by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Rep. Mitch Gillespie introduced HB 985 Driver Education Fee Paid When Getting Permit. The bill is co-sponsored by Kelly Alexander (D-Mecklenburg), Larry Bell (D-Sampson, Wayne), and Phillip Frye (R- Avery, Caldwell, Mitchell, Yancey).
If the state is going to charge parents a fee to provide all teenagers a mandatory driver education course, this is the way to do it.
Teachers and administrators do not want the burden of collecting fees for driver education, i.e., chasing down parents who refuse to pay or write a bad check. This bipartisan bill would collect the fee when a teenager (under 18-years-old) applies for a learner’s permit at the DMV. In this way, their driver education fee is “prepaid” by the parent. (Note: The bill would continue to allow schools and school districts to enter into contracts with public or private entities to provide driver education programs.)
Rep. Gillespie and his co-sponsors should be commended for proposing a bill that would “lighten the load” of our schools. After all, teachers and administrators have enough to worry about.