Bill OK’d by NC House wants social studies change delayed

RALEIGH, N.C. — A proposed coronavirus relief fund and policy bill for North Carolina’s K-12 schools also would delay by one year the implementation of new social studies standards that conservatives criticized strongly.

The measure approved by the state House on Wednesday also determines how to spend an additional $338 million in American Rescue Plan money for schools.

The spending includes $100 million to give veteran or certain high-performing public school teachers an extra month of pay if they agree to work longer to help students who fell behind academically during the pandemic. Another $10 million would allow low- and middle-income parents to receive $1,000 grants to help address learning loss, according to media outlets.

A key House Republican said the delay on social studies standards until the 2022-23 school year was inserted into the bill because state education officials have yet to complete the documents that teachers will use. The legislation, which said more time is needed for teacher professional development delayed by the pandemic, also orders a one-year delay on course details for a new personal finance class that will be a graduation requirement.

“Could you imagine if you were in charge of curriculum at the local level and this is still not completed and it may be completed by the end of the month?” said Rep. Jeffrey Elmore, a Wilkes County Republican. With teacher training yet to go and school starting in August, he added, “it doesn’t matter what’s in it. It’s just logistically impossible.”

(WATCH: NC lawmakers propose giving families money to help students overcome learning loss due to pandemic)