The heat wave has finally broken, but tempers continue to flare within the General Assembly as North Carolina finds itself more than two months overdue in passing a state budget.
Although legislative leaders planned for budget votes this week, no action was taken. At the heart of this delay lies the divisive issue of legalizing brick-and-mortar casinos in four economically challenged counties. The Senate sees the potential revenue from legalized casinos as the funding source to pay for their tax cuts which were deeper than what the House proposed. As such, President Pro-Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) supports incorporating this targeted casino legalization into the budget; however, House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) contends there aren’t sufficient Republican votes within his chamber to pass a budget inclusive of casino legalization.
This week, the House Republican Caucus met for nearly four hours discussing the casino provisions behind closed doors but could not get a majority of its members on board. Nevertheless, both chambers are set to convene in the coming week. Amidst the fiery debates between the two chambers over the casino issue, some legislative activity did manage to take place during the week.
Passed Senate by a 47-0 vote, sent back to House for concurrence
Updates principal licensure requirements
Eliminates the requirement that principals must have at least four years of classroom teaching experience and instead requires principals to have at least four years of experience as a “licensed professional educator”
Requires the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission to develop a portfolio-based assessment for prospective principals
Requires an internship of at least 500 hours rather than a yearlong internship
Congress Has Yet To Pass A Budget As Shutdown Deadline Approaches: Both chambers of Congress are back from their August recess. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed all 12 of its spending bills before the recess with bipartisan support. The House has only approved one FY 2024 spending bill on the floor—the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs package—and only a handful have won approval from the full committee. The spending bills must be passed by both chambers before the start of the new federal fiscal year on October 1 – something that is looking increasingly unlikely.
Education Department Has New Kindergarten Initiative: The U.S. Department of Education has launched the Kindergarten Sturdy Bridge Learning Community, “a multi-state effort to make kindergarten a transformational experience at the start of each student’s formal education journey,” the press release states. The department will invite state education agencies and local education agencies to participate in a “community of practice” where they can learn from their peers, receive technical assistance, and share best practices to enhance the kindergarten experience including the transitions into kindergarten and 1st grade.
The following are recent news articles, reports, and press releases on state and national education-related issues.