1! UGH!) At any rate, I think Bloomberg owes us (NYers) one.

  • k lee

    Im so glad my son doesn’t take a school bus to Queens anymore from New York City–5am ??–I would Not send him to school–didn’t even have seat belts.

  • Dean

    So it is a weather emergency and Bloomberg is urging people to stay off the roads- yet he expects schools to stay open. Something doesn’t make sense here.

  • Roger Anderson

    the mayor is a joke closing the school it not his call anyway it ms black have the kids make up a snow is no problem if it means that much to him i am keeping my wife home she a bus martoni pay her for the day that all i have to said to that

  • rodney k.

    Mr. Michael mishandled this before even a single flake fell.

    Has anyone started the petition yet for a Recall Election?

    We were hoping he would resign in disgrace after the last major storm was mishandled, but that did not happen. He has no honor.

    Not only should he be removed from office, but he should not be permitted to reside in the State of New York any longer.

  • sand

    Personally, I think the comment was extremely necessary. I’ll post a brilliant back up plan for the rest of your child’s education, ready? Get a friggin’ babysitter. Can’t do it? Then you shouldn’t have kids. People get all touchy when you tell them that they’re an irresponsible parent, yet there are so many people who are TERRIBLE parents and society has to shoulder the burden of their awful judgment and neglect. Just walk into a high needs school in this city and look around. You’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

    • hister

      i agree. mass sterilization of the population is the only logical solution.

      • Mike

        Let’s start with you two….I already have. Hister, I like the metaphor to Nostradamus.

    • mike

      I agree. If you have kids, its YOUR responsibility, not the mayor’s, to plan ahead for any possible school closing. You send your kids to public schools, you dont pay anything, so if they miss a day even when school is declared open, its not a big frikkin deal. How can you be a parent and not have an emergency contact or contacts a.k.a. family/babysitters on call?

      • Michael Capanelli

        Don’t pay? How about we pay school taxes according to the district we live in, and for just about any and all extra curricular activities as well. What are you talking about we don’t pay? You pay taxes right?

      • Anthony

        I think he meant that people are not paying for private school. I’m not trying to diminish their weight, but I would imagine that he took taxes into account.

  • Jen

    for the ass that says, “I don’t think teachers should live outside the city.”Think about what teachers get paid before you make an absurd statement like that.

    • HD

      Amen, Jen!

  • dave

    If Bloomberg thinks its necessary to quickly declare a weather emergency, then why would he hesitate about making a safe decision for all the children in the New York City area by not closing schools in this so called weather emergency now. And to complicate things more he’s got the whole city in a state of limbo, because parents don’t know how to prep for day to come. Its doesn’t take a genius to put two and two together here.

  • Pete

    How can this mayor declare a weather emergency, urging people to avoid all “unnecessary travel” yet hasn’t decided on school closures? FDNY, NYPD, EMS, and sanitation are the only necessary city employees in the middle of a blizzard. Keep the hospitals, and other emergency services running, and keep everyone else at home.

  • kathryn

    To all those reminiscing about not knowing of schools closing until the morning, please keep in mind weather forecasting was not as advanced as it is today. There was no way to predict actal snowfall

  • d

    To the man who thinks NYC Teachers shouldn’t live outside the city shame on you. I am a young woman who commutes everyday from Long Island to teach the young children of Hunts Point. How dare you! I wake up early, drive to school everyday because of my students and my love for teaching.

    • Mo

      Hunts point is that around ps 75 like keyfood whats your name

  • lorac

    It’s too much stress. Not knowing what to do, too many kids, too many jobs to hold on to. No cars to get to the airport, no mass transit — Would you send your teen to wait for the M72 at 7:30 tomorrow morning?. No one knows if the storm will move fast or slow, dump more inches or disappear. Don’t blame the Mayor. He doesn’t know what to do either. Remember all those wicked storms that wimped out? SO IN THE ABSENCE OF CLARITY, stay home, enjoy your family, go to the park and build a snowman. Thursday is another day, and no one will care anyway!

  • Need2KNowNOW

    This is getting ridiculous….almost all of the Long Island schools have announced that they are closed tomorrow, and many of these districts decided before 5PM today. Bloomberg has no idea how many people commute from Long Island to NYC for work. Parents should be given ample time to find child care or alternate arrangements for their children, and why should parents/teachers/children have to wake up at 5AM to find out? Just do the right thing and close the schools by 10PM the night before! If he is telling us to stay off the roads and declaring a weather emergency, that seems to be a pretty good indication that schools should be closed.

  • Angela

    I don’t understand how you can call a weather emergency, trains are being delayed and people are being told to stay off the road, but Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t know if schools will be closed tomorrow!! Why wait until 5 a.m. so that parents can’t make arrangements and he can justify why schools have to remain open. As a NYC teacher and a parent of a public school child this is ridiculous. Why do we have to put people’s lives at risk. I for one do not plan on sending my son to school for him to sit with a sub and so nothing. Mayor Bloomberg, get back to reality and do the right thing! I think NYC school children can afford to have one day off!!!

  • Susan Stevens

    As soon as he declared a weather emergency, he should have announced school closure. If the conditions are so dangerous as to require an emergency declaration, then it makes sense to have as few people out on the roads or public transport as possible. It makes sense to avoid mass transit until the city has a chance to get the snow cleared off of the roads and public transit back to normal. If school is not cancelled tomorrow, I believe it is a political stunt rather than a concern for students educational needs. Not closing schools shows a lack of concern for children traveling during a snow emergency!

  • rob

    meant to say: Even this he can’t give you

  • DM

    Never in history did we know the night before if there was a snow day. You woke up, looked outside and ran to the radio. Deal with it. And to that quoted “one man” in the article…. F- you! Teachers are not paid enough to afford Manhattan rent. if you are willing to pay them more to do so then fine, but I am sure you are not….

  • Rob

    Bloomberg is the biggest flake out there when it comes to giving you a straight answer. In this case it’s a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ If this he can’t give you is simply not a person that’s fit to serve as mayor in any town or city. In this case it’s New York City. Pity us to have him as our mayor. Now give us the damn answer already A/Hole!

  • A Very Annoyed Parent

    You want this mayor to close the schools for snow. He will not even deal with a school in Staten Island that is having massive problems with PCB in lighting fixtures. The board of ed keeps telling us it is safe for our children to go to school but has not even inspected the buildings. He will not close the school because he knows that this is a problem in many schools in this city. He is making sure the streets will be plowed this time but not making sure a building is safe for children to attend.

  • a.ny

    C”mon just close the schools!

  • M

    Oh Please People! I was a NYC Public School student my entire academic life and we NEVER found out about school closings till the morning of. And it took a helluva lot more than 10″ to close the schools. Have New Yorkers really become a bunch of wimps?????

  • sean

    I wasn’t a huge Rudy Guliani fan but he wasn’t out of touch like King Mike and he certainly wasn’t an arrogant/sarcastic SOB like Bloomberg!

  • francine

    Teachers need to plan accordingly as well. In the last storm, my train line was shut down for 4 days. If I am supposed to show up to work tomorrow – I should have gotten a hotel room right near school!!! But I guess I won’t know until the morning… Thanks bloomberg.

  • Joanne

    The mayor needs to really think about school closings. School was never meant to be a daycare, nor should it be. That is not the purpose of schools. The city should start charging for their services if that is what school is intended to be. To expect parents to send their children out in the bad weather is crazy. Do not put our children in danger! And then to expect all of the school bus drivers to get to work, dig out their buses, and go out on the roads would only mean more traffic and yet he tells us we should not drive. Our children could be involved in an accident or they could get stranded on a bus in the snow, as so many other vehicles did during the last storm. Yet the mayor indicates his decision will not be made to 5AM. Thats a little late for many of these drivers and teachers. What about being fair to these people and their families! A decision needs to be made and it should not be at 5AM. And if he decides he wants to open the schools and pretend they are a daycare, well so be it, but let the parents figure out how to get their children there and let the mayor send his staff to these schools.

  • evan

    Boy, aren’t we soooo lucky King Bloomberg was able to change the laws on term-limits and give us a 3rd term. This man cannot relate to the average working person in NYC and is quite open that he dosen’t care!

  • Meredith

    I would love to know who thinks that all teachers should live inside the city. Has he seen the type of salary that we make. It is just not affordable to live in the city on a teacher’s salary.

    • Rudnicki Erik

      so go live in the country lol

      • Jere

        Salaries are not near this high in the country. Plus the TUs are weaker or non-existent.

    • Jimmy

      I’m a teacher and I couldn’t afford to buy a home in the five boroughs. I decided to purchase a home outside of the five. All of my colleagues who chose to own a home and raise their children in a decent area had to move far out.

  • Kelly

    I understand that he doesn’t want to close the schools ahead of time in light of the fact that we may not get hit hard and it would be a waste. However parents need time to plan, what would he like us to do? Leave them home alone so he can call ACS on us?? Or lose our jobs for not coming in to work because we had no time to plan for childcare and we can join thousands of other NY’ers on the unemployment line? He wanted to be Mayor so bad that he bought $$ himself an illegal third term in office, well know he has so he should man up and take some responsibility!!!!!

    • Louis

      Illegal third term! Ha! It was the people that voted him in.

      Bling Blang Blong

      • DJL

        If only you knew about the illusions of the voting system and politics.

  • karen

    Exactly-He’s telling everyone to stay off the roads-no driving. What about the school buses. Most don’t even have seat belts.

  • Ralph

    I’m a teacher and I adore my kids but I’m not going to wait for bloomy to make that administrative decision for me, I have a family that I’m responsible for, so I’ll make the decision for myself!,,

  • dennis

    If the mayor says to stay off the roads why would he not close schools?!!!!!!!

  • DeltaForce

    Even with kids managed to walk to schools, many teachers won’t and they will be sitting in the home rooms until dismissal – and, aren’t school buses supposed to be off the city street as part of this emergency declaration.

    Fewer cars, school buses, and children on city streets will make it easier to snow plows and salt spreaders to get around primary and secondary roads to do their job. That’s public safety!

    Mike, go back to China to promote business or take your private plane to Bermuda !

  • nathan

    Id like an answer too but remember back about 10 yrs when Rudy cancelled school the nite before and we didn’t get a flake of snow? The same working parents were FURIOUS.

  • AMC

    A”M”C – and yes, for one day, they can get a sub. When there aren’t enough subs, they’ll realize that the schools need to be closed in dangerous weather. One day will not change a child’s promotion status or change our Federal funding. What’s more important money or life? For me, it’s a no brainer. Personal day tomorrow or snow day. It comes out of my time or theirs. No matter to me.

  • BAFL

    No brainer- if u value your children’s safety as well as your own STAY HOME Who cares what the Mayor thinks

  • Ellen

    No school for Boston, and most of Massachusetts. So what’s wrong with the Mayor not closing schools in NYC?

    • Chaz Surette

      Still waiting on my town. Won’t find out until tomorrow morning.

  • Tony Gonzalez

    So the Mayor Declares Weather Emergency tells everyone to stay off the roads but your’ll put school bus drivers and our kids risk. That is our leadership at it’s best not concerned about anyone. Most feel good to have power over little people Mr. Mayor you just don’t care. I have to be out because of duty to the State of New York and the people of this state.

  • John doe

    Nice ANC … So the kids go and get a sub if there is one available? The kid’s attendance counts towards the school’s federal funding and their ability to be promoted.

  • pogo the clown

    If the all-mighty Mayor will not make the decision, then parents make the decision for him. Just don’t send the kids to school. The mayor doesn’t care about the children – he cares only about the fiscal implications, and how he will come across to try and get his dismal approval rating up.

    You could run the crazy Arizona shooter against him in an election right now and Michael would lose.

  • Charles Mackey

    The roads and highways are gonna look horrible tommorow. Its common sense bloomberg. Hello 9 to 13 inches of snow ! were talking quite a bit

  • Mike

    I moved to Florida last year and was a NYC school kid. I mean is this not a no brainer. The Mayor is Putting People’s lives at RISK. What a Shmuck!

  • jane

    She stayed home last storm, hello school was closed for winter holiday.

    All parents should have a BACK UP PLAN in place since school started in Sept.

    Sorry I mean all responsible parents. Responsible parents don’t need to scramble.

    • A Very Responsible Parent

      Snow days are unpredictable, how do you expect working parents to plan accordingly for those days…regular school holidays and vacations yes, a back-up plan is necessary, but to deem parents irresponsible because they don’t have a back-up plan for snow days is very ridiculous, you never know when they are going to happen…very unfair comment jane very unfair.

      • blah

        they’re your kids. your responsibility. figure it out.

    • blah

      I couldn’t agree more, Jane. People will complain that they can’t afford a babysitter, and they depend on the school to take care of their children. That’s not what public education should be used for.

      • wow

        Didn’t you know thats why teachers spend so much time earning higher degrees so they can be glorified babysitters with PHDs and Multiple Master degrees. People forget what type of cridentials teachers need. They are the lowest paid professionals with the most education. Plus everyone forgets that 5 snow days are built into the school year, so whether we use them kids are in school for 185 days.
        And yes, the last storm hit during the vacation, so the kids were home anyway. Where was the child care for a scheduled vacation?

    • momma

      I agree with Jane. How can you NOT have a backup plan? I have a couple of people that I’ve made arrangements with beforehand to make sure that my two young children will have a place to go in case of a snow day (or any other emergency). I am a single parent, and I can’t afford to stay home from work, but I realize that ultimately, I need to be responsible their care, not the schools.

    • G

      Jane – That is a completely unecessary comment. Who died and made you judge and jury of what it means to be a responsible parent? How about posting your ideas for a year long back up plan? Apparently you have it all figured out! .

      • sand

        Personally, I think the comment was extremely necessary. I’ll post a brilliant back up plan for the rest of your child’s education, ready? Get a friggin’ babysitter. Can’t do it? Then you shouldn’t have kids. People get all touchy when you tell them that they’re an irresponsible parent, yet there are so many people who are TERRIBLE parents and society has to shoulder the burden for their awful judgment and neglect. Just walk into a high needs school in this city and look around. You’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

  • amc

    “…responsible and obligated …” !!! What??? I am obligted to my family to keep myself alive. I am responsible for making the right choice not to travel tomorrow, even if His Honor keeps the schools open to make a point.
    Typical that NYC would leave something as important as child safety to chance. Right now, the Mayor is only concerned with the DOT and EMS. The DOE is just last on his list.

  • Bernie Sanders

    why bother you know your not sending them to school anyway DUH ~

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