Bringing The World Home To You

© 2021 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News
WUNC's education coverage is led by reporters Dave Dewitt and Reema Khrais. Dewitt has been with the station since 2003. Khrais is focused on Education Policy Reporting. Browse recent stories here.

Mike Pence To Visit Raleigh In Push For Schools To Reopen

Mike Pence coronavirus Florida
Wilfredo Lee
/
AP

Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Raleigh on Wednesday morning in a push to encourage more K-12 schools to reopen with entirely in-person instruction.

According to an announcement from his office, Pence will join a roundtable discussion highlighting how a private school has worked to safely resume classes. Thales Academy allowed 300 students to return to campus on July 20.

The school, founded by a prominent GOP donor, resumed in-person classes last week and then needed an overnight deep cleaning because a staff member tested positive.

Private schools are not subject to the same rules for face coverings and social distancing as public schools in North Carolina. But state Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen told reporters Tuesday she hopes they will still proceed with caution.

“Now I know many of the private schools are implementing these plans,” Cohen said. “Some are using a combination of remote instruction and these altered safety plans in place. And we encourage them to continue to look at our guidance and to take and heed the warnings and our concern that we have about viral spread in our state."

The move comes as President Donald Trump and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy Devos have threatened to withhold federal funding from K-12 schools that don't allow all of their students to return to physical classrooms.

Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced earlier this month that public schools may offer a mix of both online and in-person instruction, though districts can choose to offer fully remote learning.

“We don’t respond to those kind of threats,” Cooper said in a July 14 news conference of the Trump administration's consideration of withholding federal funds.

After his visit to Thales Academy, Pence will remain in the Raleigh area to tour NCBiotech, which is conducting Phase 3 clinical trails for a coronavirus vaccine. Pence's appearance will come two days after Trump visited Morrisville to tout the country's progress in developing a COVID-19 vaccine under his Operation Warp Speed initiative.

The vice president's office said on Tuesday that Pence will "discuss President Trump’s goal of making a coronavirus vaccine available to the American people as soon and as safely as possible.”

Related Stories
More Stories