Of course Sen. Phil Berger wants this bill.
And of course he says that he wants to “reopen schools” when what really is happening is that schools are open already, just not all school buildings fully.
Seems like good intentions. It’s shiny. Nice veneer.
That ABC Science Collaborative which is referred to in the bill? It was easily debunked by Kris Nordstrom. Those “CDC mitigation efforts?” That includes six feet in social distancing which is incredibly hard for high schools when considering reopening buildings.
But there are some other glaring deficiencies in this bill.
IDEA – The Individual With Disabilities Education Act. There is nothing in this bill to ensure that students who have IEPs and diagnosed learning / intellectual delays have the resources to help them learn in these unprecedented times. This pandemic has shown the glaring gaps in funding certain areas of public education: computers, connectivity, teacher assistants, and resources to make sure that students with IEPs can access the curriculum effectively.
Local control completely taken away. For a political unit that has always preached “local control,” this bill prevents local school boards from being able to close school buildings in whole if another surge occurs in certain localities. The CDC guidelines talk much about monitoring community spread. This bill seems to be posturing because levels of community spread still place a large number of counties (LEAs) in the red.`
Logistical nightmares. Think of school buses and lunch with proper social distancing. Is this NCGA really giving any more resources to perform these functions during a pandemic while obeying the CDC guidelines? Without providing a plan to deal with the logistics, this bill is only selling the simple and ignoring the complexities.
Nurses & Counselors. If the NCGA GOP is concerned that “children are suffering” and that the harm “can last a lifetime,” then they must also be aware that other issues that students have might be worth more attention.
Strips Cooper of Ability to React to Another Surge. What happens if another big surge occurs? This state might need the governor to react and set mandates to save lives. Just look what happened in Georgia and Florida, and Georgia just turned blue in part over how the pandemic has been handled.
But maybe the most dispicable part of this bill is that it highlights just how much this NCGA has not done in the face of pandemic for North Carolinians except just making an underfunded public school system the scapegoat for why things are not normal.
There’s a pandemic still happening and a LEANDRO Report that has not been acted on.