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NCSBA Legislative Update – May 3, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – May 3, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

This week has been full of activity. The House has been meeting late, voting on the budget, and taking up dozens of bills a day ahead of next week’s crossover deadline. The Senate had constant back-to-back committee meetings with long sessions. This is the time of year that controversial bills hit the fast track as we approach the crossover deadline. Three such bills on the move this week include SB 522, SB 639, and HB 798.

Senate Bill 522: Various Changes to Charter School Laws (Senator Tillman, R-Randolph) passed out of the Senate Education committee on Thursday after an amendment removed several sections. The amendment would authorize Boards of County Commissioners to provide capital funds to charter schools. Senator Tillman promised the Senate Education committee that while this bill says counties “may” provide capital to charters it will not be too long before the legislation will say “must” provide capital to charters. This is bad news! The current backlog for LEA school construction statewide is more than $8 billion. Where is the money for charter school construction going to come from? Who is going to own that building? Is the county going to invest money in a private building? Charter schools knew what they were signing up for – they made that choice. The bill’s next stop is scheduled to be the Senate Rules committee and then the Senate floor. Please contact your Senator and urge them to vote no.

Senate Bill 639: Education Funding Transparency (Senators Edwards, R-Henderson; Ballard, R-Watauga) was removed this week from the Senate Rules committee and referred to the Senate Education committee.

This legislation is not needed – it is already covered in state statute. G.S.115-429(c) states, “The board of county commissioners shall have full authority to call for, and the board of education shall have the duty to make available to the board of county commissioners, upon request, all books, records, audit reports, and other information…”

We urge finance officers, school board members, and superintendents to review this legislation and contact the three Senate Education Chairs if you have issues with this bill and request that this bill not be heard in committee. Senate Education Chairs:

  • Senator Ballard
    • Office phone: (919) 733-5742
    • Email: Deanna.Ballard@ncleg.net
  • Senator Horner
    • Office phone: (919) 715-3030
    • Email: Rick.Horner@ncleg.net
  • Senator Tillman
    • Office phone: (919) 733-5870
    • Email: Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net

This proposed legislation mandates countless hours of extra work by all LEAs. A more efficient approach is to educate boards of county commissioners that they can request this information if they want it.

Click here for a more detailed analysis of SB 639.

House Bill 798: Low-Performing Schools (Representatives Elmore, R-Wilkes; Bell, R-Wayne; Brockman, D-Guilford) passed the House and was sent to the Senate on Friday afternoon. This bill would change the selection process for schools in the Innovative School District (ISD), require additional reporting of the local school board to county commissioners, and change the definition of a qualifying school. HB 798 would create a 4-year process that schools would go through before being selecting to the ISD beginning with the 2023-2024 school year. However, this bill also requires the SBE to select the lowest scoring school in the State based on school performance from each school year from 2019-2020 to 2022-2023 to be in the ISD.

 

House Budget

The House budget includes pay increases for teachers, principals, assistant principals, and noncertified personnel. Current salary schedules will stay in effect through December 31, 2019.

  • Teachers will receive an average 4.6% pay increase. (pgs. 76-80)
    • The “M” salary schedule will be reinstated and teachers who qualify will receive a 10% pay increase on their monthly salary.
    • The budget focuses on salary increases for teachers with at least 16 years of experience.
    • Teachers with 30 plus years of experience will earn an annual salary of at least $65,000.
  • Principals will receive an average 10% pay increase. (pgs. 80-84)
    • Principals monthly base salary from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 is determined by school ADM, placement on the teacher “A” salary schedule plus 25%, and school growth.
    • Page 82 of the House budget provides a table outlining the principal salary structure.
    • Page 83 of the House budget provides a table of 2019-2020 principal bonuses for principals whose school was in the top 50% of school growth in the State during the previous school year.
  • Assistant principals will receive an average 6.3% pay increase. (pgs. 84-85)
    • Assistant principals monthly base salary from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 is based on the “A” teacher salary schedule plus 20%.
  • Noncertified personnel will receive a 1% or $500 pay increase. (pg. 87)

Click here to view the House budget.

Click here to view the House budget money report.

 

Education Bills Passed by the House and Sent to the Senate

HB 714: Competency Based Assessment

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Blackwell, R-Burke
  • This bill would direct the SBE to recommend steps for transition to a competency-based assessment and teaching model for all elementary and second students in NC.
  • Passed 114-0
  • Regular message sent to Senate

HB 895: Opportunity Gap Task Force

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Blackwell, R-Burke; Brockman, D-Guilford; Horn, R-Union; Meyer, D-Orange
  • This bill would establish the opportunity gap task force. The bill includes task force membership, the responsibilities of the task force, and who the task force should seek input from.
  • Passed 112-2
  • Regular message sent to Senate

HB 924: Teacher Contract Changes

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives D. Hall, R-Caldwell; Horn, R-Union
  • This bill would define years of employment for a teacher as not less than 120 workdays in a full-time permanent position. If a teacher was on approved/legally entitled leave and did not work for at least 120 days, that year would not constitute a year of employment nor be considered a break in the continuity of consecutive years of employment.
  • Passed 113-0
  • Passed House 3rd reading

HB 933: Study Career/College Readiness

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Blackwell, R-Burke; Clemmons, D-Guilford; Horn, R-Union; Hardister, R-Guilford
  • This bill would establish the study of career and college readiness in NC schools and how to incorporate career and college readiness measures into school performance grades for high schools.
  • Passed 114-0
  • Regular message sent to Senate

 

Education Bill Passed by the Senate and Sent to the House

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga; Sawyer, R-Iredell
  • This bill would require LEAs to implement a plan to eliminate certain local standardized testing if the number of tests administered or the number of hours required for students to complete tests exceeds the State average.
  • Passed 48-0
  • Referred to House Rules

 

State Board of Education Meeting—May 2

As board members received the monthly legislative update during this Thursday’s meeting, there was much discussion centered around SB 134: Economics & Financial Literacy Act. There were questions regarding what type of economics would be taught in this specific course compared to a standard civics and economics course, what textbooks and resources would be used to teach this course, and what measures would be taken in discussing the racial wealth gap. The bill is included in Section 7.18 of the House budget (HB 966) with funding for professional development.

Another topic of lengthy discussion was the issue session presentation on the Maryland Department of Education’s implementation of equity in each local school district. Every LEA is required to have an equity plan in place, and every actor in each public agency has a commitment to equity. While Maryland’s and North Carolina’s definitions of equity share many commonalities, one of the main differences between the two states is that every measure of equity success in Maryland has a baseline, which is not the case in North Carolina. Board members agreed that implementing equity is vital, but they also confronted the reality that this would be a constant process of amending definitions and strategies to better exemplify our continuously evolving society and culture.

 

May 6-10 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, May 6

9:30 am – House: Rules, Calendar, and Operations – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio)

3:00 pm – Senate: Pensions and Retirement and Aging – Legislative Building, rm 1124/1224 (audio)

 

 **REMINDER**

The crossover deadline is next Thursday, May 9.

 

 

 

 

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

Bruce Mildwurf
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6692

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

Rebekah Howard
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6688

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – May 3, 2019