Curtatone, Novick hit Baker reopening guidance

FOR MONTHS, school districts were struggling to decide whether to reopen schools in person, with little guidance from the state as to what thresholds to use to make that decision. Now, with the first state guidance emerging as to which of three plans to choose — remote, hybrid, or in person — based on a colored-coded map, some officials are saying it is too little, too late.

“Whether it’s Worcester or Somerville or New Bedford or Gloucester, this has been dumped on us by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the governor and the Commonwealth,” said Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone. “There is no plan.”

Worcester School Committee member Tracy Novick agreed. “In terms of local government being left to fend for itself, that’s really been the experience of all of us in local government over the past several months,” Novick said. “Now here we are, the beginning of August, we’re supposed to be making plans and two days before the plans are due, suddenly we have this map that’s supposed to say magically everything is fine?”

On this week’s Codcast, Curtatone and Novick talked about the challenges of crafting school reopening plans. Both Somerville and Worcester decided to start the year remotely. While Gov. Charlie Baker has been urging most school districts to reopen in person, both officials said part of their calculation was the lack of state resources that would have allowed them to reopen safely.