school mask mandates

Eric Adams Already Has Big Ideas for New York City Schools

Adams voting inside a New York City school. Photo: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

As Eric Adams wraps up his post-victory Caribbean tour, he has proposed a major policy revision and a crypto curriculum change for New York City schools.

On Sunday, the incoming mayor told CNN that he intends to end the mask mandate in public schools “if we can find a safe way to do it,” adding that “it must be done with the science so we don’t go back to closing our city down.” He hopes that kids will be able to go to school without masks by the end of the academic year.

Adams’s comment comes the week after federal regulators approved Pfizer vaccinations for children ages 5-11, offering more protection (and parental peace of mind) for one of the least-vulnerable populations at risk of severe COVID cases. To help promote vaccinations, New York City kids in that age range are now eligible for $100 incentive payments, and schools throughout the city are hosting pop-up vaccination sites. Though the current administration is boosting the elementary-age vaccine program, Mayor Bill de Blasio remains skeptical about the end of masks in school for the time being. “I would say my general view is, out of an abundance of caution, I would keep the masks in place at least in the short term, because they really worked and because the kids have adapted to them well, the adults have adapted to them well,” de Blasio said days before Adams made his statement. “But I’ll also say as an everyday person, you know, I look forward to the day when we don’t need them.”

Adams kept the new ideas coming: As part of a plan to make New York City a capital city of cryptocurrency, he said that bitcoin and other assets must be taught in schools, as the sector becomes a “new way of paying for goods and services throughout the entire globe.” Adams claimed that when he talks about “blockchain and bitcoins, young people on the street stopped and asked me, ‘What is that?’” The mayor, who intends to accept his first three checks in bitcoin, may need to sit in on a few classes of his own, telling CNN that he couldn’t provide a definition of the premier cryptocurrency in 30 seconds or less.

Eric Adams Already Has Big Ideas for New York City Schools