Gov. Cooper signs bill forgiving days Ocracoke School students missed due to Hurricane Dorian

The gym at Ocracoke School shortly after Hurricane Dorian.

Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday signed into law a bill forgiving  up to 20 days of missed school for Ocracoke School students whose school was forced to close in September due to flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

The law also provides for teachers and other personnel at the school to be paid for days of work missed due to the school closing.

The school and Ocracoke Island were heavily damaged by flooding after Dorian skirted the North Carolina coast in early September.

Ocracoke School was flooded with more than three feet of water. Hyde County School Superintendent Stephen Basnight said the gym floor looked like a pond.

Cooper said his signature on Senate Bill 312 is an important step to getting Ocracoke School back on track.

“The people of Ocracoke are working hard to recover, and we’re committed to getting them and other storm survivors the help they need,” Cooper said.

Students returned to classes in early October. Classes are held in temporary locations while the school undergoes repairs.

Despite the damage to Ocracoke Island, federal emergency officials declined to provide additional help to residents, many of who lost everything in the storm.

Rep. Bobby Haning, a Republican from Dare County whose district includes Ocracoke, sponsored SB 312.

He told area media that passage of the bill would help to relieve some of the financial pressure on teachers and ensure students complete the school year close to the originally scheduled time.

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