Special to Iredell Free News

RALEIGH — The N.C. General Assembly gave unanimous approval on Thursday to legislation to create a new summer school option for students who have fallen behind during the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Bill 82, Summer Learning Choice for NC Families, will create a six-week in-person and fully-funded summer school program available to every family if they so choose.

“Parents are ready to see their children going back to school and to recover from the learning loss that has occurred during the pandemic,” said Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), who is also the lead sponsor of the bill. “After bipartisan work from the House and Senate and input from educators around the state, this legislation will give North Carolina families an option for their children to grow and learn during this summer.”

Rep. John Torbett (R-Gaston), who chairs the House K-12 Education Committee, said, “I am proud to have been a primary sponsor of HB 82. This legislation is crucial for us to combat the learning deficit that has occurred due to the pandemic. As always, I will continue to work on legislation that will help our children during this time so that they can reach their American Dream.”

The summer school program would offer core academic courses, as well as enrichment classes in the arts and physical activities.