Rebekah Howard

NCSBA Legislative Update – September 13, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – September 13, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

What started off as an uneventful week focused on redrawing legislative districts unexpectedly turned into a wild ride fueled by drama, high emotions, dueling press conferences, and a “he said, he said” controversy.

The House voted 55-9 on Wednesday morning to override Governor Cooper’s veto of the State budget, HB 966: 2019 Appropriations Act. (The vote was changed to 55-15 when several House Democrats who were in the chamber at the time but did not vote later asked to be recorded as having voted “no”.) As a result of the override, with just over 25% of House Democrats present, there was no shortage of name calling, finger pointing, and national news coverage.

Rather than try to explain what happened in writing, we believe in this case it is more appropriate for you to see and hear for yourself how the events unfolded. See the five links below.

1) Audio recording of the 8:30 am House session on September 11, 2019, during which two veto overrides occurred (morning session lasts 14:45 minutes)

2) Video of floor debate during the 1:30 pm House session – to recall the override votes that were sent to the Senate

3) House GOP’s press conference

4) Governor Cooper’s press conference

5) News article: Text message, outburst fuel partisan theories on big budget vote

 

The 2019 Appropriations Act, aka the State budget, is expected to be placed on the Senate calendar as early as next week. That does not mean the Senate will vote to override the Governor’s veto next week. Three-fifths of the members present are required to override the Governor’s veto. The Senate rules state that leadership “…shall give the Senate Minority Leader at least 24 hours’ notice that a vetoed bill may be considered by the Senate.” If all 50 Senators are in the chamber, 30 votes are needed. There are 29 Senate Republicans and 21 Senate Democrats. Meaning, Senate Republicans either need one Democrat to vote with them or at least two Democrats to be absent. Senate Democrats say they are in lockstep with the Governor to sustain his veto. Therefore, it appears that the waiting game on the budget that occurred in the House will now play out in the Senate. Stay tuned…

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-212 on Wednesday, September 4
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga; Sawyer, R-Iredell
  • Eliminates the NC Final Exam beginning with the 2020-21 school year
  • Requires annual reports on the progress of the NC personalized assessment pilot, which implements a through-grade assessment model and the goal to eliminate the EOGs and EOCs
  • Establishes plans to reduce standardized testing by LEAs by requiring local school boards, in each even-numbered year, to review locally required standardized tests
  • Requires reimbursement of up to $75.00 for expenses related to graduation projects for any economically disadvantaged student in a LEA that has a graduation project requirement
  • Requires DPI to examine third grade English Language Arts assessments to ensure alignment with Read to Achieve
  • Requires SBE to determine and analyze the necessary steps to transition to a competency-based assessment and teaching model for all elementary and secondary students (included in SB 476: Compt-Based Assess. & Mental Hlth/Teen Viol.)
  • Clarifies that the definition of a high-need retired teacher in SB 399: Rehire High-Need Teachers (S.L. 2019-110) is one that works at least 30 hours a week for 9 months or more – this allows the rehiring of retired teachers under the earnings cap, as long as they do not work more than 30 hours a week for 9 months or more
    • Under this Session Law, LEAs must notify the Retirement System no later than Sunday, September 15 if it will not employ high-need retired teachers for that school year
    • LEAs that employ high-need retired teachers could be fined if the IRS determines that the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System would be jeopardized by allowing retired teachers to return to work in high-need schools while receiving retirement benefits
  • Expands SB 219: Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements (S.L. 2019-71) to apply to residency licenses (RL)
    • Extends the timeline from two to three years for RLs to pass any necessary licensure tests
    • Adds RLs to the list of individuals who are eligible for a limited license if they failed to fulfill examination requirements after three years of licensure

 

HB 75: School Safety Funds, Programs, and Reports

  • Passed the Senate and sent to the House for concurrence
  • The Senate Appropriations Committee replaced the contents of the original bill that required a school mental health screening study with a bill that does the following:
    • Appropriates funds for school safety—$38,833,333 for FY 2019-20 and $29,800,000 for FY 2020-21
    • Requires an annual report on school resources officers
    • Establishes the School Resource Officer Grants Program
    • Requires development of a recommended school mental health crisis response program
    • Requires annual reports on school mental health support personnel
    • Expresses the intention of the General Assembly that additional funds provided for instructional support personnel be used to fund additional school mental health support personnel
    • Requires DPI to study and report on school psychologist and school counselor positions
    • Provides for eight additional agents of the SBI to support the Behavioral Threat Assessment program (consistent with the provisions of the conference report for HB 966: 2019 Appropriations Act)

 

 

State Board of Education Meeting – September 4 & 5

This month’s meeting marked the release of the 2018-19 accountability and school performance grades reports. Nearly 75% of schools met or exceeded growth expectations in the 2018-19 school year. It was reported that 45.2% of students in third-eighth grades are considered Career and College Ready in reading (scoring at a level 4 or 5), and 57.2% of students in third-eighth grades are considered Grade Level Proficient in reading (scoring a level 3, 4, or 5). Additionally, the percentage of schools that earned A or B school performance grades increased from 35.6% for the 2017-18 school year to 37.3% for the 2018-19 school year. Board member J.B. Buxton made the observation that most student scores in reading, math, and science are stuck in neutral. Many of the charts showing the percentage of students scoring at level 3 and level 4 and above over the past three school years show little to no increase in student achievement.

  • Click here to access the accountability and school performance grades presentation, which contains the previously-mentioned charts.
  • Click here to access the DPI news release on school grades.
  • Click here to access the 2018-19 Performance and Growth of NC Public Schools Executive Summary.

The SBE also approved the required report on school start and end dates under SB 343: Various Education Law Changes (S.L. 2019-165). The SBE’s draft report’s “Executive Summary” states in the second paragraph that “The State Board of Education shall report the information submitted by the local boards of education to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee.” Both the Findings and Data Collection sections of the draft report included DPI’s opinion that some schools were not in compliance with State law. The NCSBA Governmental Relations Team wrote a letter to SBE members prior to the September meeting, stating that nowhere in the session law does it require DPI to render an opinion. The letter read, “NCSBA does not believe it is appropriate for DPI to determine whether LEAs are not in compliance with the law, especially since there is no legal definition of ‘year-round’.” Click here to read the full letter written by NCSBA staff on behalf of all LEAs. The SBE removed the language before passing the revised draft report.

 

Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education – September 9

Commission members met this week to review each work group’s priorities and any changes that had been made based on discussion during the June 25th meeting. Priority topics include finance and resources, teachers, principals, early childhood/“whole child”, and assessment and accountability. The early childhood/“whole child” work group presented numerous changes to their priorities, but also left the meeting with many changes to make. There was discussion about whether a recommendation concerning literacy instruction was too detailed for a court to enforce or if it could actually help improve the State’s reading programs, which have not proven to be very beneficial. Because this workgroup is specifically focused on early childhood, the discussion of pre-k for all surfaced as well. Overall, the early childhood/“whole child” workgroup was tasked with the most follow-up work, while all other workgroups, except the principal workgroup, were assigned with polishing up a few of their recommendations.

The commission will potentially meet one more time in the future before submitting their priorities to the judge. Click here to access all meeting agenda items and attachments.

 

 

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 – September 13, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – August 30, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – August 30, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

Budget Update

While there is still no State budget in place, the legislature’s piecemeal budget approach continued this week. The General Assembly passed and sent an array of mini budget bills to the Governor that provide pay increases for State Highway Patrol officers (HB 126), State employees (HB 226), law enforcement officers of the State Bureau of Investigation and Alcohol Law Enforcement (HB 777), and State adult correctional facility employees (HB 609).

HB 426: Educators’ Pay Increases/Retiree Supplements, which was also heard on the House floor this week, includes salary increases for noncertified public-school employees, as well as salary increases for employees of the Community College System and the University of North Carolina. The bill passed the first of two required votes (click here to see vote) but was referred back to a House committee before the second vote. Noncertified public-school employees would receive a 1% salary increase in the 2019-20 fiscal year, and it is the General Assembly’s intent to provide another 1% increase in the 2020-21 fiscal year. That salary increase compares to a 2.5% increase for State employees, with recurring dollars in both years. HB 426 also provides a 0.5% annual increase in each year of the biennium for retirees. Although the bill is labeled “Educators’ Pay Increases”, it does not provide a salary increase for teachers or administrators.

House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger publicly stated that these mini budget bills include the exact numbers and language that was in the vetoed budget bill. They stated that they only plan to move forward in areas that are not in dispute with the Governor’s proposed budget, which is the reason that teacher pay was not included in HB 426. Speaker Moore was reported as saying that some form of HB 426 will return to the House floor as a conference report, which means that it can only get an up-or-down vote and cannot be amended.

 

What to Expect

Both the House and the Senate confirmed that they will not be holding voting sessions or committee meetings next week. At a press conference this week, Senator Berger said that school safety will be addressed in the next round of piecemeal budget bills when they return the week of September 9.

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019 (Read to Achieve)

  • Vetoed by the Governor on Friday, August 23 and referred to the Senate Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Berger, R-Rockingham

Last Friday, August 23, Governor Cooper vetoed SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019. Click here to see his veto message. The Governor’s veto of SB 438 comes as the legal fight between Istation and Amplify progresses. This dispute concerns the new contract that State Superintendent Mark Johnson signed with Istation in an effort to improve the Read to Achieve program, which is basis of SB 438. This week Superintendent Johnson announced a deal to continue Istation training for teachers while the legal review of how the State’s contract with Istation was awarded continues.

Below are articles on this issue.

 

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

  • Conference Report adopted by the House and the Senate on Monday, August 26
  • Presented to the Governor on Wednesday, August 28
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga; Sawyer, R-Iredell
  • Eliminates the NC Final Exam beginning with the 2020-21 school year
  • Requires annual reports on the progress of the NC personalized assessment pilot, which implements a through-grade assessment model and the goal to eliminate the EOGs and EOCs
  • Establishes plans to reduce standardized testing by LEAs by requiring local school boards, in each even-numbered year, to review locally required standardized tests
  • Requires reimbursement of up to $75.00 for expenses related to graduation projects for any economically disadvantaged student in a LEA that has a graduation project requirement
  • Requires DPI to examine third grade English Language Arts assessments to ensure alignment with Read to Achieve
  • Requires SBE to determine and analyze the necessary steps to transition to a competency-based assessment and teaching model for all elementary and secondary students (included in SB 476: Compt-Based Assess. & Mental Hlth/Teen Viol.)
  • Clarifies that the definition of a high-need retired teacher in SB 399: Rehire High-Need Teachers (S.L. 2019-110) is one that works at least 30 hours a week for 9 months or more – this allows the rehiring of retired teachers under the earnings cap, as long as they do not work more than 30 hours a week for 9 months or more
  • Expands SB 219: Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements (S.L. 2019-71) to apply to residency licenses (RL)
    • Extends the timeline from two to three years for RLs to pass any necessary licensure tests
    • Adds RLs to the list of individuals who are eligible for a limited license if they failed to fulfill examination requirements after three years of licensure

 

HB 852: Historic School Preservation Act

  • Approved by the House Finance Committee
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Adams, R-Catawba; Beasley, D-Mecklenburg; Warren, R-Rowan; Presnell, R-Yancy
  • Incentivizes the rehabilitation of historic educational buildings by increasing the historic rehabilitation tax credit if the certified historic structure is used for an educational purpose
  • This bill may be of interest to LEAs that have surplus property that can be sold or have a building that could be renovated and leased back

 

Since both the House and the Senate will not be holding voting sessions or committee meetings next week, NCSBA will not be sending out a weekly Legislative Update on Friday, September 6.

 

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 – August 30, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – August 23, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – August 23, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

Budget Update

On Wednesday, legislative leaders announced a piecemeal budget approach. The Senate initiated this approach with the Senate Appropriations Committee’s approval of HB 609: Salary Increases/Adult Correctional Employees on Wednesday, followed by the Senate Rules Committee’s approval on Thursday. This bill would give corrections officers the pay raises and additional annual leave that is included in the vetoed State budget. HB 555: Medicaid Transformation Implementation, which would appropriate funds for Medicaid operations, was also cleared this week by The Senate Health Care Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, stated that additional bills providing pay raises for State employees, including teachers, will be considered in the House next week. These pay raises may be revealed in the House Appropriations Committee meeting on Tuesday, August 27. Additionally, the Senate Finance Committee approved HB 74: Taxpayer Refund Act, which would distribute roughly $663 million of the $900 million budget surplus back to N.C. taxpayers.

 

As the World Turns – K-3 Reading Assessment Dispute

As the legal battle between Istation and Amplify continues, the Department of Information Technology (DIT) has ordered a hold on the State’s contract with Istation, the new company chosen to test the reading skills of K-3 public school students. Amplify, which was not chosen by State Superintendent Mark Johnson for a contract renewal, has requested a review of how the contract was awarded. Despite DIT’s order, Istation’s President has stated that the company will continue to train teachers in preparation for the new school year. Superintendent Johnson sent out a public statement on Thursday afternoon denouncing the legitimacy of DIT’s order, claiming that it was in contradiction with State law and DIT agency rules because DIT only heard arguments from one party, Amplify, before reaching a verdict. He further announced that DPI has filed a motion to dissolve the stay.

The following three articles explain the contract, the legal battle, and how this affects teachers and students.

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article234254022.html

https://www.wral.com/istation-will-continue-training-teachers-as-nc-puts-company-s-reading-contract-on-hold/18583577/

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article234205657.html

 

The following two articles cover Superintendent Johnson’s public statement.

https://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2019/08/22/superintendent-mark-johnson-pushes-back-against-dits-stay-on-istation-implementation/

https://www.carolinajournal.com/news-article/dpi-files-motion-to-dissolve-temporary-stay-in-istation-implementation/

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

  • Conference report submitted and placed on the House and Senate calendars for Monday, August 26
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga; Sawyer, R-Iredell
  • Eliminates the NC Final Exam beginning with the 2020-21 school year
  • Requires annual reports on the progress of the NC personalized assessment pilot, which implements a through-grade assessment model and the goal to eliminate the EOGs and EOCs
  • Establishes plans to reduce standardized testing by LEAs by requiring local school boards, in each even-numbered year, to review locally required standardized tests
  • Requires reimbursement of up to $75.00 for expenses related to graduation projects for any economically disadvantaged student in a LEA that has a graduation project requirement
  • Requires DPI to examine third grade English Language Arts assessments to ensure alignment with Read to Achieve
  • Requires SBE to determine and analyze the necessary steps to transition to a competency-based assessment and teaching model for all elementary and secondary students (included in SB 476: Compt-Based Assess. & Mental Hlth/Teen Viol.)
  • Clarifies that the definition of a high-need retired teacher in SB 399: Rehire High-Need Teachers (S.L. 2019-110) is one that works at least 30 hours a week for 9 months or more – this allows the rehiring of retired teachers under the earnings cap, as long as they do not work more than 30 hours a week for 9 months or more
  • Expands SB 219: Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements (S.L. 2019-71) to apply to residency licenses (RL)
    • Extends the timeline from two to three years for RLs to pass any necessary licensure tests
    • Adds RLs to the list of individuals who are eligible for a limited license if they failed to fulfill examination requirements after three years of licensure

 

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

  • Conference Committee appointed (click here to see conferee list)
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Berger, R-Rockingham; Tillman, R-Randolph
  • Both the Senate and House versions of the bill include the Rural Health Care Stabilization Program
  • The House added Part II of the bill which grants counties additional flexibility in using the local option sales and use tax authorized in S. 105 Article 46 without increasing the existing maximum tax rate—the local tax could be used for public school capital outlay purposes or to retire any indebtedness incurred by the county for public education purposes
    • That bill language was taken from HB 667: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility, sponsored by Representatives Howard, R-Davie; Saine, R-Lincoln; Szoka, R-Cumberland; Hunter, D-Hertford—HB 667 passed the House but has not yet been considered in the Senate
  • On Thursday, part of SB 681 (not including the local sales tax flexibility) was placed into HB 704: Rural Health Care Stabilization Act, which will go to the Senate Rules Committee, then the Senate floor, and then return to the House for concurrence

 

August 26-30 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Tuesday, August 27

9:00 am – House: Appropriations – Legislative Office Building, rm 643 (audio)

 

 

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 – August 23, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – August 16, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – August 16, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

Headlines of K-12 Education Bills

For more detailed bill summaries see Highlights of K-12 Education Bills below.

Bills with Senate Action

SB 230: NC Military and Veteran Act of 2019

SB 295: Standards of Student Conduct

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

Bill on the Governor’s Desk

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

Bills with Senate Action

SB 230: NC Military and Veteran Act of 2019

  • Concurred in the Senate and sent to the Governor on Thursday, August 15
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators D. Davis, D-Greene; Brown, R-Onslow; Ballard, R-Watauga
  • Part I directs the SBE to adopt rules providing excused absences from school for children of members of the U.S. armed forces

 

SB 295: Standards of Student Conduct

  • Withdrawn from the Senate Calendar and referred to the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee
  • Requires public school unit boards to consult with teachers, school-based administrators, parents, and local law enforcement agencies when adopting policies and procedures governing student conduct and discipline
  • Requires public school unit boards to review current federal guidance issued by the US Department of Education on school discipline practices before adopting student conduct policies
  • Requires each public school unit board to annually submit a copy of its most up-to-date student discipline policies to DPI by September 1
  • Requires published student conduct policies and procedures to include the full range of responses to violations of disciplinary rules, including responses that do not remove a student from the classroom or school building
  • Allows public school unit boards to require that students and parents/guardians sign an acknowledgement that they have received a copy of student conduct policies and procedures
  • Clarifies that this bill does not regulate a public school unit board’s discretion to devise, impose, and enforce personal appearance codes
  • Applies to LEAs, charter schools, regional schools, innovative schools, and schools operated by the SBE and the University of North Carolina
  • Provides a temporary fix concerning the layoffs in the NC Virtual Public School (NCVPS) so that teachers may be employed for the upcoming fall semester
  • Standards of student conduct changes are effective beginning with the 2020-21 school year

 

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

  • Failed to Concur in the Senate and conference committee to be appointed
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Berger, R-Rockingham; Tillman, R-Randolph
  • The House added Part II of the bill which grants counties additional flexibility in using the local option sales and use tax authorized in G.S. 105 Article 46 without increasing the existing maximum tax rate—the local tax could be used for public school capital outlay purposes or to retire any indebtedness incurred by the county for public education purposes
    • That bill language was taken from HB 667: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility, sponsored by Representatives Howard, R-Davie; Saine, R-Lincoln; Szoka, R-Cumberland; Hunter, D-Hertford—HB 667 passed the House but has not yet been considered in the Senate

 

Bill on the Governor’s Desk

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

  • Conference report adopted and presented to the Governor on Wednesday, August 14
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Berger, R-Rockingham
  • Note: the conference report removed the part of the bill that would have authorized LEAs to select their own K-3 diagnostic assessments, which would have allowed for the continued use of mCLASS
  • Establishes individual reading plans (IRPs) for K-3 students performing below grade level
  • Establishes a Digital Children’s Reading Initiative, which provides free tools and resources to assist with learning outside of school
  • Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a task force to develop a Comprehensive Plan to Improve Literacy Instruction that will ensure literacy instruction in NC public schools is evidence-based, designed to improve student outcomes
  • Requires the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) to provide professional development in literacy instruction
  • Requires educator preparation programs (EPPs) to provide literacy training coursework for elementary education teachers
  • Requires the alignment of literacy curriculum and instruction with Read to Achieve
  • Requires DPI approval of local reading camp plans
  • Studies the phasing out of alternative assessments for third grade reading comprehension
  • Creates a uniform template for Read to Achieve data
  • Provides continuing education credits related to literacy for certain reading camp instructors and allows certain retired teachers to serve as reading camp instructors
  • Expands the Wolfpack WORKS program

 

 

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 – August 16, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – August 9, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – August 9, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

It’s the 40th day of the new fiscal year, and there is still no new State budget in place. As North Carolina continues to operate on last year’s recurring funding levels, teachers and other school district employees will not receive their pay increases until a new budget becomes law. A letter pledging support for the Governor’s budget veto was sent this week by all but four House Democrats to House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger. If those four House Democrats vote for the veto override, House Republicans will still need at least five more Democrats to be absent in order to have the necessary three-fifths majority.

 

Headlines of K-12 Education Bills

For more detailed bill summaries see Highlights of K-12 Education Bills below.

Bills with House Action

SB 230: NC Military and Veteran Act of 2019

SB 295: Standards of Student Conduct

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

Bills with Senate Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Tranps Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

SB 199: Child Sex Abuse/Strengthen Laws

SB 522: Low-Perf. Schools/Stand. Student Conduct

Bill with House & Senate Action

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

Bills with House Action

SB 230: NC Military and Veteran Act of 2019

  • Approved by the House Rules Committee, unanimously passed the House, and sent to the Senate for concurrence
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators D. Davis, D-Greene; Brown, R-Onslow; Ballard, R-Watauga
  • Directs the SBE to adopt rules providing for excused absences from school for children of members of the U.S. armed forces
  • The House Rules Committee changed the bill’s title from “Excused Absences for Military Children” to “NC Military and Veteran Act of 2019” and added four new parts related to NC military and veterans

 

SB 295: Standards of Student Conduct

  • Approved by the House Rules Committee and unanimously passed the House
  • Requires public school unit boards to consult with teachers, school-based administrators, parents, and local law enforcement agencies when adopting policies and procedures governing student conduct and discipline
  • Requires public school unit boards to review current federal guidance issued by the US Department of Education on school discipline practices before adopting student conduct policies
  • Requires each public school unit board to annually submit a copy of its most up-to-date student discipline policies to DPI by September 1
  • Allows public school unit boards to require that students and parents/guardians sign an acknowledgement that they have received a copy of student conduct policies and procedures
  • Clarifies that this bill does not regulate a public school unit board’s discretion to devise, impose, and enforce personal appearance codes
  • Effective beginning with the 2020-21 school year
  • The House made the following changes to the bill this week:
    • Replaces language that encourages school officials to use a full range of responses to violations of policies after informing the parent/guardian with language that requires published student conduct policies and procedures to include the full range of responses to violations of disciplinary rules, including responses that do not remove a student from the classroom or school building
    • Provides a temporary fix concerning the layoffs in the NC Virtual Public School (NCVPS) so that teachers may be employed for the upcoming fall semester
    • Defines certain terms referenced in the bill

 

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

  • Passed the House 81-31 (click here for vote)
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Berger, R-Rockingham; Tillman, R-Randolph
  • Part II of the bill grants counties additional flexibility in using the local option sales and use tax authorized in G.S.105 Article 46 without increasing the existing maximum tax rate—the local tax could be used for public school capital outlay purposes or to retire any indebtedness incurred by the county for public education purposes
    • That bill language was taken from HB 667: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility, sponsored by Representatives Howard, R-Davie; Saine, R-Lincoln; Szoka, R-Cumberland; Hunter, D-Hertford—HB 667 passed the House but has not yet been considered in the Senate

 

Bills with Senate Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

  • Withdrawn from the Senate Calendar for concurrence and referred to the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee
  • The Senate version of the bill expands The State Capital and Infrastructure Fund to include critical capital funding needs for LEAS and community colleges
  • The House version of the bill is a school safety omnibus

 

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Tranps Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

  • Withdrawn from the Senate Calendar for concurrence and referred to the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee
  • The Senate version of the bill allows sick leave to be transferred between a charter school and a LEA
  • The House version of the bill makes changes to a geographically isolated school in Currituck County and requires the development of auditing public school attendance and membership data

 

SB 199: Child Sex Abuse/Strengthen Laws

  • Unanimously failed to concur in the Senate
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Britt, R-Robeson; Harrington, R-Gaston; Chaudhuri, D-Wake
  • Section 5.4.(a) requires LEAs to adopt and implement training on child sex abuse and sex trafficking for school personnel
    • That bill language was taken from Section 4.(a) of HB 37: Child Sex Abuse/Extend Statute of Limitation, sponsored by Representatives Riddell, R-Alamance; White, R-Johnston; Torbett, R-Gaston; B. Turner, D-Buncombe—HB 37 passed the House but has not yet been considered in the Senate

 

SB 522: Low-Perf. Schools/Stand. Student Conduct

  • Withdrawn from the Senate Calendar for concurrence and referred to the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee
  • The Senate version of the bill makes various changes to laws affecting charter schools
  • The House version of the bill makes changes to teacher licensure laws and the innovative school district (ISD)

 

Bill with House & Senate Action

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

  • Conference Report Adopted in the House (click here for vote) and the Senate (click here for vote)
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Berger, R-Rockingham
  • The Conference Report removed the part of the bill that would have authorized LEAs to select their own K-3 diagnostic assessments, which would have allowed for the continued use of mCLASS
  • Establishes individual reading plans (IRPs) for K-3 students performing below grade level
  • Establishes a Digital Children’s Reading Initiative, which provides free tools and resources to assist with learning outside of school
  • Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a task force to develop a Comprehensive Plan to Improve Literacy Instruction that will ensure literacy instruction in NC public schools is evidence-based, designed to improve student outcomes
  • Requires the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) to provide professional development in literacy instruction
  • Requires educator preparation programs (EPPs) to provide literacy training coursework for elementary education teachers
  • Requires the alignment of literacy curriculum and instruction with Read to Achieve
  • Requires DPI approval of local reading camp plans
  • Studies the phasing out of alternative assessments for third grade reading comprehension
  • Creates a uniform template for Read to Achieve data
  • Provides continuing education credits related to literacy for certain reading camp instructors and allows certain retired teachers to serve as reading camp instructors
  • Expands the Wolfpack WORKS program

 

State Board of Education Meeting – August 7 & 8

This month’s meeting highlights include proposed new standards for math and recommendations from Whole Child NC. The meeting also included the introduction of the Board’s newest advisors: Dr. Patrick Miller, Superintendent of Greene County Schools and NC Superintendent of the Year; Matthew Bristow-Smith, 2019 NC Principal of the Year; and Mariah Morris, 2019 NC Teacher of the Year. During the Whole Child NC presentation, Mr. Bristow-Smith began the discussion by questioning why North Carolina does not have mandatory pre-k programs to help address the opportunity gaps that are seen as early as kindergarten. This question led to other points of consideration, including the incorporation of the Whole Child model into educator preparation programs and continuing to strive for the nationally recommended ratios of students to specialized instructional support personnel (SISP).

The State Board was also presented with recommended standards and descriptors for math assessments. The new standards contain four levels of student knowledge that would help educators better understand whether a student has an inconsistent, sufficient, thorough, or comprehensive understanding of the content. To view more on these recommendations and to access all Board materials, click here.

 

 

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 – August 9, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – August 2, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – August 2, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

By all accounts, Governor Cooper and the General Assembly are no closer to ending the budget stalemate. The State budget (HB 966) was placed on the House calendar each day this week, but the Speaker has yet to bring it to a vote. We are still exactly where we were five weeks ago. The Senate stopgap budget measure (HB 961), which ensures that the state has access to federal dollars, was signed into S.L. 2019-192 on Thursday, August 1. Although the stopgap measure does not include funding for K-12 ADM growth, it would allow federal funds to be transferred to the SBE to be used for the establishment of an abstinence until marriage education program. Until a new State budget becomes law, North Carolina will continue to operate in the shadow of last year’s recurring funding levels.

This week Governor Cooper vetoed two bills, doubling his use of the veto stamp for this legislative session. One of the bills impacts charter schools. In his required message to the General Assembly, the Governor stated that the section of SB 392: Various Charter School Changes that raises virtual charter schools’ enrollment cap by 20% per year was unnecessary. He cited the two schools’ low performance grades and the State Board of Education’s existing legal capacity to lift the enrollment cap on virtual charter schools as reasons for vetoing the bill. See below for more details on SB 392.

While the Senate took this week off, several House committees met. See below for House action on bills.

 

Headlines of K-12 Education Bills

For more detailed bill summaries see Highlights of K-12 Education Bills below.

Bills with House Action

SB 199: Child Sex Abuse/Strengthen Laws

SB 295: Standards of Student Conduct

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

Bills Signed by the Governor

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

Vetoed Bill

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

Bills with House Action

SB 199: Child Sex Abuse/Strengthen Laws

  • Passed the House 92-15 (click here to see vote) and sent to the Senate
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Britt, R-Robeson; Harrington, R-Gaston; Chaudhuri, D-Wake
  • Section 5.4.(a) requires LEAs to adopt and implement training on child sex abuse and sex trafficking for school personnel
  • An amendment that passed on the House floor eliminated the $50,000 appropriation to be used by DPI for assistance to LEAs, charter, regional, innovative, and laboratory schools in the implementation of the child sex abuse and trafficking training

 

SB 295: Standards of Student Conduct

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • The House Education K-12 Committee removed the contents of the original bill that dealt with residency for in-state tuition for NC community colleges and universities and replaced it with a bill that makes changes to local standards of student conduct
  • The new version of the bill does the following:
    • Requires LEAs to consult with teachers, school-based administrators, parents, and local law enforcement agencies when adopting policies and procedures governing student conduct and discipline
    • Requires LEAs to review current federal guidance issued by the US Department of Education before adopting student conduct policies
    • Requires each LEA to annually submit a copy of its most up-to-date student discipline policies to DPI by September 1
    • Removes examples of conduct that would not be deemed to be a serious violation of the LEA’s code of student conduct
    • Allows LEAs to require that students and parents/guardians sign an acknowledgement that they have received a copy of student conduct policies and procedures
    • Encourages school officials to use a full range of responses to violations of policies after informing the parent/guardian
    • Clarifies that this bill does not regulate a LEA’s discretion to devise, impose, and enforce personal appearance codes
  • The new version of the bill is effective beginning with the 2020-21 school year

 

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

  • Approved by the House Rules Committee and placed on the House calendar
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Berger, R-Rockingham; Tillman, R-Randolph
  • Part II of the bill gives counties additional flexibility with regard to local option sales and use tax without increasing the existing maximum tax rate
  • The House Rules Committee added to the bill that the 0.25% sales and use tax rate allowed by the bill may only be levied on or after October 1, 2020 if the 0.25% levy results in a 2.5% county sales and use tax rate

 

Bills Signed by the Governor

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-184 on Thursday, August 1
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Brown, R-Onslow
  • Establishes a mandatory process for participating units seeking withdrawal from a regional school
  • Requires a participating unit to adopt a resolution requesting withdrawal (including a withdrawal plan) and submit a copy to the regional school board of directors
    • The participating unit must receive conditional approval to withdraw with a 2/3 vote from the board of directors — prohibits a participating unit from withdrawing without approval from the regional school board of directors
    • If the participating unit receives the 2/3 vote approval, the SBE must grant final approval

 

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-185 on Thursday, August 1
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators McInnis, R-Richmond; B. Jackson, R-Sampson
  • Extends the participation in college transfer pathways and enrollment in college courses to include qualified freshmen and sophomores who meet the specified requirements
  • Requires that the criteria for adjunct career and technical education (CTE) instructors weigh work experience and industry recognized licenses/credentials over educational attainment level — requires the SBE to develop and report the minimum criteria to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by April 15, 2020
  • For the 2019-20 school year, allows an individual without an associate or baccalaureate degree to be deemed to meet the minimum criteria for an adjunct CTE instructor if the individual (i) can demonstrate a minimum of six years in the last ten years of professional experience in the relevant skill or trade and (ii) has a recognized industry credential or active professional license in each subject area

 

Vetoed Bill

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

  • Vetoed by the Governor on Monday, July 29
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Brown, R-Onslow; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Designates the Superintendent of Public Instruction as an applicable elected representative who may approve bonds to finance or refinance a charter school facility
  • Clarifies charter school renewal standards
  • Requires background checks for charter boards of directors
  • Increases the enrollment cap for virtual charter schools

 

School Calendar Flexibility

The @NCLocalCalendar Twitter handle has been tweeting about all of the charter and restart schools that have already started their 2019-20 school year due to their ability to utilize school calendar flexibility. The tweets recognize legislators who filed bills for their districts during this legislative session in hopes of extending school calendar flexibility to traditional public schools. Yesterday the account tweeted about the start of traditional public schools’ fall athletic practices. The tweet questioned why students are allowed to start playing sports on August 1 but have to wait until August 26 to begin exercising their minds. Great question!

Be sure to check out the @NCLocalCalendar Twitter page to see what charter schools in your district have already started their 2019-20 school year.

 

August 5-9 Legislative Calendar

Monday, August 5

3:00 pm – House: Rules – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio)

 

 

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 – August 2, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – July 26, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – July 26, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

We have come to the close of another short week at the legislature. Both chambers adjourned for the week on Wednesday. The House will return to Raleigh on Monday for a Rules Committee meeting and a voting session. Senators were notified by leadership that they will not have another voting session until August 6th. Therefore, we expect very little, if any, action in the Senate over the next week and a half.

We have now hit the 26th day of the new fiscal year without a State budget. The Senate stopgap budget measure (HB 961), which ensures that federal dollars continue to be utilized (but does not include funding for k-12 ADM growth like the House proposal), passed both chambers and was sent to the Governor. Until a new State budget becomes law, North Carolina will continue to operate on last year’s recurring funding levels.

 

Headlines of K-12 Education Bills

For more detailed bill summaries see Highlights of K-12 Education Bills below.

Bills with House Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Tranp Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

SB 522: Low-Perf. Schools/Stand. Student Conduct

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

 

Bill with Senate Action

SB 476: Compt-Based Assess. & Mental Hlth/Teen Viol.

 

Bill with House & Senate Action

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

 

Bills on the Governor’s Desk

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

 

Bill Still on the Governor’s Desk From Last Week

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

 

Bills Signed by the Governor

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities 

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

Bills with House Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

  • Passed third reading in the House 114-0 and sent to the Senate for a concurrence vote
  • Establishes that school safety requirements apply to all public schools and strongly encourages non-public schools to participate in school safety plans
  • Clarifies the powers and duties of the Center for Safer Schools
  • Requires reporting on the operational status of all public schools during states of emergency
  • Defines the term “school resource officer” (SRO) and requires training for SROs
  • Requires annual vulnerability assessments for each public school building
  • Requires threat assessment teams to be established at each public school and codifies the duties of threat assessment teams
  • Requires LEAs to require peer-to-peer support programs at all schools with grades six and higher
  • Requires DPI to transfer up to $1.5 million from the funds appropriated for the 2018-19 fiscal year for the anonymous safety tip line application to the Department of Public Safety to be used for the digital panic alarm system
  • Requires trauma kits to be in every public school classroom, but the contents inside the trauma kits are optional

 

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Tranp Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

  • Passed third reading in the House (passed second reading 115-0) and sent to the Senate for a concurrence vote
  • Revises the geographically isolated schools formula regarding the allocation of teachers for Currituck County (the goal is to add one new teacher)
  • Increases the transportation efficiency budget rating for Currituck County Schools (the goal is to add two new buses to the fleet)
  • Requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to develop draft policies and procedures for auditing public school attendance and membership data, including schools participating in the virtual charter school pilot program

 

SB 522: Low-Perf. Schools/Stand. Student Conduct (Innovative School District bill)

  • Passed third reading in the House (click here to see 58-54 vote on second reading) and regular message sent to the Senate
  • The House adopted the following amendments:
    • Allow LEAs to request that a school under its control be selected to the ISD
    • Expand the contents of SB 219: Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements (S.L. 2019-71) to apply to residency licenses (RL)
      • Adds that an individual who was issued an initial professional license (IPL) or RL, but failed to fulfill examination requirements after three years of licensure may be eligible for a limited license
    • Defines a qualifying school as a Title I school governed by a LEA in the lowest-performing 5% of school performance grades
    • Aligns the selection of innovative schools with those identified by the SBE for comprehensive support and improvement
    • Expands options for the innovative school district (ISD) to require LEAs to inform boards of county commissioners of academic progress annually
    • Requires the SBE to transfer the lowest scoring school in the State for the 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 school years to the ISD in the 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 school years respectively
    • Establishes a multi-year process that will transition eligible schools to the ISD in the 2023-24 school year and annually thereafter – NCSBA was instrumental in maintaining the multi-year process because the bill had previously been changed to shorten the process by one year
    • Allows up to five schools to be selected to the ISD beginning in the 2023-24 school year
    • Requires further study of reforms for assistance to low-performing schools

 

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

  • Approved by the House Finance Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Berger, R-Rockingham; Tillman, R-Randolph
  • The House Finance Committee added the contents of HB 667: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility to the bill, which gives counties additional flexibility with regard to local option sales and use tax without increasing the existing maximum tax rate

 

Bill with Senate Action

SB 476: Compt-Based Assess. & Mental Hlth/Teen Viol.

  • Failed to concur in the Senate
  • The House replaced the contents of the original bill that dealt with student discipline policies with the contents of two House bills – the House version does the following:

 

Bill with House & Senate Action

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

  • Passed third reading in the House 75-39 (click here to see vote), failed to concur in the Senate, and conference committee appointed
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Berger, R-Rockingham
  • The House adopted an amendment that authorizes LEAs to select different k-3 diagnostic assessments—this would allow a LEA to continue using mCLASS or transition to Istation
  • Establishes individual reading plans (IRPs) for k-3 students performing below grade level
  • Establishes a Digital Children’s Reading Initiative, which provides free tools and resources to assist with learning outside of school
  • Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a task force to develop a Comprehensive Plan to Improve Literacy Instruction that will ensure literacy instruction in NC public schools is evidence-based, designed to improve student outcomes
  • Requires the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) to provide professional development in literacy instruction
  • Requires educator preparation programs (EPPs) to provide literacy training coursework for elementary education teachers
  • Requires the alignment of literacy curriculum and instruction with Read to Achieve
  • Requires DPI approval of local reading camp plans
  • Studies the phasing out of certain alternative assessments
  • Creates a uniform template for Read to Achieve data
  • Provides continuing education credits related to literacy for certain reading camp instructors and allows certain retired teachers to serve as reading camp instructors
  • Expands the Wolfpack WORKS program

 

Bills on the Governor’s Desk

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

  • Presented to the Governor on Wednesday, July 24
  • Establishes a mandatory process for participating units seeking withdrawal from a regional school
  • Requires a participating unit to adopt a resolution requesting withdrawal (including a withdrawal plan) and submit a copy to the regional school board of directors
    • The participating unit must receive conditional approval to withdraw with a 2/3 vote from the board of directors — prohibits a participating unit from withdrawing without approval from the regional school board of directors
    • If the participating unit receives the 2/3 vote approval, the SBE must grant final approval

 

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

  • Presented to the Governor on Wednesday, July 24
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators McInnis, R-Richmond; B. Jackson, R-Sampson
  • Extends the participation in college transfer pathways and enrollment in college courses to include qualified freshmen and sophomores who meet the specified requirements
  • Requires that the criteria for adjunct career and technical education (CTE) instructors weigh work experience and industry recognized licenses/credentials over educational attainment level — requires the SBE to develop and report the minimum criteria to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by April 15, 2020
  • For the 2019-20 school year, allows an individual without an associate or baccalaureate degree to be deemed to meet the minimum criteria for an adjunct CTE instructor if the individual (i) can demonstrate a minimum of six years in the last ten years of professional experience in the relevant skill or trade and (ii) has a recognized industry credential or active professional license in each subject area

 

Bill Still on the Governor’s Desk From Last Week

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 19
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Brown, R-Onslow; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Designates the Superintendent of Public Instruction as an applicable elected representative who may approve bonds to finance or refinance a charter school facility
  • Clarifies charter school renewal standards
  • Requires background checks for charter boards of directors
  • Permits the SBE to allow a school participating in the virtual charter school pilot program to increase its student enrollment by more than 20% for any year of the school’s operation – NCSBA opposes this part of the bill because of the virtual charter schools’ poor school performance grades

 

Bills Signed by the Governor

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-149 on Monday, July 22
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson; Lucas, D-Cumberland
  • Makes clarifying/technical changes to the annual educator preparation program (EPP) performance report
  • Requires the SBE to adopt a rule creating a small group reporting exception any time data are at risk of being individually identifiable
  • Requires the SBE (in consultation with DPI and the Professional Educator Preparation & Standards Commission) to develop a scoring model that would compare the performance of each EPP and report it to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee
  • Requires the SBE to study two-year retention rates of EPP graduates initially licensed and employed in a NC public school as a potential EPP performance measure

 

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-154 on Monday, July 22
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Harris, D-Mecklenburg; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Autry, D-Mecklenburg
  • Makes permanent the 15-point scale for school performance grades, which is one of NCSBA’s top priorities for this legislative session
  • Requires the SBE to adopt emergency rules in preparation for permanent rule making
  • Directs the SBE to study (i) if the weighting of school achievement and school growth used to calculate school performance grades best reflects the performance and growth of each school and (ii) the reporting methods used for school accountability purposes on the NC annual school report cards

 

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-142 on Friday, July 19
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Corbin, R-Macon; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Johnson, R-Cabarrus
  • Combines the career and college readiness indicators used for school performance grades and for the purpose of compliance with federal law
  • Requires that the SBE include additional career and college readiness information on annual report cards

 

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-176 on Friday, July 26
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives D. Hall, R-Caldwell; Lewis, R-Harnett; Arp, R-Union
  • Requires LEAs to insure and keep insured buildings owned by the LEA to the extent of not less than 80% (previously not less than 75%) of the current insurable value against loss by an insurable hazard such as fire, windstorm, vandalism, sprinkler leakage, water damage, etc.
  • When property of the LEA is located in the 100-year flood plain on the latest Flood Insurance Rate Map, that local school board is required to insure or keep insured to the extent of not less than 80% of the current insurable value for flood damage to buildings and their contents
  • Requires county commissioners to provide the necessary funding for compliance
  • Transfers the School Insurance Fund Section of DPI to the Department of Insurance (DOI) – the balance of the Public School Insurance Fund will also be transferred to DOI

 

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-165 on Friday, July 26
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Ballard, R-Watauga
  • For the 2019-20 school year, requires each LEA to report its instructional calendar start and end dates to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the SBE by August 1, 2019 and requires the SBE to report the dates to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by September 1, 2019 — annually thereafter, requires each LEA to report by April 1 and the SBE to report by June 15
  • Staggers Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission appointments

 

SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-166 on Friday, July 26
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Gunn, R-Alamance; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Provides a limited exception to the prohibition of 16-18-year-old students participating in supervised, practice experiences with employers in occupations declared by the Commissioner of Labor to be detrimental to the health and well-being of youth
  • Clarifies that the Commissioner of Labor must make the required findings that would allow an eligible student to qualify for the exception

 

 

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 – July 26, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – July 19, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – July 19, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

It was a short week at the legislature with the Senate leaving on Tuesday and the House leaving on Wednesday. The Senate joint resolution (SJR 688) filed last Wednesday that would adjourn both chambers on Monday, July 22 and reconvene on Tuesday, August 27 has made no movement and will most likely not go into effect. The Speaker of the House indicated this week that the House has no plans of going home until the budget is resolved.

We are nineteen days into the new fiscal year and the budget waiting game continues. Until a new State budget becomes law, North Carolina will continue to operate on last year’s recurring funding levels. The stopgap budget measure (HB 111) passed the House last week and essentially saw no movement in the Senate this week. Senate leadership instead came up with their own stopgap budget measure (HB 961) titled “Ensuring Authorization of Federal Funds”. Unlike the House version, the Senate proposal does not fund k-12 ADM growth. The bill passed one committee and will likely be heard in the Senate Rules Committee early next week.

 

Headlines of K-12 Education Bills

For more detailed bill summaries see Highlights of K-12 Education Bills below.

 

Bills with House Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Transp Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

 

Bills with Senate Action

SB 354: Sam’s Law

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

 

Bills on the Governor’s Desk

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

 

Bills Still on the Governor’s Desk from Last Week

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

Bills with House Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

  • Approved by the House Rules Committee and placed on the House calendar for Monday, July 22
  • The bill does the following:
    • Establishes that school safety requirements apply to all public schools and strongly encourages non-public schools to participate in school safety plans
    • Clarifies the powers and duties of the Center for Safer Schools
    • Requires reporting on the operational status of all public schools during states of emergency
    • Defines the term “school resource officer” (SRO) and requires training for SROs
    • Requires annual vulnerability assessments for each public school building
  • The House Rules Committee made the following changes to the bill:
    • Requires threat assessment teams to be established at each public school and codifies the duties of threat assessment teams
    • Requires LEAs to require peer-to-peer support programs at all schools with grades six and higher
    • Requires DPI to transfer up to $1.5 million from the funds appropriated for the 2018-19 fiscal year for the anonymous safety tip line application to be used for the digital panic alarm system implemented by the Department of Public Safety (DPS)
    • Requires trauma kits to be in every public school classroom, but the contents inside the trauma kits are optional

 

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Transp Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and placed on the House Rules Committee agenda for Monday, July 22
  • The House Education K-12 Committee converted the original bill which allowed sick leave to be transferred between a charter school and a LEA to a bill addressing Currituck County schools and public school attendance data
  • The new version of the bill does the following:
    • Revises the geographically isolated schools formula regarding the allocation of teachers for Currituck County (the goal is to add one new teacher)
    • Increases the transportation efficiency budget rating for Currituck County Schools (the goal is to add two new busses to the fleet)
    • Requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to develop draft policies and procedures for auditing public school attendance and membership data, including schools participating in the virtual charter school pilot program

 

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

  • Passed third reading in the House and placed on the Senate calendar for Monday, July 22
  • Establishes a mandatory process for participating units seeking withdrawal from a regional school
  • Requires a participating unit to adopt a resolution requesting withdrawal (that includes a withdrawal plan) and submit a copy to the regional school board of directors
    • The participating unit must receive conditional approval to withdraw with a 2/3 vote from the board of directors
    • If the participating unit receives the 2/3 vote approval, the SBE must grant final approval
  • An amendment proposed on the House floor by Representative K. Smith, D-Pitt, that would give the SBE authority to make the final decision on approval of withdrawal, regardless of the board of directors’ vote, was not considered—the amendment was identical to one voted down in the House Rules committee last week—the floor amendment failed on a vote of 54-63 (click here to see vote)

 

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

  • The House vote on the Conference Report passed 110-0 and Senate vote on the Conference Report is scheduled for Monday, July 22
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators McInnis, R-Richmond; B. Jackson, R-Sampson
  • The conference report does the following:
    • Allows qualified freshmen (which was previously removed) and sophomores who meet the specified requirements to participate in college transfer pathways and enroll in college courses
    • Requires that the criteria for adjunct career and technical education (CTE) instructors weigh work experience and industry recognized licenses/credentials over educational attainment level
    • Adds the requirement that the SBE develop and report the minimum criteria developed in accordance with the previous bullet point to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by April 15, 2020
    • Adds that for the 2019-20 school year, an individual without an associate or baccalaureate degree meets the minimum criteria for an adjunct CTE instructor if the individual (i) can demonstrate a minimum of six years in the last ten years of professional experience in the relevant skill or trade and (ii) has a recognized industry credential or active professional license in each subject area

 

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

  • Approved by the House Rules Committee and passed second reading in the House 58-51
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Berger, R-Rockingham
  • Establishes individual reading plans (IRPs) for k-3 students performing below grade level
  • Establishes a Digital Children’s Reading Initiative, which provides free tools and resources to assist with learning outside of school
  • Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a task force to develop a Comprehensive Plan to Improve Literacy Instruction that will ensure literacy instruction in NC public schools is evidence-based, designed to improve student outcomes
  • Requires the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) to provide professional development in literacy instruction
  • Requires educator preparation programs (EPPs) to provide literacy training coursework for elementary education teachers
  • Requires the alignment of literacy curriculum and instruction with Read to Achieve
  • Requires DPI approval of local reading camp plans
  • Studies the phasing out of certain alternative assessments
  • Creates a uniform template for Read to Achieve data
  • Provides continuing education credits related to literacy for certain reading camp instructors and allows certain retired teachers to serve as reading camp instructors
  • Expands the Wolfpack WORKS program

 

Bills with Senate Action

SB 354: Sam’s Law

  • Failed to concur in the Senate
  • The Senate version of the bill is titled “Student Notice/Charter School Closure/Restr.” and does the following:
    • Requires notice to parents prior to closing a charter school or materially revising its charter
    • Requires notice and hearings prior to the termination of a charter or the nonrenewal of the charter of a continually low-performing charter school
  • The House version of the bill does the following:
    • Allows a parent of any student to petition a school for the development of a seizure action plan if the student is diagnosed with a seizure disorder and enrolled in the school
    • Requires each public school unit to adopt a policy outlining a seizure education program for all k-12 school personnel that have direct contact with students – must be administered on an annual basis in each school

 

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

  • Failed to concur in the Senate and conference committees were appointed
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga; Sawyer, R-Iredell
  • The Senate version of the bill does the following:
    • Eliminates the NC Final Exam
    • Establishes plans to reduce standardized testing by LEAs
    • Requires DPI to review the third grade English Language Arts assessment to ensure alignment with Reach to Achieve
  • The House version of the bill adds the following to the Senate version:
    • Replaces the EOGs with a through-grade assessment model that is similar to the NC Check-Ins
    • Replaces the EOCs with the ACT or other nationally recognized assessment of high school achievement and college readiness
    • Prohibits graduation projects as a condition of graduation
    • The bill modifies language that rewrites S.115C-81.36 in SB 500: Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment (S.L. 2019-120):
      • Changes “end-of-grade test” for students in grades three through five to “State-mandated test”
      • Changes “end-of-grade or end-of-course test” for students in grades six and higher to “State-mandated test that denotes superior command of knowledge and skills”

 

Bills on the Governor’s Desk

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 19
  • Requires LEAs to insure and keep insured buildings owned by the LEA to the extent of not less than 80% (previously not less than 75%) of the current insurable value against loss by an insurable hazard such as fire, windstorm, vandalism, sprinkler leakage, water damage, etc.
  • When property of the LEA is located in the 100-year flood plain on the latest Flood Insurance Rate Map, that local school board is required to insure or keep insured to the extent of not less than 80% of the current insurable value for flood damage to buildings and their contents
  • Requires county commissioners to provide the necessary funding for compliance
  • Transfers the School Insurance Fund Section of DPI to the Department of Insurance (DOI) – the balance of the Public School Insurance Fund will also be transferred to DOI

 

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

  • Presented to the Governor on Wednesday, July 17
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Ballard, R-Watauga
  • Repeals and changes certain education reports and report dates
  • Requires each LEA to annually report the instructional calendar start and end dates to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the SBE by April 1 and requires the SBE to annually report the dates to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by June 15 – for the 2019-20 school year, each LEA must submit its report by August 1, 2019 and the SBE must submit its report by September 1, 2019
  • Clarifies that Education Workforce Innovation Commission membership is extended to designees
  • Staggers Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission appointments
  • Exempts SBE charter actions from contested case provisions

 

SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities

  • Presented to the Governor on Wednesday, July 17
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Gunn, R-Alamance; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Provides a limited exception to the prohibition of 16-18-year-old students participating in supervised, practice experiences with employers in occupations declared by the Commissioner of Labor to be detrimental to the health and well-being of youth
  • Clarifies that the Commissioner of Labor must make the required findings that would allow an eligible student to qualify for the exception

 

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 19
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Brown, R-Onslow; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Designates the Superintendent of Public Instruction as an applicable elected representative who may approve bonds to finance or refinance a charter school facility
  • Clarifies charter school renewal standards
  • Requires background checks for charter boards of directors
  • Permits the SBE to allow a school participating in the virtual charter school pilot program to increase its student enrollment by more than 20% for any year of the school’s operation – NCSBA opposes this part of the bill because of the virtual charter schools’ failing school performance grades

 

Bills Still on the Governor’s Desk from Last Week

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 12
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson; Lucas, D-Cumberland
  • Makes clarifying/technical changes to the annual educator preparation program (EPP) performance report
  • Requires the SBE to adopt a rule creating a small group reporting exception any time data are at risk of being individually identifiable
  • Requires the SBE (in consultation with DPI and the Professional Educator Preparation & Standards Commission) to develop a scoring model that would compare the performance of each EPP and report it to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee
  • Requires the SBE to study two-year retention rates of EPP graduates initially licensed and employed in a NC public school as potential EPP performance measure

 

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 12
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Harris, D-Mecklenburg; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Autry, D-Mecklenburg
  • Makes permanent the 15-point scale for school performance grades, which is one of NCSBA’s top priorities for this legislative session
  • Requires the SBE to adopt emergency rules in preparation for permanent rule making
  • Directs the SBE to study the reporting methods used for school accountability purposes on the NC annual school report cards

 

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

  • Presented to the Governor on Thursday, July 11
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Corbin, R-Macon; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Johnson, R-Cabarrus
  • Combines the career and college readiness indicators used for school performance grades and for the purpose of compliance with federal law
  • Requires that the SBE include additional career and college readiness information on annual report cards

 

July 22-26 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, July 22

3:00 pm – House: Rules – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio)

 

 

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 – July 19, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – July 12, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – July 12, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

Plenty of legislation saw movement at the General Assembly this week, though the one that garnered the most attention did not budge at all – the State Budget bill (HB 966) and the potential override of Governor Cooper’s veto. During the first half of the week, high-pressure lobbying was evident by both parties on the House floor and in the halls trying to persuade members that were considered “in play.” Three-fifths of members present are needed to override the veto. If all are in attendance (which was not the case this week) seven House Democrats and one Senate Democrat are needed to join Republicans to successfully override the veto. Since HB 966 originated in the House, the House must be the first chamber to attempt the override.

House GOP leaders were constantly counting votes to obtain the three-fifths of members present. Republicans were said to be close, at times just one or two votes away. The minority leader publicly stated that Democrats feared leaving the House floor to go to the bathroom – in case a sudden override vote was called. In the end, the Speaker chose not to attempt an override, though it remains a possibility on any day that the House is in session.

Preparing for an indefinite stalemate, the Republican majority went with plan B – a stopgap budget measure – a six-page bill (HB 111) covering more than a dozen items that House budget writers said is primarily geared toward utilizing federal funds in the state budget (more details below). Representative Donny Lambeth, a bill sponsor, stated during the House floor debate that the bill is “absolutely vital” and designed to cover the minimum items necessary for the state to continue functioning. The Senate is expected to take up the stopgap measure next week – it remains unclear which parts of the bill they will agree to. Current law allows the state to operate at last year’s recurring funding levels. Programs and services funded with non-recurring dollars will not be funded unless legislative action is taken to do so.

A joint resolution (SJR 688) filed by the Senate on Wednesday gave us our first clue as to what the General Assembly’s upcoming schedule could possibly look like. The resolution calls for both chambers to adjourn on Monday, July 22, 2019. Both chambers would then reconvene on Tuesday, August 27, 2019. Neither chamber has yet to debate, let alone vote on the resolution. We will keep you posted!

 

Movement of K-12 Education Bills

Bills with House Action

HB 111: Supplemental Appropriations Act

  • Passed the House 118-0, sent to the Senate, and referred to the Senate Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsor: Representative Lambeth, R-Forsyth
  • Part II appropriates $50,548,003 in recurring funds for FY 2019-20 to fund changes in Average Daily Membership (ADM) and average salary adjustments in public schools

 

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

  • Referred to the House Insurance Committee
  • Requires LEAs to insure and keep insured buildings owned by the LEA to the extent of not less than 80% (previously not less than 75%) of the current insurable value against loss by an insurable hazard such as fire, windstorm, vandalism, sprinkler leakage, water damage, etc.
  • When property of the LEA is located in the 100-year flood plain on the latest Flood Insurance Rate Map, that local school board is required to insure or keep insured to the extent of not less than 80% of the current insurable value for flood damage to buildings and their contents
  • Requires county commissioners to provide the necessary funding for compliance
  • Transfers the School Insurance Fund Section of DPI to the Department of Insurance (DOI) – the balance of the Public School Insurance Fund will also be transferred to DOI

 

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and placed on the House Rules Committee agenda for Monday, July 15
  • The House Education K-12 Committee replaced the contents of the original bill that dealt with access to the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) for capital funding needs with language from HB 76: School Safety Omnibus
  • The new version of the bill does the following:
    • Establishes that school safety requirements apply to all public schools and encourages non-public schools to participate in school safety plans
    • Clarifies the powers and duties of the Center for Safer Schools
    • Requires reporting on the operational status of all public schools during states of emergency
    • Defines the term “school resource officer” (SRO) and requires training for SROs
    • Requires annual vulnerability assessments for each public school building

 

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and the House Rules Committee and placed on the House calendar for Monday, July 15
  • The House Education K-12 Committee replaced the contents of the original bill that dealt with extending the study of current statutes on regional schools and clarifying regional school transportation requirements to a bill that establishes a mandatory process for participating units seeking withdrawal from a regional school
  • The new version of the bill states that a participating unit must adopt a resolution requesting withdrawal (that includes a withdrawal plan) and submit a copy to the regional school board of directors
    • The participating unit must receive conditional approval to withdraw with a 2/3 vote from the board of directors
    • If the participating unit receives the 2/3 vote approval, the State Board of Education (SBE) must grant final approval
    • An amendment to give the SBE authority to make the final decision on approval of withdrawal, regardless of the board of directors’ vote, was voted down in the House Rules Committee

 

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

  • Placed on Senate calendar for concurrence for Monday, July 15
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Ballard, R-Watauga
  • Repeals and changes certain education reports and report dates
  • Requires each LEA to annually report the instructional calendar start and end dates to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the SBE by April 1 and requires the SBE to annually report the dates to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by June 15 – for the 2019-20 school year, each LEA must submit its report by August 1, 2019 and the SBE must submit its report by September 1, 2019
  • Clarifies that Education Workforce Innovation Commission membership is extended to designees
  • Staggers Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission appointments
  • Exempts SBE charter actions from contested case provisions

 

SB 354: Sam’s Law

  • Placed on Senate calendar for concurrence for Monday, July 15
  • Allows a parent of any student to petition a school for the development of a seizure action plan if the student is diagnosed with a seizure disorder and enrolled in the school
  • Requires at least one employee at each school to be trained to administer or assist with self-administration of seizure medication
  • Requires each public school to adopt a policy outlining a seizure education program for all K-12 school personnel that have direct contact with students
  • The House Rules Committee made the following changes to the bill:
    • Modifies the definition of a “school” to only include a school within a public school unit (previously included private and nonpublic schools)
    • Prohibits volunteers from administering or assisting with self-administration of seizure medication if the volunteer has not met the adopted training requirements
    • Modifies that the seizure education program must be administered on an annual basis in each school (was previously required in each public school unit)

 

SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities

  • Regular message received by the Senate for concurrence in House amendment
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Gunn, R-Alamance; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Provides a limited exception to the prohibition of 16-18-year-old students participating in supervised, practice experiences with employers in occupations declared by the Commissioner of Labor to be detrimental to the health and well-being of youth
  • Clarifies that the Commissioner of Labor must make the required findings that would allow an eligible student to qualify for the exception

 

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Berger, R-Rockingham
  • Establishes individual reading plans (IRPs) and a Digital Children’s Reading Initiative
  • Establishes a Comprehensive Plan to Improve Literacy Instruction
  • Requires the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) to provide professional development in literacy instruction
  • Requires educator preparation programs to provide literacy training coursework for elementary education teachers
  • Requires the alignment of literacy curriculum and instruction with Read to Achieve
  • Requires DPI approval of local reading camp plans
  • Studies the phasing out of certain alternative assessments
  • Creates a uniform template for Read to Achieve data
  • Provides continuing education credits related to literacy for certain reading camp instructors and allows certain retired teachers to serve as reading camp instructors
  • Expands the Wolfpack WORKS program

 

SB 476: Competency-Based Assessments & Mental Health/Teen Violence

  • Approved by the House Rules Committee and placed on the House calendar for Monday, July 15
  • The House Education K-12 Committee replaced the contents of the original bill that dealt with reaffirming local control over student discipline policies to a bill with the contents of HB 714: Competency-Based Assessments and HB 434: Suicide Risk Referral/Mental Health/Teen Violence
  • The new version of the bill does the following:
    • Directs the SBE to recommend steps necessary to transition to a competency-based assessment and teaching model for all elementary and secondary students
    • Requires public school units to adopt and implement a suicide risk referral protocol, a mental health training program, and a policy against teen dating violence and abuse

 

SB 522: Low-Performing Schools

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • The House Education K-12 Committee replaced the contents of the original bill that dealt with various changes to charter school laws to a bill with the contents of HB 798: Low-Performing Schools
  • The new version of the bill does the following:
    • Defines a qualifying school as a Title I school in the lowest performing 5% of school performance grades that is (i) governed by a LEA and (ii) receives funds under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
    • Aligns the selection of innovative schools with those identified by the SBE for comprehensive support and improvement
    • Expands options for the innovative school district (ISD) to require LEAs to inform boards of county commissioners of academic progress annually
    • Establishes a three-year process before a school can be transferred to the ISD beginning in the 2023-24 school year – NCSBA was instrumental in maintaining the three-process because the bill had previously been changed to make it a two-year process
    • The SBE may transfer up to five schools to the ISD annually beginning in the 2023-24 school year
    • In addition to the previously mentioned three-year process, requires the SBE to transfer the lowest scoring school in the State for the 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 school years to the ISD in the 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 school years respectively
    • Strikes language that a school in the innovation zone must become an innovative school if it does not exceed growth in the last two years of the five consecutive years in the innovation zone
    • Requires further study of reforms for assistance to low-performing schools

 

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

  • Placed on Senate calendar for concurrence for Monday, July 15
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga; Sawyer, R-Iredell
  • Eliminates the NC final exam
  • Replaces the EOGs with a through-grade assessment model that is similar to the NC Check-Ins
  • Replaces the EOCs with the ACT or other nationally recognized assessment of high school achievement and college readiness
  • Establishes plans to reduced standardized testing by LEAs
  • Prohibits graduation projects as a condition of graduation
  • Requires DPI to examine third grade English language arts assessments to better meet the goals of Read to Achieve
  • The House Rules Committee modified language that rewrites G.S.115C-81.36 in SB 500: Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment (S.L. 2019-120):
    • Changes “end-of-grade test” for students in grades three through five to “State-mandated test”
    • Changes “end-of-grade or end-of-course test” for students in grades six and higher to “State-mandated test that denotes superior command of knowledge and skills”

 

Bills on the Governor’s Desk

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 12
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson; Lucas, D-Cumberland
  • Makes clarifying/technical changes to the annual performance report
  • Requires the SBE to adopt a rule creating a small group reporting exception any time data are at risk of being individually identifiable
  • Requires the SBE (in consultation with DPI and the Professional Educator Preparation & Standards Commission) to develop a formulaic, performance-based weighted model and report it to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee
  • The Senate made the following changes to the bill:
    • Removes the requirement that two-year retention rates of EPP completers initially licensed and employed in NC public schools be used as a performance measure for EPPs
    • Adds the requirement that the SBE study the inclusion of two-year retention rates of EPP completers initially licensed and employed in NC public school as a performance measure for EPPs

 

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 12
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Harris, D-Mecklenburg; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Autry, D-Mecklenburg
  • Makes permanent the 15-point scale for school performance grades, which is one of NCSBA’s top priorities for this legislative session
  • Requires the SBE to adopt emergency rules in preparation for permanent rule making
  • Directs the SBE to study the reporting methods used for school accountability purposes on the NC annual school report cards
  • An amendment proposed on the Senate floor by Senator Waddell, D-Mecklenburg, to change the weight of school performance grades from 80% school achievement and 20% school growth to 51% school achievement and 49% school growth was not considered

 

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

  • Presented to the Governor on Thursday, July 11
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Corbin, R-Macon; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Johnson, R-Cabarrus
  • Combines the career and college readiness indicators used for school performance grades and for the purpose of compliance with federal law
  • Requires that the SBE include additional career and college readiness information on annual report cards

 

 

Bills Signed by the Governor

HB 924: Teacher Contract Changes

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-82 on Monday, July 8
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives D. Hall, R-Caldwell; Horn, R-Union
  • Clarifies eligibility for extended teacher contracts by defining a year of employment as not less than the standard 120 workdays performed as a teacher in a full-time permanent position (which had previously been the standard for career status)
  • The Senate amended the bill to include contents of SB 134: Economics & Financial Literacy Act, which establishes completion of an economics and personal finance course as a public high school graduation requirement beginning with the freshman class of 2020-21

 

SB 88: Electrician Requirements for Certain Organizations

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-78 on Thursday, July 4
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Sawyer, R-Iredell; T. Alexander, R-Cleveland
  • Enables licensed electrical contractors employed by schools to make repairs and conduct maintenance at all facilities at all times when done at the direction of the school

 

SB 219: Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-71 on Monday, July 1
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators McInnis, R-Richmond; Tillman, R-Randolph; Johnson, R-Union
  • Extends the timeframe to pass testing requirements for a continuing professional license (CPL) from two to three years
  • Provides a one-year initial professional license (IPL) extension for elementary and special education teachers
  • Creates a three-year nonrenewable limited license for:
    • Individuals who were issued an IPL but have not yet qualified for a CPL
    • Out-of-state applicants that do not have an IPL or a CPL, but have a current teacher license in good standing and at least three years of teaching experience
    • A military spouse who holds a current teaching license in another state
    • (An individual’s limited license can only be used in the LEA that requested it)
  • Authorizes LEAs to determine experience credit for teachers from other states to pay them at the commensurate level on the State salary schedule during the first year of the license
  • Reduces the number of years required to get a lifetime teaching license from 50 to 30 years
  • Authorizes emergency rulemaking by the SBE to implement the requirements of the bill in accordance with its timeline.

 

SB 399: Rehire High-Need Teachers

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-110 on Thursday, July 11
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Horner, R-Nash; Berger, R-Rockingham; Chaudhuri, D-Wake
  • Allows teachers who retired on or before February 1, 2019 to return to work in high-need schools (Title I schools or schools with an overall school performance grade of D or F at any point on or after July 1, 2017) without adversely impacting the retired teachers’ benefits
  • Qualifying schools would no longer be allowed to hire teachers who retired before February 1, 2019 under the earnings cap
  • Will be repealed if the IRS determines that the Teachers’ and State Employee’s Retirement System (TSERS) would be jeopardized
  • Any penalties assessed to the retirement system are the responsibility of the LEA
  • It is important that school districts note the potential for significant financial exposure once this session law is administered. NCSBA posed a series of questions to the Retirement System that we hope will help personnel directors and principals better understand the law. Click here to view the Q&A.

 

SB 500: Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-120 on Thursday, July 11
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Smith, D-Northampton; Tillman, R-Randolph; Chaudhuri, D-Wake
  • Makes the following modifications to the implementation of advanced math courses and opportunities:
    • When practicable, LEAs must offer advanced learning opportunities in math for students in grades three through five
    • Any student in grades three through five who scores at the highest level on the EOG must be provided advanced learning opportunities in math approved for that student’s grade level
    • Before a parent or guardian can provide written consent for their student to be excluded or removed from an advanced learning opportunity for students in grades three through five or from an advanced math course for students in grades six and higher, it is required that the parent or guardian be informed that the student’s placement was determined by the student’s achievement at the highest level on the previous EOG or EOC
    • Schools that did not offer Math I to eighth graders during the 2018-19 school year are not required to offer it for the 2019-20 school year, but are required to develop and submit an implementation plan by January 15, 2020 (schools may still offer Math I to eighth grades if they choose)
  • (See SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019 for changes in bill language)

 

July 15-19 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, July 15

3:00 pm – House: Rules – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio)

Tuesday, July 16

9:00 am – House: Insurance – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio)

1:00 pm – House: Education K-12 – Legislative Offices Building, rm 643 (audio)

 

 

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 – July 12, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – June 28, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – June 28, 2019

Week of July 4th

NCSBA will not be sending out a weekly legislative update next Friday, July 5 as the House will not be in session and the Senate will only be meeting on Monday and Tuesday at most.

 

State Budget Released

The conference report for the State budget was released this past Tuesday night and was approved by both chambers on Wednesday and Thursday. In the Senate, both votes were 33-15 with four Democrat Senators joining Senate Republicans. In the House, three Democrat Representatives joined Republicans in a 66-51 vote on Wednesday, and one Democrat joined House Republicans in the 64-49 vote on Thursday. To see the votes, click here.

All eyes are now on Governor Cooper, who stated this morning that he will veto the budget when he receives it. When the budget is vetoed, it will take 3/5 of those present and voting in each chamber to override the Governor’s veto. In the House that would be 72 votes, if everyone is present and voting, and in the Senate that would be 30 votes, if everyone is present and voting.

We hope that yesterday’s email containing notable education k-12 State budget provisions was helpful in understanding how the budget will affect your school district. We have compiled a chart that includes House, Senate, and Conference budget numbers. All State budget provisions will be summarized in the final legislative session summary if the current budget is ultimately adopted.

If there is no State budget enacted by July 1, the State would continue to operate under the provisions set forth in G.S. 143C-5-4. This statute would apply until such time as a State budget is adopted (i.e. NC can operate indefinitely without a new budget). The provisions in the statute that apply directly to public schools are the following:

  • Recurring funds will be allocated at the same level as the prior fiscal year (i.e. non-recurring funds will not be allocated)
  • Salary schedules from the previous fiscal year will remain in place and employees shall NOT move up on salary schedules or receive automatic step increases
  • Employer contribution rates for retirement and related benefits will remain at the same level as June 30

Click here to view the State budget bill.

Click here to view the budget comparison chart.

Click here to view a list of education k-12 budget provisions and page numbers.

Click here to view notable education k-12 budget provisions listed by category.

Click here to view State Capital and Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) allocations by LEA.

 

Movement of K-12 Education Bills

Bills Signed by the Governor

HB 57: Create Term for Public Schools & Codify NCVPS

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-51 on Wednesday, June 26
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Elmore, R-Wilkes; Johnson, R-Cabarrus; Horn, R-Union
  • Defines a public school unit as a local school administrative unit, a charter school, a regional school, or a school providing elementary or secondary instruction operated by the State Board of Education, such as innovative schools and schools for students with visual and hearing impairments, or the University of North Carolina, such as the NC School of the Arts high school, NC School of Science and Mathematics, and UNC Laboratory Schools
  • Codifies the NC Virtual Public School

 

SB 227: TP3/Principal Fellows Consolidation

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-60 on Thursday, June 27
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Tillman, R-Randolph
  • Maintains the existing administration of the Transforming Principal Preparation Program (TP3) for current grant recipients until 2021 (previously, the TP3 program was to be transferred to the control of the Principal Fellows Commission on July 1, 2019)
  • Merges the TP3 and the Principal Fellows Program on July 1, 2021 to become the North Carolina Principal Fellows and TP3 Commission

 

Bills Sent to the Governor

SB 399: Rehire High-Need Teachers

  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Horner, R-Nash; Berger, R-Rockingham; Chaudhuri, D-Wake
  • Allows teachers who retired on or before February 1, 2019 to return to work in high-need schools (Title I schools or schools with an overall school performance grade of D or F at any point on or after July 1, 2017) without adversely impacting the retired teachers’ benefits
  • Qualifying schools would no longer be allowed to hire teachers who retired before February 1, 2019 under the earnings cap
  • Will be repealed if the IRS determines that the Teachers’ and State Employee’s Retirement System (TSERS) would be jeopardized
  • Any penalties assessed to the retirement system are the responsibility of the LEA

 

SB 500: Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment

  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Smith, D-Northampton; Tillman, R-Randolph; Chaudhuri, D-Wake
  • Makes the following modifications to the implementation of advanced math courses and opportunities for grades three and higher:
    • When practicable, LEAs must offer advanced learning opportunities in math in grades three through five
    • Any student in grades three through five who scores at the highest level on the EOG must be provided advanced learning opportunities in math approved for that student’s grade level
    • Before a parent or guardian can provide written consent for their student to be excluded or removed from an advanced learning opportunity for students in grades three through five or from an advanced math course for students in grades six and higher, it is required that the parent or guardian be informed that the student’s placement was determined by the student’s achievement at the highest level on the previous EOG or EOC
    • Schools that did not offer Math I to eighth graders during the 2018-19 school year are not required to offer it for the 2019-20 school year, but are required to develop and submit an implementation plan by January 15, 2020 (schools may still offer Math I to eighth grades if they choose)

 

HB 924: Teacher Contract Changes

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives D. Hall, R-Caldwell; Horn, R-Union
  • Clarifies eligibility for extended teacher contracts by defining a year of employment as not less than the standard 120 workdays performed as a teacher in a full-time permanent position (which had previously been the standard for career status)
  • The Senate amended the bill to include contents of SB 134: Economics & Financial Literacy Act, which establishes completion of an economics and personal finance course as a public high school graduation requirement beginning with the freshman class of 2020-21

 

Bills with House Action

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

  • Placed on the House calendar for Tuesday, July 9
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Corbin, R-Macon; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Johnson, R-Cabarrus
  • Combines the career and college readiness indicators used for school performance grades and for the purpose of compliance with federal law
  • Requires that the SBE include additional career and college readiness information on annual report cards

 

SB 230: Excused Absences for Military Children

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators D. Davis, D-Greene; Brown, R-Onslow, Ballard, R-Watauga
  • Directs the SBE to adopt rules providing for excused absences from school for children of members of the U.S. armed forces

 

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Ballard, R-Watauga
  • Repeals and changes certain education reports and report dates
  • Requires each LEA to annually report the instructional calendar start and end dates to the Superintendent of Public Instruction by April 1 and requires the SBE to annually report the dates to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by June 15
  • The House Education K-12 Committee added three new parts to the bill:
    • Clarifies that education workforce innovation commission membership is extended to designees
    • Staggers professional educator preparation and standards commission appointments
    • Exempts SBE charter actions from contested case provisions

 

SB 354: Sam’s Law

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Edwards, R-Henderson; Harrington, R-Gaston
  • Allows a parent of any student to petition a school for the development of a seizure action plan if the student is diagnosed with a seizure disorder and enrolled in the school
  • Requires at least one school employee to be trained to administer and assist with self-administration of seizure medication
  • Requires each public school to adopt a policy outlining a seizure education program for all K-12 school personnel that have direct contact with students

 

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga; Sawyer, R-Iredell
  • The House Education K-12 Committee combined this bill with HB 377: Reduce Testing, which is sponsored by Representatives Elmore, R-Wilkes; K. Hall, R-Stokes; Bell, R-Wayne; Conrad, R-Forsyth
  • Eliminates the NC final exam
  • Replaces the EOGs with a through-grade assessment model that is similar to the NC Check-Ins
  • Replaces the EOCs with the ACT or other nationally recognized assessment of high school achievement and college readiness
  • Establishes plans to reduced standardized testing by LEAs
  • Prohibits graduation projects as a condition of graduation
  • Requires DPI to examine third grade English language arts assessments to better meet the goals of Read to Achieve

 

Bills with Senate Action

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

  • Approved by the Senate Rules Committee and sent to the Senate Floor
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson; Lucas, D-Cumberland
  • Includes the two-year retention rates of EPP completers initially licensed and employed in NC public schools as a performance standard for EPPs
  • Makes clarifying/technical changes to the annual performance report
  • Requires the SBE to adopt a rule creating a small group reporting exception any time data are at risk of being individually identifiable
  • Requires the SBE (in consultation with DPI and PEPSC) to develop a formulaic, performance-based weighted model and report it to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee
  • The Senate Education Committee added the following to the bill:
    • Require the SBE to at least annually review the accountability state of each EPP and assign warned, probation, or revoked statuses to EPPs that do not meet accountability standards

 

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

  • Approved by the Senate Rules Committee and sent to the Senate floor
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Harris, D-Mecklenburg; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Autry, D-Mecklenburg
  • Makes permanent the 15-point scale for school performance grades
  • The Senate Education Committee added the following to the bill:
    • Require the SBE to adopt emergency rules in preparation for permanent rule making
    • Direct the SBE to study the reporting methods used for school accountability purposes on the NC annual school report cards

 

 

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

  • Approved by the Senate Rules Committee and sent to the Senate floor
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives D. Hall, R-Caldwell; Lewis, R-Harnett; Arp, R-Union
  • The Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee replaced the contents of the original bill that dealt with changes to the Vacation Rental Act with a bill dealing with State insurance coverage for public school buildings and community colleges
  • The new version of the bill does the following:
    • Requires local boards of education to insure and keep insured buildings owned by the LEA to the extent of not less than 80% of the current insurable value against loss by an insurable hazard such as fire, windstorm, vandalism, sprinkler leakage, water damage, etc.
    • When property of the LEA is located in the 100-year flood plain on the latest Flood Insurance Rate Map, that local school board is required to insure or keep insured to the extent of not less than 80% of the current insurable value for flood damage to buildings and their contents
    • Requires county commissioners to provide the necessary funding for compliance
    • Transfers the School Insurance Fund Section of DPI to the Department of Insurance (DOI) – the balance of the Public School Insurance Fund will also be transferred to DOI

 

Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education – June 25

At this month’s meeting, commission members revisited each work group’s draft priorities. Priority topics include finances and resources, teachers, principals, early childhood/“whole child”, and assessment and accountability. While there were many technical changes suggested amongst work groups, the main discussion centered around the teacher work group draft priorities presentation. The group introduced the idea of a sliding scale that would pay teachers depending on whether they teach in a low wealth district and/or a high poverty school. The idea was favored by many commission members, but there were also concerns expressed. Teacher work group members were asked to consider whether this framework might incentivize schools to re-segregate in an attempt to receive more funding and whether teacher retention might decrease when new teachers are placed in high-needs schools under the proposed expansion of the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program (NC NTSP). After hearing numerous suggestions for all work groups, a July meeting is planned to be scheduled as the commission prepares to compile each work group’s priorities.

Click here to access all agenda items and attachments.

 

 

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 – June 28, 2019
read more