N.C. Lawmakers Propose Bill Mandating In-Person K-12 Classes
February 3, 2021
Senate Bill 37, which is proposed by state Sens. Deanna Ballard, Michael Lee and Ralph Hise, would still allow parents to utilize an online-only option for their child.
"Students are suffering and parents are watching their children fall behind in their learning, worrying that they'll never catch up," said Ballard, the Watauga County Republican who co-chairs the Senate Education Committee. "This legislation balances students' needs, public health guidelines, and parental choice. In order to stymie the ramifications of learning loss, we need to give these families an option for in-class instruction."
The filing marks the beginning of a legislative process that the bill authors hope will result in approval from the state House and Senate. The bill would then head to the desk of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who is currently reevaluating existing guidance that allows districts to stay fully remote. He'd be asked to sign any bill into law. Ballard's committee will consider the measure on Tuesday.
During a visit to a vaccination site on Thursday, Cooper told reporters he is still looking into data put forward by leading scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing little evidence that K-12 schools had meaningfully contributed to the spread of the virus.