How public schools will reopen on August 17 is a hot topic right now, particularly for teachers, parents and students.
According to a social media post, on Monday, July 27 at 6 p.m., North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper participated in a “Members Only Tele-Townhall” with the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE). According to a note from the Guilford County Association of Educators (GCAE), only “dues paying members” were invited to participate.
Dues paying members of the NCAE presumably had an opportunity to lobby Cooper and ask questions about what the plans were for the upcoming school year.
According to Civitas, the NCAE membership makes up between 15 percent and 23 percent of the teachers in North Carolina. Not even close to a majority of teachers are dues paying members of the NCAE, but only these teachers who are members of the teachers’ union were afforded to opportunity to meet virtually with Cooper.
There doesn’t appear to be anything scheduled to offer the majority of teachers in the state who are not members of the NCAE an opportunity to meet virtually with Cooper to exchange views and ideas.
Cooper has offered public school systems in the state two options for opening on August 17. One is to not hold any in person classes and meet virtually as the schools did in the spring semester this year.
The other option is to open at 50 percent capacity with at least six feet between students in the classroom and everyone required to wear masks all the time. School buses are also only allowed to have one child per row, which greatly reduces the capacity and would dramatically increase transportation costs.
The option that Cooper did not allow was to have regular classes even with restrictions on social distancing and requiring masks.
The Guilford County Board of Education is scheduled to make its decision on how schools will reopen in Guilford County on Tuesday, July 28.