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NCSBA Legislative Update – November 5, 2018

Tomorrow is the Day!

Wednesday morning, we will wake up and hopefully know the results of the 2018 election.  Below is what to watch for.

Constitutional Amendments

There are six constitutional amendments on the ballot.  Based upon polling data that we have been privy to, it appears the amendments on judicial selection and the ethics and election board are likely to be defeated.  Of the remaining four, the only one that has had majority support in the exit polling of likely voters is the one on victims’ rights.  The other three do not have majority support in the early voting exit polling but do have majority support in the overall polling.

NC Supreme Court

Jackson(I)/Earls/Anglin race pits incumbent Justice Barbara Jackson-R against Anita Earls-D and Chris Anglin-R.   As you might recall from this summer, there was a lot of effort to keep Anglin off the ballot.  Polls have consistently shown Earls ahead in this three-way race.

US House

The current makeup of the NC delegation is 10 Republicans and 3 Democrats.  Only three of the congressional seats have been rated as competitive this election cycle.

House District 9 (Pittenger seat) has Mark Harris-R vs. Dan McCready-D.  The most recently released poll has Harris at 45% and McCready at 44%.  This is definitely one to watch on election night.  To see more on this race and the trending data click here.

House District 13 had Ted Budd(I)- R vs Kathy Manning-D.  The latest poll for this race has Budd at 44% and Manning at 41%.  To see more on this race and the trending data click here.

House District 2 has George Holding (I)-R vs. Linda Coleman-D.  While polling data as recently as September showed this race to be neck and neck, the most recent poll has Holding ahead with 49% to 40%.  To see more on this race and the trending data click here.

NC Senate

The NC Senate is currently made up of 35 Republicans and 15 Democrats.  The Democrats need to win 6 additional seats to break the super-majority and 11 to take control of the Senate.  The Republicans need to maintain 30 seats to keep the super majority and 25 seats to hold a majority since the tie-breaking vote falls to the Lt. Governor, who is a Republican. Below are several resources on the most competitive seats in the NC Senate.

Click here for a document produced by the Free Enterprise Foundation.  They rank the competitiveness of seats based only upon prior performance of the district (i.e. presidential, congressional, etc. results) and NOT on the quality of the candidates.  The McKissick seat in top left is the strongest Democrat seat and the Open 29 (Dunn) seat is the most Republican seat.  Thus, working from the middle column out are your more competitive races based on prior performance of the district.

Click here for a document produced by Real Facts NC of Senate races to watch based on past performance of the district, the quality of the candidates and fundraising.  This analysis was done prior to the most recent campaign finance reports.

NC House

The NC House is currently made up of 75 Republicans and 45 Democrats.  The Democrats need to win 4 additional seats to break the super-majority and 16 to take control of the House.  Thus, Republicans can afford to lose 3 seats to maintain the super-majority and 14 seats to hold on to the majority. Below are several resources on the most competitive seats in the NC House.

Click here for a document produced by the Free Enterprise Foundation.  They rank the competitiveness of seats based only upon prior performance of the district (i.e. presidential, congressional, etc. results) and NOT on the quality of the candidates.  Representative Black’s seat in top left of the chart is the strongest Democrat seat and Representative McNeill’s seat is the most Republican seat.  Thus, working from the middle column out are your more competitive races based on prior performance of the district.

Click here for a document produced by Real Facts NC of House races to watch based on past performance of the district, the quality of the candidates and fundraising.  This analysis was done prior to the most recent campaign finance reports.

Third Extra Session – October 15

SB3, 2018 Hurricane Florence Disaster Recovery Act, was approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor.  Key education components include:

  • Funding: $60 million was appropriated to DPI to repair and renovate facilities damaged by Hurricane Florence for local school administrative units (LEAs), lab schools, and the Innovative School District. The funds do not require SBE approval. (Read State Board of Education/Hurricane Aid below for details of how the State Superintendent distributed the $60 million.)
  • Average Daily Membership (ADM): Directs the State Board of Education (SBE) to consider the highest student population during the first four months of school, rather than the current first two months for schools in disaster counties.

House Select Committee on School Safety
The Committee continued its public hearings across the state with stops in Belmont (Oct. 12), Wilmington (Oct. 19), Winston-Salem (Oct. 26), and Sanford (Nov. 2). At each meeting, the committee heard how the local school district is working to ensure the physical safety and mental health of their students and staff. Click here to review committee agendas and handouts for these hearings.

State Board of Education (SBE) – November 1

Innovative School District (ISD) – By a vote of 7-5, the Board voted to delay the selection of Carver Heights Elementary in Wayne County as the newest addition to the ISD. A majority of Board members wanted an additional month to receive more information about how this school was chosen from the six candidates.  Board members also mentioned the county’s opposition to the ISD and the county’s past ability to improve low-performing schools.

FY 2019-2021 Proposed Budget – The Board approved its 2019-21 expansion budget request. Each state agency was permitted to request a 2% increase over their 2018-19 base budget. The Board’s 2% request of $190.8 million does not include a principal and teacher pay increase, because the Board believes these increases should be in addition to the expansion request.

Some big-ticket items in the proposed budget are as follows:

  • $71.5 million (Recurring = R) for school support positions (nurses, psychologists, counselors, social workers, and school resource officers)
  • $30 million (R) to continue the department’s Business System Modernization effort
  • $20 million (R) for school nutrition – Includes $5 million to pay the student share of a reduced price lunch and $15 million to purchase locally-grown agricultural products
  • $18 million (R) for instructional materials and classroom supplies for personalized learning
  • $10 million (R) for school textbooks and digital learning resources

The Board also discussed its legislative agenda for the 2019-20 biennium that includes the following (no action was taken at this meeting):

  • Make permanent the 15 point A-F grading scale and create a focus group to review weighting of growth and other items
  • Revise the definition of “low-performing school” to not include schools meeting growth
  • Support principal pay, teacher pay and bonus adjustments
  • Continue principal pay hold-harmless extension
  • Restore state sales tax refund for schools
  • Support statewide school bond or needs-based capital fund
  • Allow school districts to apply to State Board for calendar and funding flexibility

School Psychologists – The Board approved the allowance of a Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential to fulfill the requirements of a continuing professional license as long as the national certification remains aligned with state licensing requirements.

Hurricane Aid – Superintendent Johnson reported that the $60 million (in SB3) for facilities damaged by Hurricane Florence were allotted to 12 school districts. Priority was given to those districts needing funds to reopen schools. Click here for allocations.

Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound, Basic Education – Oct. 16
The commission met in Fayetteville. Topics of discussion included:

  • The constitutionality of waiving numerous school days
  • Principal prep programs
  • School culture
  • School funding
  • Flaws in the current principal pay plan, such as the disincentive for high performing principals to move to low-performing schools

NCSBA Legislative Agenda

The 2019-2020 NCSBA Legislative Agenda will be presented to the Delegate Assembly for approval on November 12 at the Annual Conference. For a preview of the Legislative Agenda, please click here. This is a link to a webinar recorded by Leanne Winner on October 23.

 

Leanne E. Winner
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6686 direct dial

Bruce Mildwurf
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 606-3916 mobile

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6677 direct dial

Richard BosticNCSBA Legislative Update – November 5, 2018