NCSBA MONTHLY INTERIM LEGISLATIVE REPORT
Legislative Webinar Series
Join us for the Let’s Break to Educate legislative webinar series. Starting April 16, these weekly Monday webinars will offer an opportunity to receive updates on the priority issues NCSBA will be focusing on for the 2018 legislative session. The cost to participate is free and there will be no CEU credits. Participants will get a chance to hear about NCSBA’s priority issues for 2018 and ask questions of staff. On April 16 we will focus on our efforts on the NC school bond and that will be followed by webinars on school calendar, principal pay and bonuses, school safety and a preview of the 2018 session. All webinars will start at Noon and last no more than 45 minutes. Registration is now open for the April 16 webinar. Click here for that registration link.
The other webinars will be at Noon on April 23, 30, May 7, May 14. Check www.ncsbac.org for ongoing updates on the webinar schedule.
JOINT LEGISLATIVE EDUCATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
The General Assembly’s Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee held its fifth meeting of the interim on March 6.
Innovative School District
Dr. Eric Hall, Superintendent of the Innovative School District, reported on the status of the ISD. He informed the committee that he was working with an outside evaluation firm to study the credentials of two education management groups that had applied to operate the selected ISD school (Robeson County’s Southside Ashpole Elementary).
*Note that a week after this meeting, a selection of an outside operator was made. The group that was chosen to run the school is Achievement for all Children, which is affiliated with a prominent school choice funder. The State Board of Education will be taking action on this at its monthly meeting this week.
To see the presentation materials click here.
Data Systems and Cybersecurity
Three presentations were given about various initaitives that have been implemented to enhance IT data systems and improve cybersecurity at K-12 schools. The presentation materials are below.
Cooperative Innovative High Schools
A presentation was given on the status of Career and College Promise/Cooperative Innovative High Schools around the state. Click here to see that presentation.
Next Meeting – Tuesday, April 3 at 10:00 AM in Room 643 LOB
JOINT LEGISLATIVE TASK FORCE ON EDUCATION FINANCE REFORM
This Task Force met for the fifth time on March 15. The meeting served as a follow up to last month’s meeting at which the committee discussed charter funding. A group of individual charter schools were invited to present on the funding challenges they are facing and reviewed what they think needs to be changed/improved about the current system of school funding. You can see the presentation materials here.
Next meeting – Wednesday, April 25 at 10:00 AM
HOUSE SCHOOL SAFETY COMMITTEE
This special committee formed to look at school safety issues held its first meeting on March 21. The committee heard several presentations on what is currently being done on school safety and then had a open-ended discussion. The presenters were as follows:
Sheriff Robert Holland, Task Force for Safer Schools Chairman and Kym Martin, Center for Safer Schools.
John Dorman, NC Emergency Management and Task Force for Safer Schools Member.
State Bureau of Investigation Senior Analyst Jody Marks and Acting Special Agent in Charge Elliott Smith.
Greta Metcalf, Meridian Behavioral Health Services and Chair of the Mental Health Committee of the Task Force for Safer Schools.
Dr. Jim Deni, N.C. School Psychology Association.
Caroline Daily, 8th Grade English Teacher, Vice-Chair of Task Force for Safer Schools.
Sarah Wallace Strickland and Riley Barnes, students and members of the Task Force for Safer Schools, on student perspectives on School Safety.
JOINT LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM EVALUATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
The Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee met on March 26. At this meeting the committee signed off on recommendations from staff on how to modify the dispute resolution and litigation process between school boards and county commissioners concerning local funding levels. The recommendation is to keep the mediation process whereby a school board can ask for an independent arbiter to look at the dispute and try to negotiate an agreed upon funding level. If the mediator cannot come to any settlement, the staff recommendation is to establish a default funding formula that would determine what the local funding level should be. This would replace the option for the school board to take legal action. While draft legislation on this would still need to pass both chambers in 2018, a recommendation to move to this model would be eligible for consideration this session.
The committee also looked at a report on ways to increase education lottery revenues.
Read the study of the local school dispute mediation process here.
Read the study of increasing lottery revenue here.
STUDY COMITTEE ON DIVISION OF LEAS
This committee met on March 13 and March 28.
At the March 13 meeting the committee heard from legislative attorneys about some of the implementation, governance and constitutional questions surrounding smaller school districts. Bond and debt issues were also examined. Click here for the audio and presentation materials.
At the March 28 meeting the committee reviewed research findings on the relationship between school district size, student outcomes and finances. The study was conducted by the UNC college of public policy. Click here for presentation materials and audio from the meeting.
Next Meeting – Wednesday, April 4 at 9 AM.
CHILD FATALITY TASK FORCE
The Child Fatality Task Force met on March 7. Among the items discussed were recommendations from the group’s Intentional Death Prevention Committee. The subcommittee recommended:
– Continued support for required suicide prevention training and risk referral protocol in schools.
– Continued support for increasing the number of school nurses via increased funding to school nurse funding initiative.
– Continued support to fund a three-year lead suicide prevention coordinator position.
– Endorsement of funding for a School Social Worker consultant position at DPI.
Joint Legislative Emergency Management Oversight Committee
The Joint Legislative Emergency Management Oversight Committee met on March 15, 2018. The committee heard from an organization that aims to enhance cyber security of for schools and other groups that use connected devices. Find the materials here.