Teachers, parents weigh in on controversial education bill

Tom George Image
Sunday, July 16, 2023
Teachers, parents weigh in on controversial education bill
Supporters argue it would give parents more leeway in their kids' education, but now teachers are among its biggest opponents.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- With the legislative session winding down, lawmakers still have a lot of work to do including the state budget. But at the last minute, they're now also going to be debating a comprehensive education bill.

The wide-ranging bill includes everything from requiring parental permission for a library card to requiring teachers to notify parents if a child is questioning their gender. The biggest change would be opening the door for parents to challenge school leaders they disagree with.

If enough affidavits are filed against school leaders, it could mean consequences for superintendents.

The new version of SB 90 was introduced last week and caught a lot of people off guard. But now that advocates have had a chance to look through it, they're able to weigh in.

ALSO SEE: Some Raleigh businesses wary of effect of recent state legislation

Supporters argue it would give parents more leeway in their kids' education, but now teachers are among its biggest opponents. The North Carolina Association of Educators came out in strong opposition to the bill, telling ABC11 in a statement:

"The educators who dedicate their time to public service deserve to do their jobs without fear and parents deserve to be able to trust their child's teacher without being fed false claims about what's happening in our schools."

But because of its debut late in the session, some political experts say opponents may be able to take it with a grain of salt.

"It's not entirely clear that either a committee will hear it, or that the House will vote on it, and if the House votes on it, that the Senate will accept the changes. So if people are concerned about it, they at least ought to have the caveat that it's not necessarily something that's going to become law," said Mitch Kokai with the John Locke Foundation.

The bill had initially been scheduled for a hearing in the House Education Committee last week, but co-chair Rep. John Torbett told ABC11 it was delayed to give more people time to review the legislation. Supporters are planning to try again, with a goal of advancing the bill by the end of the month.