State House lawmakers from two of the state's largest school districts are calling on Governor Roy Cooper to stop delaying and sign Senate Bill 37, which ensures every family in North Carolina has access to in-person learning in K-12 public schools if they so choose.
Following bipartisan approval last week by the General Assembly, the Governor has until February 28 to either sign or veto the bill before it automatically becomes law without his signature.
"I am calling on Governor Cooper to stop delaying and sign the bipartisan SB37 'In-Person Learning Choice For Families' immediately,"
said Representative Erin Paré (R-Wake). "This bill provides families the option to return to in-person school. The reality is this: virtual learning isn't working for a significant population of kids. The damage to children will continue unless we reopen schools for the kids that need it."
"This is a common-sense bill that makes sure parents with children who need to be in school in-person have that option. No more delay. We need to provide families with the option to get their kids back in school."
Earlier this month, state lawmakers approved over $1.6 billion in federal relief funding for local school systems to support safely reopening. This included over $95 million to Wake County Schools and $140 million to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the state's largest districts.
"Medical experts and elected officials on both sides of the aisle agree that it is safe and vitally important for students to return to the classroom,"
said Representative John Bradford (R-Mecklenburg). "At the end of the day, it's undeniable that the continued absence of children in classrooms is having a devastating effect on their development and mental health."
"This must end, and I am calling on Governor Cooper to do what is right for these families and sign this bipartisan bill. It's time to reopen our schools and give our families a choice."
Both chambers in the General Assembly approved Senate Bill 37 with enough Democrats to override a potential veto from the Governor.
- Contact: Jimmy Milstead