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North Carolina traditional education supporters riled by changes to proposal

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(The Center Square) – A North Carolina education proposal that didn’t make it to a committee as scheduled Wednesday has riled supporters of traditional public education.

Originally, legislation on student searches was the primary issue contained in Senate Bill 90. This week, lawmakers made additions that would empower parents and could impact whether a school board fires superintendents or docks their pay.

The language indicates if parents feel the superintendent is violating their rights with respect to raising and educating their children, they have a route to take action beyond speeches at local school board meetings.

The moves were made by Republicans. Democrats cried foul.

Rep. Robert Reives, the Democratic leader in the chamber, said the bill is an “assault on public education.”

“This basically just says, if you allow that kind of bad actor to promulgate throughout your system and you do it five times, there’s a pattern there, so chances are, you need to find other work somewhere else,” said Rep. John Torbett, R-Gaston, a co-chairman of the Education Committee in the House.

Potential additional impacts on students and parents involve access to libraries; extracurricular activities; mental health services; books; and instructional materials. There are possible impacts for teachers, such as publishing a syllabus, and revealing gender pronoun conversations between teachers and students.

The latter is in another bill already vetoed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. An override challenge to the veto is expected soon.

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