Cooper signs three education-related bills

Two of the bills were signed on the last day before they would have lapsed into law without the governor's signature

State leaders discuss school reopening plans. Photo via A.P. Dillon, North State Journal

RALEIGH — On Friday, April 9, Gov. Roy Cooper signed off on three education-related bills. Two of the bills, Senate Bill 397 and House Bill 82, were signed on the last day before they would have become law without his signature.

Senate Bill 397 is the Excellent Public Schools Act of 2021 and House Bill 82 is the Summer Learning Choice for N.C. Families.

“This pandemic has challenged students and teachers like never before. Providing a summer opportunity for academic growth plus mental and physical health will help schools begin to address those challenges,” said Cooper about House Bill 82.

Senate Bill 397 makes updates to the state’s Read to Achieve program and a number of literacy-related actions tied to the Science of Reading. House Bill 82 directs school districts to offer in-person summer learning options for families to help students with learning loss issues during the pandemic.

“I want to thank Gov. Cooper for signing the ‘Excellent Public Schools Act’ into law,” Sen. Leader Phil Berger (R-Eden) said in a statement about the signing of Senate Bill 397. “We have a shared priority of ensuring our students are proficient in reading by the end of the third grade, and I believe this will move us closer to that goal. All of our students, but especially those who are struggling to read, will benefit from the improved literacy instruction and interventions.”

“With this new summer school program, North Carolina families will now have an option to recover from pandemic learning loss.” House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain) tweeted. “I’m grateful for the wide bipartisan support and input from parents and educators we received for House Bill 82.

The third bill, House Bill 53, allows for students with military parents to continue attending school in the state while their parent is abroad so long as they live with an eligible caregiver. The bill also grants high school students eligible for in-state tuition at the time of application as dependents of military personnel to retain that status upon enrollment, even if the parent is reassigned to another state or to active duty.

About A.P. Dillon 493 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_