HB 539/Charter Fund Sharing Hearing
The House K-12 Education Committee this week discussed but took no action on HB 539, legislation to require LEAs to transfer additional moneys to charter schools. Lawmakers shared their thoughts on the bill and then took public comment. The public comment period involved remarks from 13 individuals, including Guilford County school board member Linda Welborn.
HB 539’s future is unclear at this point. The committee has three choices: do nothing, make a recommendation to not concur, or make a recommendation to concur. Please continue to stay in communication with your House member(s) in opposition to HB 539. Click here for member contact information.
Resources & Points to Remember
Below are materials and informational items to circulate in your communities.
*A one-page sheet with talking points on HB 539 can be found here.
*A short video on this issue can be found here. Make sure to continue sharing this video on social media and encourage others to do so.
*A longer Myth/Fact sheet on the issue can be found here.
*Legislators and others need to understand the pots of monies that school districts would have to transfer if HB 539 becomes law (reimbursements, gifts, federal grants, etc.). A review of the types of monies at risk can be found here.
*Charter schools can already seek out many of the monies at issue in HB 539 without having to take them from school districts. For example, school districts would have to transfer E-rate reimbursements under HB 539 but charters already have the ability to seek out E-Rate reimbursements if they so choose.
*There are policies and laws that limit how federal grants and reimbursements are used and which students may be served. Charters continue to claim that despite these policies and laws, they should be entitled to a share of federal grants and reimbursements that a school district receives.
*Charters continue to claim that charter students receive only 75 cents for every dollar provided to LEAs. This is a flawed calculation based on factors unrelated to per-pupil funding and reflects an apples-to-oranges comparison of district and charter funding.
As expected, the House did not concur with the Senate budget this week. Leaders of both chambers are negotiating a final budget deal. Now is the time to voice any concerns you have about particular provisions in either or both budgets. In particular, those of you who have year-round schools and are concerned about the definition established in the Senate’s budget need to be communicating your concerns. Click here to read more on the year-round provision and other major items in the Senate budget. Click here for a summary of the House-passed budget.
Click here to see the line-item adjustments made by each budget, as prepared by DPI.
High School Math Standards
A bill requiring school districts to offer two separate high school Math tracks passed a Senate Committee this week and has been placed on the Senate’s calendar for Monday, June 13. HB 657, which passed the Senate Education Committee, would mandate that all school districts offer BOTH the current Math I, II, III AND the old Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II high school course sequences. Students/parents would be able to choose which high school Math track they want. This has the potential to cause significant issues for small high schools and small school districts. If you believe this bill is going to cause staffing or other issues in your district please communicate with your Senator(s) over the weekend. Also please share with us any examples of staffing or other issues you are using to demonstrate how this bill could be detrimental. Click here to find Senator contact information.
Achievement School District
HB 1080- Achievement School District, has been referred to the Senate Rules Committee. Please continue to be in contact with Senator(s) in opposition to this bill.
Click here for the NCSBA issue brief on this.
Action Bills: Click here for a list of NCSBA-tracked bills that had action this week.
Upcoming Legislative Meetings and Events
Monday, June 13
The House and Senate will convene for session. The Senate will consider HB 657- Math Standard Course of Study Revisions and HB 242 to make various changes to charter school laws.
Tuesday, June 14
The Senate Finance Committee will meet and consider the following pertinent bills:
SB888- Buncombe School Capital Fund Commission
Wednesday, June 15
Thursday, June 16