Legislative Alerts

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
NCSBA Legislative Update – March 8, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – March 8, 2019

House Bill 241 – Education Bond Act of 2019
The $1.9 billion bond bill made considerable progress in the House this week. Speaker Tim Moore and cosponsors Jeffrey Elmore, Craig Horn, and Linda Johnson guided the bill through passage of four House committees – Education K-12, Finance, Appropriations Capital, and Rules. The bill was amended in Education K-12 to move the bond referendum from November 2020 to March 2020. The bill advanced to the House floor on March 6 but was returned to the Rules Committee on March 7 for further review. The bill will be debated again in House Rules on March 11 at 3 pm. It is anticipated that the House will vote on HB 241 next Wednesday and Thursday.

Governor’s Recommended Budget

Governor Cooper unveiled his 2019-21 Recommended Budget to the press and public on Wednesday (March 6) and to the Joint Appropriations Committee of the legislature on Thursday (March 7). The Governor’s budget increases the total K-12 budget by $567.78 million (5.9%) for FY 2019-20 and by $843.34 million (8.7%) for FY 2020-21. The total recommended K-12 budget is $10.15 billion in FY 2019-20 and $10.49 billion in FY 2020-21. Click here to see the full recommended budget. The key K-12 Education budget changes are as follows:

Invest NC Bond

  • $2 billion of the proposed $3.9 billion bond is dedicated to K-12 public schools

 Salary and Benefits

  • New 30-Year Step Schedule for Educators – average increase of 9.1% over 2 years; no educator receives less than 3% increase in either fiscal year
  • Restoration of Master’s Pay for Teachers
  • New Principal Salary Schedule – includes experienced based step increases based on experience as a principal
  • Assistant Principal Schedule Changes – reflect changes in teacher salary schedule
  • Cost of Living Adjustment for Central Office, Noncertified Personnel, and State employees – greater of $500 or 1.5%
  • Noncertified Personnel Compensation Reserve – additional $500 for full-time, 12 month state-funded positions
  • 2% one-time COLA for retirees
  • Elimination of $50/day required substitute deduction from pay for teachers using personal leave days

School Safety

  • Student Support Positions – nurses, school psychologists, counselors, and social workers; $40 million for approximately 500 FTE
  • $15 million Reserve for Public Safety Building Improvements

Teacher Recruitment and Retention

  • Programs to help recruit, retain, and support teachers such as
    • restoring state funding for National Board Certification for 1,000 teachers
    • funding for New Teacher Support Program and “Grow Your Own” Teacher Cadet program
    • adding four districts to the Advanced Teaching Roles pilot
    • creating pilot to support educators of color
  • New allotment for professional development for teachers and school leaders
  • Expansion of the NC Teaching Fellows Program to all institutions with an approved educator preparation program and to all licensure areas.

Student Resources

  • One-time reserve for
    • Textbooks and digital resources ($10 million)
    • Instructional supplies ($15 million)
    • LEA access to Statewide Learning Management System ($4 million)
  • Provide free meals for 115,000 students by funding co-pay for reduced-price meals
  • $3 million grant to expand academically gifted program for students from under-represented populations

Vouchers

  • Gradual elimination of the Opportunity Scholarship Program – no new applicants beginning FY 2019-20

Dept. of Information Technology Budget

  • $5 million competitive grant program for school districts to provide high-speed internet access to students who lack such service (homework gap)

 

School Safety Bills
Three bills recommended by the House Select Committee on School Safety were approved by the House this week and sent to the Senate.

  • HB 73 Civic Responsibility Education
  • HB 75 School Mental Health Screening Study – The House Rules Committee added section 2(k) “A review of the best practices of other states that perform mental health screening of school-aged children” to the proposed study.
  • HB 76 School Safety Omnibus – The House Committee on Education K-12 made several changes in the original bill to address concerns expressed by NCSBA. Three further amendments suggested by NCSBA were adopted on the House floor.

 

Gun Bills

House Bill 216, School Self-Defense Act, sponsored by Representatives Pittman, R-Cabarrus; and Speciale, R-Craven; authorizes certain school staff and volunteer school resource officers who possess a valid concealed handgun permit to carry a handgun on school grounds and to respond to acts of violence or an immediate threat of violence. Read the linked bill for more details including training requirements.

Senate Bill 192, School Safety Act of 2019, sponsored by Senators Daniel, R-Burke; Hise, R-Mitchell; and Tillman, R-Randolph creates the position of Teacher Resource Officer. It establishes a grant program and provides a salary supplement of 5%. The bill allows up to 3,000 Teacher Resource Officers statewide and budgets a recurring $4.5 million.

Bills arming teachers pop up every year in the House. House leadership has not had much of an appetite to hear those bills. It has not been much of an issue in the Senate in recent years. It’s worth noting that two of the three senate sponsors are considered in the leadership circle, Hise is the Deputy President Pro Tempore and Tillman is the Majority Whip. Read the linked bill for more details including certification requirements.

We encourage you to share your views with House and Senate leadership and your legislative delegation.

 

Superintendent’s Budget

State Superintendent Mark Johnson published his FY 2019-21 budget recommendations on his website this week (click here). Below are some of his major recommendations:

  • Provide a 5% salary increase for teachers ($140 million recurring (R) in 19-20 and $280 million R in 20-21)
  • Compensate first through fourth grade teachers for professional development at the beginning of the school year ($73 million R)
  • Increase principal pay ($50 million R)
  • Continue and expand school safety grants ($72 million R and $10 million nonrecurring (NR) each year)
  • Fund school safety equipment and training grants ($11 million NR each year)
  • Increase textbook funding allotment $10 per student ($16 million R)
  • Raise cap on special needs funding from 12.75% to 13.5% ($15 million R)
  • Replace standardized testing with personalized learning opportunities ($10 million R)

 

Other Bills on NCSBA’s Agenda

Principal Bonus – Senate Bill 170

SB 170, Expand Principal Bonus Multiplier Eligibility, fixes a principal bonus issue that NCSBA has been working on since last summer. The bill filed by Senate Education Chairs Tillman, Ballard, and Horner clarifies a provision in last year’s budget bill that essentially penalized some high performing principals for being too effective.

Principals in a D or F school that that were in the top 50% of the statewide growth percentage during the 2017-18 school year were to receive a double bonus (see chart below) during the 2018-19 fiscal year. However, based on the wording of the provision, DPI’s interpretation was that principals who improved a D or F school to a grade of C or better in 2017-18 were not eligible for the double bonus. SB 170 makes those high-flying principals eligible for the double bonus and extends the deadline for them to receive payment.

Statewide Growth Percentage Bonus
Top 5% $10,000
Top 10% $7,500
Top 15% $5,000
Top 20% $2,500
Top 50% $1,000

 

Note: A long term fix is still necessary. This bill only affects results from 2017-18.

Low Performing Schools Definition – House Bill 276

Sponsored by Representatives Riddell, R-Alamance; Fraley, R-Iredell; Clemmons, D-Guilford; and Ross, R-Alamance, the bill modifies the definition of a low-performing school to no longer include schools that “met expected growth”. The current definition of a low-performing school is any D or F school that met expected growth or did not meet expected growth.

The bill also modifies which schools are eligible to adopt a reform model, including the Restart model. It considers the proposed changes to the new definition of a low performing school so that schools that were eligible for a reform model under the old definition are still eligible under the new definition.

Click here to read our issue brief on Low Performing Schools.

Ethics Training for School Employees – Senate Bill 203

School employees involved in the making/administering of contracts must 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.

Click here to read our issue brief on Ethics Training for School Administrators.

Partisan Elections Act – House Bill 294

Part I of this bill requires partisan elections to be held for county boards of education and city boards of education.

 

State Board of Education Meeting – March 6 & 7

This month, members of the State Board of Education spent a majority of their time discussing renewal recommendations for charters expiring in 2019 and licensure requirements for out-of-state teachers. Much of the conversation was centered around renewals for three Mecklenburg charter schools: Commonwealth High and Stewart Creek High, alternative high schools up for ten-year renewals, and Charlotte Learning Academy, which was up for nonrenewal. On Thursday, the Board voted to grant the two alternative high schools seven-year renewals because of many members’ request for more accountability for schools whose students are mostly high school dropouts. The Board voted not to renew Charlotte Learning Academy’s charter because of the concern that granting any type of renewal to a school that has never had a school grade higher than a F and has 17.9% proficiency would set an unwanted precedent for future cases.

Recently, State Board members have been debating the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission’s recommendation of allowing out-of-state licensed teachers to come to North Carolina and teach without receiving a NC teaching license. Many view this as lowering the state’s teaching standards, but there is also an argument that it would allow quicker access to qualified teachers. The Board concluded discussion on this issue by requesting that DPI return to next months’ SBE meeting with an explanation of what resources it would need to provide comparability analysis of teacher evaluation data and student growth data of out-of-state teachers with in-state teachers.

 

School Calendar Bills

So far this session, the Senate has introduced 13 local school calendar bills, and the House has introduced 35 local school calendar bills and 4 statewide school calendar bills. The 48 local bills cover 81 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 agenda includes a legislative panel and the following topics:

  • School Safety
  • School Construction: Statewide Bond vs. Pay-As-You-Go
  • Chronic Absenteeism: How Your District Stacks Up and Best Practices to Improve
  • Updates/Research on Advanced Teaching Roles, Innovative School District, Read to Achieve, and Vouchers

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 11-14 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, March 11

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

  • HB241: Education Bond Act of 2019

Tuesday, March 12

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)

  • HB56: Arts Education Requirement
  • HB79: Academic Alignment/Boards of Education & CC
  • HB117: School Calendar Flexibility Pilot Program

Wednesday, March 13

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

Thursday, March 14

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

Friday, March 15

10:00 am – North Carolina Child Well-Being Transformation Council – Legislative Office Building, rm 544 (audio)

 

**REMINDER**

The Senate deadline to file local bills is next Thursday, March 14.

The Senate deadline to submit/request a bill to legislative drafting has passed.

The House deadline to file local bills is Thursday, March 28.

The House deadlines to submit/request a bill to legislative drafting has passed.

 

 

 

 

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 8, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – March 1, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – March 1, 2019

Statewide School Construction Bond
Speaker Tim Moore was joined by more than a dozen Republican House members at Thursday’s press conference to unveil HB 241, Education Bond Act of 2019. The proposed $1.9 billion bond for statewide school construction, if passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor, would put the issue before North Carolina voters next year. The proposal provides $1.5 billion to K-12 schools, and $200 million to both community colleges and universities.

Speaker Moore explained that this session is the perfect time to pass the first statewide K-12 school construction bond since 1996: “Our State has a strong fiscal position with unanimous triple A credit ratings. We have hundreds of millions of dollars in reserve. We have revenue surpluses projected, and we have a billion dollars in savings. There’s currently a competitive bond market and the State can borrow now at very favorable interest rates. The opportunity is now and waiting can only end up costing the State more down the road.”

The bill allows LEAs to use the funds for new construction, renovations, technology, infrastructure, building security, certain types of equipment, and land if construction is to begin within twenty-four months.

The breakdown of funds received by each LEA is based on a formula comprised of four components, which includes a $10 million dollar minimum per county. The largest percentage of funds is for low wealth counties, followed by ADM and ADM growth. Click here to see how your LEA benefits from the bond bill.

Section 5 of the bill states that any funds from the bond used for school technology will be credited against the 2008 judgment in N.C. School Boards Assn, et al., v. Moore, et al., civil penalties (fines & forfeitures) lawsuit.

 

Governor Cooper Supports Bond for School Construction

In his State of the State address on Monday night, February 25, Governor Cooper pledged support for a statewide school construction bond. The following is an excerpt from his speech:

“And let’s give our students safe, healthy places to learn.

Right now, 4 in 10 public schools in our state are at least 50 years old. That means they’re still using the schools you and I went to. That’s great for nostalgia, but not so good for students in classrooms with unreliable heat, leaking roofs or crumbling walls.

K through 12 schools need at least 8 billion dollars in new construction and renovations. There’s a smart way to build them that locks in financing against the whims of future legislatures and lets the people decide at the same time.

It gets hammers swinging all across the state, and still leaves money for good teachers and principals. This session, let’s have the people vote on a strong school construction bond.”

 

House Education K-12 Committee – School Safety

The Committee met on Tuesday, February 26. Two of the school safety bills we mentioned in last week’s update were up for a vote, including HB 76 – School Safety Omnibus. The list of concerns NCSBA shared with committee members before the meeting were addressed in the bill’s amended version. It passed out of the House K-12 committee. HB 73 – Civic Responsibility Education also passed out of committee after it was amended. Both bills are now in the House Rules committee.

 

State Board of Education (SBE)

HB 251, State Board of Ed/Education Changes, was filed this week on behalf of the SBE. Some of the issues covered in the bill align with NCSBA’s priorities, including:

  • Restore the State sales tax refund for LEAs
  • Create a K-3 class size waiver for 1) inadequate classroom space or facilities that would require a facility expansion or relocation; or 2) a shortage of qualified, licensed teachers available to teach in the grade level for the number of classrooms required at the individual school

State Board of Education Chair Eric Davis presented SBE’s 2019 non-judgment legislative priorities to the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee on Thursday, including:

  • A permanent 15-point A-F grading scale for school grades
  • A change in the formula that calculates school performance grades
  • No longer classify schools meeting growth as low-performing
  • Calendar, teacher, and funding flexibility – districts must apply to SBE
  • Extending the Principal pay hold harmless
  • Modification to the principal pay double bonus language

 

Joint Appropriations Committee on Education

The Committee met on Tuesday, February 26 and Wednesday, February 27 to hear presentations from the legislative fiscal staff on Introduction to Public School Funding (click here for slides) and Public School Allotments (click here for slides).

 

School Calendar Bills

So far this session, the Senate has introduced thirteen local school calendar bills, and the House has introduced thirty-four local school calendar bills and four statewide school calendar bills. The forty-seven local bills cover eighty 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

 

School Calendar Resolutions

Thank you to the sixty-seven school boards and twenty-six county commissions that have shared their adopted resolutions with NCSBA in support of school calendar flexibility. Click here to see the full list of school calendar resolutions.

Email a copy of your board’s calendar flexibility resolution to Richard Bostic at rbostic@ncsba.org.

After adopting a resolution, school boards and/or county commissions should request that their legislative delegation file a local bill. If the response from the legislator is that the bill is dead on arrival, request that your delegation introduce the bill anyway.

 

Other Bills Filed This Week on NCSBA’s Legislative Agenda

HB 145 – 15-Pt Scale for School Performance Grades

SB 152 – Restore LEAs Sales Tax Refund

 

Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education—February 28

The Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education met this week to discuss North Carolina teacher quality, teacher retention, and new programs that expand teaching roles. There was a panel discussion of teacher perspectives on the challenges of hiring high-quality educators in NC schools. The three panelists addressed their personal experiences, including lack of consistent leadership, human resources, flexibility, and autonomy. The panelists requested that the State promote more relevant and engaging professional development and shared visions of leadership. This led to the discussion of the lack of school calendar flexibility, which affects school districts’ ability to establish days specifically for teacher professional development.

Commission members also heard from four different school districts that have implemented programs aimed to increase teacher effectiveness, not only in the classroom, but also with fellow teachers and administration. Staff members from the four districts promoted ideas such as accounting for career growth and recognition of excellence in teacher pay, expanding school leadership and authority, and creating teacher leaders that collaborate with school personnel to improve student learning and instructional support. Click here to access the meeting agenda and resources.

 

Legislative Public Policy Conference

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

  • School Safety
  • School Construction: Statewide Bond vs. Pay-As-You-Go
  • Chronic Absenteeism: How Your District Stacks Up and Best Practices to Improve
  • Updates/Research on Advanced Teaching Roles, Innovative School District, Read to Achieve, and Vouchers

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 4-7 Legislative/SBE Meeting Calendar

Monday, March 4

3:30 pm – House: Rules, Calendar, and Operations – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio)

  • HB57: Create Term for Public Schs. & Codify NCVPS
  • HB73: Civic Responsibility Education
  • HB75: School Mental Health Screening Study
  • HB76: School Safety Omnibus

 

Tuesday, March 5

8:30 am – Joint Appropriations Committees on Health and Human Services and Education – Legislative Office Building, rm 643 (audio)

  • Division of Child Development and Early Education

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

  • HB90: DPI/EC Div. Feedback/DIT Study/PED Report
  • HB151: Katelyn’s Law

 

Wednesday, March 6

10:00 am – State Board of Education – 301 N. Wilmington St., Raleigh NC (Seventh Floor Board Room) (audio)

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

 

Thursday, March 7

9:00 am – State Board of Education – 301 N. Wilmington St., Raleigh NC (Seventh Floor Board Room) (audio)

 

FYI – Net Inclusion 2019

Local and State Elected Officials, join the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) and the North Carolina Broadband Infrastructure Office for the, “Closing the Digital Divide 101 for Local and State Elected Officials” workshop during pre-conference sessions at Net Inclusion 2019.

Date: Monday, April 1, 2019

Time: 9:00AM-12:00PM

Location: Federal Reserve Bank in Charlotte, NC

This workshop specifically designed for local and state elected officials will cover digital equity and inclusion basics, ideas for supporting and launching local digital inclusion efforts, and ways to advocate for or implement policies to support digital inclusion and equity initiatives at the local, state, and federal level.

This workshop is one of seven pre-conference workshops offered at Net Inclusion 2019. Learn more about the other workshops and the other great offerings at the conference here.

The special reduced rate for Net Inclusion at the Omni Charlotte Hotel Starts at $175/night. The last day to receive the reduced rate is March 10. But the room block is likely to fill up before then.

 

Register for Net Inclusion 2019!

 

 

 

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 1, 2019
read more
NCSBA Legislative Update – February 22, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – February 22, 2019

School Safety Bills

The chairs of last year’s House School Safety Committee have filed four bills that coincide with some of the committee’s recommendations. Two of them, HB 73 and HB 76 are on the House K-12 Committee calendar for Tuesday, February 26

  • HB 73 requires the State Board of Education to include instruction on civic responsibility concerning respect for school personnel, respect for school safety, service to others, and good citizenship. The instruction will be implemented into the following courses:
    • Elementary & Middle School – NC History and Geography
    • High School – Founding Principles of the United States & North Carolina
  • HB 74 continues five grant programs that were funded in the 2018-19 state budget. Click here to see a chart that breaks down the differences in funding levels and recurring vs. non-recurring dollars.
  • HB 75 requires DHHS and DPI to study whether North Carolina should require a mental health screening process to identify school-age children at risk of harming themselves or others.
  • HB 76 is an eleven-page school safety omnibus bill. Many of the items were passed in separate bills by the House last year that died in the Senate. HB 76 does a number of things:
  1. Creates a definition of public-school unit so that statutes that apply to more than one local school administrative unit (i.e. charter schools, regional schools, etc.) can be captured with a simple term;
  2. Requires reporting on the date and time of the required annual school safety exercise;
  3. Clarifies the duties of the Center for Safer Schools;
  4. Creates and delineates roles and responsibilities for threat assessment teams (NCSBA has a number of concerns about this section; see concerns below);
  5. Requires the county school system to adopt a state of emergency plan for all public-school units in the county (NCSBA has a number of concerns about this section, see concerns below);
  6. Defines what a school resource officer is and provides minimum training standards and reporting requirements;
  7. Requires each school to annually complete a facility vulnerability assessment.

NCSBA has expressed a number of concerns about HB 76, which are listed below:

  1. There is an inconsistent use of the word “threat”.  In some places it is used to mean a “threat”, and in some places it is used to mean “risk”.
  2. There are several inconsistencies in the bill with the requirements of FERPA.
  3. There are no immunity protections if the threat assessment team determines that a student is a lower threat than they actually are.
  4. There is an inconsistency between the schools establishing threat assessment teams based on policies recommended by the Center for Safer Schools and when the Center has to have their model policies.
  5. Threat assessment policies adopted by public schools are public record. Should they really be a public record?
  6. What happens if a student is referred to health care professional and the parent or student refuses?
  7. Is it really workable for a county LEA to establish an emergency plan for all public-school units in the county?

We hope that many of these concerns will be addressed in a proposed committee substitute that will be presented to the House Education Committee on Tuesday, February 26.

 

Update on School Construction Funds

  • Senate Bill 5 – The Senate approved SB 5, a pay-as-you-go school construction funds bill, on a 33-14 vote on Wednesday. Senate Democrats offered three amendments to the bill, including an attempt to transfer future Opportunity Scholarships expansion funds into public school construction, but those efforts failed.
  • Governor Cooper – On Tuesday, Governor Cooper issued a press release in response to SB 5 stating that “North Carolina should put a school bond to a vote so the people can decide whether to fix our old schools and build new ones. Skimming money that should go to teacher pay raises and other school funding is like using your gas money to buy a car. A successful school bond is a smarter way to do business because it locks down financing now and still leaves funding to get good teachers and principals in the classrooms.”
  • House Bond Bill – Speaker Moore’s proposed school bond bill has not been introduced – yet. We are hopeful that the bill will be filed next week.
  • Senate Democrats – In a press conference on Wednesday, Senate Democrats voiced support for the planned House bill for a school construction bond and opposition to SB 5 (Four Democrats did vote with the majority on SB 5). They intend to file their own bond bill soon.

 

Joint Appropriations Committee
Revenue Forecast and Budget Outlook for FY 2019-21:

Revenue

  • Tax collections for the current fiscal year are projected to be $151 million (.6%) above the revenue forecast of $23.9 billion.
    • Sales tax collections are up $117.8 million (1.5%). Part of the increase is attributed to the verdict in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. that requires internet companies to collect sales tax.
    • Personal income taxes are projected to be $53.3 million (-.4%) below projections, due to the impact of the Federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act.
    • Business taxes are $16.5 million (.9%) above projections.
  • For the FY 2019-21 biennium, legislative and executive branch staff project economic growth of 3% in FY 2019-20 and 4% growth in FY 2020-21.
    • Sales tax growth is estimated to be 3% in FY 2019-20 and 4.6% in FY 2020-21, due to the continued implementation of sales tax collections on internet purchases.
    • Personal income tax collections are projected to grow 1.9% in FY 2019-20 and 4.0% in FY 2020-21, due to strong wage growth of 5.1% to 5.3% each year.
  • In FY 2019-20, the General Fund Revenue availability is $24.814 billion. For FY 2020-21, revenue availability is $25.801 billion.

Budget

  • After reserving funds for the State Capital & Infrastructure Fund and the Savings Reserve, the revenue available for expansion budget needs will be $572 million in FY 2019-20 and $1.39 billion in FY 2020-21. This may seem like a large amount until you view the list of “must do” items shown below.

  • For the remaining funds, consider that each 1% increase in public school teacher and instructional support salaries cost $61.8 million.

 

Tentative Outline for 2019 Budget Calendar:

Mid-February – March 28                                 Joint Committee Meetings

April 1                                                              House begins developing budget

April 18 – April 22                                            House Appropriations will take a break

May 3                                                              House Budget passes

May 6                                                              Senate begins work on their budget

May 24                                                            Senate Budget passes

May 27                                                            Conference Budget process begins

June 7                                                             Conference Report on budget enacted

 

Legislative Public Policy Conference

The NCSBA Legislative Public Policy Conference is scheduled for April 30/May 1 in Raleigh at the NCSBA building. The agenda is still under development, but we are securing a legislative education panel of two State senators (one committee chair) and two House members (one committee chair). Other sessions include an analysis of the real impact on summer learning loss and potential remedies, along with state evaluations on Read to Achieve and the Innovative School District. Also, since the General Assembly is in session during our conference, you will have an opportunity to see them in action and visit with your legislative delegation.

The early bird registration rate for the conference is $250 through February 28, and the normal registration rate is $325 starting March 1. Click here to register.

 

School Calendar Bills

So far during the 2019-20 legislative long session, the Senate has introduced twelve local school calendar bills, and the House has introduced twenty-seven local school calendar bills and two statewide school calendar bills. The thirty-nine local bills cover seventy-one 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

 

School Calendar Resolutions

Thank you to the sixty-three school boards and twenty-two county commissions that have shared their adopted resolutions with NCSBA in support of school calendar flexibility. Click here to see the full list of school calendar resolutions.

Email a copy of your board’s calendar flexibility resolution to Richard Bostic at rbostic@ncsba.org. After adopting a resolution, school boards and/or county commissions should request that their legislative delegation file a local bill. If the response from the legislator is that the bill is dead on arrival, request that your delegation introduce the bill anyway.

 

Legislative Agenda Issue Briefs

The NCSBA Governmental Relations staff has written issue briefs for each topic in the 2019-20 Legislative Agenda. They can be accessed on the NCSBA website under the Governmental Relations tab or by clicking this link.

View our final brief on Student Support Personnel.

 

February 25-28 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, February 27

House: Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House

Governor’s 2019 State of the State Address

  • 7:00 pm

 

Tuesday, February 26

House: Appropriations, Education (Joint)

  • 8:30 am
  • 423 LOB

House: Education—K-12

  • 1:00 pm
  • 643 LOB (audio)
  • H31: Allow Durham Pub. Schools to Provide Housing
  • H57: Create Term for Public Schs. & Codify NCVPS
  • H73: Civic Responsibility Education
  • H76: School Safety Omnibus

 

Wednesday, February 27

Senate: Education/Higher Education

  • 1:30 pm
  • 1027/1128 LB (audio)
  • Presentations from State Superintendent Mark Johnson and State Board of Education Chairman Eric C. Davis

 

 

 

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

NCSBA Legislative Update – February 15, 2019

School Capital

The Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee approved Senate Bill 5, Building North Carolina’s Future, after extensive debate. While bill sponsors praised the pay-as-you-go approach, several senators pointed out that there is no guarantee that future General Assemblies will stay committed to this plan and that project funding is at the discretion of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The bill will be heard next in Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday morning, February 19, at 9 am.

School Calendar Bills

So far during the 2019-20 legislative long session, the Senate has introduced four local school calendar flexibility bills, and the House has introduced seventeen local school calendar flexibility bills and one statewide school calendar flexibility bill. The twenty-one local bills cover fifty-one 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

 

School Calendar Resolutions

Thank you to the fifty-five school boards and eighteen county commissions that have shared their adopted resolutions with NCSBA in support of school calendar flexibility. Click here to see the full list of school calendar resolutions.

For boards in need of assistance, this packet provides sample resolutions and draft bills that can be used in discussions with your legislators. Please email a copy of your board’s calendar flexibility resolution to Richard Bostic at rbostic@ncsba.org.

After adopting a resolution, school boards and/or county commissions should request that their legislative delegation file a local bill. If the response from the legislator is that the bill is dead on arrival, request that your delegation introduce the bill anyway.

Legislative Public Policy Conference

The NCSBA Legislative Public Policy Conference is scheduled for April 30/May 1 in Raleigh at the NCSBA building. The agenda is still under development, but we are securing a legislative education panel of two State senators (one committee chair) and two House members (one committee chair). Other sessions include an analysis of the real impact on summer learning loss and potential remedies, along with state evaluations on Read to Achieve and the Innovative School District. Also, since the General Assembly is in session during our conference, you will have an opportunity to see them in action and visit with your legislative delegation.

The early bird registration rate for the conference is $250 through February 28, and the normal registration rate is $325 starting March 1. Click here to register.

Legislative Agenda Issue Briefs

The NCSBA Governmental Relations staff is writing issue briefs for each topic in the 2019-20 Legislative Agenda. They can be accessed on the NCSBA website under the Governmental Relations tab or by clicking this link.

View our most recent briefs on School Finance Officers and School Technology.

Bill Tracking

NCSBA Governmental Relation’s bill tracking system allows users to navigate education-related bills through a series of methods. Go to the NCSBA website and select the Bill Tracking option under the Governmental Relations tab, or click here to search for bills using the following options:

  • Direct Link – type in a specific bill number
  • Date Lookup – select a time frame in which a bill was filed
  • Tracking Level – choose one of NCSBA’s positions on filed bills
  • Bill Type – see House bills, Senate bills, or all bills
  • Groups – choose a group and a keyword to narrow down your bill search

The site also includes links to specific pages on the NC Legislature website, as well as a tab containing information about elected officials.

 

 

 

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 – February 15, 2019
read more