The timing is fascinating. Republicans in the North Carolina Senate say enough is enough, our kids are facing devastating learning loss, depression and more, so they file a bill to require public school districts to offer at least some in-person instruction. That bill has now passed its second reading. Next thing you know, Gov. Roy Cooper tells us he wants to encourage schools to open. Not require, but encourage. Big difference.


Still, you have to wonder about the oh-so-close timing of the governor’s conversion.

Maybe it was coincidence.

Maybe it was the CDC’s guidance that’s it’s safe.

Maybe it was the UNC/Duke study results. 

Or could it be it was this chart from the Civitas Poll?

A full 46% of likely registered voters give the governor a thumbs-down on his handling of school reopening during COVID, with only 39% giving him a thumbs-up.

Disapproval is strongest among Hispanics, 59% of whom expressed their concern over the governor’s handling of school shutdowns. A plurality of Unaffiliated and Republican voters, as well as those living in rural North Carolina, also disapproved of Gov. Cooper’s actions.

Voters showed a similar disapproval with their local school district’s handling of reopenings in light of COVID-19, with 45% saying they either strongly or somewhat disapprove. Approval of local district actions sat at just 34%, five points lower than the governor. Nearly seven in 10 believe instructional changes made in response to the pandemic have had a negative impact on student learning.

It’s clear. It is time to send kids back to school and time to reject the teacher union’s anti-science push to keep kids trapped in front of a computer screen at home. Once they’re back, what are we facing? Dr. Terry Stoops forecasts what’s ahead.