Majority Leader John Bell Supports Bill to Provide In-Person Learning Option for K-12 Students
Raleigh, NC – Today, the North Carolina House approved bipartisan legislation (Senate Bill 37) to ensure families have the ability to choose between in-person instruction or remote learning in K-12 public schools.
Currently, nearly half of all public school students live in school districts who do not offer the option for in-person learning.
“The North Carolina Constitution requires that ‘the people have a right to the privilege of education, and it is the duty of the State to guard and maintain that right.’ This bill delivers on our constitutional duty by putting in place a plan to reopen our schools in a safe and secure manner,” said House Majority Leader John Bell.
Experts agree that closed classrooms hurt vulnerable young people the most and it only widens education gaps between low-income and affluent students. Special education students are also being hit particularly hard by the loss of in-person learning. Furthermore, thousands of students across the state are completely unaccounted for by the schools due to remote learning.
Last week, the state legislature approved more than $1.6 billion for local schools to help them safely reopen.
Among the state's largest school districts, for example, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools received $141 million in new funds, Wake County Schools received $95 million, Guilford County Schools received $88 million, and Forsyth County Schools received $66 million.
Senate Bill 37 directs North Carolina K-12 schools to provide the option for in-classroom instruction while maintaining the option of remote learning for those who choose. It now goes to the Senate for further consideration.