CJ: Cooper’s School Reopening Plan Causes Confusion for Parents and Students

RALEIGH – You can’t please everybody; that’s just as true in politics as it is in a big family deciding what to eat for dinner. Many of those families in North Carolina, though, are on the same page when it comes to being confused and frustrated with Governor Roy Cooper’s school reopening plan.

The quasi-reopening was announced after weeks of stalling, leaving the school districts very little time to prepare for implementing Plan B, in which schools must alternate between in-person and remote instruction, facilities are limited to 50 percent capacity, school buses limited to 30 percent capacity and everyone, even the five year olds, must wear a face mask.

Lindsay Marchello of the Carolina Journal highlights the frustrations and ‘What if‘s parents and students are grappling with as the governor refuses to relinquish the expansive, unilateral, top-down control he’s exploited during the Pandemic Panic.

From CJ:

“[…] The governor offered a one-size-fit all solution, said Catherine Truitt, chancellor of Western Governors University North Carolina. Truitt is running as the Republican candidate for state superintendent. She was an education policy adviser for former Gov. Pat McCrory. 

Truitt wants more local control in deciding how schools should reopen. School officials understand their communities and can better tap into what parents want — and what students need, she said. 

“What we are left with is trying to fit a square peg in a round hole,” Truitt said. 

Large school districts will struggle to teach in-person and remote classes and will probably default to full-time remote learning, Truitt said. Likewise, rural school districts will find remote learning impossible and revert to a partial, in-person model. 

Cooper on July 1 was supposed to announce a plan for schools but instead delayed the decision a couple of weeks. Schools had less time to fine tune their plans, and local boards held a flurry of emergency meetings. […]”

It’s probably not lost on you that opening public schools in Carteret County is a far different prospect than opening those in Mecklenburg County. Places with very few case of COVID-19 have no legitimate reason to not continue ordinary in-person instruction.

Having local control would allow communities barely affected by the virus to make more appropriate decisions for their communities — this should be obvious. However, it undermines Governor Roy Cooper’s unilateral authority over the entire state, which is apparently very important for him to retain as long as possible.

Not to mention that the ‘science & data’ do not support restricting school students in anyway. The same logic used for COVID-19 would close down every school from November to April if it were applied to the flu.

It is the same premise, yet no one called for school closures and worried about teachers being exposed or students dying last flu season. Why not? After all, Democrats maintain that the acceptable level of student and/or teacher deaths is zero. These sanctimonious standards must be very new.

Because of the confusion and hardship Cooper’s one-size-fits-none plan has created, many schools are throwing in the towel and opting for all virtual instruction.

“[…] The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, in a 7-1 vote, decided students will, for the first two weeks, attend school in-person on a rotating basis. Students will then transition to remote learning. A day later, Orange County Schools decided, in a unanimous vote, to hold the first four weeks of school virtually. Warren County Schools will hold virtual classes until October and will make wifi hotspots available throughout the community, WRAL reported. Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools decided Thursday night to move fully online.

Parents should have low expectations for the first few months of the school year, said Terry Stoops, vice president of research and director of education studies at the John Locke Foundation. […]”

Wake County, which initially selected a ‘Plan B’ mix of remote and in-person instruction, is now having second thoughts and considering a 100 percent virtual option.

Virtual school means two working parents have to scramble to figure out how they’ll enable and monitor it all, crossing their fingers it works out and the children actually learn. That scramble is magnified for the working single parents.

The silver lining might be the expansion of the exercise of school choice — private schools, homeschooling. The newfound demand will certainly spur expansion of those choices, but it doesn’t happen over night. Some homeschooling advocates understandably view this as a great opportunity to expand the practice, and some cringe at the push to reopen public schools that do just as much woke indoctrination as they do education.

But school choices do not metastasize overnight; and many parents are simply not able to , either, pay for private school or homeschool their kids for many legitimate reasons.

As much as we hope the upside to Cooper’s addiction to control more school choice, it’s not reasonable to assume the transition is feasible for a large subset of students and parents.

Cooper’s penchant for one-man-rule has again created a problem, and as much as he and the Democrats profess to care about education, they sure seem to think it is less important than a Black Lives Matter rally.

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