The Latest: N.C. senators OK bill to force schools to reopen

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Pedestrians wearing face masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus walk in central Athens, on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Authorities in Greece have extended a curfew in the country's two largest cities after a new rise in COVID-19 cases . (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

RALEIGH, North Carolina — North Carolina state senators have approved a bill that would require K-12 public schools to reopen with at least partial in-person instruction for the state’s 1.5 million pupils.

The bill passed 29-15 on Tuesday and moved to the House.

Gov. Roy Cooper opposes the measure. He favors local control for deciding on school reopening.

Supporters of the bill argue parents would still be allowed to have their child learn remotely and say schools would have a couple of weeks to ensure safety standards are implemented before reopening.

Teachers worry about the safety of reopening since North Carolina is not currently allowing school workers to get vaccinated. School staff are classified as “frontline essential workers” and will be next in line for the vaccine.

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