Editorial takes GOP lawmakers to task for refusing a simple, common sense legislative solution on reopening schools

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If you missed it, be sure to check out this morning’s lead Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial on WRAL.com. As is pointed out in “Safe classrooms should be more important than embarrassing the governor,” it is simply absurd that legislative leaders are still messing around with a veto override attempt when all they have to do to make their school reopening bill workable and amenable to almost all critics is to make a couple of simple tweaks urged by public health experts.

In the days the legislation was debated and moving through the General Assembly process Cooper repeatedly made clear what it would take to send him a bill he could sign. His modifications would not have weakened the legislation a bit – but were important to assure public health was protected.

Cooper rightly insisted the legislation assure schools adhere to state and federal COVID-19 pandemic guidelines for social distancing. Also, state and local health and education authorities needed to have the ability to move students to remote learning in an emergency – such as the spread of a new coronavirus variant in schools.

But the legislative leadership would have none of it. As the legislation moved and Cooper continued to make clear what was needed to make the back-to-classrooms plan workable, legislative leaders responded with dismissiveness.

Rather than reaching out, legislative leaders attacked Cooper and sought to make it a partisan matter. Insults were repeatedly hurled toward the state’s teachers’ organization that echoed rhetoric from former President Donald Trump.

As the editorial also notes, there is a simple solution to the current situation — if GOP lawmakers really cared about governing responsibly:

There is an easy solution. Give the legislation a rebirth – new and not a scheme to get another veto override vote.

Introduce a nearly identical bill that also addresses Cooper’s concerns. It shouldn’t be much of a challenge to get near universal sponsorship since most legislators who expressed reservations about the initial plan had the same cautions as the governor. It should easily pass and be signed into law in mere days. Go ahead, call Cooper on his stand.

But that would require a commitment to seeking the best for North Carolina, working toward solutions that would help children, teachers and parents. It would require subjugation of partisanship and ideology.

But the reality is, unfortunately, that isn’t the goal of the people who lead the General Assembly today. Their singular focus is on reflexive partisan attacks and belittling the current governor – no matter the cost to the state.

In short, as is their perpetual wont, Republican legislative leaders have put vindictive politics ahead of the common good.

Click here to read the entire editorial.

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