The North Carolina State Board of Education met Friday, July 24 to adopt the guidelines proposed by Gov. Roy Cooper for reopening schools.
Cooper has said that schools can reopen virtually, or can operate on an extremely limited basis with classrooms at 50 percent capacity with at least six feet between students. Everyone in the school is required to wear masks all the time.
What public schools are not allowed to do is reopen with regular classroom activity even if everyone is wearing masks.
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who is a member of the State Board of Education, questioned Cooper’s one plan to reopen schools all across the state.
Forest is the Republican candidate for governor and is running against Cooper.
Forest issued a press release after the meeting noting that the current guidelines don’t follow the protocols that Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services claim they do, and if the up-to-date guidelines were used, many schools in the state could open for in-person classroom teaching.
Forest said, “During the meeting I asked the same questions I asked last month, ‘what metrics are we using, and what are the goals for opening schools back up?’ I asked these questions because the public should know when it is safe for schools to open. DHHS officials commented that they are using White House guidelines to reopen schools, and we haven’t hit the benchmarks from those guidelines yet. However, the guidance they are using seems to be out of date.”
Forest continued, “Yesterday, the CDC issued updated guidance for reopening schools, recommending strongly schools reopen and that districts consider the level of community transmission when deciding to close in-person learning. The Surgeon General of the United States explained further on TV today, ‘we like to see positivity rates less than 10% in a community.’ If this is true, then North Carolina should be in a place to reopen schools.”
Forest noted, “Statewide, using DHHS’s rolling average, we are at 9% positive tests over this past month, and have only reached 10% positive tests a total of three times the last 30 days. Some counties are higher, some are much lower and this is why a regional approach to reopening schools must take place rather than a one-size-fits-all model. If DHHS and the Cooper Adminstration are going to update their guidelines while claiming they are using federal guidelines, then they need to actually use the federal guidelines when they are updated.”
Dan Forest you have my vote . Roy Cooper needs to go we have been in lock down for almost 5 months we the people are sick of it. We need you.
Amen! Seems as if Roy Cooper has become just another cog in the wheel of the National Democratic Party
Dan Forest is the only candidate I will consider for NC. He has common sense and a great perspective. We are a state of 100 counties with various demographics in each county – one size does not fit all. Refusing to reopen schools puts a serious burden on working parents, does give our children a fair chance at education, and is going to cost the state for years to come. If a parent does NOT want to send their child(ren) to school our of fear, they should be prepared to home school. If teachers do not want to return due to fear, then they should not continue to be paid to stay home. Many many of us essential workers have worked through the virus and are fine. If teaching isn’t an essential service, I do not know what is. My daughter is a teacher and wants to return to the classroom. She has witnessed first hand the lack of learning by virtual teaching (out of 22 students, 3 consistently signed in); lack of school supplies (she was asked by a parent to bring supplies to their home because the parent didn’t have time/could not afford to buy the crayons); children not getting the meals and socialization they need.
Dan Forest does what he says he will do and is committed to Public service to our state, I can’t say that for Coo Coo Cooper. He has caused unknown losses for the state and it’s business owners that so much wanted to reopen and many have closed and will never reopen. This is a terrible blow to our economy and Citizens may never recover from it. I feel for the many business owners that have invested so heavily in a new business that are still not open and are paying rents and payments and are ready to open and are not allowed to. I feel this is tyranical and illegal to do so.