© 2024 WFAE

Mailing Address:
8801 J.M. Keynes Dr. Ste. 91
Charlotte NC 28262
Tax ID: 56-1803808
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

NC Senate Takes Up Pandemic Summer School Bill

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools student takes an online quiz.
Ann Doss Helms
A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools student takes an online quiz.

The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday approved a bill requiring school districts to offer summer school.

House Bill 82, which is designed to help students make up academic ground lost during the pandemic, passed the North Carolina House unanimously in February. More than a month later, the Senate Education Committee approved it with minor revisions.

House leaders had hoped to have the bill approved by April 1 to provide districts time to plan and hire teachers. It requires school districts to provide approximately six weeks of summer school that combines academic catch-up work with enrichment activities. Participation is optional for students and teachers.

The Senate committee discussed it briefly Tuesday, then called another meeting Wednesday to vote.

"Y'all have it now, so hopefully it will move pretty quickly," House Speaker Tim Moore told the committee Tuesday. "Obviously the sooner the better."

Committee approval is a first step toward a full Senate vote.

Senators who spoke Tuesday seemed eager to approve the bill.

"I believe this step is huge and it’s critical for the state of North Carolina, for the children of North Carolina, especially considering the pandemic," said Sen. Don Davis, a Democrat representing Pitt and Greene counties.

Sen. Kevin Corbin, a Republican who represents several counties in the state's western tip, asked how many children could be served. The bill calls for students who are academically at risk to get first priority, with everyone eligible for any spots that are left.

House leaders have said federal COVID-19 relief money should provide more than enough support for the summer programs.

"Look, there's enough money to fund it for every child that wants to go," Moore told Corbin. "So much money's come from the federal government you and I could go to summer school if we wanted to. There is plenty of money there."

Sign up for our Education Newsletter

Select Your Email Format

Updated: March 31, 2021 at 3:02 PM EDT
Updated March 31 to add the Senate Education Committee vote.
Ann Doss Helms has covered education in the Charlotte area for over 20 years, first at The Charlotte Observer and then at WFAE. Reach her at ahelms@wfae.org or 704-926-3859.