North Carolina Republican lawmakers introduced a bill on Monday that would require school districts to offer in-person instruction for all K-12 public school students.
The proposal would still give parents the all-virtual option for their child, but also gives them the choice to send them to school. It would still require passage through the House and Senate before going to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk, who would like districts to remain fully remote.
Cooper told reporters last Thursday he is examining data for accuracy and meeting with experts about COVID-19 spread in schools.
“We’re gonna come forward with some proposals here in the coming days,” Cooper said.
Cooper announced in September that students K-5 could return to classes provided they do so safely and ensure at least 6 feet of physical distancing is maintained. However many school districts have not returned to in-person instruction due to safety concerns.
He also made those comments when COVID-19 cases weren’t as high in North Carolina, and cited several weeks of stable virus trends and continued low virus spread as a reason to allow in-person classes.
“We are able to open this option because most North Carolinians have doubled down on our safety and prevention measures and stabilized our numbers,” Cooper said in October. “North Carolinians are doing the hard work to improve our numbers and trends. Many people are wearing masks, keeping social distance and being careful to protect others as well as themselves. We have shown that listening to science works. And I’m proud of our resolve.”
As of Monday (2/1), the seven-day average for Coronavirus cases have more than doubled since October 1 from 1,997 to 5,455 per day.
If the bill passes, the option would be offered within weeks and remain in place until the end of the 2021 school year