Top Mayoral Candidate’s Choice: Should He Send His Sons Back to School?

If Scott Stringer wins the race next year, his experience as a parent is likely to inform how he guides New York’s public schools out of crisis.

When Mayor Bill de Blasio reopened elementary schools this week, many New York City parents who had been keeping their children home were offered a last chance to send them back into classrooms this school year.

Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller, struggled with the decision, both as a leading mayoral candidate and as a parent of two elementary students. He lost his mother to the coronavirus in April.

He and his wife were nervous about their children’s safety, but they had seen mixed results with remote learning: Their oldest, Max, was having a particularly difficult time learning on an iPad.

So they decided to send Max, who is 9, back to school while keeping their younger son at home. On Monday, Mr. Stringer and his wife accompanied Max on a No. 1 subway train and sent him off to school for the first time since March.

“After months of debating and thinking and trying to arrive at the right thing, it really was good to see he was happy,” Mr. Stringer said after dropping him off.

If Mr. Stringer wins the race for mayor next year, his experience as a public school parent during the pandemic is likely to inform how he guides the school system out of a crisis that could set back a generation of students. The Democratic primary on June 22 is expected to focus on who is the best person to bring the city back, and all of the candidates have criticized Mr. de Blasio’s handling of reopening schools.

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