Schools and state health officials should go beyond CDC guidelines to ensure continued access to in-person learning
As students returned to school across North Carolina this week, school leaders are facing a daunting challenge: how to academically support students knocked off track by the pandemic while still navigating an ongoing COVID pandemic that puts student and staff health in jeopardy. This critical challenge is heightened by lack of strong guidance from the […]
Biden administration will appeal ruling on travel mask mandate — if CDC says it’s needed
The Biden administration will appeal a federal judge’s order striking down a mask mandate for air travel and public transit, subject to a decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Justice Department said in a Tuesday night statement. The CDC has yet to conclude that the mandate — which applied in […]
Federal judge in Florida throws out national mask mandate for travelers
A federal judge in Florida voided the nationwide mask mandate for airline and public transportation passengers Monday, saying the requirement was beyond the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s authority. A Biden administration official said that agencies are reviewing the decision and potential next steps. “In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation […]
GOP’s “stealth slate” of candidates seeks to shift school board balance of power in one of NC’s most Democratic counties
On paper, electing a slate of registered Republicans to the Durham County school board appears to be a near mathematical impossibility. In this county, Democrats outnumber Republicans more than 5 to 1. In partisan races, such as the Board of Commissioners, GOP candidates are rarely successful.
Republicans in Congress file suit to end mask mandate for air travel
NC’s Dan Bishop among the complainants Seventeen Republican members of Congress have sued the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seeking an end to the federal rule requiring passengers on commercial flights and in airports to wear masks. The mandate illegally restricts the lawmakers’ freedom and is not backed by legal authority, they said […]
New CDC guidance relaxes indoor public masking in a majority of U.S. counties
WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday unveiled updated guidance for wearing masks indoors in public places, a move that means 70% of Americans likely will be able to ditch their masks. The new guidance will divvy counties into low, medium or high transmission categories based on new hospitalizations for COVID-19, […]
A veto override could be coming in battle over school mask mandate
House Speaker Tim Moore tweeted Friday that the battle to end masking requirements in public schools is not over. Moore, a Republican from Cleveland County, pledged to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of legislation to allow parents to decide whether children wear masks at school. Here’s Moore’s tweet: “This isn’t over. Looking forward to overriding […]
Masking the truth: If only Republican lawmakers really cared about our children as much as they claim to
To listen to North Carolina Republican lawmakers last week as they advanced a bill to end school mask requirements, it was hard not to be struck and even impressed by the passion that some of them displayed in expressing their love and concern for the state’s children. Multiple lawmakers talked of the terrible impact that the pandemic has had on children and the desperate need...
New redistricting plans advance, mask mandates fall, and book banning back in the news: The week’s top stories on Policy Watch
1. In our schools: ‘Yes’ to books, science, diversity…and discomfort (Commentary) Public school book banning is back in the news. Yes, I know; it’s an amazing development in an era in which every imaginable form of explicit violence, sex, and hate speech resides just seconds away at our children’s fingertips. Research indicates that 95% of […]
Citing positive infection and vaccination numbers, Cooper calls for end to school mask mandates
Governor, however, expresses skepticism about GOP bill that would remove authority from local school boards Citing improving COVID-19 trends and the availability of effective vaccines, Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday urged school boards to end indoor masking mandates beginning March 7. The governor made his remarks during an afternoon news conference, where he was flanked by state health officials.
Only spreading Aloha: A journalist reflects on air travel and tourism in the pandemic era
Last month my wife and I did something that seemed unthinkable for the last two years. We traveled nearly 5,000 miles to spend a week in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. It was a trip we’d talked about since before the COVID-19 pandemic. We dreamed, we planned, we saved. But we postponed it repeatedly, then indefinitely, as the light at the end of the tunnel provided by vaccines and boosters dimmed...
Year in review: Critical Race Theory, mask mandates and Leandro funding made for a tumultuous 2021 in education
Critical Race Theory and face mask mandates dominated the state’s education headlines in 2021, even as students and teachers struggled to recover from a year of remote learning that saw standardized test scores fall to new lows. Racial and economic inequities in education, exposed by the pandemic, were quickly shoved to the background by a loud minority of irate parents who complained...