North Carolina legislators working on bill to reopen schools in every district
North Carolina legislators are working on a bill to reopen schools, with a formal proposal expected in the next few days.
The bill would include the main demand of having all school districts operating in-person in some capacity, according to Senate Republicans. Schools would also be required to still offer virtual learning for parents to opt their children into if they choose.
Health recommendations from the ABC Science Collaborative and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will likely be included, according to a news release.
“Gov. Cooper has not acted decisively and the public education bureaucracy has rejected its most fundamental task: educating our children,” said Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). “It’s time for this travesty to end.”
The senators behind the legislation pointed to a recent article published in the journal of the American Medical Association with an overview written by the CDC, which stated: “With 2 vaccines now being distributed under Emergency Use Authorizations and more vaccine options anticipated to be available in the coming months, there is much hope on the horizon for a safer environment for schools and school-related athletic activities during the 2021/22 school year.”
“The summary was published online as a ‘Viewpoint,’ and, though it was authored by CDC scientists, it included a disclaimer that its conclusions ‘do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,'” according to the NPR article linked to in the Senate Republican’s press release. “But, when asked by NPR if the article’s conclusions could be attributed to CDC, an agency spokesman confirmed that they could.”
Davie County SchoolsTeachers, district staff within Davie County Schools scheduled to receive COVID-19 vaccines starting next week
The press release about the bill also included references to a study by Duke University previously covered by WXII 12 News.
The study led to the conclusion that with public health measures and stringent policies in place, in-person learning does not lead to the spread of the coronavirus within schools.
This study included data from school districts around the state, including several within the Triad.
“Community transmission should not influence the decision as to whether or not schools open,” said Dr. Danny Benjamin, a professor of pediatrics at Duke University. “Schools opening is simply a question of leadership. If you have strong leadership, you open and you open safely. And if you have weak leadership, you either stay closed or you open and you infect a bunch of people.”