NCSBA Legislative Update
MAY 26, 2017
HOUSE BUDGET STARTS MOVING
Spending subcommittees in the House met yesterday to set non-salary funding and policy provisions for their respective portions of the budget. Once lawmakers return from Memorial Day weekend, the House Appropriations Committee will take up salaries/benefits packages and make further amendments to the budget. House leaders plan to have their budget wrapped up by the end of next week.
The House education budget already appears to be very different from the Senate’s. Aside from salaries/benefits, which will be taken up next week, the notable components of the K-12 public education budget approved by the education appropriations subcommittee are below, along with a comparison of whether the provision is included in the Senate’s budget.
|House Budget Provision||Included in Senate Budget???|
|NO FUNDING for specialty teachers in 18-19. HB 13 contained intent language.||Same- NO FUNDING for specialty teachers in 18-19. HB 13 contained intent language.|
|Creates a school calendar flexibility pilot for 20 LEAs to start as early as August 10. Same language as HB 389.||No|
|15-point scale for the A-F grades is made permanent.||No|
|Changes the definition of low-performing school so a school that meets growth is not given that designation. Same language as HB 826.||No|
|Creates 2 separate A-F grades: one grade for school achievement and one grade for school growth. Similar language to HB 458.||No|
|Exempts dual immersion classes from the lowered K-3 class sizes.||No|
|Aligns the accountability system with the Every Student Succeeds Act.||Yes|
|Requires LEA employees to have 2 hours of training on Youth Suicide Awareness. Same language as HB 285.||No|
|Cuts the Central Office Allotment
5.3% ($5 million) in 17-18 and 10.5% ($10 million) in 18-19
|Yes but higher cuts
10.5% ($10 million) in 17-18 and 15% ($15 million) in 18-19
|Fully funds ADM in both years.||Yes (with a reserve for 18-19)|
|Directs each LEA to report to the General Assembly on whether or not it needs to build additional classrooms to meet the new K-3 class size mandates.||No|
|Establishes 1 test to be administered to Opportunity Scholarship voucher students for comparability purposes.||No|
|Builds automatic $10 million per year increases in Opportunity Scholarship school vouchers into the base budget.||Yes|
|Renames the Achievement School District the Innovative School District.||No|
|Provides that if an LEA creates an Innovation Zone and one of the schools in that zone does not exceed growth in the last 2 of the 5 year period, it can then be taken over by a charter management group.||No|
|Establishes a task force to study revisions to school funding formulas, including possibly using the weighted student formula. Same language as HB 6.||No|
|Creates a new graduation requirement – at least 1 credit in Arts Education at any point between grades 6-12. Same language as HB 97.||No|
|Provides for up to 4 private alternative lateral-entry teacher preparation programs. Same language as HB 634.||No|
|Creates 10 new positions in the State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Office.||Yes but creates 5|
Also notable are these Senate budget items that the House budget DOES NOT include: Education Savings Accounts, elimination of school board funding lawsuit authority, and a $13 million DPI flexibility reduction.
Click here for a comparison of the line-item portions of the budgets so far.
EDUCATOR PREPARATION LEGISLATION
A legislative committee this week signed off on a measure to expand the ways individuals can attain a teacher license in North Carolina. The Senate Education Committee spent multiple meetings over the past two weeks discussing Senate Bill 599- Excellent Educators for Every Classroom, before passing it unanimously Wednesday.
While the 21-page bill has numerous components, at its core it allows for the establishment of different kinds of programs that provide a person a pathway to get a teacher’s license without having to earn a teaching degree from college/university. These kinds of programs are generally referred to around the country as non-traditional or alternative teacher preparation programs.
Alternative Teacher Prep Programs
Bill sponsor Sen. Chad Barefoot, R-Wake, explained to the committee that “Under the old system, you had to be an IHE, an institution of higher education, to prepare teachers. What the bill does is it says you no longer have to be that, but you have to meet this set of criteria.” Senator Barefoot cited an increasing number of alternative teacher preparation programs popping up around the country as well as the growing need for licensed teachers in North Carolina classrooms.
Alternative teacher prep programs would have to meet a baseline set of requirements in order to be eligible to operate. A Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission, made up of teachers and administrators, would be created to recommend all teacher preparation programs (college/university and alternative) to the State Board for approval.
SB 599 would also replace the current system of lateral-entry licensure with a system called “residency licensure.” While lateral-entry allows a person with a bachelor’s degree to teach in a classroom but requires they wait three years before being eligible for full licensure, a residency allows that same person to teach for just one year prior to becoming eligible for initial license. The resident would have to be enrolled in a teacher preparation program.
“I think the residency licensure track is going to be a faster, more efficient and more focused preparation for teaching than the current lateral entry system,” Sen. Barefoot said of this provision. “I think, ultimately, students are going to benefit more from it and the people who are engaged in it will benefit more from it.”
EDUCATION SALES TAX FLEXIBILITY
HB 333- Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility, giving counties flexibility to convert existing public transit local sales tax authority to public education use passed the House Finance Committee overwhelmingly. It will likely come up for a vote the next time the House takes up legislation on the floor.
LOW INCOME STUDENTS/ACADEMICALLY GIFTED PLACEMENT
A three-part investigative series by the News and Observer and Charlotte Observer studied the last seven years of student placement into Academically and Intellectually Gifted programs across North Carolina. The series found that a larger proportion of more affluent students are selected for these classes than low-income students with similar test scores. If you are interested in reading this series you can find the links below.
FEDERAL EDUCATION BUDGET
The National School Boards Association has released an analysis of the Trump Administration’s 2018 budget for federal education funding. Click here for the NSBA summary and review.
Leanne E. Winner
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6686 direct dial
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 606-3916 mobile
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6677 direct dial