February 19, 2021

NC legislators passed legislation Wednesday that would require school districts across the state to reopen to students whose parents what them to return to in-person learning. Now the bill has gone to Governor Cooper for his signature. He can do one of three things: sign it, veto it, or do nothing and it becomes law on February 28.

Although the Governor has spoken out in favor of school districts getting student back to in-person school, there have been news reports that he may be balking, choosing to hide behind his assertion that decisions on returning students to school should be left up to local school district leaders and that the legislation “falls short of meeting health safety guidelines set by the state Department of Health and Human Services.

This debate has already gone on far too long. It is clear that the science is there.  Many studies, including an in-state university study (UNC and Duke), have carefully reviewed data and concluded what school leaders and parents now know all over the country – with the standard agreed-upon precautions, children can go back to school. Parents need the option to have their kids back in school.

Every day that Governor Cooper does not take action is a day children are not learning in an environment they need to meet their educational and mental health needs. State Senator Deanna Ballard, a co-chair of the Senate Education Committee, stated as the legislation went to the Governor:

“Parents and children have waited long enough for some level of certainty in their public education. I hope that Gov. Cooper chooses not to drag this out for another week and a half…. If a veto is coming, then do it now so the legislature can vote to override. If the Governor intends to let it become law, then he should sign it instead of taking the politically expedient option of dragging this out to the end of the month just so he can tell the far-left NCAE he didn’t attach his signature to it.”

We agree. It’s time for the Governor to stop listening to the NCAE labor union bosses and get children back in school as soon as possible. Time’s wasting.