TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced today that all New Jersey schools would remain closed for the remainder of the school year in an ongoing effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
"We have a single goal in mind: the safety and well-being of our children, and of our educators, administrators and staff," said Murphy.
The governor's announcement comes after the New Jersey Education Association and other education groups wrote a letter last week encouraging Murphy to keep school doors closed for the rest of the year.
His action also follows New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision last week to shutter schools. Pennsylvania ordered their schools closed almost a month ago. Delaware closed their schools on April 24 while Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont is expected to make the decision for his state this week.
Remote learning will remain in place allowing education to continue.
All school sports were also canceled. “The NJSIAA has advised against the resumption of spring sports,” said Murphy. “I do not take any pleasure in announcing this.”
Milestone events such as proms, graduations and other moving up ceremonies are to be determined. “The Department of Education will work with school officials to share ideas on safe and innovative ways to recognize 2020 high school graduates and other end-of-year milestones for students,” Murphy said.
Welcoming the decision was John McEntee, president of the Paterson Education Association (PEA) the union that represents nearly 3000 teaching professionals across Paterson’s Public Schools. “It is comforting to know that our Governor has the backs of public school students and employees,” McEntee said adding his appreciation to “Murphy for always keeping the safety of our students and educators a top priority during this pandemic.”
As it relates to when schools might reopen, McEntee said that the safety of New Jersey's students and educators will always be the top priority of The Paterson Education Association.
“Paterson students and educators should not be called back into the schools (for any reason) until it has been proven to be safe and a reliable therapeutic or vaccine can be deployed."
Know a story we should share with readers? Email editor Steve Lenox and tell him about it.