Speaker Moore Urges IN-Class Learning This Semester PDF Print E-mail
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 02 February 2021 11:42
State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) released a statement Tuesday urging all North Carolina school systems to safely reopen to offer full time in-person student instruction this semester. 
Legislation and funding to support reopening schools, protests by parents, and expert studies showing in-person instruction is safe and vital for student development, all demonstrate the need to get students back in the classroom, Moore said Tuesday. 
Strong state and federal funding is available to support safe reopenings, Moore also noted. The North Carolina legislature "held harmless" school system budget allocations notwithstanding expected enrollment drops, and billions of dollars of federal relief has been directed to benefit local education agencies. 
"I join parents, experts, and elected officials across North Carolina urging every school district to use strong sources of available funding to reopen for, in-person student instruction this semester for every family who wants it," Speaker Moore said Tuesday. 
"Student achievement has suffered long enough, and it is time for school districts to begin preparing robust opportunities for in-person remedial instruction now and over the summer. The massive learning loss of the last year must end now. The most vulnerable young people in our state desperately need a return to productive education communities that shape their development as individuals, and I urge every school district to safely offer in-person instruction this semester."
Senators File Bill To Reopen Classrooms PDF Print E-mail
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 02 February 2021 09:34
Senate Republicans filed a bill to get students back to school after nearly a year of remote learning. 
Senate Bill 37, “In-Person Learning Choice for Families,” requires schools to provide access to in-person learning under Plan A (minimal social distancing) for students with exceptional needs. It also requires schools to provide in-person learning options for all K-12 students under either Plan A or Plan B (moderate social distancing). Families would still have the choice of remote learning for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. 
Schools will be required to follow all guidance from the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit, which was developed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. 
"Our students need to be in school, there's no question about that. We can get them back into classrooms safely. Students are suffering and parents are watching their children fall behind in their learning, worrying that they'll never catch up," Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga) said. "This legislation balances students’ needs, public health guidelines, and parental choice. In order to stymie the ramifications of learning loss, we need to give these families an option for in-class instruction." 
Studies have shown that with mitigation efforts schools can reopen safely. 
The evidence that school closures harm children is overwhelming. As far back as last summer, public health experts at Harvard University warned that school closures are "a disaster that some students may never recover from." 
Last week, the CDC concluded there is "little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission." 
Last month, UNC and Duke researchers with the ABC Science Collaborative reported "no instances of child-to-adult transmission of SARS-CoV-2 were reported within schools" during their examination of 11 open school districts in North Carolina serving 90,000 students. The researchers concluded, "Our data support the concept that schools can stay open safely in communities with widespread community transmission." 
Senate Bill 37 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee tomorrow, Feb. 2. 
Six UNC HBCUs Get Covid Vaccine Freezers PDF Print E-mail
By Administrator   
Friday, 29 January 2021 11:32

The UNC System’s six historically minority-serving institutions have each received a new mobile freezer capable of safely storing and transporting COVID-19 vaccine vials.  These six freezers represent the first of 62 scheduled to arrive in the state in the coming months as part of Operation Deep Freeze.  

The new freezers, provided by the NC Policy Collaboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, are part of a broader effort to increase North Carolina’s total vaccine cold-storage capacity by 1.86 million two-milliliter vials.  The 15 research institutions within the UNC System will receive a total of 62 new freezers capable of safely storing COVID-19 vaccines at temperatures as low as -80 Celsius (-112 Fahrenheit).  A combination of 32 large freezers, 1 mid-sized freezer, and 29 smaller mobile units will add flexibility for transport and storage of vaccines across the state. 
The freezers will support state and local public health agencies, hospitals, and pharmacies with the critical logistics of sub-zero storage and subsequent distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in North Carolina.  Vaccines stored at UNC institutions will be distributed according to the State’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan at the direction of state and local public health officials. UNC campuses that serve rural areas and underserved populations will receive additional mobile freezer units, including the state’s six historically minority-serving institutions.
Stirling Ultracold, the manufacturer of the freezers, agreed to offer a phased delivery of multiple shipments at no additional cost to expedite vaccine-related logistics across the UNC System.  VWR Scientific, who is the exclusive sales representative for the larger freezers, has also worked with the Collaboratory to identify and deploy loaner units at no charge to assist campuses and their local health partners. The first two were delivered to UNC Pembroke last week.
The NC Policy Collaboratory was established by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2016 to utilize and disseminate research expertise across the University of North Carolina System for practical use by state and local government. In May 2020, state lawmakers appropriated $29 million to the Collaboratory to develop and oversee a pan-campus COVID-19 research portfolio that has resulted in more than 85 individual projects across 14 UNC System campuses.
House Leaders File $200 Million Funding Bill For New ECU Medical School Construction PDF Print E-mail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 27 January 2021 11:26
House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) filed legislation (HB 6) to provide $215 million for the construction of a new Brody School of Medicine facility at East Carolina University. He was joined by primary bill sponsors Speaker of the House Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), Representative Chris Humphrey (R-Pitt) and Representative Ed Goodwin (R-Chowan). 
“I am proud to lead the effort to fund the construction of a new Brody School of Medicine and reaffirm our commitment to improving healthcare access in eastern North Carolina by filing this important bill on the first day of legislative work,” said Majority Leader Bell. “The Brody School of Medicine has a long history of training and preparing physicians who stay right here in rural eastern North Carolina. Our region desperately needs more providers and the construction of this facility will be a huge benefit and asset to our area and the entire state.” 
Last legislative session, Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the budget, which included funding for the new facility. Despite bipartisan support, legislative Democrats refused to override the Governor’s veto and blocked these critical resources from becoming law.
“The state House is committed once again to accomplishing this healthcare priority for eastern North Carolina, where residents depend on graduates from the Brody School of Medicine for access to care,” Speaker Tim Moore. “Building this facility as soon as possible is a vital initiative that the General Assembly has budgeted carefully to afford, and I urge all of my colleagues in state government to ensure funding for this priority is delivered in 2021.” 
“I am proud to sponsor this legislation to build a new Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, an institution that has continued to serve our region and state with quality higher education opportunities,” said Representative Humphrey. “The new medical facility is critical to attracting quality healthcare practitioners equipped to serve Lenoir and Pitt counties along with the surrounding rural communities. I am committed to getting this important legislation approved and signed into law for the betterment of rural eastern North Carolina.” 
The economic impact for the construction of the building is $395 million and would provide 1,700 jobs. By 2028, the new Brody School of Medicine facility is projected to have an annual impact of nearly $300 million.
“I want to personally thank former Representatives Brian Brown, Dr. Perrin Jones and Congressman Dr. Greg Murphy for their efforts over the years to lead this effort and I am excited to pick up where they left off,” said Majority Leader Bell. 

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