"It’s great news today that we are a step closer to providing the option of in-person learning to families who want their children to return to school. While the Governor, the State Board of Education, and I have our differences, I join with them today to encourage local school board members to take advantage of this change and open all schools safely. I thank the many parents and teachers across North Carolina who have been vocal advocates on this important issue.
I also thank local and state leaders who have been working so hard to reopen our schools.
The option for remote learning remains in place for families who may not yet feel comfortable returning to schools. But we need to open our schools for students, teachers, and parents who are ready to return.
We all want all schools for all ages open as soon as possible. Pursuing Plan A for all elementary schools and Plan B for all middle schools and high schools is a good step in the right direction. As always, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction stands ready to work with local school leaders to return to class.
I thank the Governor and the General Assembly for their wise use of the COVID-19 federal relief funds to support North Carolinians during this crisis. Hundreds of millions of dollars will support schools and qualifying families will also receive direct payments, called Extra Credit Grants, to help offset some of the increased costs faced during this crisis.
I also want to thank the General Assembly for helping North Carolina weather this crisis with no state budget cuts to education. Under the leadership of Phil Berger and Tim Moore, and Thom Tillis before him, North Carolina leaders made wise budgeting decisions to prepare for future challenges. Now, while many other states are having to dramatically cut funding for education, here in North Carolina, we have not had a single cut to our state education spending this year.
Again, we thank, with deep appreciation, our teachers and other school employees who have gone above and beyond for students during this pandemic.
And thank you to parents – helping your students the best you can in spite of the challenges you have faced. As a father of a second grader dealing with the challenges of remote learning, my wife and I share in many of your struggles.
I will end with a very important message to all the members of all our local school boards across the state: let’s open our schools. The state stands ready to help."