The top education officials in New York State want schools to be reopened in the near future.

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In late March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed all schools and non-essential businesses in New York due to the coronavirus pandemic. His mandate has been extended a number of times and as of this writing, all schools and non-essential businesses must remain closed until May 15.

Cuomo is expected to announce by the end of this week if schools will reopen this academic year. In a joint statement,  the New York State Education Department and the Board of Regents said it's time to look into how to get kids and teachers back in the classroom.

“The COVID-19 Pandemic has placed a tremendous amount of stress and uncertainty on New Yorkers in every corner of the state. Despite the challenges we are all facing every day, it is time we begin to look at how we can successfully and appropriately reopen our schools," Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa and Interim Commissioner Shannon Tahoe said in a joint statement.

Officials say a taskforce made up of educational leaders, including superintendents, principals, teachers, parents, school board members and other stakeholders will be formed to guide the reopening of our schools.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have seen many examples of how schools across the state serve as the cornerstone of our communities, which is why it is imperative that they are included in any reopening strategy," Rosa and Tahoe said in a joint statement. “By working together with these partners, we can ensure that our children’s educational, developmental and overall wellbeing is considered during this important discussion."