Raleigh, N.C. – Legislation giving North Carolina students the option to attend in-classroom summer learning programs was unanimously approved by the state House of Representatives on Wednesday in a 120-0 vote.
House Bill 82 Summer Learning Choice for NC Families is targeted to students falling behind during remote learning and would make a six week learning recovery program available to every family in the state.
The summer learning programs would offer core academic courses as well as enrichment classes in the arts and physical activities. The proposal has drawn support from local superintendents and education advocates including Disability Rights NC.
Public school teacher Rep. Jeffrey Elmore (R-Wilkes) said the legislation offers local school districts flexibility in summer program scheduling, transportation, and negotiating teacher contracts.
“A bipartisan process really improved this bill through our House committees on education and pensions,” Rep. Elmore said.“Not only will it offer remediation in reading, math, and science, but also enrichment and physical activity programs will encourage students to participate. We have created quite a bit of flexibility for local districts on transportation to help students get there, and on hiring to help districts get teachers in the classroom. We have included individual and small group instruction to meet the social and emotional needs of children.“We also want to see if it works, so there are short assessments to see the growth that occurs through the program. This is a good balance of structure while also providing flexibility for kids across North Carolina to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), a primary sponsor of the proposal, said the North Carolina House has provided adequate funding for the program and is leading a national effort to offer learning recovery options for families.
“We all know by now the crisis that our young people are dealing with by being out of school,” Speaker Moore said.“We need to find a way to let those children get caught up. This bill today is a six week program that will allow children to attend school in-person over the summer months. While mandatory for districts, it is optional for parents.”“There are a lot of children who really need this, particularly at-risk children who desperately need this and will fall further and further behind without this. For kids at a young age, who have missed a lot of valuable in-classroom time, we cannot act like this last year did not happen. We have to help them get caught up, and this is an excellent opportunity to do that.”
House Bill 82 was sent to the North Carolina Senate.