North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced that all public schools in North Carolina will not return to in-person education this school year, citing the risk of the spread of the coronavirus.
“Today, we’ve had to make another tough choice,” Gov. Cooper said. “Together with Superintendent Johnson and Chairman Davis, we have decided to continue remote learning for the rest of this school year for our K-12 public schools. School classrooms may be closed, but the learning is not over.”
The move wasn’t entirely unexpected, as schools had been slated to return on May 15, just one week before the end of the Cumberland County school year. With the extension of the stay-at-home order through at least May 8, it became unrealistic that schools would be able to practically return.
Distance learning for the schools will continue through the scheduled end of each school system’s scheduled year, and grading guidelines announced Thursday will be implemented for the remainder of the year. A new wireless hotspot program partnership with AT&T was also announced that will help extend high-speed internet to additional areas quickly through school buses.
Gov. Cooper also announced he is releasing a new budget package for $1.4 billion in relief from the Federal Government’s CARES Act.
“I’m recommending strong investments to respond to this unprecedented crisis,” Cooper said. “We know people are hurting, businesses are struggling & governments are facing severe shortages because of this virus. That’s why we must act now to get resources distributed in a smart, efficient way.”