Update: SB-438 as amended would force districts to use local funds if they want to choose a different reading tool, other than IStation.
One of the wonderful things about moving to live in Wake County is being only about 15 minutes from the NC Legislature. As a politics nerd, being so close to where the decisions happen is going to be quiet enjoyable.
The call went out today from the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action to go to the meeting of the NC House of Representatives and wear red. This was to make sure legislators knew that gun control advocates were watching as it was expected the Representative Larry “Give Teachers Guns” Pittman (R-Cabarrus, Rowan) would offer an amendment to a School Safety Bill to allow teachers to carry guns. This is despite the fact that surveys have shown approximately 88% of teachers do not want to carry a gun themself, of have their colleagues carry guns.
What I did not expect to witness was Rep. Graig Meyer (D-Caswell, Orange) offer an amendment to SB-438. This amendment allows for local school districts to choose a reading assessment tool of their choice, and still use the state funding that they would normally receive.
While saying that this does not have much to do with the widespread complaints of DPI’s choice of IStation for our youngest students, it seemed as though the amendment would allow for local districts to keep mClass if they wanted.
After some back and forth with Rep. Horn (R-Union), the amendment passed with all House Democrats voting in favor, along with some Republicans.
This is something to follow as the bill goes back to the Senate. It will be interesting if the Senate allows the amendment to stay in the bill or not.
The actual reason many of us were there was in regards to SB-5 on School Safety. Before the session started, many House Democrats waved to those of us sitting with the Moms Demand Action group as we were all in red. After, the Speaker recognized the group and the chamber applauded. Talk about surprised.
In between though, Rep. Pittman’s amendment was not discussed or voted on by the House. Checking twitter told us that it had been pulled from the calendar, meaning it was not going to be voted on at all.
Was it calls from constituents that kept the amendment from being offered? Was it those of us wearing red in the gallery? I do not know, but I cannot help but feel the actions of people throughout the day, and our presence that evening made a difference.
Time will tell as the bill itself is still on the calendar meaning there is still the opportunity for Pittman’s amendment to get added tomorrow when the House comes back into session at 1pm.