NCSBA Legislative Update – December 16, 2022

NCSBA Legislative Update – December 16, 2022

 

House Select Committee on An Education System for North Carolina’s Future

On December 12, the Committee approved its final report, which includes summaries of the Committee’s meetings and six findings/recommendations for consideration by the 2023 General Assembly. The report does not include any draft legislation.

School Calendar: As we mentioned in our December 2 Legislative Update, the Committee’s Senior Chair, Representative John Torbett, R-Gaston, said the report will “suggest a Labor Day to Memorial Day calendar.” Instead, the report says, “the mandatory school calendar law should be adjusted to better fit the needs of students and educators” and “local boards of education should be given greater calendar flexibility” (see page 25). The report does not provide a clear solution to the local school calendar issue, and Chair Torbett stated that he wants to continue looking at the possibility of a Labor Day to Memorial Day calendar because it would be beneficial to keep students on the same statewide school calendar. Committee member, Representative David Willis, R-Union, said consideration should be given to aligning the traditional public-school calendar with the community college calendar to allow more students to participate in dual enrollment programs.

State Board of Education & State Superintendent: The report also includes a recommendation regarding the division of authority between the appointed State Board of Education (SBE) and the elected State Superintendent: “The Committee recommends that the General Assembly pass a constitutional amendment to allow the voters to determine the division of authority between the SBE and the Superintendent of Public Instruction” (see page 25). Committee member, Representative Rachel Hunt, D-Mecklenburg, cautioned against asking citizens to vote on this constitutional amendment because many people do not understand the responsibilities of the SBE and State Superintendent. Hunt said there would need to be a lot of public educatoin prior to placing this on the ballot.

Click here to access the final report, which includes these additional findings/recommendations:

  • All students should receive a high-quality standard education
  • NC should continue to increase educator pay, allow educators to focus on instructional duties, and provide educators with growth and advancement opportunities
    • Chair Torbett noted he is watching the teacher pay/licensure work of the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC) and SBE
  • All children deserve a safe place to learn free from distraction
  • The NC student assessment system should be designed to generate useful data to help ensure students’ post-secondary success

Chair Torbett said this is the beginning of a long course of building a better education system in the State. He said he will be asking for the Committee to have more time next year to further develop these findings. Click here for an article on the meeting and the report.

Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee

The Committee met on December 13 and approved its final report, which includes summaries of the Committee’s hearings and testimony, along with seven recommendations for consideration by the 2023 General Assembly. The report does not include any draft legislation. The K-12 education-related recommendations include:

  • Competency Based Education
    • DPI should conduct a statewide survey to determine what schools are implementing regarding competency-based education
  • Special Education Funding Formula
    • The State should move toward a service level model rather than a disability category model to ensure students are not over identified or placed in high-cost funding tiers
  • Excellent Public Schools Act/Read to Achieve/Literacy
    • DPI should partner with the UNC system and independent colleges and universities as they incorporate the science of reading into educator preparation programs (EPPs)
    • DPI should focus on incorporating highly effective interventions in low-performing schools
    • The General Assembly should continue supporting evidence-based early literacy practices and interventions
  • Schools That Lead
    • Schools That Lead, which provides professional development to school administrators and teachers, and the UNC system’s EPPs should collaborate to better equip beginning teachers

Click here for an article on the meeting and the report.

House Select Committee on Advancing Women in STEM

On December 6, the Committee approved its final report, which includes summaries of the Committee’s meetings and draft legislation for consideration in the upcoming 2023 long session (see pages 25-27). The draft legislation requires the State superintendent to establish a new STEM Program for the 2023-2025 fiscal biennium. The purpose of the Program is to provide grant funds to public school units to engage in experiential science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs.

Child Fatality Task Force

At its meeting on December 12, the Task Force was presented with 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data (see slides 54-73). DPI deploys the survey in the spring of every odd numbered year to help assess youth behaviors that impact their health now and in the future.

This was the first YRBS since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. The following are data points for high school students:

  • 49% of students reported feeling good about themselves, compared to 60% in 2019
  • 43% of students reported feeling sad or hopeless, compared to 36% in 2019
  • 30% of females reported that they seriously considered suicide, compared to 14% of males
  • 49% of LGBTQ+ students reported purposefully hurting themselves without wanting to die, compared to 13% of heterosexual students
  • 13% of students reported experiencing physical dating violence, compared to 7% in 2019
  • 14% of students reported being bullied on school property, compared to 19% in 2019

Click here for an article on the YRBS survey data.

 

DPI’s Testing and Accountability Working Group met on December 12 and continued its work of creating recommendations for redesigning the State’s school accountability model. The current model calculates school grades based on 80% student achievement and 20% student growth.

The Working Group was presented with updates to academic and school quality indicators, which will be included in the Working Group’s proposed accountability model. These lists of indicators were created based on feedback from a public statewide survey and input from education groups. During the meeting, DPI staff explained that some indicators were collapsed to provide more aligned metrics, and some indicators were removed because they had minimal agreeance (e.g., discipline and per-pupil expenditures) and because they had little to no valid and reliable measurements (see slides 6-12).

Click here to read more about the meeting. DPI staff will continue to refine the list of indicators and engage in stakeholder feedback. The next Working Group meeting is scheduled for January 31, 2023.

 

DPI’s Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC) met on December 8 and reviewed the motion approved by the State Board of Education earlier this month regarding the teacher licensure/salary model blueprint for action. As a reminder, this model would pay teachers based on performance, effectiveness, and years of experience, rather than exclusively on years of experience. It would also provide higher salaries for most, if not all, teachers.

The motion directs PEPSC to make recommendations on how to implement pilots for the following areas of the model:

  1. Advance teaching and leader roles
  2. Student impact measures
  3. New pathway entry points, such as apprenticeships
  4. New professional learning tools and structures for beginning and experienced teachers

This draft working document provides guidance on how PEPSC is to create these recommendations. PEPSC Vice Chair, Dr. Aaron Fleming, explained that Commission members will break into four working groups based on the above key areas and that each group will hold an initial meeting prior to the holiday break.

The next PEPSC meeting is scheduled for January 12, 2023. Click here for an article on the December 8 meeting.

 

The following are the Consortium of State School Boards Association’s (COSSBA) most recent federal education reports.

December 5, 2022, Weekly Report

  • Headlines for this edition include:
    • US Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) Committee held a hearing to discuss the mental health needs of students and how the federal government can better support and ease the transition from high school to college. To watch the hearing, click here.

December 12, 2022, Weekly Report

  • Headlines for this edition include:
    • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): The US Department of Education Office of Special Education Policy issued guidelines to help highly mobile children – those who are experiencing frequent moves into new school districts – receive special education services.

 

The 2023 legislative long session kicks off with a ceremonial day on Wednesday, January 11. Legislators will then have a two-week break, and return to Raleigh on Wednesday, January 25 to begin their work.

 

 

 

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

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

Madison Skeens
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
mskeens@ncsba.org

Rob Black
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
rblack@ncsba.org

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – December 16, 2022