An education group has decided to move its October conference out of Charlotte in opposition to North Carolina’s House Bill 2.
The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) said that it is “driven by the values of learning, respect, equal access, education equality and excellence.” Since HB2’s repeal “is unlikely to happen,” CEO Susan Patrick said, the group has decided to “take a stand at considerable costs to our organization.”
“North Carolina’s passage of HB2 and its discriminatory nature have substantially changed the circumstances under which we signed the contract in 2014,” Patrick said in a message to members Thursday evening.
The group had originally scheduled its annual symposium for Oct. 15-18 at the Charlotte Convention Center. The event now will take place Oct. 23-25 at the Swan & Dolphin Resort in Orlando.
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The event is expected to draw about 3,100 iNACOL members, Patrick told the Observer.
Patrick said she realizes the later date might be inconvenient for some iNACOL members. “We ask you to join us in considering the principles driving our decision. We are on a journey focused on doing what is best for students and driving innovations toward equity,” Patrick said.
This week in Raleigh, Gov. Roy Cooper proposed a plan to repeal HB2, and to toughen penalties for bathroom crimes. GOP leaders, however, say they won’t support the compromise.
Since HB2 was passed, multiple business groups have relocated annual gatherings in Charlotte, while the NCAA, ACC, CIAA and NBA have all pulled major events from North Carolina. Corporations such as Paypal have also canceled expansions in the state.