Theo, an incoming New Paltz kindergartener and aspiring firefighter, is ready to begin school from home on September 8.

“I like reading books,” he said as he hopped off the seesaw at the Hasbrouck Park playground.

What You Need To Know

  • As a new school year approaches, the Village of New Paltz's deputy mayor says the gender wage gap has some mothers leaving their jobs to help children with remote learning

  • A survey of parents has been circulating to find out what resources parents need the most

  • The survey has found that more than one in three parents need outside help

Theo’s mother, Riana Justusson, is putting off her career to help Theo with his remote learning program.

“I work two days a week, and I was planning to start full-time in September. And that’s on hold indefinitely,” Justusson said.

Theo’s father is planning to stay on full time at his job.

Sociologist and New Paltz Village Deputy Mayor Dr. KT Tobin said the gender wage gap is at play here.

“When households figure out that mom makes 'X,' you have to pay 'Y' for child care, and children need assistance with their learning, households are doing this math and moms are quitting their jobs,” Tobin said.

Tobin is leading a remote learning working group whose members have been conducting a survey of parents to help figure out what resources they need most. About 150 parents have responded to the survey since August 8. The survey can be found here.

The survey found that one in four working parents will have to quit or pause their careers to help a child through the school district’s remote learning model. The survey also found that more than one in three parents need outside help.

“[What if] you’re a single mom who is an essential worker with a kid with special needs? Our society has not prepared for this, to take care of these households,” Tobin said.

The working group is helping to collect used devices which will be needed to take classes, arrange child care, and arrange transportation. Tobin said she is also in a similar working group at the county level that is compiling resources for parents.

Parents can find resources available here.