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Governor Vetoes Bill Reshaping Governance Of Schools For Deaf & Blind

While the state budget package ultimately gained the Governor’s approval on Monday, lawmakers are now considering an override of the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 593: Schools for the Deaf and Blind. The bill would establish a new Board of Trustees for each of the schools for the deaf and blind, and give these trustees, rather than the State Board of Education, the authority to adopt rules and regulations for these schools and their students. Under this new governance structure, each board of trustees would have 5 members, with 4 members appointed by the NC General Assembly and 1 member appointed by the Governor.

In a statement, the Governor called the bill “blatantly unconstitutional” and said “it continues this legislature’s push to give more control of education to Boards of Trustees made up of partisan political appointees.” State Superintendent Catherine Truitt responded to the Governor’s veto in a letter sent to lawmakers on Wednesday, stating, “These schools deserve round-the-clock attention and on-the-ground support. Yet our agency is hours from these schools — often working with staff remotely — and they stand to benefit from nearby guidance and direction with additional community support in place.”

Truitt urged lawmakers to attempt to override the Governor’s veto when the General Assembly is scheduled to reconvene on July 26th, despite the fact that many legislators considered the passage of the 2022 state budget the unofficial “end” to the 2022 legislative session. Legislative leadership, however, has stated the General Assembly plans to reconvene once a month through December, which Republicans say would give them the opportunity to address unforeseen issues and respond to time-sensitive matters, such as redistricting or election-related legislation.

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