NCSBA MONTHLY INTERIM LEGISLATIVE REPORT
LEGISLATIVE WEBINAR SERIES
NCSBA’s weekly Noon legislative webinar series is ongoing. Our next FREE webinar will be Monday, May 7 and will review NCSBA’s efforts on school safety issues for the 2018 session. These webinars are free and no CEU is given. Registration is now open for the May 7 webinar. Click here for that registration link. The following week on Monday, May 14 there will be a webinar previewing the 2018 session. We will continue to offer weekly free Monday webinars throughout the legislative session to keep school districts up to date on the latest from Jones St.
You can find the previous legislative webinars and register for future ones at https://www.ncsba.org/governmental-relations/webinars
JOINT LEGISLATIVE EDUCATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
The General Assembly’s Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee held its sixth meeting of the interim on April 3. The Committee heard from UNC President Margaret Spellings about the My Future NC Commission. They also heard a report from the Joint Subcommittee on Medical Education and Medical Residency.
JT. LEGISLATIVE STUDY COMMITTEE ON THE DIVISION OF LOCAL SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS
This committee met on April 4 and April 11.
At the April 4 meeting the committee heard about innovative high school and STEM programs occurring in various school districts and charter schools. Click here for the presentation materials.
At the April 11 meeting the committee reviewed and approved its final report to the General Assembly. The report does not recommend breaking up any school districts. It specifies that current literature and existing studies do not document a relationship between LEA size and student performance. One of the other recommendations is to alert the House and Senate education appropriations committees of the 60 LEAs whose costs for exceptional children’s services exceed the cap on what an individual LEA can receive for EC funding. You can read the full report here.
HOUSE SCHOOL SAFETY COMMITTEE
Two subcommittees of the House School Safety Committee met this month.
Student Health Working Group Subcommittee
This subcommittee met on April 9. The subcommittee heard the following presentations:
– An update on the NC School Counselor Association
Materials: Click here
– An update on the NC School Psychology Association
Materials: Click here
– Current Needs and Licensure Reciprocity for School Psychologists
Materials: Click here
The subcommittee met again on April 23 and heard a few more presentations and approved a set of recommendations to the full School Safety Committee. The recommendations include creating threat assessment teams in schools and peer counseling programs in middle schools and high schools as well as exploring tools that allow for anonymous student reporting of suspicious behavior. There is also a recommendation dealing with credentialing school psychologists to ease recruitment. You can find all the findings and recommendations by clicking here. You can see the presentations from the April 23 meeting here.
You can read more about the April 23 meeting by clicking here.
Student Physical Safety and Security Working Group
This subcommittee met on April 17. They heard from the executive director of the NC Christian Schools Association, a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Safer Schools and a representative from the NC Center for Safer Schools. They also heard from two county sheriffs.
In addition, Governor Roy Cooper this month announced that his budget proposal will include $130 million for school facility upgrades, school resource officers, mental health programs, school emergency planning and school nurses and counselors. You can read more about that here.
JT. LEGISLATIVE TASK FORCE ON EDUCATION FINANCE REFORM
This Task Force met on April 25. A presentation was given that examined the “weighted-student” funding formula for education and how states are using variations of that model. You can read more coverage about the meeting here. You can see the presentation materials here.
JOINT LEGISLATIVE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
This Committee met on April 12 to approve its draft findings and recommendations to the General Assembly. Among the recommendations are for the legislature to consider ways that schools can increase the number of persons present at each school to perform security-related functions. Another recommendation is to have State officials evaluate and recommend what changes can be made to school construction requirements to make them safer from man-made threats.
JT LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM EVALUATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
Local Funding Dispute Resolution- The Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee met on April 9. At this meeting the committee signed off on a draft bill modifying the dispute resolution and litigation process between school boards and county commissioners concerning local education funding levels. The draft bill would continue allowing school boards to ask for an independent arbiter to look at the local funding dispute dispute and try to negotiate a funding level. If the mediator cannot come to any settlement, the draft bill would 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 on local funding. The draft bill would be eligible for consideration this session. Click here for the draft bill. Read the study of the local school dispute mediation process here.
Lottery- The committee also signed off on draft legislation with initiatives to increase lottery revenues. Click here for the draft bill.
School Nurses- The Committee reviewed a report on increasing student nurses in public schools. It found that it could cost as much as $79 million to get a nurse in every public school. You can read the report here and a news story about the report here.
Principal Prep- The Committee also reviewed a report on improving the Transforming Principal Prep program. That report is here.
JT. LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE ON GENERAL GOVT
This Committee met on April 10, 2018. Among the presentations given at this meeting was a follow up on the 234 seized vehicles that were unaccounted for in an audit last year. State investigators located nearly all the 234 vehicles. You can read more here.
GOVERNOR’S LEANDRO COMMISSION
This Governor’s Commission on Access to a Sound Basic Education met on April 10 in Greensboro. DPI’s CFO Adam Levison gave a detailed analysis of NC’s allotment system for distributing funding to public schools. The Commission also heard from a panel of school finance officers about what they feel are the strengths and weaknesses of the current allotment system. During the afternoon portion of this meeting, the Commission moved worked with a representative from the organization that has been selected to serve as an independent court advisor on the Leandro litigation. This organization is WestEd. You can read more coverage of this meeting here.