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Update: Bladen County Board of Education Approved Contract for Driver’s Education Services

Bladen County Board of Education approved a contract for Driver’s Education Services with a private contractor at the last board meeting. North Carolina driver’s education is required for teens under age 18. They must complete 30 classroom hours of instruction as well as six hours of behind-the-wheel training. 

Bladen County, North Carolina, students who are at least 14 and a half can enroll in drivers ed to become eligible for a Level One Limited Learner Permit.

Some benefits of drivers ed courses include:

  • Teaching teens road signs and traffic laws.
  • Teaching them defensive driving habits so they are alert and ready for anything they encounter on the road.
  • Possibly reducing insurance premiums (in some states ).
  • Giving teens more confidence in their skills, since they’re practicing the skills with a licensed professional.
  • Teaching teens what to do if they are stopped by a police officer.

Since the first publication of this article Valerie F. Newton, Public Relations & Information Officer with Bladen County Schools released the following statement. 

The Bladen County Board of Education approved on June 29, 2020, a contract for a company to provide driver’s education instruction to Bladen County students. However, this does not mean that driver’s education classes are now open. The approval of the contract was an administrative procedure that is done yearly by the Board.
On June 19, Governor Cooper signed into law House Bill 158 that addresses driver’s education.

Of the two parts of the bill, Section 2 specifically addresses classroom instruction for driver’s education and states:

Notwithstanding G.S. 115C-215(b)(1), (2), (4), and (5) and G.S. 115C-216, and the requirements of State Board of Education Policy DRIV-0004, for students enrolled in classroom driver education between January 2020 and March 16, 2020, in a public school or a licensed commercial driver training school, students shall be deemed to have completed all classroom instruction requirements for driver education if the student completed at least 15 hours of classroom instruction prior to March 16, 2020. All students enrolled in driver education in the spring semester of 2020 shall be required to complete a minimum of six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction before being issued a North Carolina Driver Education Completion Certificate.

Any student enrolled prior to March 16, 2020, is deemed to have completed the classroom portion only of the driver’s education class in which they were enrolled in March at West Bladen. That’s good news!

However, students are still required to complete the six hours of behind-the-wheel (BTW) instruction. We are awaiting additional guidance from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) on how/when we can proceed with BTW. At this time, we do not know what BTW will look like or when it could begin.

In closing Newtown stated, “The Department of Public Instruction provides oversight of the public school driver education program. We are provided guidance from DPI as per the Governor’s Executive Orders.”

Find out more about Driver’s Education by visiting the Bladen County Schools website: https://www.bladen.k12.nc.us/domain/3066

Also, Local school officials are asking parents to take a survey. Follow the link below to take the “Reopening Survey” now.

https://bladenonline.com/bladen-county-schools-distributes-survey-for-parents/

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