NCSBA Legislative Update – June 25, 2021

NCSBA Legislative Update – June 25, 2021

 

Senate Budget

We have reached another milestone in the State budget process: The Senate passed its version of the budget. Before the 32-17 vote, numerous amendments proposed by Democrats were dismissed by Republicans. Proposed amendments included an increase in school personnel pay (including teachers) and provisions supporting teachers and principals. Click here for an article on the proposed amendments. We have provided summaries of Senate budget education provisions and appropriations below.

The total proposed General Fund allocation is:

  • $25.7 billion in FY 2021-2022 (3.55% increase)
  • $26.6 billion in FY 2022-2023 (3.65% increase)

For K-12 public education, the Senate budget appropriates:

  • $10.4 billion in FY 2021-2022 (3.7% increase)
  • $10.5 billion in FY 2022-2023 (0.9% increase)

Click here for summaries of Senate budget education provisions.

Click here for a summary of Senate budget education appropriations.

Click here for the Senate budget bill.

Click here for the Senate budget money report.

Click here for DPI’s Senate budget summary and money report comparison.

Click here for an article on education sections of the Senate budget.

Next, the House will share its version of the State budget, followed by the House and Senate working towards a budget compromise. This compromise might not occur until August, after which the Governor will either sign, veto, or take no action and let the budget automatically become law. In a quote from his official Twitter account, Governor Roy Cooper said “The Senate budget mortgages the future health and education of our people to the corporations and wealthiest among us ($13B tax cut). Just awful. A measly 1.5% raise for teachers next year after no raise last year? Thank goodness the budget process has a long way to go.”

Education-Related Bills with Action This Week

Statewide Bills

SB 582: High School Adjunct Instructors/CC Prep (primary sponsors: Senators Jim Burgin, R-Harnett; Kevin Corbin, R-Macon) was signed into SL 2021-48. This bill allows higher education faculty members to qualify as adjunct instructors for K-12 core academic subjects, fine and performing arts, and foreign language courses if they meet State Board of Education (SBE) criteria (currently can only teach K-12 core academic subjects). It also allows an individual who holds a bachelor’s or graduate degree, attends a community college or educator preparation program, and completes at least one semester of teacher preparation to contract with a LEA to teach high-school level courses related to the individual’s specialized knowledge or work experience. Click here for an official bill summary.

HB 335: Timely Local Payments to Charter Schools (primary sponsors: Representatives John Bradford, R-Mecklenburg; Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford; Jason Saine, R-Lincoln) unanimously passed the Senate, the House concurred with Senate changes, and was sent to the Governor. This bill requires the 30-day clock for a LEA to submit payment to a charter school to begin after the LEA is in receipt of both a charter school invoice and the monies from the county into the local current expense fund (originally the 30-day clock started after the LEA received a charter school invoice). Before passing the Senate, the following amendment was adopted on the floor:

  • Requires a LEA to pay a 3% (was 5%) late fee only if both of the following occur:
    • A charter school provides written notice to the LEA’s superintendent and school finance officer after the 30-day period stating that the payment was not received
    • Electronic payment is not transferred within 15 days of that notice, or if mailed, not postmarked within 15 days of that notice (originally the bill included an 8% late fee on day 31)

Additionally, HB 335 does the following:

  • Requires a LEA to submit payment to a charter school for the undisputed amount within the 30-day period
  • If a LEA disputes payment for any student whose information submitted by a charter school is incorrect, late fees or interest are not applied to the payment for that student
  • If the late fee is triggered, requires interest to accrue at a rate of 8% annually until the payment is received by the charter school
  • Requires the State Superintendent, in consultation with LEAs and charter schools, to create:
    • A standardized enrollment verification and transfer request document used by charter schools to request the per pupil share of the local current expense fund
    • A standardized procedure that LEAs must use when transferring the per pupil share of the local current expense fund

Click here for an official bill summary.

SB 668: Anti-Pension Spiking Amds & Litig. Moratorium (primary sponsor: Senator Jim Burgin, R-Harnett) unanimously concurred in the Senate and was sent to the Governor. This bill does the following:

  • Adds another payment option: 12 years with no early pay-off penalty
  • In certain situations, two or more employers will share the liability
  • Creates a working group consisting of NCSBA and the State Treasurer’s office to develop recommendations to the General Assembly that will reduce the number of pension spiking cases and lawsuits
  • Requires a pause on pension-spiking litigation until June 30, 2022, during which the working group will create its recommendations
    • As a result of this pause, the statute of limitations will be extended
    • During this pause, the Treasurer’s office is not allowed to intercept funds that would have otherwise been directed to a LEA

Click here for an official bill summary.

SB 173: Free the Smiles Act allows local school boards to determine the use of face masks for the 2021-2022 school year. It also permits the Governor to require masks for individual schools to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 but does not permit a statewide mask mandate for all schools. This bill originally dealt with an Occupational Therapy Interstate Compact but its contents were replaced in the House Education K-12 Committee and modified in the House Rules Committee. SB 173 passed the House 66-44 and was sent to the Senate for concurrence with House changes. Click here for an official bill summary.

SB 450: Various Education Changes (primary sponsors: Senators Michael Lee, R-New Hanover; Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga; Lisa Barnes, R-Nash) was modified and approved by the House Education K-12 Committee, approved by the House Rules Committee, passed the House 92-14, and was sent to the Senate for concurrence with House changes. This bill requires the SBE to study the installation of carbon monoxide alarms and detection systems in existing public school buildings, and includes additional provisions affecting nonpublic and charter schools. Click here for an official bill summary.

Local bill

SB 288: Rutherford College/Bd. of Ed. Burke/Caldwell (primary sponsor: Senator Warren Daniel, R-Burke) unanimously concurred in the Senate and became SL 2021-51. Click here for an official bill summary.

Bill Chart

Click here for a chart of all education-related bills that NCBSA is tracking.

 

Tuesday, June 29

8:30 am – House Appropriations, Education – Legislative Offices Building, rm 643 (live stream)

Additional Education-Related Meeting

Tuesday, June 29

1:00 pm – Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education – Department of Administration building, OSBM Commission Room 5010 (live stream)

  • Meeting agenda and materials will be available here by Monday, June 28

 

 

 

Bruce Mildwurf
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
bmildwurf@ncsba.org

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
rbostic@ncsba.org

Rebekah Howard
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association
rhoward@ncsba.org

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – June 25, 2021