Mark Lennihan / AP
NEW YORK – New York schools were temporarily blocked by a federal appellate judge from enforcing a vaccine mandate for teachers and other workers just days before it went into effect.
The workers mandate for the largest school system in the country was due to come into force on Monday. But late Friday, a judge on the U.S. 2nd appeals court issued an injunction and expedited the case to a three-judge panel.
Education Department spokeswoman Danielle Filson said officials are seeking a quick resolution through the district court next week.
“We are confident that, once all the facts are presented, our vaccine mandate will continue to be upheld because that is the level of protection our students and staff deserve,” Filson said in an email.
She said more than 82% of department employees were vaccinated.
While most of the school workers were being vaccinated, unions representing New York school principals and teachers warned that the school system of one million students could still remain under 10,000 teachers, along with other staff such as canteen workers and school police officers.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has resisted calls to postpone the mandate.