RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - Senate Bill 37 to override Governor Cooper’s veto of the bill to mandate in-person learning options for all students failed to pass the vote on Monday night.
With 29 votes for and 20 against, the override vote failed by one vote to pass by a three fifths majority.
North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Bobbie Richardson released the following statement following the vote:
“Today’s vote in the Senate underscores just how important our efforts were to break the Republican supermajority in 2018 and re-elect Governor Cooper in 2020. As we continue to navigate this crisis, North Carolina deserves measured, steady leaders like Governor Cooper, who will lead with science and prioritize public health. North Carolina Democrats will continue to stand with Governor Cooper and ensure our children are able to attend in-person instruction safely.”
The North Carolina Republican Party released the following statement:
“Tonight, NC Senate Democrats let the kids and families of North Carolina down and showed profiles of cowardice in the face of pressure from Governor Cooper and teacher union bosses,” said NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley. “With their vote against SB 37, the Senate Democrats - including three members who previously voted in support of reopening schools - helped Governor Cooper keep schoolhouse doors across North Carolina locked. It is very disappointing that North Carolina Democrats are siding with Joe Biden and teachers unions to keep our schools closed - our kids deserve much better than this kind of naked special-interest politics.”
The goal of Senate Bill 37 was to mandate that schools provide access to in-person learning under Plan A (full-time in-person learning) for students with exceptional needs. Schools would also have to provide in-person learning options for all K-12 students under either Plan A or Plan B (hybrid option of two days in-person and two days virtual learning).
With this bill, families could still have opted for full-time remote learning.
Governor Cooper vetoed the bill because it fell short of protecting staff and students during an emergency and violated Center for Disease Control and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services guidelines.