by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
Republican legislators have made good on their promise to push to reopen North Carolina’s public schools. From Senate Leader Phil Berger’s office comes the details of Senate Bill 37, which will be heard Tuesday afternoon in the Senate Education Committee.
Senate Bill 37, “In-Person Learning Choice for Families,” requires schools to provide access to in-person learning under Plan A (minimal social distancing) for students with exceptional needs. It also requires schools to provide in-person learning options for all K-12 students under either Plan A or Plan B (moderate social distancing). Families would still have the choice of remote learning for the remainder of the 2020–21 school year.
Schools will be required to follow all guidance from the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit, which was developed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Science is at the heart of the Republican legislative effort, including this from UNC and Duke:
Last month, UNC and Duke researchers with the ABC Science Collaborative reported “no instances of child-to-adult transmission of SARS-CoV-2 were reported within schools” during their examination of 11 open school districts in North Carolina serving 90,000 students. The researchers concluded, “Our data support the concept that schools can stay open safely in communities with widespread community transmission.”
Finally, after months of the Cooper lockdown and pressure from the NCAE to keep kids stuck in front of computer monitor, the plight of these kids and their parents is being addressed. Senate Bill 37 couldn’t come at a more critical time, as Locke’s Dr. Terry Stoops discussed with WNCT.
It’s time to heed the science and open the classroom doors. The Civitas Poll confirms it, as 46% of likely registered voters disapprove of how Gov. Cooper has handled this issue.