New Jersey schools to stay closed for remainder of academic year, governor says

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday announced that schools across the state will remain closed for the rest of the academic year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“ALL SCHOOLS WILL REMAIN CLOSED for in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year—the protect the health of our children, our educators, and their families,” Murphy tweeted Monday.

“Guided by safety and science, this is the best course of action,” he added.

Murphy also said Monday that private schools with longer academic years would remain closed at least through June 30.

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“We’re working with the principle that public health creates economic health—or in this case, educational health,” he tweeted, adding that if standards are high to reopen workplaces, “they are even higher when it comes to schools filled with our children.”

Murphy noted that he understands the “concerns” of parents and school leaders, but that this is a “necessary” step to “undertake a responsible restart and recovery.”

Murphy also announced that there will be no spring sports for the rest of the school year.

“The NJSIAA Medical Board concluded that due to a lack of testing, viable treatments, and a vaccine, that spring sports were not a viable option,” he tweeted.

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Meanwhile, Murphy also said that the state’s Department of Education would be working on “whether summer educational or other programs” could proceed.

“They will also conduct this same rigorous work regarding the opening of our buildings for the 2020-2021 school year in September,” he added.

“To every student: We want you to be safe. We want you to be healthy. We want you to continue your educational journey, wherever it takes you,” Murphy continued. “To ensure all of these things, we have to take this step.”

Murphy’s announcement Monday comes after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo took similar action over the weekend, closing all New York schools and colleges for the remainder of the school year.

It is unclear whether Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont will follow suit.

The three governors have been working on a coordinated basis in response to the coronavirus pandemic.