Christmas came in August for many North Carolinians as Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate flexed their muscles and overrode three of Gov. Cooper’s vetoes on bills impacting school choice. Briefly, the legislation will impact how charter schools are approved and operated; and also give parents greater authority over how their children are educated in the classroom and at school.

House Bill 219 –Expands enrollment rules for charters. It also permits counties, if they so choose, to use property tax revenue for charter school capital costs

House Bill 618 – Creates a new board to authorize charter school applications. The new board, composed of mostly legislative appointments, would replace the State Board of Education –composed of mostly gubernatorial appointments — as the main entity to review and approve charter applications.  Under the legislation, the State Board of Education becomes an appellate board for charter decisions.

SB 49 – Known as the Parents Bill of Rights, the legislation, among other things, enshrines provisions to give parents greater access to medical, psychological, health and other important information about their child.  The law also prohibits the curriculum from including instruction in gender identity, sexuality and sexual activity in grades K through four; and requires schools to establish processes to ensure parental complaints and information requests are addressed in a timely fashion.

A big thank you to lawmakers – on both sides of the aisle – who supported these measures.  You have our gratitude for your courage and commitment to stay the course and for getting the job done. Another thank you also to all the parents, educators policy specialists and lobbyists whose tireless work helped to educate North Carolinians about this issue, mobilize support and eventually, make it a reality.

North Carolina is a better place today because of all your hard work!

Thank you!