Business leaders across our state know that strong education is the key to securing our competitive economic future. But while our education assets are the envy of many other states, the NC Chamber believes we must accelerate measures to modernize education if we want to ensure we continue to train the best and brightest students right here in North Carolina.
Broadening access to digital learning opportunities for all North Carolina students is a vital component in that modernization effort, and members of the General Assembly have recognized this crucial need. House Bill 660 (Transition to Personalized Digital Learning) would increase digital learning opportunities for North Carolina’s students by supporting advanced broadband access to all schools and workplaces, expanding teacher access to high-quality digital learning resources and supporting local digital learning initiatives that make it easier for experts to share strategies with others around the state. The bill passed the House last month with near-unanimous support and currently sits in the Senate Rules and Operations Committee.
The inherent importance of education in shaping well-rounded individuals is reason enough to support initiatives that broaden learning opportunities for students statewide. But there is also a very real need for North Carolina’s business community to ensure we develop students with the skills needed to fill the jobs of the modern economy. Our premiere Workforce Conference, hosted last week, focused largely on the skills gap that exists between the needs of modern employers and the incompatible skillsets of individuals looking for work. Closing that gap will require businesses to work together with education systems to provide real workplace awareness and experience to both students and teachers, and House Bill 660 would go a long way toward providing the broadband infrastructure needed to align those efforts.
We applaud the House for recognizing the vital impact of digital education on growing opportunities for our students and our economy, and we will continue to keep you updated on the progress of House Bill 660 as the current session continues.