NCSBA Legislative Update – August 13, 2021

NCSBA Legislative Update – August 13, 2021

 

House Budget

We are about a month and a half into the new fiscal year, and the House just passed its version of the budget on a 72-41 vote. While there was plenty of discussion on amendments, many House members spent their time debating the budget bill as a whole, expressing praise or criticism for its contents. Republicans advocated for the budget’s large investments, including pay raises, bonuses (using some federal funds), and broadband expansion. Democrats, while acknowledging the good that the budget does, criticized it as not doing enough. Additionally, Democrats criticized the budget process and its lack of collaboration between political parties. Education-related complaints from Democrats included lack of funding for the Leandro plan (although Republicans claimed that many parts of the plan are incorporated into the budget) and numerous education policy provisions that came from existing Republican-sponsored bills. Click here for an article on the House budget discussion and passage. NCSBA has provided summaries of House budget education provisions and appropriations.

The total House budget General Fund allocation is:

  • $25.7 billion in FY 2021-2022 (3.6% increase)
  • $26.7 billion in FY 2022-2023 (7.3% increase)

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

  • $10.6 billion in FY 2021-2022 (5.8% increase)
  • $10.7 billion in FY 2021-2022 (7.3% increase)

Click here for NCSBA’s summaries of House budget education provisions.

Click here for NCSBA’s summary of House budget education appropriations.

Click here for NCSBA’s comparison of House and Senate budget education appropriations.

Click here for the House budget bill.

Click here for the House budget money report.

Next week, the House and Senate are expected to name conferees and begin the budget negotiation process, which House Speaker Tim Moore said will include collaboration with the Governor’s office. Once a budget compromise is reached, it will then need to pass both chambers before being sent to the Governor for approval.

As we mentioned in an email alert earlier this week, an amendment to the House budget replaced the provision on school nutrition programs that would require three months’ operating balance and cap the rate at 8% with a report on school nutrition programs. NCSBA wants to thank each school board member, superintendent, and finance officer who contacted their House members to get that provision amended. While your efforts paid off in this round of the budget process, the original provision is likely to come up during negotiations. Stay tuned…

Education-Related Bills with Action This Week

A Conference Committee has been appointed for HB 64: Government Transparency Act of 2021. This bill requires local boards of education (as well as counties, municipalities, community colleges, State agencies, etc.) to not only maintain the date and general description of the reasons for each promotion, but also for each demotion, transfer, suspension, separation, or dismissal. An employee can appeal to not have the date and description of their promotion, demotion, etc. disclosed if the information is protected by an applicable confidentiality law, like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or the American with Disabilities Act. We urge school board members and superintendents to contact conferees with concerns about HB 64Click here for an official bill summary.

The House voted 108-6 to adopt the Conference Committee Report for HB 84: Sex Offender Premises Restrictions (primary sponsors: Representatives Harry Warren, R-Rowan; Allen McNeill, R-Randolph; Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance; Sarah Stevens, R-Surry), which does the following:

  • Extends premise restrictions for sex offenders to include those convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Clarifies that a registered sex offender is prohibited from knowingly residing within 1,000 feet of any property line on which a school or childcare center is located (language from SB 52)

The next step is Senate approval of the HB 84 Conference Committee Report, then it will be sent to the Governor.

 

NCSBA has created a chart tracking local school boards’ policies/resolutions on school mask requirements. Click here to access the chart. As your school district finalizes its plans for this upcoming school year, please email information to Richard Bostic at rbostic@ncsba.org, as well as any corrections to the chart.

 

 

 

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 – August 13, 2021