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State Board of Education Update: May 1, 2020

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

The NC State Board of Education met to address additional issues and take steps to the state’s ongoing efforts to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The meeting and subsequent actions addressed the needs of school employees in the area of the emergency sick leave policy and addressing the cancellation of Governor’s School.

The board approved the extension of the emergency sick leave policy, which was originally approved for March 27 and has now been extended to May 31. The emergency sick leave policy will continue to pay and provide benefits to eligible staff who cannot work remotely, who have childcare or eldercare needs and/or who are in the high-risk category for the COVID-19 virus and others.

Since schools were closed in mid-March and the Governor’s Executive Order to stay at home, the board and the Department of Public Instruction has encouraged schools to provide remote work options for their employees to curb the spread of COVID-19 while continuing salaries and benefits.  The emergency sick leave policy provides a measure to help those employees who do not have the capability to work remotely for various reasons.

The approved extension has increased the number of sick leave hours available from 168 to 328.

In additional action, the board approved the cancellation of this year’s North Carolina Governor’s School, which is a five-and-a-half-week program. The board had delayed this decision with the thinking that the program could continue in late June, but that is not the case.

This is the first time in its 58-year history that Governor’s School will not be held, which impacts nearly 700 gifted and talented high school students across the state. The Governor’s School program is the oldest statewide summer residential program that is open to rising seniors and selects rising juniors from performing/visual art areas.

The two representative school campuses are Governor’s School West (High Point University0 and Governor’s School East (Meredith College).

Upcoming State Board of Education Meetings:  Wednesday and Thursday, May 6 and May 7.

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