Press Release: Teach Coalition Applauds NYC Councilmember Mark Treyger’s Call on the Dept of Education to Provide Nonpublic Schools with Resources to Combat Transmission of COVID-19

Teach Coalition Executive Director Maury Litwack: ‘Disease outbreaks, like COVID-19, do not distinguish between public and nonpublic schools’

New York City (March 5, 2020) — Teach Coalition, a project of the Orthodox Union, praised Councilman Mark Treyger today for calling on New York City’s Department of Education to equip all of New York City’s nonpublic schools with basic sanitation materials so they can take measures to protect students and staff from transmission of COVID-19.

In the wake of the virus’s spread, the Department announced plans to provide CDC-approved cleaning agents to every public school, ensure that every bathroom is continuously stocked with soap and paper towels so students can wash their hands frequently, and give principals and nurses the resources and guidance needed to identify and report symptoms.

Treyger, a member of the Council’s education committee, issued a powerful statement that reads as follows:

“The New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the City Administration need to proactively reach out to all public and nonpublic schools to offer to provide hygiene supplies, soap and hand sanitizer, to combat the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

“To date, I am not aware of any effort on the part of DOE to contact our nonpublic school communities to offer resources and assistance. I continue to hear from school staff and parents that our schools are not currently adequately supplied with basic sanitation materials —and that is not acceptable.

“As always, basic hygiene should be practiced, but the DOE must take the initiative to protect and safeguard all students across all five boroughs. It is vital that our school system prepare as much as possible to ensure that all public and nonpublic schools have all of the basic hygiene resources readily available to them with or without a public health warning.”

Maury Litwack, executive director of Teach Coalition called it a “significant concern” that the City has not committed to providing nonpublic schools with the resources they need in order to reduce the transmission risk for their students and staff.

“We applaud Councilman Treyger for speaking out on behalf of the nonpublic school community,” Litwack said. “Disease outbreaks, like COVID-19, do not distinguish between public and nonpublic schools, and all of New York City’s children are entitled to attend schools that are equipped with the supplies and materials needed to guarantee the highest possible level of protection. This is a matter of public health.”

About Teach Coalition
Teach Coalition is at the forefront of the grassroots fight to secure government support for nonpublic schools in North America. This includes increased funding, through grants and allocations, for security enhancements and personnel, STEM education, health and nutrition, and transportation services as well as higher limits on available tax credit scholarships. Teach Coalition currently serves a membership roster of hundreds of schools in six states.