Opinion

Update from Raleigh

Raleigh – S37 – In-Person Learning for Public Schools (Veto Override Update)

Folks, I’m sad to say to you that our children’s future, through their education, has again been used as political pawns. Several weeks ago, the governor held a press conference to announce that schools needed to reopen. But he retracted none of his executive orders to reopen them.

Senate Bill 37 would have required schools to return to in-person learning using NCDHHS’s 28-page manual –yes, the same administration suggesting schools reopen– on how to open schools safely. What’s shameful about this is that S37 passed with bipartisan support with a Democrat Senator who sponsored the bill, and two Democrat colleagues voted in favor of the bill. Then the Governor vetoed the bill that would do exactly what he said should happen.

This week, we brought the matter back to the Senate to consider overriding the governor’s veto. Surprisingly, two of the three Democrat Senators that initially supported the bill decided their allegiance to their governor was stronger than their commitment to represent their district. One voted against the veto override, and the other senator was the one who helped sponsor the bill and didn’t have the courage to show up to vote.

NCAE “False Construct” following DPI’s EOC Report –

The teachers union of NC (NCAE) is trying to convince us that recent data for student learning loss resulting from virtual learning is just a “false construct.” As more data comes in showing the damage to children caused by the lack of full in-person instruction, Tamika Kelly, the Executive Director of the far-left NCAE, called student learning loss a “false construct.”

Last week, the state Department of Instruction (DPI) released data showing a majority of North Carolina public school students failed to pass end-of-course tests in Fall 2020. The majority of 3rd-grade students who took the beginning-of-grade reading exam scored at the lowest level, and three-quarters aren’t proficient in reading. The data suggest learning losses for students due to school closures and remote-only learning brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some kids may never recover. Yet this anti-student, anti-science political operation refuses even to acknowledge that hundreds of thousands of children have suffered learning loss over the past year. Ms. Kelly’s tweets didn’t stop with denying the reality of learning loss. She also questioned the decades of studies and evidence showing some students, particularly those from difficult homes, lose ground during the summer. She wrote, “I don’t know if I actually believe in ‘summer slide.’” I want all of you to know, conservative voices in Raleigh have not given up on getting our kids back in school.

That’s it for this week. To follow me and learn more about what’s happening in the state government, visit my Facebook page at ChuckEdwardsNC. You can also find me on Twitter at the handle @SENChuckEdwards.

Editor’s note: This article was written by State Senator Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson). It presents his views and assessments. Other elected state officials are encouraged to share their perspectives with our Tribune’s readers by emailing editor@tribpapers.com

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