Rebekah Howard

NCSBA Legislative Update – May 17, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – May 17, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

It was a quiet week at the General Assembly. The House had no-vote sessions on Monday and Tuesday and few committee meetings during the remainder of the week. The House did debate and pass HB 667: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility (Howard, R-Davie; Saine, R-Lincoln; Szoka, R-Cumberland; Hunter, D-Hertford), which is on the NCSBA Legislative Agenda (see below).

The Senate also had minimal committee and floor action, but the Senate Appropriations Committee chairs have been working behind closed doors to meet their end of May deadline for budget passage. Like the House, the Senate will include a tax reduction package in their appropriations bill. The Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Rules Committee approved SB 622: Tax Reduction Act of 2019 (Tillman, R-Randolph; Hise, R-Mitchell; Newton, R-Cabarrus) to increase the standard deduction for individuals, reduce the franchise tax for corporations, require sales tax collections by out-of-state sellers, and make other minor tax changes. The total cost of the tax changes is $5.3 million in FY 2019-20 and $144.6 million in FY 2020-21. With the exception of one democrat in support, the bill passed second reading on Thursday with a 26-19 vote along party lines. Third reading is scheduled for Monday night.

 

House Bill 667: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility

This week the House approved House Bill 667 (Howard, R-Davie; Saine, R-Lincoln; Szoka, R-Cumberland; Hunter, D-Hertford) on second reading by a vote of 93-5 and on third reading by a vote of 107-5. The bill increases the Article 46 sales tax that counties can levy for “general purposes” from 1/4% to 1/2%, upon approval of voters in a referendum. The maximum county tax will be capped at 2.5% for 94 counties and 2.75% for Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Orange, and Wake counties. 42 counties have approved an Article 46 tax since it was enacted in 2007 and may ask voters for another 1/4%. The remaining counties may ask voters for 1/2% but in 1/4% increments. The bill allows counties to specify on the ballot that the tax will be used for either general public purposes, public education purposes, or both. Public education purposes include the following:

  • Public school capital outlay or retirement of public-school debt,
  • Teacher salary supplements, and
  • Financial support of community colleges.

Click here to read the legislative staff summaries of HB 667, which includes a chart of county tax rates.

Click here to read NCSBA’s issue brief on school construction and capital.

 

Meetings with Education Chairs

Now that the Crossover deadline has passed, the Governmental Relations team is meeting with House and Senate Education Chairs and their policy advisors to discuss education bills of interest or concern to NCSBA. The team is encouraging Education Chairs to schedule bills for a vote in their committees. We are working with legislators and legislative staff to amend bills that do not conform to our legislative agenda.

 

Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education – May 14

This week’s meeting consisted of commission member work groups presenting their draft priorities. Priority topics include finance and resources, teachers, principals, early childhood/“whole child”, and assessment and accountability. This meeting brought a change in dynamic as members heard more perspective from each other concerning how their previous and/or current career experience can help shape the commission’s priorities.

There was discussion on advocating for a tiered teacher salary schedule that would help close the teacher wage gap between low-wealth and high-wealth districts. Many members also voiced support for the idea of adding the teaching profession to the CTE (Career and Technical Education) pathways program. During the presentation by the assessment and accountability work group, commission member Police Chief Moore of Rocky Mount expressed concern about students being arrested at schools by SROs (school resources officers) rather than being given administrative discipline, which he believes is contributing to the school-to-prison pipeline and reducing students’ opportunities to be successful after graduation. All members expressed their desire to see students flourish and hope to promote equity as they continue to formulate their priorities.

Click here to access all agenda items and attachments.

 

May 20-24 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, May 20

1:00 pm – Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee – Legislative Offices Building, rm 544 (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 – May 17, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – May 10, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – May 10, 2019

2019 “Long” Session Crossover Week – Inside the Numbers

This has been a bizarre session and crossover week was no exception. Traditionally, both chambers have four voting sessions (Monday night-Thursday morning) per week. For most of the 2019 “long” session, the House cut their voting days in half, with no votes on Mondays and Tuesdays. The overall pace feels even slower than the 2017 “long” session when lawmakers filed the fewest number of bills of any “long” session this century. During the 2017 session, 208 bills were signed into law. So far this session, 12 new laws have passed, and only 6 of them required the Governor’s signature. At this point two years ago, the General Assembly voted to override 4 of Governor Cooper’s vetoes. This session: 1 veto, 0 overrides.

Thursday, May 9 was the self-imposed General Assembly “crossover” deadline. This is the last day for non-appropriation and non-tax bills to pass out of one chamber to still be considered “alive” for the remainder of the biennium (though many bills could technically find a way to “rise from the dead” until the 2020 session adjourns sine die).

The final days before “crossover” are typically a very hectic time with numerous committees meeting simultaneously, several daily sessions, and countless caucus meetings. Most years we experience very late nights, and often times the crossover deadline is extended. This year was different. Both chambers finished their work early – the House by two days, the Senate by one (that has never happened in recent memory). In all, 109 bills made crossover this past week. That’s about half the number of bills compared to the two previous crossover weeks (217 bills in 2017 and 203 bills in 2015).

 

2019 K-12 Education Bills to Make Crossover

Below are links to lists of notable K-12 education bills that have passed at least one chamber this session. The lists include bill number, short title, primary sponsors, description, and pertinent comments NCSBA has about a bill.

Click here to view House education K-12 bills that made crossover.

Click here to view Senate education K-12 bills that made crossover.

 

Update on Controversial Education Bills

Last week we highlighted two controversial bills that were seeing movement and had not yet made the crossover deadline.

SB 522: Various Changes to Charter School Laws (Senator Tillman, R-Randolph)

  • Our primary concern was that this bill authorized county commissioners to provide capital funding to charter schools. We were successful in having that section removed before the bill passed the Senate. However, the bill still contains a section lifting the enrollment cap for the 2 virtual charter schools. These schools are in their 4th year of operation and in every year both of them received a D school performance grade and did not meet growth.

 

SB 639: Education Funding Transparency (Senators Edwards, R-Henderson; Ballard, R-Watauga)

  • This bill required countless hours of unnecessary work for LEAs during the budget process. This bill never passed out of the Senate Education committee and thus did not make the crossover deadline.

 

We appreciate all of your efforts. Your calls and emails made a difference. Thank you!

 

Senate Budget Preparation

The House passed its proposed state budget last Friday with a final vote of 61-51. Attention now turns to the Senate as they develop their version of the budget.

The original budget calendar that was released 3 months ago had the Senate passing its budget proposal on Friday, May 24. Earlier this week Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown, who is also the senior Senate budget writer, confirmed to the media that the goal is to pass his chamber’s budget by the end of May. At that point, House and Senate leaders will begin working on a compromise budget to present to the Governor.

 

May 13-17 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Wednesday, May 15

8:30 am – House: Finance – Legislative Offices Building, rm 544 (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 – May 10, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – May 3, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – May 3, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

This week has been full of activity. The House has been meeting late, voting on the budget, and taking up dozens of bills a day ahead of next week’s crossover deadline. The Senate had constant back-to-back committee meetings with long sessions. This is the time of year that controversial bills hit the fast track as we approach the crossover deadline. Three such bills on the move this week include SB 522, SB 639, and HB 798.

Senate Bill 522: Various Changes to Charter School Laws (Senator Tillman, R-Randolph) passed out of the Senate Education committee on Thursday after an amendment removed several sections. The amendment would authorize Boards of County Commissioners to provide capital funds to charter schools. Senator Tillman promised the Senate Education committee that while this bill says counties “may” provide capital to charters it will not be too long before the legislation will say “must” provide capital to charters. This is bad news! The current backlog for LEA school construction statewide is more than $8 billion. Where is the money for charter school construction going to come from? Who is going to own that building? Is the county going to invest money in a private building? Charter schools knew what they were signing up for – they made that choice. The bill’s next stop is scheduled to be the Senate Rules committee and then the Senate floor. Please contact your Senator and urge them to vote no.

Senate Bill 639: Education Funding Transparency (Senators Edwards, R-Henderson; Ballard, R-Watauga) was removed this week from the Senate Rules committee and referred to the Senate Education committee.

This legislation is not needed – it is already covered in state statute. G.S.115-429(c) states, “The board of county commissioners shall have full authority to call for, and the board of education shall have the duty to make available to the board of county commissioners, upon request, all books, records, audit reports, and other information…”

We urge finance officers, school board members, and superintendents to review this legislation and contact the three Senate Education Chairs if you have issues with this bill and request that this bill not be heard in committee. Senate Education Chairs:

  • Senator Ballard
    • Office phone: (919) 733-5742
    • Email: Deanna.Ballard@ncleg.net
  • Senator Horner
    • Office phone: (919) 715-3030
    • Email: Rick.Horner@ncleg.net
  • Senator Tillman
    • Office phone: (919) 733-5870
    • Email: Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net

This proposed legislation mandates countless hours of extra work by all LEAs. A more efficient approach is to educate boards of county commissioners that they can request this information if they want it.

Click here for a more detailed analysis of SB 639.

House Bill 798: Low-Performing Schools (Representatives Elmore, R-Wilkes; Bell, R-Wayne; Brockman, D-Guilford) passed the House and was sent to the Senate on Friday afternoon. This bill would change the selection process for schools in the Innovative School District (ISD), require additional reporting of the local school board to county commissioners, and change the definition of a qualifying school. HB 798 would create a 4-year process that schools would go through before being selecting to the ISD beginning with the 2023-2024 school year. However, this bill also requires the SBE to select the lowest scoring school in the State based on school performance from each school year from 2019-2020 to 2022-2023 to be in the ISD.

 

House Budget

The House budget includes pay increases for teachers, principals, assistant principals, and noncertified personnel. Current salary schedules will stay in effect through December 31, 2019.

  • Teachers will receive an average 4.6% pay increase. (pgs. 76-80)
    • The “M” salary schedule will be reinstated and teachers who qualify will receive a 10% pay increase on their monthly salary.
    • The budget focuses on salary increases for teachers with at least 16 years of experience.
    • Teachers with 30 plus years of experience will earn an annual salary of at least $65,000.
  • Principals will receive an average 10% pay increase. (pgs. 80-84)
    • Principals monthly base salary from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 is determined by school ADM, placement on the teacher “A” salary schedule plus 25%, and school growth.
    • Page 82 of the House budget provides a table outlining the principal salary structure.
    • Page 83 of the House budget provides a table of 2019-2020 principal bonuses for principals whose school was in the top 50% of school growth in the State during the previous school year.
  • Assistant principals will receive an average 6.3% pay increase. (pgs. 84-85)
    • Assistant principals monthly base salary from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 is based on the “A” teacher salary schedule plus 20%.
  • Noncertified personnel will receive a 1% or $500 pay increase. (pg. 87)

Click here to view the House budget.

Click here to view the House budget money report.

 

Education Bills Passed by the House and Sent to the Senate

HB 714: Competency Based Assessment

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Blackwell, R-Burke
  • This bill would direct the SBE to recommend steps for transition to a competency-based assessment and teaching model for all elementary and second students in NC.
  • Passed 114-0
  • Regular message sent to Senate

HB 895: Opportunity Gap Task Force

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Blackwell, R-Burke; Brockman, D-Guilford; Horn, R-Union; Meyer, D-Orange
  • This bill would establish the opportunity gap task force. The bill includes task force membership, the responsibilities of the task force, and who the task force should seek input from.
  • Passed 112-2
  • Regular message sent to Senate

HB 924: Teacher Contract Changes

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives D. Hall, R-Caldwell; Horn, R-Union
  • This bill would define years of employment for a teacher as not less than 120 workdays in a full-time permanent position. If a teacher was on approved/legally entitled leave and did not work for at least 120 days, that year would not constitute a year of employment nor be considered a break in the continuity of consecutive years of employment.
  • Passed 113-0
  • Passed House 3rd reading

HB 933: Study Career/College Readiness

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Blackwell, R-Burke; Clemmons, D-Guilford; Horn, R-Union; Hardister, R-Guilford
  • This bill would establish the study of career and college readiness in NC schools and how to incorporate career and college readiness measures into school performance grades for high schools.
  • Passed 114-0
  • Regular message sent to Senate

 

Education Bill Passed by the Senate and Sent to the House

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga; Sawyer, R-Iredell
  • This bill would require LEAs to implement a plan to eliminate certain local standardized testing if the number of tests administered or the number of hours required for students to complete tests exceeds the State average.
  • Passed 48-0
  • Referred to House Rules

 

State Board of Education Meeting—May 2

As board members received the monthly legislative update during this Thursday’s meeting, there was much discussion centered around SB 134: Economics & Financial Literacy Act. There were questions regarding what type of economics would be taught in this specific course compared to a standard civics and economics course, what textbooks and resources would be used to teach this course, and what measures would be taken in discussing the racial wealth gap. The bill is included in Section 7.18 of the House budget (HB 966) with funding for professional development.

Another topic of lengthy discussion was the issue session presentation on the Maryland Department of Education’s implementation of equity in each local school district. Every LEA is required to have an equity plan in place, and every actor in each public agency has a commitment to equity. While Maryland’s and North Carolina’s definitions of equity share many commonalities, one of the main differences between the two states is that every measure of equity success in Maryland has a baseline, which is not the case in North Carolina. Board members agreed that implementing equity is vital, but they also confronted the reality that this would be a constant process of amending definitions and strategies to better exemplify our continuously evolving society and culture.

 

May 6-10 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, May 6

9:30 am – House: Rules, Calendar, and Operations – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio)

3:00 pm – Senate: Pensions and Retirement and Aging – Legislative Building, rm 1124/1224 (audio)

 

 **REMINDER**

The crossover deadline is next Thursday, May 9.

 

 

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 – May 3, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – April 26, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – April 26, 2019

Legislative Public Policy Conference

The NCSBA Legislative Public Policy Conference is scheduled for next week on April 30 and May 1 in Raleigh at the NCSBA building.

Click the agenda button below to view our modified conference schedule.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW CONFERENCE AGENDA 

The registration rate is $325. Click here to register.

 

House Budget

There are 36 special provisions in the public education section of the budget. Many of them are repeated from year to year, deal directly with operations within DPI, or follow the money in the money report.

The Education, Appropriations committee is currently meeting, but we do not believe that any additional amendments will have substitutional effect on the education budget.

Click here to see our money report summary. Below are short summaries of the special provisions that we believe are particularly important to local boards of education.

H20 (pgs. 29-30)

  • Creates a definition of a public school 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 (SBE) or the University of North Carolina
  • Requires an annual census of school resources officers by the Center for Safer Schools – a report shall be based on the census and submitted to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee and SBE by March 1

H28 (pgs. 34-35)

  • Only allows changes in school calendar to be adopted when addressing severe weather, energy shortage, utility failure, public health or school safety crisis, school building or transportation emergency, or act of God
  • Allows teacher personal leave days to be transferred between LEAs
  • Restricts the use of teacher personal leave days to only be granted if requested at least five days in advance with a confirmed substitute

The following N&O article explains how this provision is an effort by lawmakers to ban future teacher rallies.

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article229714994.html

H15A (pgs. 41-43)

  • Establishes the UpStart Virtual Early Learning pilot program (i.e. virtual pre-k)
    • SBE will contract with a third-party organization with experience in home-based educational technology programs for preschool-age children
    • SBE will select up to ten LEAs to participate
    • Child eligibility: four years old on or before August 31 of the program year and at-risk
    • SBE will make a report on the program to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by November 30 during each year of the pilot program

H25 (pgs. 44-45)

  • SBE shall approve no fewer than three K-3 assessment instruments designed by no fewer than three vendors for selection by LEAs (the current requirement is one)
  • The State Superintendent’s Evaluation Panel shall select the vendors by August 1, 2019

H41 (pgs. 47-54)

  • Defines unfit instructional materials as “(i) obscene, (ii) inappropriate to the age, maturity, or grade level of the students, or (iii) not aligned with the standard course of study
  • Requires LEAs to evaluate and adopt instructional and supplemental materials/textbooks (previously done by the state) and maintain an instructional materials repository
  • Allows parents to withhold their consent to students’ participation in health and safety programs
  • (this provision contains the same language as House Bill 315, which has passed the House)

H34 (pg. 55)

  • Calculates school performance grades using 51% school achievement score and 49% school growth score
  • Reinstates the 15-point grading scale for school performance grades

H36A (pgs. 56-58)

  • Expands funds in the State Public School Fund (SPSF) for classroom teachers to include program enhancement (PE) teachers for grades K-12
  • With remaining funds in SPSF the SBE shall set teacher to student ratios for class size in grades 4-12
  • Adds dual language immersion for certain classes to the definition of “program enhancement”
  • Modifies allotment ratio to one PE teacher per 140 students

H18 (pg. 59)

  • Requires LEAs to publish a schedule of fees, charges, and solicitations approved by the LEA on their website by October 15 of each school year

H19 (pgs. 61-62)

  • SBE may approve up to four cooperative innovative high school applications that request additional funds – SBE shall prioritize LEAs that currently do not have a cooperative innovative high school

H43 (pgs. 67-68)

  • Allots $145.00 to each eligible classroom teacher as of January 1 each year for the purchase of classroom supplies – the $15 million of nonrecurring funds will cover six months of the year

 

Education Bills Passed by the House and Sent to the Senate

HB 434: Suicide Risk Referral/Mental Health/Teen Violence

  • Primary Sponsors: Horn, R-Union; Cunningham, D-Mecklenburg; Murphy, R-Pitt; White, R-Johnston
  • This bill would require LEAs, charter, regional, innovative, laboratory, and renewal schools to adopt and implement a suicide risk protocol, a mental health training program, and a policy against teen dating violence and abuse.
  • Passed 105-1

HB 493: Abuse & Neglect Resources

  • Primary Sponsors: White, R-Johnston; Horn, R-Union
  • This bill would require public schools to provide students with information and resources regarding child abuse and neglect.
  • Passed 106-2

HB 521: Transitional License/Teacher from Other State

  • Primary Sponsors: Clemmons, D-Guilford; Horn, R-Union; Riddell, R-Alamance; Gailliard, D-Nash
  • This bill would provide a three-year transitional license for out-of-state teachers, authorize LEAs to determine experience credit for those teachers, and modify the requirements for a lifetime license.
  • Passed 108-0

HB 563: 30 Minute Duty-Free Lunch for Teachers

  • Primary Sponsor: Torbett, R-Gaston
  • This bill would provide a minimum of thirty minutes of duty-free lunch time for teachers to the extent possible.
  • Passed 107-2

HB 653: School Transportation Personnel Salary Changes

  • Primary Sponsor: Torbett, R-Gaston
  • This bill would direct the State Board of Education to reclassify and establish positions related to school transportation and provide LEAs with additional information on the cost of salary revisions for transportation personnel.
  • Passed 108-0

 

Bill on NCSBA’s Agenda

House Bill 986: Restore LEA Sales Tax Benefit

  • Primary Sponsors: Lofton, D-Mecklenburg; Ross, R-Alamance; Meyer, D-Orange
  • This bill would restore the sales tax refund authorized for local school administrative units.

Click here to read our issue brief on Sales Tax Refund.

 

April 29 – May 3 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Tuesday, April 30

9:00 am – Senate: Rules and Operations – Legislative Building, rm 1027/1128 (audio)

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

Wednesday, May 1

11:00 am – Senate: Education/Higher Education – Legislative Building, rm 1027/1128 (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 – April 26, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – April 18, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – April 18, 2019

Legislative Public Policy Conference

The NCSBA Legislative Public Policy Conference is scheduled for April 30 and May 1 in Raleigh at the NCSBA building.

Click the agenda button below to view our modified conference schedule.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW CONFERENCE AGENDA 

The registration rate is $325. Click here to register.

 

Key House Education Bills Filed this Week

HB 837: School Calendar Flex/Low Performing Schools

  • Primary Sponsors: Brockman, D-Guilford; Riddell, R-Alamance
  • This bill would exempt a low-performing school from the required opening and closing dates for three consecutive school years following the year that the State Board of Education identifies the school as low-performing.

 

HB 859: Classroom Supplies to Teachers

  • Primary Sponsors: Saine, R-Lincoln; Elmore, R-Wilkes
  • This bill would redirect approximately $37 million of the $47 million allotment for Classroom Materials/Instructional Supplies/Equipment. This $37 million would be used to reimburse teachers up to $400 for purchasing their own classroom supplies.
  • HB 859 is identical to SB 580, which was covered more thoroughly in a previous update. Click on the link below to read more about NCSBA’s analysis of SB 580. https://www.ncsba.org/2019/04/ncsba-legislative-update-april-5-2019/

 

HB 890: Restore Master’s Pay for Certain Teachers

  • Primary Sponsors: Hawkins, D-Durham; Clemmons, D-Guilford; Gill, D-Wake; von Haefen, D-Wake
  • This bill would allow the following teachers and instructional support personnel with master’s degrees to be paid on the “M” salary schedule or receive a salary supplement for their academic preparation at the six-year or doctoral degree level:
    • Certified school nurses and instructional support personnel in positions that require a master’s degree,
    • Teachers and instructional support personnel who were paid on the “M” salary schedule or received the salary supplement prior to the 2014-15 school year, and
    • Teachers who spend at least 70% of their work time in classroom instruction related to their graduate academic preparation in their field within their area of licensure.
  • HB 890 is identical to SB 28.

 

Bills Passed by the House and sent to the Senate

HB 437: Education on the Holocaust and Genocide

  • Primary Sponsors: Johnson, R-Cabarrus; Horn, R-Union; Howard, R-Davie; Elmore, R-Wilkes
  • This bill would require the State Board of Education to integrate education on the Holocaust and genocide into English and social studies courses and develop curriculum for a Holocaust Studies elective.
  • Passed 112-0
  • Referred to Senate Rules committee

HB 151: Katelyn’s Law

  • Primary Sponsor: Lambeth, R-Forsyth
  • This bill would require the State Board of Education to adopt rules excusing absences for students attending a legislative event or visiting the NC General Assembly.
  • Passed 110-2
  • Referred to Senate Rules committee

 

Bills Passed by the Senate and sent to the House

SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities

  • Primary Sponsors: Ballard, R-Watauga; Gunn, R-Alamance; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • This bill would allow 16-18-year-old youth to participate in supervised, practice experience in an occupation that is declared to be detrimental to the health and well-being of youth by the Commissioner of Labor.
  • Passed 44-0

 

SB 392: Superintendent May Approve Charter Facility Bonds

  • Primary Sponsors: Ballard, R-Watauga; Brown, R-Onslow; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • This bill would allow the Superintendent of Public Instruction to approve private activity bonds used to finance a charter school facility.
  • Passed 33-11

 

SB 476: Reaffirm Local Control of Discipline Policies

  • Primary Sponsors: Horner, R-Nash; Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga
  • This bill would allow LEAs to have control over student discipline polices that are consistent with federal law. Each LEA would report their most current copy of student discipline policies to DPI no later than September 1 of each year.
  • Passed 21-16

 

Bills Approved by House Education K-12 Committee

Bill Description Referred to
HB 485: Virtual Early Learning Pilot Program

 

This bill would provide $500,000 each year of the FY 2019-21 biennium to establish UPSTART, a virtual early learning program for preschool age children.

 

The following N&O article further describes the bill and its potential outcomes. https://www.newsobserver.com/article229142574.html

 

House Appropriations, Education committee
HB 493: Abuse & Neglect Resources

 

This bill would require the State Board of Education to adopt a policy to provide information to students in grades 6-12 on child abuse, neglect, and age-appropriate information on sexual abuse. House Rules committee
HB 521: Transitional License/Teacher from Other State

 

The newest version of this bill would

1.      extend the new license to 3 years instead of 1 and rename it a transitional license,

2.      authorize LEAs to determine experience credit for the first year of the license, and

3.      clarify that out-of-state teachers without evidence of effectiveness can earn a continuing professional license after three years of teaching in North Carolina.

House Rules committee
HB 563: 30 Min. Duty-Free Lunch for Teachers

 

This bill would provide 30-minute duty-free lunch to full-time assigned classroom teachers starting in the 2019-2020 school year.

The Committee adopted an amendment that states that a duty-free lunch be provided “to the maximum extent that i) the safety and proper supervision of children may allow during regular student contact hours and ii) insofar as funds are provided for this purpose by the General Assembly.”

 

House Rules committee
HB 653: School Transportation Personnel Salary Changes

 

This bill would direct the State Board of Education to reclassify and establish positions related to school transportation.

The Committee adopted a new version of the bill that changed Section 3 from a revision of salary grades and ranges of school transportation positions to a survey of LEAs to determine the cost of such salary revisions.

 

House Rules committee

 

 

Bills Approved by Senate Education/Higher Education Committee

Bill Description Referred to
SB 399: Rehire High Need Teachers

 

This bill would allow teachers who retired on or before February 1, 2019 to return to work in certain high-needs schools without adversely impacting their retirement benefits.

 

Senate Pensions committee
SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

 

This bill would make various changes to the North Carolina Read to Achieve Program.

 

Senate Rules committee
SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

 

This bill would eliminate the NC Final Exams, require reporting on and reductions in local testing, and require a review of the third-grade reading End of Grade test to ensure alignment with the Read to Achieve assessment.

 

Senate Rules committee

 

Senator Berger discussing SB438 with Senator Ballard

 

Education Cabinet Meeting – April 17

The Education Cabinet met this Wednesday to discuss My Future NC, the Early Childhood Action Plan, longitudinal data sharing, and the NC Careers website. Presentations on each topic included progress made thus far and plans for the future.

  • My Future NC is pushing their goal of ensuring that 2 million North Carolinians obtain a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential by 2030.
  • The Early Childhood Action Plan continues to promote physical health, safety, nurturing relationships, and educational success among babies, toddlers, and young children.
  • The longitudinal data sharing system is aiming to analyze students’ journeys following graduation.
  • The NC Careers website will be a tool designed to help students make more informed decisions regarding post-secondary education, internships, scholarships, and careers.

Governor Cooper closed the meeting with a call for collaboration among the cabinet members and their departments to achieve the ambitious goals of each of these projects.

 

April 22-26 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Thursday, April 25

9:00 am – House: Elections and Ethics Law – Legislative Office Building, rm 544 (audio)

10:00 am – House: State and Local Government – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio)

 

Friday, April 26

8:30 am – House: Appropriations, Education – Legislative Office Building, rm 423

  • House 2019-20 Budget

 

House Recess: April 17 – April 24

Senate Recess: April 22 – April 26

 

 

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 – April 18, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – April 12, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – April 12, 2019

Legislative Public Policy Conference

The NCSBA Legislative Public Policy Conference is scheduled for April 30/May 1 in Raleigh at the NCSBA building.

Click the agenda link below to view our modified conference schedule. The following presenters have been added to the agenda:

  • Senator Rick Horner (R-Nash, Johnston): Former School Board Chair; Chairs Senate Education/Higher Education committee; Member of Senate Appropriations on Education/Higher Education committee, Joint Task Force on Education Finance Reform, and Joint Education Oversight committee.
  • Representative Kevin Corbin (R- Macon, Cherokee, Clay, Graham): Former School Board Chair; House Deputy Majority Whip; Member of House Education K-12 committee and Joint Task Force on Education Finance Reform.
  • Representative Ashton Clemmons (D-Guilford): Former Principal and Assistant Superintendent; House Democratic Freshman Co-Chair; Member of House Education K-12 committee, House Education Universities committee, and House Committee on School Safety.
  • Senator Don Davis (D-Greene, Pitt): Member of Senate Education/Higher Education committee and Appropriations on Education/Higher Education committee.

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW CONFERENCE AGENDA 

The registration rate is $325. Click here to register.

 

Education Bills Passed by House and Sent to Senate

HB 90: DPI/EC Div. Feedback/DIT Study/PED report

  • Primary Sponsors: Horn, R-Union; Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson
  • This bill would require DPI to develop a system that would evaluate the Exceptional Children Division’s technical assistance and support programs that it provides to LEAs.
  • Passed 113-0

HB 276: Modify Low-Performing School Definitions

  • Primary Sponsors: Riddell, R-Alamance; Fraley, R-Iredell; Ross, R-Alamance
  • This bill would modify the definition of a low-performing school to not include a school that earned a growth score of “met expected growth”.
  • Passed 112-1

Representative Riddell presenting HB 276

 

HB 340: Amend Appt For Compact on Education/Military

  • Primary Sponsors: Martin, D-Wake; Cleveland, R-Onslow; Bell, R-Wayne
  • This bill would delete the requirement that an individual appointed to represent a LEA with a high concentration of military children be an attorney.
  • Passed 114-0

HB 411: Modify School Qual./Student Success Indicator

  • Primary Sponsors: Horn, R-Union; Corbin, R-Macon; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Johnson, R-Cabarrus
  • This bill would combine the career and college readiness indicators used in school performance grades, in compliance with federal law.
  • Passed 114-0

 

Education Bills Passed by Senate and Sent to House

SB 227: Broaden Charter School Sibling Priority

  • Primary Sponsor: Tillman, R-Randolph
  • This bill would broaden the charter school enrollment sibling priority to include siblings who apply to a charter school for admission beginning in the same school year, but one sibling was not initially admitted due to grade level capacity. The bill would also broaden the definition of full-time employee to include contract employees for the 15% priority enrollment of the school’s board of directors and employees.
  • Passed 50-0

SB 301: Regional School Transportation

  • Primary Sponsor: Brown, R-Onslow
  • This bill would extend the current study on regional schools and clarify the transportation requirements for participating units to require transportation to be substantially similar to the transportation provided to students in the 2018-19 school year.
  • Passed 31-19

SB 343: Changes to Education Reports

  • Primary Sponsor: Ballard, R-Watauga
  • This bill would revise education reporting requirements to include development and implementation of policies related to improving outcomes for students with disabilities and the implementation of high school diploma endorsements. The bill would also require LEAs to report the start and end dates for the instructional calendar by April 1 of each year.
  • Passed 44-0

 

Action on Bills

Passed House Ed. K-12 & Referred to House Ed. Appropriations

Passed Senate Ed. & Referred to Senate Rules

HB 199: Permanent Charter School Transportation Grant SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities
HB 552: After-School Robotics Grants/Athletics SB 392: Superint. May Approve Charter Facility Bonds
HB 571: Changes to Advanced Teaching Roles Program SB 476: Reaffirms Local Control of Discipline Policies

 

Bills of Note

SB 580: Classroom Supplies to Teachers

HB 490: Winston-Salem/Forsyth Bd. Of Ed/Stagger Terms

  • Primary Sponsors: Lambeth, R-Forsyth; Conrad, R-Forsyth
  • WS/Forsyth School Board Vice Chair, Barbara Burke, told committee members that the local school board opposed the effort to stagger terms by a 6-3 margin.
  • The committee vote was a 10-10 tie. As a result, HB 490 failed to pass out of State and Local Government. It currently remains in that committee and is eligible to be heard again.

 

Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education – April 11

The Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education discussed the community school model, statewide assessment and accountability systems, the history of NC school turnaround efforts, and statewide regional support structure. Jessica Cardichon of the Learning Policy Institute presented to committee members five opportunity indicators that should be utilized in an accountability assessment: suspension rates, school climate, chronic absenteeism, extended-year graduation rates, and college-and-career readiness. Cardichon emphasized the strong correlation between school climate and teacher/principal retention rates, which also affects student’s social and emotional development. Commission members were left with the proposed goal to ensure that improvement across all indictors is monitored and to use this improvement data to inform future school growth and funding decisions.

Director of Leadership Program at NC State, Dr. Pat Ashley, presented an extensive history of school transformation in North Carolina. She explained how multiple school turnaround initiatives often have competing components, which cause them to be less effective. Dr. Ashely also highlighted the importance of having a strong and effective principal in place. Without leadership that is able to gain support, turnaround models usually end quickly. Click here to access all agenda items and presentation resources.

 

April 15-18 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, April 15

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

Tuesday, April 16

9:30 am – Senate: Rules – Legislative Building, rm 1027/1128 (audio)

10:00 am – House: Health – Legislative Office Building, rm 643 (audio)

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

Wednesday, April 17

11:00 am – Senate: Education/Higher Education – Legislative Building, rm 1027/1228 (audio)

 

House Recess: April 17 – April 24

Senate Recess: April 22 – April 26

 

**REMINDER**

House deadline to file statewide bills and resolutions (not including appropriations or finance) is Tuesday, April 16.

 

 

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 – April 12, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – April 5, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – April 5, 2019

Legislative Public Policy Conference

The NCSBA Legislative Public Policy Conference is scheduled for April 30/May 1 in Raleigh at the NCSBA building.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW CONFERENCE AGENDA 

The registration rate is $325. Click here to register.

 

Senate Education Bills Filed This Week

Wednesday, April 3 was the Senate deadline to file statewide bills and resolutions. Below are several notable bills that were filed. Many of these bills have significant implications for the operations of school districts. It is critical that school board members become knowledgeable about how these bills will affect their respective school districts and begin communicating with their Senators about them.

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019 (Sen. Berger, R-Rockingham)

A 10-page bill that modifies the implementation of the State’s Read to Achieve program. For a summary of the bill refer to this EdNC article: https://www.ednc.org/2019/04/02/senate-proposes-read-to-achieve-changes-to-fix-plans-ineffectiveness/

 

SB 522: Various Changes to Charter School Laws (Sen. Tillman, R-Randolph)

  • Section 1 would grant counties the authority to appropriate capital funds to charter schools.
  • Section 2 would allow counties to use funds awarded from the Lottery’s Need-Based Public School Capital Fund for charter schools.
  • Section 4 would change the academic standards for charter school renewals so that it must be renewed for 10 years unless the Proficiency of students in the charter school is at least 5% points lower than the LEA in which it is located.
  • Section 6 would allow up to 50% of the charter’s enrollment to be children of permanent employees of a corporation or consortium of corporations that contributes $50,000 or more towards land, space, renovations, or technology.
  • Section 7 would authorize the community college board of trustees to be initial authorizers of charters.
  • Section 8 would remove the cap on enrollment growth for the two virtual charter schools.

 

SB 580: Classroom Supplies to Teachers (Sen. Wells, R-Catawba; Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga) would redirect approximately $37 million of the $47 million allotment for Classroom Materials/Instructional Supplies/Equipment. This $37 million would be used to reimburse teachers up to $400 for purchasing their own classroom supplies. At a press conference on Wednesday, Senator Wells accused “bureaucrats” of using “the money for other things on their to-do list and left teachers to pay for their own classroom supplies.” It is not clear what expenditures Senator Wells and his colleagues feel were not appropriate expenditures from the allotment. Based on a November 2018 report by the General Assembly’s Fiscal Research Division, the following transfers in classroom supplies occurred in FY 2017-18:

  • 70 LEAs transferred funds into classroom supplies
  • 21 LEAs transferred funds out of classroom supplies
  • 24 LEAs made no change to their classroom supply allotment

In summary, LEAs transferred $19,332,756 into classroom supplies in FY 2017-18.

It is important to note that in addition to classroom materials, instructional supplies, and equipment this allotment is to be used to pay for the PSAT for 8-10 graders. Under the proposal, as explained by Superintendent Mark Johnson, teachers would purchase materials and then submit them for reimbursement through the ClassWallet app. It is not clear how the use of ClassWallet would be paid for in the bill. A companion bill is expected to be filed in the House by Representatives Elmore (R-Wilkes) and Horn (R-Union) in the coming days.

The implications of this bill are huge. Some of the ramifications are likely to be:

  • A loss of purchasing power as teachers buy supplies individually,
  • Not enough funds to buy more expensive items  (ex. science equipment),
  • No system to identify true supply needs, and
  • Potential fraud.

To read more about the press conference and reactions to the plan, including responses from the two most recent Teachers of the Year go to:

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article228752794.html

https://www.wral.com/bill-would-give-teachers-400-to-buy-supplies-but-two-nc-teachers-of-the-year-don-t-support-it/18302161/

 

SB 609: K-12 Scholarship Changes (Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Clark, D-Hoke; Johnson, R-Union) makes changes to the eligibility for the Special Education Scholarship, the Opportunity Scholarship, and the Education Savings Accounts.

  • All three programs are changed so that students who do not meet the age eligibility for kindergarten but are at least 4 years old and “deemed by a non-public school to have the maturity to justify admission” may receive an award.
  • Special Education Scholarship: Maintains the base requirements that the child have a disability, be school age, and not be placed in a private school or facility at public expense. It removes the eligibility that the child meets one of the following additional requirements:
    • was enrolled in a NC public school or a DOD school,
    • received special ed services through a NC public school as a preschooler,
    • received a scholarship the year before,
    • is identified as a child with a disability prior to the end of the year of initial enrollment,
    • parent is on full time duty in the military,
    • is in foster care,
    • is a child with an adoption decree, or
    • was enrolled in a nonpublic school the spring semester of the previous school year but was enrolled in a public school for the entire school year immediately preceding that.
  • Opportunity Scholarship: (1) Increases the income eligibility from 133% to 150% of the amount required to qualify for free or reduced-priced lunches, and (2) eliminates the restriction on the amount of total funding that can be awarded for K-1 students.

 

SB 639: Education Funding Transparency (Sen. Edwards, R-Henderson; Ballard, R-Watauga) would require a number of changes to budget submissions to county commissioners and annual audits. It is critical that school board members work with their superintendent and finance team to develop a clear picture as to what this will look like in your school system.

It is important to note that G.S. 115C-429(c) already requires local boards of education to provide, upon the request of county commissioners, “all books, records, audit reports and other information bearing on the financial operation” of the school district.  It is not clear, given this statutory requirement, why most of this bill is necessary.

It should also be noted that Section 1111 of ESSA provides fiscal transparency by requiring States to include in the report cards “per-pupil expenditures of federal, state and local funds, including actual personnel expenditures and actual non-personnel expenditures of Federal, State and local funds, disaggregated by source of funds for each local education agency and each school in the State for the preceding year.” This new federal requirement will be implemented for the 2018-19 school year. Given this new requirement, it is not clear what additional information will be gleaned that will not already be available through the report card process.

Before addressing the specifics of the bill, it is important to understand the complications in developing school budgets in NC. School budgets are primarily comprised of three pots of funding: local, state, and federal. The federal fiscal year begins October 1, so school districts do not receive their federal funds until after that date. The State and local fiscal years both begin on July 1. However, since the General Assembly does not typically adopt the state budget until around July 1 (and in some years substantially later), school boards must develop their budget, which must be submitted to county commissioners by May 15, based upon planning allotments provided by the NC Department of Public Instruction.

Section 1: This section changes the standard uniform budget format provided by the State Board of Education and seeks to breakdown local funds for personnel and operating expenses by individual schools. Currently, school districts do not necessarily budget by school. Some functions within a school district do not lend themselves to being assigned to individual schools like transportation. Schools are typically allotted teaching positions but not specific dollars to go along with the position, since the state guarantees the state salary for a state paid teacher regardless of where they are on the salary schedule. Additionally, school districts may have several hundred unique local report codes that would need to be standardized across the state to comply with this section.

Section 2: This section requires the superintendent to “describe projected expenditures by program report code and object code” in the proposed budget. This requirement would impose a tremendous amount of detail on the budget process. The Uniform Chart of Accounts for state and federal funds lists 19,620 fields of information at the fund/purpose/program code/object code level. The CTE program (Purpose 5120), for example, has 38 program report codes (PRCs) and 727 potential fields. These numbers (19,620 and 727) do not include any of the hundreds if not thousands of local codes.

In many of our districts the finance team in the LEA is extremely small and may be as few as two people. It would be a tremendous amount of work to produce a budget request down to this level of detail. Additionally, given the likelihood of numerous changes after state and federal funds are approved, it does not appear to be a wise use of limited resources.

Section 3: The first part of this section would require that the budget submitted by the board of education to the county commission report “projected expenditures by program report code and object code.” This requirement would inundate commissioners with budget detail. Again, S. 115C-429 (c) already gives the county commission authority “to call for, and the board of education shall have the duty to make available to the board of county commissioners, upon request, all books, records, and other information bearing on the financial operation of the local school administrative unit.” Furthermore, under G.S. 115C-436(a)(4) the School Finance Officer is required to prepare and file a statement of the financial condition of the local school administrative unit as often as requested by the superintendent, and when requested in writing with a copy to the superintendent by the board of education or the board of county commissioners.” This section would require a level of budget specificity that most county commissions do not have the desire to get to, and for those that do, there are other mechanisms at their disposal.

The second part of this section expands the authority of county commissioners to appropriate funds by PRC. Currently, the county commission may appropriate funds at the purpose and function levels. The PRC is the next level of specificity. Coupled with the next section (see below), this could restrict school districts from being nimble and responsive to the needs of the district.

Section 4: If there is an increase or decrease of 25% or more within any PRC this section would require that the county commissioners would need to approve such a change. Under current law this requirement is only if the change is at 25% or more at the purpose or function level. School boards would first have to approve the budget transfer and then get approval by the county commissioners. Dependent upon the timing of the county commission meeting schedule, this could tie the hands of the school board from making necessary and time sensitive decisions that impact the operations of a school or school system.

Sections 5 and 6: These sections make significant changes to the school district audits. There are already very strict auditing standards for public bodies put in place across the nation that are approved by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). The requirement that the audit be performed to the object code level would substantially increase the expense and time required to complete the audit.

Section 6 also requires the local board to provide a copy of the audit to the State Board of Education within 60 days and that the Department of Public Instruction post it on its website.

 

In summary, this bill would create a substantial increase in cost and workload for an already taxed central office finance department. As a duly elected governing body, school boards need to be able to act nimbly to be able to address the financial needs within a school district to best serve the needs of the students in the community. New federal reporting requirements should provide additional transparency. If and when there is a need for additional information by county commissioners, a sufficient mechanism is already statutorily in place.

 

School Calendar Bill

An amendment was added by Senator Ballard (R-Watauga) to SB 343: Changes to Education Reports requiring LEAs to report the start and end dates for the instructional calendar by April 1 of each year. If a school is starting earlier than August 26, the local board must report the statutory exception authorizing the start date. This bill is on the Senate calendar for Monday night, April 8.

Now Senator Ballard has filed SB 613: School Calendar Accommodation/Statewide, which would move the start date for public schools from the Monday closest to August 26 to August 16. If August 16 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then schools could start the preceding Friday or the Monday after. The school year would need to end no later than June 1, unless that day is a Saturday or Sunday in which case the school year could end on Friday or Monday. Weather waivers would move from August 16 to August 9.

NCSBA’s current position, along with the position of L.O.C.A.L. (see below), is one of “cannot support.” While this bill provides some limited relief, the bill does not provide enough. School districts would be required to have unequal semesters in order to get exams in before the winter break, and the bill does not address the issues of summer learning loss at all. It is our firm belief that if this bill passes there will be a limited chance for many, many years to come to rectify these important educational issues. The synergy around the issue will dissipate, legislators will not want to deal with it again, and the tourism lobby will say they have already compromised. While we do not oppose the legislation, it is important that we be able to advocate for additional changes in the future.

L.O.C.A.L. (Let Our Calendar Authority be Local) is a coalition of organizations that has worked on school legislation for the past four legislative sessions.  The member groups include, NCSBA, NCASA, NCAE, NCPTA, Freedom Works, the John Locke Foundation, the NC Justice Center, the Association of County Commissioners, and the Wake Education Partnership.

 

Education Bills Passed by House and Sent to Senate

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson; Lucas, D-Cumberland
  • This bill would makes change to the Educator Preparation Program, including adding consideration of the two-year retention rate for individuals who completed an EPP and became licensed and employed in a NC public school to the list of performance standards.
  • Passed 111-1

HB184: Study State Health Plan Design

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Dobson, R-McDowell; Howard, R-Davie; Brisson, D-Bladen; Adcock, D-Wake
  • This bill would create the Joint Legislative Study Committee on the Sustainability of the North Carolina State Health Plan to examine the needs and concerns of recipients of the state health plan for teachers and state employees and adopt new practices that promote health and incentivize participation.
  • Passed 75-36

HB 315: Instructional Material Selection

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Elmore, R-Wilkes; Arp, R-Union; Johnson, R-Cabarrus
  • This bill would transfer the adoption of school textbooks from the State to the LEAs, as well as provide guidance in the selection, adoption, and evaluation of instructional and supplemental materials.
  • Passed 63-51

HB 330: Efficient Government Buildings & Savings Act

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Szoka, R-Cumberland; Arp, R-Union; Humphrey, R-Lenoir; Ross, R-Alamance
  • This bill would require public school buildings, as well as other public buildings, to reduce energy consumption per gross square foot. Starting in 2002-03, energy consumption was to be reduced by 20% by 2010, 30% by 2015, and now 40% by 2025.
  • Passed 111-2

HB 377: Reduce Testing

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Elmore, R-Wilkes; K. Hall, R-Stokes; Bell, R-Wayne
  • This bill would eliminate the NC Final Exam as a way to assess teacher performance and growth, replace EOGs with a through-grade assessment model, replace EOCs with the ACT or another nationally recognized assessment of high school achievement, prohibit standardized testing by LEAs except when required by the State Board, and prohibit graduation projects as a condition of graduation.
  • Passed 110-2

 

Action on Bills

Passed House Education K-12 Committee Passed Senate Education/Higher Education Committee
HB411: Modify School Qual./Student Success Indicator

– Will be heard in House Rules Committee on 4/8

SB134: Economics & Financial Literacy Act

– Referred to Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee

HB433: Economics & Financial Literacy Act

– Referred to House Appropriations, Education Committee

SB227: Broaden Charter School Sibling Priority

– Calendared for Senate Floor on 4/9

HB434: Suicide Risk Ref./Mental Health/Teen Violence

– Referred to House Health Committee

SB301: Regional School Transportation

– Calendared for Senate Floor on 4/8

HB437: Education on the Holocaust and Genocide

– Referred to House Rules Committee

SB343: Changes to Education Reports

– Calendared for Senate Floor on 4/8

 

Other Bill on NCSBA’s Agenda

SB 520: School Ethics Training & Finance Officers

Primary Sponsors: Ballard, R-Watauga; Edwards, R-Henderson; Britt, R-Robeson

This bill (identical to HB 430) would require school administrators to receive at least two hours of ethics training. The training will:

  • be required once in every odd-numbered year,
  • be required of employees making/administering contracts within 90 days of assuming responsibility
  • include position-specific education, and
  • be provided by NC Association of School Administrators, NCSBA, School of Government at UNC CH, or other qualified sources.

The bill would also give school finance officers the same terms and conditions of employment as assistant and associate superintendents, as outlined in subsections (b) and (c) of G.S. 115C-278.

Read our issue briefs on Ethics Training for School Administrators (click here) and School Finance Officers (click here).

 

Other Bill of Note

SB 399: Rehire High-Need Teachers

Primary Sponsors: Senators Horner, R-Wilson; Berger, R-Rockingham; Chaudhuri, D-Wake

This bill would allow retired teachers to work in Title I schools or schools with D or F grades without risking impact on their retired teachers’ benefits. The contract between the LEA and the high-need teacher would last no longer than one school year, and the teacher would make an annual salary of $35,000-$40,000.

 

Education Budget Target

On April 2, the House Appropriations Committee on Education issued its Target and Budget Guidance. The Education Committee target appropriation for FY 2019-20 is $13.94 billion or $94.6 million above the base budget. The FY 2020-21 target appropriation is $14.13 billion or $208.8 million above the base budget. From this target, the Committee has to fully fund enrollment growth (K-12, Community Colleges, and UNC), Opportunity Scholarships annual statutory increases, and Program Enhancement/class size positions. After deducting mandatory expenses, the Committee has only $45 million in FY 2019-20 and $75 million in FY 2020-21 to spend on expansion requests.

It should be noted that the following major expenses will be handled by the Full Chairs of the Appropriations Committee:

  • Salary and benefits
  • School Safety issues
  • Capital
  • Lottery, escheats, and fines and forfeitures spending
  • IT

The House Appropriations Committee on Education must follow the following guidance:

  • the Committee must have a balanced budget
  • management flexibility cuts are not allowed
  • no substantive, non-budget related policy is allowed
  • provisions may not include “shall not revert” or carry forward language

The Chairs of the House Appropriations Committee on Education will report their budget decisions to the Full Chairs on April 8. The Education Appropriations chairs will present their money and provision reports to the Full Chairs on April 11. The Full Chairs will make final decisions on the Education budget report by April 17. The Education Appropriations Committee will meet on April 25 to consider and adopt the budget report.

 

State Board of Education Meeting – April 3 & 4

This month the State Board of Education covered numerous topics including revising standards for K-12 social studies, elimination of select NC final exams, and licensing out-of-state teachers. The majority of discussion occurred during the presentation of the legislative update and Senate Bill 580. This bill would reimburse teachers up to $400 for the purchase of classroom supplies. While Superintendent Johnson expressed his support of the bill, many board members and advisors disagreed and emphasized that this bill would be taking $37 million away from LEAs. Freebird McKinney and Lisa Godwin, both previous teachers of the year, expressed their concern that the bill offers no additional funding to school districts. While Chairman Davis and Dr. Oxendine did not express direct support for the bill, both commended the NC General Assembly for recognizing LEAs need for sufficient classroom supplies.

 

April 8-11 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, April 8

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

7:00 pm – Senate Session – Legislative Building, Senate Chamber (audio)

 

Wednesday, April 10

11:00 am – Senate: Education/Higher Education – Legislative Building, rm 1027/1128 (audio)

 

**REMINDER**

House deadline to file statewide bills and resolutions (not including appropriations or finance) is Tuesday, April 16.

 

 

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 – April 5, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – March 29, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – March 29, 2019

Education Bills Passed by House and Sent to Senate

HB 79: Academic Alignment/Boards of Education & CC

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Johnson, R-Cabarrus; Elmore, R-Wilkes; and Strickland, R-Johnston
  • LEAs would be allowed to align their school opening dates with the opening date of a community college serving their county.
  • Passed 100-10

HB 200: Various Education Changes

  • Primary Sponsors: Hurley, R-Randolph; Johnson; Horn; Elmore
  • Certain education reports would be combined for the use of the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction.
  • Passed 111-0

HB 266: School Annual Report Card

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Riddell, R-Alamance; Ross, R-Alamance; Elmore; and Clemmons, D-Guilford
  • Schools would receive two separate grades, one for school achievement and one for school growth.
  • Passed 105-5

HB 295: Prohibit Corporal Punishment in Public Schools

  • Primary Sponsors: Fisher, D-Buncombe; Johnson, R-Cabarrus
  • Prohibits corporal punishment in public schools.
  • Passed 94-16

HB 354: Modify Weighing/School Performance Grades

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn; Johnson; Gill, D-Wake; and Lucas, D-Cumberland
  • The formula for school performance grades would change from 80% school achievement and 20% school growth to 50% each. The school performance grade would be measured with a 10-point A-F scale.
  • Passed 108-4

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

  • Primary Sponsors: Horn; Harris, D-Mecklenburg; Elmore; Autry, D-Mecklenburg
  • School performance grades would be based on a permanent 15-point A-F scale. (Otherwise school grades would revert to a 10-point A-F scale beginning in the 2019-20 school year.) The overall school performance would be 80% school achievement and 20% school growth.
  • Passed 105-6

 

Other Bills on NCSBA’s Agenda

House Bill 482/Senate Bill 382: School Psychologist Compensation & Recruitment

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Grange, R-New Hanover; Dobson, R-McDowell; Horn, R-Union; Lambeth, R-Forsyth; and Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; D. Davis, D-Greene; Edwards, R-Henderson
  • Schools psychologists would receive $1,000 per month, in addition to the “A” salary schedule, and the State Board of Education would establish a retention and recruitment program that would provide signing and retention bonuses to retain high-quality school psychologists.

Click here to read our issue brief on Student Support Personnel.

 

Senate Bill 397: Class Size Waivers/PE K-5 Teacher Funds

  • Primary Sponsors: Horner, R-Nash; Tillman, R-Randolph; Perry, R-Lenoir
  • LEAs would be granted a waiver for the K-3 class size requirements if there is a shortage of qualified, licensed teachers available or if there is inadequate classroom space or facilities. LEAs granted this waiver would not be eligible for the allotment for K-5 program enhancement teacher positions for the fiscal year that the LEA receives the waiver because those districts would be granted the flexibility that they currently utilize.

Click here to read our issue brief on K-3 Class Size.

 

House Bill 457: Restore Master’s Pay for Certain Teachers

  • Primary Sponsors: Horn; Ball, D-Wake; Johnson; Brockman, D-Guilford
  • Education-based salary supplements would be reinstated for the following teachers and personnel: school nurses and instructional support personnel in positions that require a master’s degree; teachers at low-performing schools, high-attrition schools, and/or elementary schools; teachers with a license in STEM, special education, and/or English; and most teachers who spend at least 70% of classroom time instruction on subjects related to their advanced academic preparation.

Click here to read our issue brief on Teacher Pay.

 

House Bill 524: Additional Funds for School Nurses

  • Primary Sponsors: White, R-Johnston; Horn; Cunningham, D-Mecklenburg; Adcock, D-Wake
  • $10 million for FY 2019-20, $20 million for FY 2020-21, and $30,700,000 for FY 2021-22 in total recurring funds would be allocated to LEAs to increase school nurse positions.

Click here to read our issue brief on Student Support Personnel.

 

Senate Bill 424: Fully Fund School Counselors & Psychologists

  • Primary Sponsors: McKissick, D-Durham; Peterson, D-New Hanover; Mohammed, D-Mecklenburg
  • Funds for school counselors and psychologists would increase to and be maintained at $262 million by FY 2021-22. By FY 2021-22 school counselors would reach the nationally recommended SISP (Specialized Instructional Support Personnel) to student ratio of 1:250 and school psychologists 1:700.

Click here to read our issue brief on Student Support Personnel.

 

Other Bills of Note

Senate Bill 350: Equal Funding for All Students/Hackney

This week Senator Jerry Tillman, R- Randolph, filed Senate Bill 350, which eliminates most of the authorization of funds that may be placed into Fund 8. Without this statutory authorization, the following funds will have to be shared with the charter schools.

  1. Reimbursements, including indirect costs: Reimbursements include programs like the federal child nutrition program.
  2. Fees for actual costs: Fees are collected for such things as facility rentals to community groups so that utilities, janitorial services, and insurance are paid for.
  3. Tuition: Tuition is charged for programs offered by the school system outside of the normal school day, like before and after school care and summer school programs.
  4. Sales tax revenues distributed using the ad valorem method pursuant to G.S. 105-472(b)(2)
  5. Sales tax refunds
  6. Gifts and grants restricted as to use: This includes PTA funds, band booster funds, and specific grants for a multitude of programs throughout school districts.
  7. Federal appropriations made directly to LEAs: These are funds for programs at the federal level that schools have applied to participate in, like ROTC and Impact Aid.
  8. Municipal appropriations made directly to LEAs under G.S. 160A-700
  9. Funds received for Pre-K programs
  10. Appropriation or use of fund balance or interest income

Click here to read more about each category that would be eliminated under SB 350.

It is worth noting that charter schools already receive funds from those areas or have the ability to apply and receive those funds but have NO obligation to share any of those funds with LEAs. If this bill were to pass, it would undoubtedly lead to litigation.

House Bill 315: Instructional Material Selection

Sponsored by Representative Elmore, House Bill 315 would transfer the adoption of school textbooks from the State to the LEAs. It was passed out of the House Education K-12 Committee on Tuesday, March 26 after the following changes:

  • Alters the definition of “unfit materials” to include material that is “(i) obscene, (ii) inappropriate to the age, maturity, or grade level of the students, or (iii) not aligned with the standard course of study.”;
  • Removes the requirement for a public hearing when adopting, modifying, or amending a health and safety program and its instructional and supplemental materials;
  • Does not require that the LEA’s instructional materials repository include classroom materials developed by teachers; and
  • Removes library books from being investigated and evaluated by a local community media advisory committee on the grounds that the books are “unfit materials”.

House Bill 31: Allow Durham Public Schools to Provide Housing

This week the State and Local Government Committee passed House Bill 31, which would allow the Durham Board of Education to provide affordable rental housing for teachers and other public-school employees. HB 31 has now been referred to the House Commerce Committee.

House Bill 377: Reduce Testing

House Bill 377 was passed by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee on Tuesday, March 26. The bill replaces the End-of-Grade tests for third-eighth grades with a through-grade assessment model that would administer three interim assessments throughout the school year. The ACT or another recognized assessment would replace End-of-Course tests for ninth-twelfth grades.

 

Legislative Public Policy Conference

The NCSBA Legislative Public Policy Conference is scheduled for April 30/May 1 in Raleigh at the NCSBA building.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW CONFERENCE AGENDA 

The registration rate is $325. Click here to register.

 

April 1-5 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, April 1

2:30 pm – House: Rules, Calendar, and Operations – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio)

2:30 pm – Senator Phil Berger Press Conference on Education-Related Issues – Legislative Building Press Room (audio)

Tuesday, April 2

8:30 am – House: Appropriations, Education – Legislative Office Building, rm 423

10:00 am – House: Health – Legislative Office Building, rm 643 (audio)

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

Wednesday, April 3

11:00 am – Senate: Education/Higher Education – Legislative Building, rm 1027/1128 (audio)

 

**REMINDER**

Senate deadline to file statewide bills and resolutions is Tuesday, April 2.

House deadline to file statewide bills and resolutions (not including appropriations or finance) is Tuesday, April 16.

 

 

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 – March 29, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – March 22, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – March 22, 2019

House Bill 315—Instructional Material Selection

HB 315 would transfer the adoption of school textbooks from the State to the LEAs. By doing this, the scope of challenges to instructional materials by parents, teachers, and any citizen that deems the materials as “unfit” would expand.

NCSBA has the following concerns about how these changes would apply to instructional material selection:

  1. Many LEAs do not have the same expertise and resources as the State to evaluate and adopt textbooks.
    • LEAs would potentially have to hire outside experts, which could place a financial burden on the districts.
    • Or teachers would have to add this task to their workload, which would likely require additional compensation.
    • LEAs already have the authority to adopt textbooks outside of the list adopted by the State Board of Education under S.115C-98(b2)(1).
  2. If LEAs are responsible for purchasing instructional materials, the price will likely increase because each LEA does not have the same bulk purchasing power as the State for physical materials and licensing rights.
  3. LEAs are more likely to see an increase in challenges to the material.
  4. Challenges to “unfit” materials would also likely increase with eligible challengers including any citizen, not just those with a direct interest in the material.
  5. It is not clear how the courts would apply the Board of Education v. Pico (1982) decision to challenges to instructional material that would be permitted under this bill.
    • The Pico decision stated that library books cannot be removed because of objections to ideas expressed in the materials.
    • Clearer terminology should replace the current “educationally unsuitable” language in this bill, which could allow for more subjective challenges. Rather than “educationally unsuitable” challenges, challenges should be limited to material that does not align with the standard course of study.
  6. If a challenge to the instructional material is upheld, the material must be removed instead of replaced.
    • This bill should also allow LEAs to provide alternative materials to offset challenges to current materials.

HB 315 is scheduled to be heard in the House Education K-12 Committee meeting at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, March 26. If you have concerns about this bill, contact your Representative prior to the committee meeting. Click here to view committee members.

 

School Construction & Broadband Investment Act—House Bill 381

Primary Sponsors: Arp, R-Union; Saine, R-Lincoln; Conrad, R-Forsyth

HB 381 is a pay-as-you-go state construction plan similar to SB 5 but with some key differences:

  • SB 5 allocates the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) to State agencies, institutions of higher education, and local school administrative units on an equal 1/3 basis from 2019-20 to 2027-28.
  • For the period FY 2019-20 to FY 2028-29, HB 381 appropriates specific amounts from SCIF to selected entities as follows:
State agencies and UNC system $3,923,867,596 60.0%
Local education agencies (LEA) $2,166,955,127 33.1%
Community colleges $300,000,000 4.6%
Rural broadband $150,000,000 2.3%
Total $6,540,822,723 100.0%
  • A significant feature in HB 381 is specific allotments for each LEA, but there is no explanation of how the amounts were calculated.
  • SB 5 requires no local match, but HB 381 requires a local match based on county economic tiers.
  • SB 5 restricts funding to LEAs that are not class size compliant, but HB 381 does not.
  • SB 5 increases the percentage of the General Fund appropriated to SCIF, but HB 381 does not.

 

School Performance Bills in House Education Committee
The House Education K-12 Committee approved six bills on Tuesday, March 19. The following four are related to school performance:

HB 266: School Annual Report Card

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Riddell, R-Alamance; Ross, R-Alamance; Elmore, R-Wilkes; and Clemmons, D-Guilford
  • Schools would receive two separate grades, one for student achievement and one for student growth. Student achievement would be measured on a 15-point A-F scale, and school growth would be measured on a 10-point A-F scale.

HB 276: Modify Low-Performing School Definition

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Riddell; Fraley, R-Iredell; Clemmons; and Ross
  • The definition of low-performing schools would no longer include schools with school growth scores of  “met expected growth”, only schools with a grade of “D” or “F” and “not met expected growth”.

HB 354: Modify Weighting/School Performance Grades

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Johnson, R-Cabarrus; Gill, D-Wake; and Lucas, D-Cumberland
  • School performance grades would be 50% school achievement and 50% school growth. The school performance grade would be measured with a 10-point A-F scale.

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

  • Primary Sponsors: Horn; Harris, D-Mecklenburg; Elmore; Autry, D-Mecklenburg
  • School performance grades would be based on a permanent 15-point A-F scale. (Otherwise school grades would revert to a 10-point A-F scale beginning in the 2019-20 school year.) The overall school performance would be 80% school achievement and 20% school growth.

The committee also approved HB 200: Education Report Changes and HB 295: Prohibit Corporal Punishment in Public Schools. All bills are scheduled to be heard in House Rules Committee meeting on Monday, March 25 (see legislative committee meeting schedule below). The House Education Committee chairs stated that they wanted to offer several alternatives to solve the school grading issue.

Read our issue briefs on School Grades (click here) and Low-Performing Schools (click here).

 

Other Bills on NCSBA’s Agenda

School Ethics Training & Finance Officers—House Bill 430

Primary Sponsors: Corbin, R-Macon; Horn, R-Union; Strickland, R-Johnston

HB 430 would require school administrators to receive at least two hours of ethics training. Training will:

  • be offered once in every odd-numbered year,
  • be required of employees making/administering contracts within 90 days of assuming responsibility
  • include position-specific education, and
  • be provided by NC Association of School Administrators, NCSBA, School of Government at UNC CH, or other qualified sources.

The bill would also give school finance officers the same terms and conditions of employment as assistant and associate superintendents, as outlined in subsections (b) and (c) of G.S.115C-278. (click here to view statute)

Read our issue briefs on Ethics Training for School Administrators (click here) and School Finance Officers (click here).

Modify Weighting/School Performance Grades—Senate Bill 319

Primary Sponsors: Sawyer, R-Iredell; Britt, R-Columbus; McInnis, R-Richmond

SB 319 (identical to HB 354) would modify the school performance grade formula to be 50% school achievement and 50% school growth. The overall school performance would be measured on a 10-point A-F scale.

Click here to read our issue brief on School Grades.

 

School Calendar Bills

So far this session, the Senate has introduced 16 local school calendar bills, and the House has introduced 37 local school calendar bills and 4 statewide school calendar bills. The 53 local bills cover 85 LEAs.

NCSBA has created this spreadsheet to track school calendar flexibility bills that are filed each week.

Follow the LOCAL Authority for NC School Calendars’ Twitter account @nclocalcalendar to keep up with the progress being made for local school calendar flexibility.

*sponsor intended to include – will fix when bill goes to committee

 

Legislative Public Policy Conference

The NCSBA Legislative Public Policy Conference is scheduled for April 30/May 1 in Raleigh at the NCSBA building.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW CONFERENCE AGENDA

The registration rate is $325. Click here to register.

 

March 25-29 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, March 25

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

Tuesday, March 26

8:30 am – Joint Appropriations Committees on Education/Higher Education – Legislative Office Building, rm 423

  • Advanced Teaching Roles
  • Muddy Sneakers

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

Wednesday, March 27

8:30 am – Joint Appropriations Committees on Education/Higher Education – Legislative Office Building, rm 423

  • NCCCS Career Coaches
  • College Advising Corp
  • Wolfpack Works

11:00 am – Senate: Education/Higher Education – Legislative Building, rm 1027/1128 (audio)

Thursday, March 28

8:30 am – Joint Appropriations Committees on Education/Higher Education – Legislative Office Building, rm 423

  • UNC Lab Schools
  • Communities in Schools

 

 

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 – March 22, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – March 15, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – March 15, 2019

Education Bond Act of 2019 (HB 241)
On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, the House overwhelmingly approved the placement of a $1.9 billion school construction bond on the 2020 ballot (click here to see vote). Representatives Brody, Bumgardner, Cleveland, Kidwell, Pittman, and Speciale voted against the placement of the bond on the ballot. An approved committee substitute clarified the matching requirements on page ten lines 14-16 of the bill: “A county shall not be required to provide local matching funds for the bond proceeds if any portion of the proceeds results from low-wealth county or adjustment factor designation allocations.”, as well as a rounding error that was off by $4.00.

If approved by the Senate and signed by the Governor, this bond would give $1.5 billion to North Carolina public schools for construction needs, as well as $400 million to the University of North Carolina system and state community colleges.

 

School Calendar Bills in House Education Committee
The House Education K-12 Committee cleared two school calendar bills on Tuesday, March 12:

  • HB 79—A statewide bill sponsored by Representatives Horn, R-Union; Johnson, R-Cabarrus; Elmore, R-Wilkes; and Strickland, R-Johnston that would allow LEAs to determine opening dates of public schools based on the opening dates of community colleges serving their county.
  • HB 117—A bill sponsored by Representatives Warren, R-Rowan; Horn; Howard, R-Davie; and Johnson that would establish a 3-year pilot program in 22 counties, allowing schools to open no earlier than the Monday closest to August 10 and close no later than the Friday closest to June 11, starting in either the 2019-20 or 2020-21 school year. The purpose of the pilot program is to determine the impact of the program on student achievement and the effect on the travel and tourism industry.

Both bills have been referred to the House Rules Committee.

 

Joint Appropriations Committee on Education

Tuesday, March 12 – Staff from the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) presented the Governor’s Recommended Budget for Education for FY 2019-21 (click here for presentation). The Governor’s proposed budget would add $567.8 million to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) budget in FY 2019-20 and $843.3 million in FY 2020-21.

Thursday, March 14 – Eric C. Davis, chairman of the State Board of Education, presented the 2019 Legislative Expansion Budget Proposal for DPI, the State Board, and Superintendent Johnson (click here for presentation). Chairman Davis compared the Governor’s proposed budget to the joint departmental budget. There are many areas of agreement between the two proposals.

 

Superintendent Mark Johnson presented the highlights of his #NC2030 plan to the Committee (click here for report). The Superintendent emphasized his proposed five percent teacher salary increase over the biennium and the addition of compensation for first through fourth grade teachers for professional development at the beginning of the school year.

 

Other Bills on NCSBA’s Agenda

Treat Finance Officers Like Assistant Superintendents—Senate Bill 224

Primary Sponsors: Robinson, D-Guilford; Foushee, D-Orange

SB 224 would give school finance officers the same terms and conditions of employment as assistant and associate superintendents, as outlined in subsections (b) and (c) of G.S.115C-278. (Click here to view statute)

Click here to read our issue brief on School Finance Officers.

 

15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades—House Bill 362

Primary Sponsors: Horn, R-Union; Harris, D-Mecklenburg; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Autry, D-Mecklenburg

HB 362 would make permanent a 15-point scale for school performance grades. This bill is identical to HB 145, which was filed earlier this session.

Click here to read our issue brief on School Grades.

 

Restore Master’s Pay for Teachers—Senate Bill 244

Primary Sponsors: Waddell, D-Mecklenburg; Mohammed, D-Mecklenburg

SB 244 would allow teachers and instructional support personnel with master’s degrees to be paid on the “M” salary schedule or receive a salary supplement for their academic preparation at the six-year or doctoral degree level. SB 28, which would restore master’s pay for certain teachers, was filed earlier this session.

Click here to read our issue brief on Teacher Pay.

 

School Calendar Bills

So far this session, the Senate has introduced 16 local school calendar bills, and the House has introduced 36 local school calendar bills and 4 statewide school calendar bills. The 52 local bills cover 85 LEAs.

NCSBA has created this spreadsheet to track school calendar flexibility bills that are filed each week.

Follow the LOCAL Authority for NC School Calendars’ Twitter account @nclocalcalendar to keep up with the progress being made for local school calendar flexibility.

 

*sponsor intended to include – will fix when bill goes to committee

 

Legislative Public Policy Conference

The NCSBA Legislative Public Policy Conference is scheduled for April 30/May 1 in Raleigh at the NCSBA building. The following is a draft agenda:

Tuesday, April 30

9:00 – 9:10 Welcome
9:10 – 10:10 Legislative Update
10:15 – 11:15 Summer Learning Loss: The Problem & Some Solutions
11:15 – 12:00 Read to Achieve: Takeaways/How to Improve It & Evaluating the Innovative School District
12:00 – 12:45 Lunch
12:45 – 1:15 Evaluations on Advanced Teaching Roles & Opportunity Scholarships (Vouchers)
1:15 – 2:15 Chronic Absenteeism: What You Need to Know & Where Your District Stacks Up
2:15 – 3:15 School Construction: Statewide Bond vs. Pay-As-You-Go

 

Wednesday, May 1

9:00 – 10:00 Legislative Panel with Board Member Q&A
10:15 – 11:00 Getting the Most from Your Business/Community Partners
11:00 – 11:15 School Safety Funding
11:15 – 12:45 School Shootings: What We’re Doing Right & What We Can Do Better, Given Current Funding Levels

 

You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the legislative building to observe session and visit with and/or meet your delegation for dinner, and much more.

The registration rate is $325. Click here to register.

 

March 18-22 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, March 18

3:00 pm – House: Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House –Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio)

  • HB56: Arts Education Requirement

Tuesday, March 19

8:30 am – Joint Appropriations Committees on Education/Higher Education – Legislative Office Building, rm 423

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

  • HB200: Education Report Changes
  • HB266: School Annual Report Card
  • HB276: Modify Low-Performing School Definition
  • HB295: Prohibit Corporal Punishment in Public Schools
  • HB354: Modify Weighing/School Performance Grades

 

Wednesday, March 20

8:30 am – Joint Appropriations Committees on Education/Higher Education – Legislative Office Building, rm 423

11:00 am – Senate: Education/Higher Education – Legislative Building, rm 1027/1128 (audio)

  • Agenda TBD

 

Thursday, March 21

8:30 am – Joint Appropriations Committees on Education/Higher Education – Legislative Office Building, rm 423

 

 

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 – March 15, 2019
read more