Legislative Alerts

NCSBA Legislative Update – January 17, 2020

NCSBA Legislative Update – January 17, 2020

January 14, 2020 Legislative Session

The 2019 very “long session” is one for North Carolina’s history books. The General Assembly adjourned this week, more than a year after first gaveling in on January 9, 2019. This is the first time a long session has ended in a different calendar year than it started. It’s also the first time lawmakers headed home until the short session without passing a new state budget.

The marathon session wrapped up on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, several hours after reconvening. The Senate did not attempt to override Governor Cooper’s veto of the state budget after Senate Leader Phil Berger determined that there were not enough votes for an override. Instead there was a failed attempt by the Senate to override the Governor’s veto of SB 354: Strengthening Educators’ Pay Act, which would have given non-certified and central office employees a 1% raise and an additional pay raise beyond step increases for teachers and assistant principals. The vote to override was along party lines.

Senator Berger stated during a morning press conference before Tuesday’s session that he believes the budget impasse will continue through the 2020 short session. Click here to access the press conference.

The legislature will reconvene for its 2020 short session on Tuesday, April 28.

Click here to access NCSBA’s 2019 Legislative Summary.

 

School Technology Resolution

Members of the NCSBA Governmental Relations team have met with House and Senate appropriations and education committee chairs, who are receptive to the fact that action should be taken to address the unpaid $730 million that the state still owes to public schools per a 2008 court judgment. Per state law, those funds should have been used exclusively for school technology but were instead unconstitutionally diverted by several state agencies to other purposes. For more background on this case, click here.

We would like to thank the 88 school districts (click here to see list) that have already shared and advocated their adopted resolutions. While there is still no commitment to a long-term plan, we know that your adopted resolutions are making an impact on some legislators who have recognized their district’s efforts in advocating the need for the school technology funds. We will continue to work on this issue with legislators during the interim leading up to their reconvening on April 28th.

If your district adopted the resolution but you do not see it listed, please email a copy of your resolution to Rebekah Howard at rhoward@ncsba.org. If your district has not adopted the resolution, click here to access an updated draft resolution for your school board to consider at its next meeting.

 

 

Click Here for the Conference Agenda.

Click Here to Register.

Conference Cost: $325

 

State Board of Education – January 8 & 9

This month the State Board of Education welcomed the 2019 Raleigh Dingman Award winner, Monte Herring. Mr. Herring will serve as the State Board’s local board of education advisor for the 2020 year. This month’s Board agenda included the 2019 Annual Charter School Report, the Istation reading assessment contract, and new graduation requirements that will implement the legislatively mandated Economics and Personal Finance course (EPF).

The annual charter school report informed the Board that charter schools account for 7.6% of the total state public school student population and that there are approximately 65,000 students on charter school waiting lists. The report contains charts and goals that were reworked by the Charter School Advisory Board (CSAB) prior to presentation to the State Board. The intent was to put a more positive spin on charter schools’ impact on student diversity, school grades, and funding. Click here to read an article that highlights the report changes, and click here to read the updated report that was presented to the Board. Board approval of the charter school report is still pending.

The Board did vote to approve DPI’s proposed social studies graduation requirements. The chart below shows the current requirements compared to what the Board approved in order to include the new EPF course.

The Board also discussed the state’s K-3 reading assessment dispute concerning an emergency purchase that was made on Tuesday, January 7 by State Superintendent Mark Johnson to extend the state’s contract with Istation, which is currently under legal review. Because the Board was not informed prior to Johnson’s purchase, Chairman Eric Davis verbally confirmed that the Board did not play a role in the emergency procurement. Since the Board meeting, the state’s Chief Information Officer of the Department of Information Technology (DIT) has challenged if Johnson’s purchase constituted an “emergency”. Click here to read more on the issue and Johnson’s response. Additionally, this week marked the beginning of hearings concerning the merits of the Istation contract that was awarded in 2019. Click here and here for media coverage of the hearings.

 

Candidate Filing

Candidate filing closed on Friday, December 20, 2019.

Click here to view which NC House and Senate candidates will be on the ballot in your district.

Click here to view a list of all candidates who will appear on 2020 ballots in NC.

 

 

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 – January 17, 2020
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NCSBA Legislative Update – December 19, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – December 19, 2019

Early bird rate: $250   –   After January 3: $325

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

State Superintendent Candidates Forum

Craig Horn, NC Legislator

Catherine Truitt, Western Governors University NC Chancellor

 

Leandro Report – What It Means for Districts & Next Steps

Rick Glazier, NC Justice Center Executive Director

 

Changes to the Innovative School District

JB Buxton, State Board of Education Member

James Ellerbe, ISD Superintendent

 

Education Culture Transformation – A Model to Boost Student Success by Improving Teacher Recruitment, Retention, & Leadership

Julie Pittman, 2018 Western NC Teacher of the Year, EDLead NC

Freebird McKinney, 2018 NC Teacher of the Year, EDLead NC

 

Class Action Lawsuit: NC School Districts vs. Vaping Companies (Juul)

Gary Jackson & Hoyt Tessener, James Scott Farrin

 

Localizing myFutureNC – Rowan County Leaders Discuss Their Process to Maximize Educational Attainment & Economic Prosperity

Rowan Education Collaborative & myFutureNC

 

Competency-Based Learning: The What & Why – A NC Principal Shares Successes & Challenges

            Carroll Middle School Principal, Assistant Principal, & Students


2020 Election Landscape with Newly Drawn Districts

Anna Beavon Gravely, NC Free

 

All We have to Do is Explain It to Them, Right? – A Proven Method to Effective Advocacy

Joe Stewart, IIANC VP of Governmental Affairs

 

CLICK HERE FOR A DRAFT AGENDA

 

Leandro Report Released

A long-awaited report in the 25-year-old Leandro case was released last week by Judge David Lee. In 2018 Judge Lee appointed WestEd, an independent consultant, to develop recommendations for the state to best achieve its constitutional requirement of providing every student with the opportunity to a sound basic education.

The 301-page WestEd report contains an initial action plan, background on North Carolina’s public education system, findings, recommendations, and a collection of appendices that provide brief summaries of additional studies done by WestEd and other organizations. The findings and recommendations are centered around eight critical needs:

  1. Adequate, equitable, and aligned finance and resource allocation
  2. A qualified and well-prepared teacher in every classroom
  3. A qualified and well-prepared principal in every school
  4. High-quality early childhood education
  5. Support for high-poverty schools
  6. State assessment system and school accountability system
  7. Regional/statewide supports for school improvement
  8. Monitoring the state’s compliance

WestEd believes that its recommendations and action steps will better equip North Carolina in providing economically disadvantaged students with a greater chance of becoming academically successful and career and college ready.

Click here to access the WestEd report.

The report has drawn responses from numerous state government officials. Click here to access an article containing public statements about the report and supporting reports provided by WestEd.

For more on what this report means for your district and the next steps in the Leandro case, consider attending NCSBA’s 2020 Public Policy Conference on January 23-24. The conference includes a session on the WestEd report presented by Rick Glazier, Executive Director of the NC Justice Center. Click here to register.

 

School Technology Resolution

NCSBA has been hard at work trying to formulate a responsible payment option for the unpaid $730 million that the state still owes to public schools per a 2008 court judgment. The judge ruled that those funds should have been used exclusively for school technology but were instead unconstitutionally diverted by several state agencies to other purposes. For more background on this case, click here.

We would like to thank the 69 school districts (click here to see list) that have already shared and advocated their adopted resolutions. We encourage each district to consider how these funds could benefit their students. If your district adopted the resolution but you do not see it listed, please email a copy of your resolution to Rebekah Howard at rhoward@ncsba.org.

 

Candidate Filing

Candidate filing opened on Monday, December 2 and closes on Friday, December 20.

Click here to view a list of all NC House and Senate candidates.

Click here to view a list of all candidates who will appear on 2020 ballots in NC.

 

 

 

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 – December 19, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – December 6, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – December 6, 2019

2020 Public Policy Conference

Early bird rate: $250   –   After January 3: $325

CLICK HERE FOR DRAFT AGENDA

2020 Election Landscape – How Races are Shaping Up in the Newly Drawn Districts

Anna Beavon Gravely, NC Free Enterprise

 

Transforming an Education Culture – Tips & Tools to Improve Teacher Recruitment, Retention, Leadership, & Effectiveness

Freebird McKinney & Julie Pittman

 

A Roadmap to Locally Maximize Educational Attainment & Economic Alignment

MyFutureNC & Rowan Education Collaborative

 

State School Superintendent Candidates Forum

Candidates Who Did Not Participate in the Candidates Forum at Annual Conference

 

All We Have to Do is Explain it to Them, Right? A Proven Method to Effective Advocacy

Joe Stewart

 

Competency-Based Learning: “In a Proficiency System, Failure or Poor Performance May Be Part of the Student’s Learning Curve, But it is Not an Outcome.” A NC Principal Shares Successes, Challenges, & Shows How Your District Can Implement this Education Model

Elizabeth MacWilliams, James Aldridge, Carrol Middle School Students

 

Innovative School District (ISD) – Changes You Need to Know

JB Buxton & James Ellerbe

 

What Else is Trending at the NC General Assembly (NCGA):

Various Presenters

✓ Session Update

✓ Clarity Around CBD & Hemp

✓ “Year-Round” Calendar: Trend Making Headlines & Raising Concerns

✓ School Construction Status Report

✓ Other Topics – Suggestions are Welcome

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

School Technology Resolution

NCSBA has been hard at work trying to formulate a responsible payment option for the unpaid $730 million that the State still owes to public schools per a 2008 court judgment. The judge ruled that those funds should have been used exclusively for school technology but were instead unconstitutionally diverted by several State agencies to other purposes. For more background on this case, click here.

We would like to thank the 33 school districts (click here to see list) that have already shared and advocated their adopted resolutions, as well as the districts that plan to adopt resolutions at this month’s school board meeting. We encourage each district to consider how these funds could benefit their students. If your district adopted the resolution but you do not see it listed, please email a copy of your resolution to Rebekah Howard at rhoward@ncsba.org. Please let Rebekah know if you need a copy of a sample resolution.

 

K-3 Reading Assessment Update

According to a WRAL media report, DPI and Istation, the new company chosen by DPI to assess the reading skills of North Carolina’s K-3 public school students, filed a joint motion earlier this month for a ruling on the two parties’ October court arguments. Istation’s contract has been on hold for months due to a legal review requested by Istation’s competitor Amplify who was replaced by Istation.

 

State Board of Education Meeting – December 4-5

The State Board of Education met this week to discuss topics including Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) and high school history course requirements. Data presented at the meeting showed that the percentage of teachers passing licensure exams has been decreasing over the past few years, with the passing rate going from 96.0% in 2014 to 80.2% in 2018. The downward trend became noticeable after a 2016 law allowed teachers to begin working without a continuing professional license, as long as they passed their licensure exam within their third year of teaching. Dr. Tomberlin of DPI made the point that although this downward trend is seen as a problem, it could also be viewed as a better alternative than filling classrooms with substitutes. Click here to view the EPP presentation.

HB 924: Teacher Contract Changes (S.L. 2019-82) establishes the completion of an Economics and Personal Finance (EPF) course as a public high school graduation requirement beginning with the freshman class of 2020-21. Board members were presented the revised history course requirements, which would combine the currently required two American history courses into one course in order to add the EPF course to the graduation requirements. The Board will vote on this revision at the January 2020 meeting. Click here to view the history course revision presentation.

Click here to access all Board materials.

 

 

Candidate filing opened on Monday, December 2. Click here to view a list of all candidates who will appear on 2020 ballots in NC.

 

 

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 – December 6, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – November 15, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – November 15, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

The legislature reconvened on Wednesday at noon with the goal of focusing on redistricting. Although it was stated that lawmakers may take up other issues this week, there was no discussion on school employee pay following the Governor’s veto of SB 354: Strengthening Educators’ Pay Act last Friday, November 8. Both the House and the Senate plant to adjourn today and are scheduled to reconvene on January 14.

Session Laws

The following education k-12 bills have become session law:

To view summaries of these three bills, click here to access our 2019 Legislative Summary. You can also access the summary by going to the NCSBA.org website: click on the green square in the middle of the page labeled “Governmental Relations” and select “8. 2019 Legislative Summary” from the menu on the left side of the page.

Mini Budgets

So far this session, 16 mini budget bills have been signed into session law by the Governor. Over the past two weeks, the Governor signed the following mini budget bills into session law:

The Governor vetoed the following mini budget bills:

 

Public Policy Conference – Advocating for Students

January 23-24

Raleigh, NC

Early bird rate: $250 – After January 3: $325

Click here to register.

  • Transforming an Education Culture – Tips & Tools to Improve Teacher Recruitment, Retention, & Effectiveness
  • How to Maximize Educational Attainment & Economic Alignment
  • Outside the Box Approach to Effective Advocacy
  • Personalized Learning: Hear from a Principal Who Implemented the Program & Eliminated A-F Student Grades
  • What’s Trending at the Legislature

 

State Board of Education Meeting – November 5-7

The State Board of Education met last week for three days at the North Carolina A&T State University Student Center. This month’s meeting consisted of the monthly meeting schedule and votes, as well as the fall planning work sessions. Board members and advisors heard presentations concerning shifting demographics in NC and the US that are changing common perceptions of public-school students, the School Justice Partnership, and how North Edgecombe High School’s principal is striving to address students’ needs with equity. The Board was also presented with the monthly Innovative School District (ISD) update, which included a summary of SB 522: Low-Perf. Schools/Adv. Teaching Roles (S.L. 2019-248) and a list of 69 qualifying schools. Click here to access the presentation.

Click here to access all Board materials.

 

 

 

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 – November 15, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – November 1, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – November 1, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

We are now in the fifth month of the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Halloween has come and gone, and there is still no approved State budget. The budget veto override was included on the Senate calendar each day this week, but Republican Senate leadership did not put it up for a vote.

 

                                                           

With Halloween spirit in the air and witches walking the halls of the legislative building, the House and Senate adjourned on Thursday, October 31…temporarily until November 13, with stated plans to return again on January 14. Since the courts rejected the Congressional district maps this week, legislators plan to use that time to redraw maps (the same judges approved the legislative district maps this week). However, lawmakers will also be able to take up the Governor’s vetoes and other legislation.

 

Teacher Pay

The big headline this week was in the introduction and passage of SB 354: Strengthening Educators’ Pay Act. The bill includes school employee pay raises, but with a twist. Part I of SB 354 reflects compensation for public school employees as written in the vetoed State budget (HB 966), including a 3.9% teacher salary increase over the fiscal biennium. But Part II would provide higher pay increases if there is a budget veto override.

See “Highlights of K-12 Education Bills” below for more details on SB 354.

 

Mini Budgets

So far this session, 12 mini budget bills have been signed into session law by the Governor.

The following seven mini budget bills have been sent to the Governor:

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

SB 354: Strengthening Educators’ Pay Act

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, November 1
  • Teacher salaries
SB 354 Part I SB 354 Part II

(applies if there is a budget veto override)

Increases average teacher salary by 3.9% over the biennium Increases average teacher salary by 4.4% over the biennium
Gives teachers with 16-20 years of experience a $500 raise for each fiscal year of the biennium Gives teachers with 16-20 years of experience a $500 raise in FY 2019-2020 and a $1,000 raise in FY 2020-2021
Gives teachers with 21-24 years of experience a $1,500 raise in FY 2019-2020 and a $500 raise in FY 2020-2021 Gives teachers with 21-24 years of experience a $1,500 raise in FY 2019-2020 and a $1,000 raise in FY 2020-2021
Gives teachers with 25 or more years of experience a $600 raise in FY 2019-2020 and a $500 raise in FY 2020-2021 Gives teachers with 25 or more years of experience a $600 raise in FY 2019-2020 and a $1000 raise in FY 2020-2021

 

  • Provides a $500 bonus no later than November 30, 2019 for teachers with 25 or more years of experience as of November 1, 2019 – GA intends to continue this bonus in 2020
  • Modifies the definition of a “highly qualified graduate” for those entering the teaching profession in the 2019-2021 fiscal biennium – qualified graduates receive a salary supplement each month
  • Grants small county signing bonuses for teachers who are employees in LEAs that received small county school system supplemental funding in the 2018-2019 fiscal year and are matched on the basis of $1.00 in State funds for every $1.00 in local funds, up to $2,000 in State funds
  • Maintains the base assistant principal pay and supplements – pay is based on the “A” teacher salary schedule plus 19%
  • Central office and noncertified personnel salaries
SB 354 Part I SB 354 Part II

(applies if there is a budget veto override)

Increases central office and noncertified personnel salaries by 1% for FY 2019-2020 GA intends to appropriate an additional 1% pay increase for FY 2020-2021 Increases central office and noncertified personnel salaries by 2% each fiscal year of the biennium
Establishes maximum monthly salary levels for central office employees from State funds Increases maximum monthly salary levels for central office employees from State funds for both years of the biennium
Provides a 0.5% bonus for noncertified public school employees no later than October 31, 2020

 

  • Designates how additional funds will be used if HB 966 becomes law
  • Clarifies that if HB 966 does not become law, then Part I of this bill shall remain in effect – if HB 966 becomes law, certain sections of Part I of this bill and certain sections in HB 966 are repealed

 

HB 377: Teacher Step Act (all sections are consistent with HB 966 unless otherwise noted)

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, November 1
  • Appropriates funds for principal salary increases for each year of the 2019-2021 fiscal biennium
  • Establishes the 2019-2020 Teacher Monthly Salary Schedule for teachers and instructional support personnel to receive applicable salary step increases
  • Authorizes salary supplements for highly qualified NC teaching graduates entering the teaching profession in the 2019-2021 fiscal biennium
  • Provides principal salary increases for the 2019-2020 fiscal year based on school average daily membership and school growth scores
  • Provides principal bonuses, consistent with HB 966, but changes the application of bonuses to not apply to principals who are no longer employed as a principal or whose last workday is prior to November 1, 2019 (was October 1) and requires the bonus to be paid no later than November 30, 2019 (was October 31)
    • Eliminates the principal double bonus for principals in schools with D or F performance grades
    • The chart below shows the bonus increase for principals in the top 5% and 10%
Statewide Growth Percentage 2019-2020 Bonus 2018-2019 Bonus
Top 5% $15,000 $10,000
Top 10% $10,000 $7,500
Top 15% $5,000 $5,000
Top 20% $2,500 $2,500
Top 50% $1,000 $1,000

 

  • Establishes the Principal Recruitment Supplement Program, which will provide an annual salary supplement of $30,000 for up to 36 months for a principal who is paid on the exceeded growth column of the salary schedule and accepts employment at a low-performing school that is in the bottom 5%
    • The principal remains eligible for the 36 months regardless of future school performance grades or whether the principal continues to be paid based on the exceeded growth column
  • Authorizes assistant principal salary step increases for the 2019-2020 fiscal year based on years of experience
    • Pay is based on the “A” teacher salary schedule, plus 19%
  • Authorizes salary step increases based on years of experience for employees of schools operated by DHHS, DPS, and SBE who are paid on the teacher salary schedule
  • Clarifies that application of salary increases for principals does not apply to persons separated from service due to resignation, dismissal, reduction in force, death, or retirement whose last workday is prior to June 30, 2019
  • Clarifies what sections are repealed if HB 966 becomes law

 

SB 522: Low-Performing Schools/Advanced Teaching Roles (Innovative School District (ISD) bill)

  • Presented to the Governor on Thursday, October 31
  • Defines a qualifying school as a Title I school governed by a LEA in the lowest-performing 5% of school performance grades
  • Expands eligibility from elementary schools to include middle and high schools
    • Carve outs for eligibility include: alternative schools, cooperative innovative high schools, schools that are in their first or second year of operation, and newcomers schools
  • Removes the cap of schools that could be in the ISD (was previously capped at five)
  • Restart schools are now eligible for consideration and selection in the ISD
  • Aligns the selection of innovative schools with those identified by the SBE for comprehensive support and improvement
  • Requires LEAs to annually inform boards of county commissioners on academic progress of schools in the LEA
  • Requires the SBE to transfer the lowest scoring school in the State for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years to the ISD in the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years respectively
  • Establishes a multi-year process that will transition up to five eligible schools to the ISD in the 2023-2024 school year and annually thereafter
  • Allows LEAs to request that a school under its control be selected to the ISD
  • Requires further study of reforms for assistance to low-performing schools
  • Eliminates the cap on LEAs that can participate in the Advanced Teaching Roles Pilot Program and exempts participating schools from class size requirements

 

SB 199: Child Sex Abuse/Strengthen Laws

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, November 1
  • Requires each LEA and charter school to adopt and implement a child sexual abuse and sex trafficking training program for school personnel who work directly with students in grades K-12
  • Clarifies that a registered sex offender shall not establish residence within 1,000 feet of a public school under construction, as long as the local board of education has notified the sheriff with jurisdiction of the construction project
    • NC Council of School Attorneys (NCCOSA) was instrumental in the inclusion of this section of the bill

 

Public Policy Conference – Advocating for Students

January 23-24

Raleigh, NC

Early bird rate: $250 – After January 3: $325

Click here to register.

  • Transforming an Education Culture: How to Improve Teacher Recruitment, Retention, Leadership, & Effectiveness
  • Closing the Skills Gap: Tips & Tools to Achieve Educational & Economic Alignment
  • 2020 Election Landscape
  • Outside the Box Approach to Effective Advocacy
  • Eliminating A-F Grades for Students: Hear from a Principal Who Recently Did It
  • What’s Trending at the Legislature

 

School Construction

Senate Leader Phil Berger announced last week that addressing school construction was one of the Senate’s priorities before leaving town on Thursday, October 31. Unfortunately, a school construction bill was not introduced. Please continue to urge your legislators that funding a statewide school construction initiative is a top priority for your district.

Click here for the letter that a coalition of groups, of which NCSBA is a member, sent on October 24 to Governor Cooper and all members of the House and Senate.

 

 

Because of the adjournment of the House and the Senate, NCSBA will not be sending out a Legislative Update next week.

 

 

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 – November 1, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – October 25, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – October 25, 2019

2020 Public Policy Conference
January 23-24
Raleigh, NC
 Advocating for Students
  • Improving Teacher Recruitment, Retention, & Effectiveness
  • Closing the Skills Gap – State Supported, Locally Owned
  • 2020 Election Landscape
  • Essential Steps to Effective Advocacy

Click here to register.

This Week at the Legislature

Teacher Pay

As promised by both House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger, teacher pay was addressed this week, but not in the way that school employees were expecting. HB 377: Teacher Step Act would appropriate funds for salary increases and bonuses for principals and ensure that teachers, instructional support personnel, and assistant principals receive their salary step increases. However, HB 377 does not reflect the higher pay raises for teachers and non-certified personnel that the Speaker addressed in this interview that was included in our October 11th update. For more on HB 377, see “Highlights of K-12 Education Bill” below.

In response to HB 377, many media outlets reported that according to the NC Association of Educators (NCAE), salary step increases are required under State law. We urge you not to repeat this information, as it is not an accurate statement. The law that governs how the State operates when there is no budget clearly delineates that step increases will not be implemented. (Click here to access G.S. 143C-5-4(b)(6).) Additionally, during the Great Recession the legislature recognized years of experience but shifted the pay scale so that teachers did not receive any pay increase based on years of experience. Do teachers deserve a step increase? Absolutely! Are teachers entitled to a step increase under State law? No.

 

Session Schedule

After months of waiting for a State budget and an end to this legislative session, we are seeing a shimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. On Friday afternoon the Senate added a major announcement to its Monday calendar: Pursuant to Senate rule 59.2(b), notice has been given by the Chair of the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate to the Senate Minority Leader that HB 966, 2019 Appropriations Act, may be considered by the Senate on Monday, October 28, 2019. The override attempt may or may not happen Monday night, but this is without a doubt a new development.

Senate leader Phil Berger has clearly stated for several weeks that the Senate plans to head home next Thursday, October 31. The House Speaker has followed the Senate’s lead, but his language has not been as strong. It remains unclear whether Berger plans to adjourn next Thursday for a few weeks or until the start of the short session, which is likely to begin in April or May. For the Senate, a lot depends on whether they can override the Governor’s budget veto before they leave. The House, on the other hand, still has legislative redistricting hanging over its head. And then there’s the congressional redistricting trial, which began this week. If teacher pay does not get resolved next week, then that’s another issue that could bring the General Assembly back to Raleigh before next spring. And don’t forget, there’s been talk of having a special session on Medicaid expansion. Stay tuned. We’ll keep you posted on the General Assembly’s comings and goings.

 

Mini Budgets

So far this session, 12 mini budget bills have been signed into session law by the Governor. In addition to HB 377: Teacher Step Act, four other mini budget bills were introduced this week:

The following are two additional mini budget bills that were introduced at the beginning of the month, passed the House and Senate, and have been sent to the Governor:

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bill

HB 377: Teacher Step Act (all sections are consistent with HB 966 unless otherwise noted)

  • Passed the Senate and sent to the House
  • Appropriates funds for principal salary increases for each year of the 2019-2021 fiscal biennium
  • Establishes the 2019-2020 Teacher Monthly Salary Schedule for teachers and instructional support personnel to receive applicable salary step increases
  • Authorizes salary supplements for highly qualified NC teaching graduates entering the teaching profession in the 2019-2021 fiscal biennium
  • Provides principal salary increases for the 2019-2020 fiscal year based on school average daily membership and school growth scores
  • Provides principal bonuses, consistent with HB 966, but changes the application of bonuses to not apply to principals who are no longer employed as a principal or whose last workday is prior to November 1, 2019 (was October 1) and requires the bonus to be paid no later than November 30, 2019 (was October 31)
    • Eliminates the principal double bonus for principals in schools with D or F performance grades
    • The chart below shows the bonus increase for principals in the top 5% and 10%
Statewide Growth Percentage 2019-2020 Bonus 2018-2019 Bonus
Top 5% $15,000 $10,000
Top 10% $10,000 $7,500
Top 15% $5,000 $5,000
Top 20% $2,500 $2,500
Top 50% $1,000 $1,000

 

  • Establishes the Principal Recruitment Supplement Program, which will provide an annual salary supplement of $30,000 for up to 36 months for a principal who is paid on the exceeded growth column of the salary schedule and accepts employment at a low-performing school that is in the bottom 5%
    • The principal remains eligible for the 36 months regardless of future school performance grades or whether the principal continues to be paid based on the exceeded growth column
  • Authorizes assistant principal salary step increases for the 2019-2020 fiscal year based on years of experience
    • Pay is based on the “A” teacher salary schedule, plus 19%
  • Authorizes salary step increases based on years of experience for employees of schools operated by DHHS, DPS, and SBE who are paid on the teacher salary schedule
  • Clarifies that application of salary increases for principals does not apply to persons separated from service due to resignation, dismissal, reduction in force, death, or retirement whose last workday is prior to June 30, 2019
  • Clarifies what sections are repealed if HB 966 becomes law

 

Cash Abated Bond Proposal

The NC Education Facilities Coalition, of which NCSBA is a member, sent a letter to Governor Cooper, Senator Berger, and Speaker Moore on Thursday, October 24 urging them to pass a school construction package. The letter proposes a funding mechanism dubbed Cash Abated Bond (CAB), which essentially combines the pay-as-you-go method with a statewide bond. We urge you to read the letter (click here) and contact you legislators about the need for a Statewide school construction program.

 

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

Commission members met last week to review each work group’s priorities and any changes that had been made based on discussion during the September 9th meeting. Priority topics include finance and resources, teachers, principals, early childhood/“whole child”, and assessments and accountability.

The Commission is now waiting for the public release of the Leandro recommendations report by WestEd. WestEd was chosen by both sides in the Leandro case to be the independent consultant to present proposals on how the State can ensure access to sound basic education for all NC public school students. The Commission’s goal is to have recommendations that are closely aligned with that of WestEd. The WestEd report is predicted to be released by the end of November.

Click here to access all meeting agenda items and attachments.

 

School Safety Grant Program Deadline

The School Safety Grant competition closes Today, October 25, 2019 at 11:59 pm. The program application can be found on the Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP) grants management system: ccip.schools.nc.gov. To apply, log into the system with your NCID, select your school system, and select the grant application under “Safe Schools.”

Below are tips and resources for the application process.

 

 

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 – October 25, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – October 11, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – October 11, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

The State’s $24 billion budget impasse is now in its fourth month, with no sign of negotiations taking place between Democratic Governor Roy Cooper and the General Assembly’s Republican leadership. The only meaningful budget talks have been between the House and the Senate.

House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger mentioned separately to the media this week that teacher pay is something that they plan to address. The Speaker told a group of reporters that “the education budget is moving along right now.“  Moore added that he’s working on a proposal that would provide teachers and non-certified employees a higher pay increase than what was in the budget that the General Assembly sent to the Governor in June. Since both chambers announced that no bills will be voted on next week, we likely won’t hear more specifics before October 21.

To view the Speaker’s interview that touches on K-12, community college, and university faculty pay, along with several other topics, click here.

 

Also this week, the legislature introduced two more mini budget bills to the mix:

Three other mini budget bills were sent to the Governor this week:

So far this session the Governor has signed nine mini budget bills into session law.

 

School Safety Grant Program Deadline

The 2019-2020 School Safety Grant Program application has been released and can be found on the Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP) grants management system: ccip.schools.nc.gov. To apply, log into the system with your NCID, select your school system, and select the grant application under “Safe Schools.”

The grant competition closes on October 25, 2019 at 11:59 pm. Below are tips and resources for the application process.

 

New General Assembly Members

Below are the four newest General Assembly members. We encourage our local school board members to reach out and begin networking with their newly appointed legislators.

Senator Rob Bryan, R-Mecklenburg

Appointed: 10/2/19

Replaced: Dan Bishop, R-Mecklenburg

 

Representative Perrin Jones, R-Pitt

Appointed: 9/25/19

Replaced: Greg Murphy, R-Pitt

 

Representative Jake Johnson, R-Polk, Henderson, Transylvania

Appointed: 8/2/19

Replaced: Cody Henson, R-Transylvania

 

Representative Jeffrey McNeely, R-Iredell

Appointed: 7/5/19

Replaced: Rena Turner, R-Iredell

 

Next Week

The Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education will hold a conference call meeting on Monday, October 14. Public attendees can listen to the conference call from the EIC room in the NC Department of Transportation building. Click here for additional meeting information.

 

Since both the House and the Senate will not be holding voting sessions next week, NCSBA will not be sending out a weekly Legislative Update on Friday, October 18.

 

 

 

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 – October 11, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – October 4, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – October 4, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

State Board of Education Confirmations

Governor Cooper’s appointments of Wendell Hall, Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers, and J.B. Buxton to the State Board of Education were confirmed in a joint session of the General Assembly this Wednesday.

  • Wendell Hall of Hertford County will serve as a member at-large. Hall currently serves on the Hertford County School Board and the NC School Boards Association (NCSBA) Board of Directors. He previously served as the Interim Superintendent for Northampton County Schools, Warren County Schools and Weldon City Schools. He is also the only individual to serve as President of the NCSBA and the NC Association of School Administrators.
  • Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers of Clay County will serve as a district 8 representative. Tipton-Rogers is the President and CEO of Tri-County Community College.
  • B. Buxton of Wake County will serve as a member at-large. Buxton is the founding principal of the Education Innovations Group. He has also worked as the deputy state superintendent of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

 

Budget Update

With the return of the legislature from their week-long break came the movement of three mini budget bills:

If these mini budget bills become session law, that would bring the total number to 12. Included in HB 387: Growing G.R.E.A.T. is $15M in appropriations to the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (G.R.E.A.T.) Fund for each fiscal year from 2019-20 through 2028-29 to increase broadband across the State, which should provide more internet access to students.

There is still the option of a Senate budget veto override, which Senate leader Phil Berger said would be carried out in accordance with Senate rules that require for at least 24 hours’ notice to the Senate minority leader. Senator Berger also announced this week that regardless of the budget situation and the House’s session schedule, the Senate plans to adjourn by October 31.

 

State Board of Education Meeting – October 2 & 3

This month’s State Board of Education meeting included presentations on a variety of topics, with a major focus on the Innovative School District (ISD). There was discussion on the Board’s push to remove the current requirement of five schools automatically being placed into the ISD this year, which would give the Board more flexibility in choosing qualifying schools. The monthly legislative update compared current ISD law to what is included in SB 522: Low-Performing Schools/Standard Student Conduct, which is currently in conference.

Board members were also presented with an evaluation of the implementation of the ISD at Southside Ashpole Elementary School in Robeson County. Although the school received an F school performance grade in its first year of the ISD, there were increases from both last year’s school performance grade and academic growth score. Progress and challenges from the 2018-19 school year were presented, along with changes implemented for the 2019-20 school year. The presentation also emphasized that the year one report and results are an evaluation of the first year of ISD implementation in a single school setting and not an overall evaluation of the ISD initiative. Click here to view the presentation.

Click here to access the Board’s meeting agenda and materials.

 

Economics and Personal Finance Course

Several attendees of NCSBA’s 2019 district meetings inquired about the progress of incorporating the Economics and Personal Finance (EPF) course graduation requirement included in HB 924: Teacher Contract Changes (S.L. 2019-82). Click here for an update from DPI on this requirement and the process for realigning the Social Studies Standard Couse of Study beginning with the 2020-21 freshman class.

 

 

 

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 – October 4, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – September 20, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – September 20, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

After last week’s House budget veto override, Senate leader Phil Berger stated that the Senate would not attempt a budget veto override this week, as the Senate’s focus was on finishing the court-ordered redrawing of selected legislative districts. Both chambers approved each other’s new legislative district maps by the deadline of Wednesday, September 18. The Senate is not likely to consider a budget veto override vote until the newly vacant seat of State Senator Dan Bishop, R-Mecklenburg, who resigned this week after winning the 9th Congressional district race, is filled.

Also this week, Governor Cooper signed additional mini-budget bills into session law.

Below is a list of mini-budget bills signed into session law prior to this week.

 

House and Senate leaders have both publicly confirmed that they will not be holding voting sessions before Monday, September 30.

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bill

HB 75: School Safety Funds, Programs, and Reports

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-222 on Wednesday, September 18
  • Appropriates funds for school safety
          HB 75 (S.L. 2019-222)                                                                               FY 2019-2020                                          FY 2020-2021
Additional funding for the Instructional Support Allotment to increase school mental health support personnel $20,000,000   R $23,000,000  R
Continued funding for School Safety Equipment Grants $6,100,000 NR
Continued funding of School Safety Training Grants $4,500,000 NR
Continued funding for Students in Crisis Grants $4,500,000 NR
Additional funding for School Resource Officer Grants $3,000,000 R $6,000,000 R

 

  • Requires an annual report on school resources officers
  • Requires development of a recommended school mental health crisis response program
  • Requires annual reports on school mental health support personnel
  • Expresses the intention of the General Assembly that additional funds provided for instructional support personnel be used to fund additional school mental health support personnel
  • Requires DPI to study and report on school psychologist and school counselor positions
  • Provides for eight additional agents of the State Bureau of Investigation to support the Behavioral Threat Assessment program

 

 

Since both the House and the Senate will not be holding voting sessions next week, NCSBA will not be sending out a weekly Legislative Update on Friday, September 27.

 

 

Leanne E. Winner
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6686

Bruce Mildwurf
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6692

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6677

Rebekah Howard
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6688

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – September 20, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – September 13, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – September 13, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

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

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

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

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

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

3) House GOP’s press conference

4) Governor Cooper’s press conference

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

 

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

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

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

 

HB 75: School Safety Funds, Programs, and Reports

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

 

 

State Board of Education Meeting – September 4 & 5

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

Leanne E. Winner
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6686

Bruce Mildwurf
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6692

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6677

Rebekah Howard
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6688

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – September 13, 2019
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