From EdNC’s Alex Granados:
Two important education bills began moving their way through the Senate yesterday.
A bill that would force schools around the state to open for in-person learning passed a Senate education committee Tuesday afternoon. The bill would make schools open under Plan A for exceptional needs students. Under Plan A, minimal social distancing is required.
The bill would also force schools to be open in-person under Plan A or B for all other students. Plan B is a hybrid model where some students are in school and others are doing remote learning. Periodically, the students switch places.
Under the plan, any family that wants their student to do remote learning will have that option. However, no school can offer Plan C — all remote learning — any longer.
The Senate Rules Committee will take up this bill at 9 a.m. today.
Another bill that extends the deadlines for parents to apply for $335 in federal COVID-19 relief funding passed a Senate appropriations committee this morning. Roughly $62 million remains in the pot of funds available for the checks, and those who were not able to apply by the December deadline now have until May.
Additionally, the bill allocates $39 million to the The Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Program, part of a deal struck between Democratic Governor Roy Cooper and legislative Republicans before the holidays.
The bill also includes about $1.6 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds allocated by the federal government in the latest round of COVID relief measures. This money largely goes directly to school districts — distributed through the state Department of Public Instruction — and lawmakers don’t have discretion on how it is spent.
As part of our celebration of Black History Month, I want to lift back up this column, Letters to my son, that Terrance Ruth wrote to Miles when EdNC launched back in 2015. "This is the world I want for you," he writes. ... Read the rest