Legislative Alerts

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
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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
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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
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NCSBA Legislative Update – February 8, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – February 8, 2019

House Committee Meetings

The House Committee on Education K-12 met on Tuesday to discuss school calendar flexibility. The Committee heard from legislative staff about the history of state control of local school calendars. Click here to view the legislative staff’s presentation. The Committee then reviewed calendar flexibility bills for Alamance-Burlington Schools (HB12) and the LEAs in Catawba and Davie counties (HB13). The bill sponsors described their proposed legislation and answered questions, but no votes were taken on the bills.

The House Appropriations Committee on Education met on Tuesday for an introduction of members and staff. Legislative staff gave a brief overview of the budget process. A schedule of budget hearings has not been established.

The House Finance Committee met on Wednesday for an overview of the State tax system. One interesting note from the meeting was the amount of tax revenue cut since 2011. From FY 2011-12 to FY 2018-19, the cumulative General Fund Revenue reduction is $2.7 billion. By FY 2019-20, the General Fund Revenue reduction will be $3.2 billion. Most of the revenue loss is in personal income tax and corporate income tax.

School Calendar Bills

A total of nine House bills and two Senate bill providing school calendar flexibility have been introduced since the first day of the 2019 long session.

NCSBA has created this spreadsheet to track school calendar 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.

School Calendar Resolutions

Thank you to the forty-five school boards and fifteen 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.

State Board of Education Meeting

State Testing – There was plenty of discussion around the idea of reducing the amount of testing for students in NC public schools. Superintendent Johnson previously proposed several initiatives to reduce testing, which include reducing the stress at schools around testing time, reducing the number of locally required tests, and reducing the length of required tests. Board member JB Buxton stated that review of test content is also necessary, while board member Lisa Godwin proposed layering testing with project-based learning. The board plans to provide a recommendation later this year.

Teaching Profession Report – During the Board’s meeting on Wednesday, Dr. Tomberlin of DPI presented data showing the steady attrition rate of teachers in NC. An analysis of average EVAAS index scores for teachers shows that most teachers leaving our schools demonstrate low rates of effectiveness. The main problem that the state is currently facing is a lack of elementary school teachers for core subjects. Dr. Tomberlin stated that the focus needs to be on the input of teachers, since the output is steady and not high. Click here to see the report.

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.

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. Fourteen of the seventeen issue briefs are complete and accessible. Click here to access our most recent issue brief on Principal Pay.

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.

Revised House Committee Assignments

The following are adjustments to the preliminary House committee assignments that NCSBA posted in a previous legislative update:

Appropriations, Education
Chairs: Reps. Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke (former Burke County School Board member); Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; John Fraley, R-Iredell; Craig Horn, R-Union; Pat Hurley, R-Randolph; John Sauls, R-Lee; Vice Chairs: Reps. Debra Conrad, R-Forsyth; Pat Hurley, R-Randolph; Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus (former Kannapolis City School Board Member); Members: Reps. Cynthia Ball, D-Wake; Cecil Brockman, D-Guilford; Susan Fisher, D-Buncombe (former Asheville School Board member); James Gailliard, D-Nash; Terry Garrison, D-Vance; Rosa Gill, D-Wake (former Wake County School Board member); Holly Grange, R-New Hanover; Bobby Hanig, R-Currituck; Marvin Lucas, D-Cumberland

Education – K-12 Policy
Chairs: Reps. Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; Craig Horn, R-Union; Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus (former Kannapolis City School Board Member); Vice Chairs: Reps. Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke (former Burke County School Board member), Cecil Brockman, D-Guilford; Members:  Reps. Cynthia Ball, D-Wake; Chaz Beasley, D-Mecklenburg; Mark Brody, R-Anson; Ashton Clemmons, D-Guilford; Kevin Corbin, R-Macon (former Macon County School Board member); Jean Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson; Susan Fisher, D-Buncombe (former Asheville School Board member); John Fraley, R-Iredell; James Gailliard, D-Nash; Rosa Gill, D-Wake (former Wake County School Board member); Charles Graham, D-Robeson; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford; Cody Henson, R-Transylvania; Frank Iler, R-Brunswick; Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth; Marvin Lucas, D-Cumberland; Graig Meyer, D-Orange; Larry Potts, R- Davidson; Mitchell Setzer, R-Catawba; Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance; Kandie Smith, D-Pitt; Larry Strickland, R-Johnston (former Johnston County School Board member); Brian Turner, D-Buncombe; Rena Turner, R- Iredell; Donna White, R-Johnston (former Johnston County School Board member)

 

 

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

NCSBA Legislative Update – February 1, 2019

Senate Plan for School Capital

As an alternative to Speaker Moore’s statewide bond for school construction (not yet filed), the State Senate unveiled SB5, Building North Carolina’s Future. SB5 provides a “pay as you go” method for funding public school construction. It allows local school administrative units (commonly referred to as LEAs) and community colleges to access funding from the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) that was created in 2017 (G.S. 143C-4-3.1). Public schools will receive one-third of SCIF funds, an amount bill sponsors anticipate being around $2 billion over 9 years. The Department of Public Instruction will be responsible for distributing funds for capital projects and repair and renovation projects to “applicants that demonstrate the greatest need”. Applicants that have not received a grant from the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund in the previous five years shall receive a higher priority for funding. If a school district is not in compliance with K-3 class size requirements, then any grant money received must first be used to obtain class size compliance. Money from the fund cannot be used to retire existing debt obligations. It can be used for school safety enhancements. To learn more about the four-page bill click here. See the chart below for a comparison of Senate Bill 5, a pay-as-you-go model, versus Speaker Moore’s proposed bond bill.

   Senate Bill 5  Speaker Moore’s Proposed Bond (not filed)
 Overall Fund   Amount  Funds not guaranteed – one year at a time  Funds guaranteed
 Requires Vote of   the People  No  Yes
 Start Date  July 1, 2019  If approved March 2020, then first bond issuance  could be Fall 2020
 General Fund   Cost  Reduces budget availability by increasing  the earmark of General Fund revenues from  4% to 4.5%  Annual debt service
 LEA Allocation  Amount determined by Department of   Public Instruction  If structured like previous bond bills, each LEA  receives specific amount – determined before vote  of the people
 Project Type  New construction and Repairs &   Renovations (R&R)      ?
 Project Funding  Will fully fund a project  Funding not allocated to specific projects
 Funding Priority  Priority to applicants demonstrating the   greatest need  Weighted by counties’ low-wealth status, average  school enrollment, and school  enrollment growth
 K-3 Class Size   Compliance  If LEA is not class size compliant, capital  funds are restricted to capital expenditures  to make LEA compliant with class size  requirements      ?
 School Safety   Enhancements  Eligible for R&R funding      ?

 

School Calendar Bills

Two local House bills providing complete school calendar flexibility were introduced within the first few hours of the 2019 long session.

  • HB12, sponsored by Reps. Riddell and Ross for Alamance-Burlington Schools
  • HB13, sponsored by Reps. Howard and Setzer for Catawba and Davie County Schools, Hickory Public Schools, and Newton-Conover City Schools

NCSBA is creating a spreadsheet to track school calendar bills that will shared each week.

School Calendar Resolutions

Thank you to the thirty-eight school boards and eleven county commissions that have shared with NCSBA their adopted resolutions in support of school calendar flexibility (Burke and Camden approved a joint resolution).

Anson Duplin Onslow*
Beaufort Edenton Chowan* Orange
Burke* Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Perquimans
Camden* Elkin City Polk
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Franklin* Randolph
Chatham Gaston Roanoke Rapids City
Cherokee Gates* Stanly*
Clay Haywood Transylvania
Columbus Hertford* Washington*
Craven Hoke Watauga*
Cumberland Lexington City Wilson
Currituck Lincoln Yancey
Davie* Macon
* denotes County Commissioners’ resolution

 

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.

Potential Bill on Voting Sites

NCSBA plans to support a bill that will likely be filed this session concerning the authority of local school boards to decide which public schools will be used as voting sites. A draft bill reportedly focuses on ensuring the safety of students when schools are being used as polling places. Current state law allows local election boards to mandate the use of public-school buildings as voting precincts. If passed, this new law would permit a local school board to reject the local election board’s request until the school board can create a school-specific safety plan that both boards agree on.

This article written by Richard Craver of the Winston-Salem Journal discusses the possible changes and varying perspectives of the potential bill.

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. Thirteen of the seventeen issue briefs are complete and accessible.

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.

 

 

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 1, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – January 25, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – January 25, 2019

Welcome Rebekah Howard to NCSBA!

This month we welcomed Rebekah Howard to NCSBA as our new Governmental Relations Research Specialist. Rebekah grew up in Garner, NC and is a recent NCSU graduate where she majored in political science with a concentration in law and justice. Rebekah joins us after completing a research internship at the John Locke Foundation where her responsibilities ranged from assisting in research publications to analyzing and discussing general statutes and possible legislation reform.

2019 Legislative “Long” Session

Breaking News – The House announces committee assignments:

Appropriations, Education
Chairs: Reps. Hugh Blackwell, R- Burke (former Burke County School Board member); Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; John Fraley, R- Iredell; Craig Horn, R- Union; John Sauls, R- Lee; Vice Chairs: Reps. Debra Conrad, R- Forsyth; Pat Hurley, R- Randolph; Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus (former Kannapolis City School Board Member); Members: Reps. Cynthia Ball, D- Wake; Cecil  Brockman, D- Guilford; Susan Fisher, D- Buncombe (former Buncombe County School Board member); James Gailliard, D-Nash; Terry  Garrison, D- Vance; Rosa Gill, D- Wake (former Wake County School Board member); Holly Grange, R- New Hanover; Bobby Hanig, R-Currituck; Marvin Lucas, D-Cumberland;

Education – K-12 Policy
Chairs: Reps. Elmore, Horn, Johnson; Vice Chairs: Reps Blackwell, Brockman; Members:  Reps. Ball, Chaz Beasley, D-Mecklenburg; Mark Brody, R-Anson; Kevin Corbin, R- Macon (former Macon County School Board member); Jean Farmer-Butterfield, D- Wilson; Fisher, Fraley, Gill, Charles Graham, D-Robeson; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford; Lucas, Graig Meyer, D-Orange; Larry Potts, R- Davidson; Mitchell Setzer, R- Catawba; Kandie Smith, D-Pitt; Larry Strickland, R- Johnston (former Johnston County School Board member); Brian Turner, D- Buncombe; Donna White, R-Johnston (former Johnston County School Board member)

The real work of the 2019 session gets underway when members return to the Capital City next Wednesday, January 30, at noon. Most members are moved into their new offices. The NCSBA Government Relations team is geared up and ready to go.

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 it will include a legislative panel consisting of legislators that chair an education committee. Since the General Assembly is in session, it will give you 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 Government Relations staff is writing issue briefs for each topic in the 2019-20 Legislative Agenda. The following issue briefs are now available (click on the titles below):

The following are previously posted issue briefs:

School Calendar Flexibility

Thank you to the twenty-eight school boards and nine county commissions that have shared with NCSBA their adopted resolutions in support of school calendar flexibility (Burke and Camden approved a joint resolution).

Burke* Hertford*
Camden* Hoke
Chatham Lexington
Cherokee Onslow*
Clay Orange
Columbus Polk
Cumberland Randolph
Currituck Roanoke Rapids
Davie Stanly*
Duplin Transylvania
Edenton Chowan* Washington*
Franklin* Watauga*
Gaston Wilson
Haywood Yancey
* denotes County Commissioners’ resolution

 

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 rbostic@ncsba.org.

 

 

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

Richard BosticNCSBA Legislative Update – January 25, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – January 18, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – January 18, 2019

School Bond Forum – January 17

House Speaker Tim Moore and state Superintendent Mark Johnson joined several legislators and local officials in Harnett County to discuss the dire need for a statewide school construction bond. Speaker Moore says the total amount will be at least $1.9 billion. He expects the portion for K-12 to be at least $1.5 billion. Moore hopes to see a referendum on the ballot by 2020.

Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education – January 17

The Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education met to discuss the impact that specialized instructional support personnel (SISP) has on student success. There were presentations given on the importance of having a school counselor, nurse, psychologist, and social worker employed at every public school in North Carolina. Cabarrus County school district personnel presented their first-hand findings of how the “whole child” approach (through the implementation of SISP) has positively impacted their school district.

The following link further discusses the role of SISP in public schools, while also comparing North Carolina’s SISP to student ratios to the national recommended ratios.

https://files.nc.gov/governor/SISP_Overview.pdf

Legislative Agenda Issue Briefs

The NCSBA Government Relations staff is writing issue briefs for each topic in the 2019-20 Legislative Agenda. The following issue briefs are now available (click on the titles below):

The following issue briefs were posted in the legislative update from 1/11:

School Calendar Flexibility

Thank you to the twenty-two school boards and seven county commissions that have shared with NCSBA their adopted resolutions in support of school calendar flexibility (Burke and Camden approved a joint resolution).

Burke* Hoke
Camden* Lexington
Cherokee Onslow*
Clay Orange
Columbus Polk
Davie Randolph
Duplin Roanoke Rapids
Edenton Chowan Stanly*
Franklin* Washington*
Haywood Watauga
Hertford* Yancey
* denotes County Commissioners’ resolution

 

Please email a copy of your board’s calendar flexibility resolution to rbostic@ncsba.org.

Media Attention: The resolutions are putting a spotlight on this important issue. Below are some recent articles on the need for calendar flexibility:

https://www.wral.com/with-winter-whittling-away-at-school-days-school-districts-seek-more-flexible-calendars/18118569/?utm_campaign=webshare&amp%3Butm_medium=email&amp%3Butm_source=wral

https://www.blueridgenow.com/news/20190115/school-board-makes-case-for-controlling-calendar-looks-at-2019-20-dates

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 it will include a legislative panel consisting of legislators that chair an education committee. Since the General Assembly is in session, it will give you 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.

 

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 18, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – January 11, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – January 11, 2019

2019 Session – January 9, 2018

Friends and family of recently sworn-in state lawmakers filled both chambers on the ceremonial first day of the 2019 legislative session. The Senate unanimously elected Senator Phil Berger to a 4th term as Senate President Pro Tem. The House elected Representative Tim Moore to a 3rd term as Speaker of the House. The General Assembly adjourned until January 30.

Senate Education Committee Assignments:

Education/Higher Education Appropriations Chairs: Sens. Deanna Ballard, R- Watauga; Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph

Members: Sens. Rick Horner, R-Nash (former Nash County school board chair); Todd Johnson, R-Union; Ted Alexander, R-Cleveland; Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson; Don Davis, D-Greene; Erica Smith, D-Northampton (former Northampton County school board member); Joyce Waddell, D-Mecklenburg (former CMS school board member); Wiley Nickel, D-Wake

Education/Higher Education Policy Chairs: Sens. Deanna Ballard-R, Rick Horner-R (former Nash County school board chair), Jerry Tillman-R

Members: Norman Sanderson, R-Carteret; Joyce Krawiec, R-Forsyth; Andy Wells, R-Catawba; Chuck Edwards-R; Paul Newton, R-Cabarrus; Todd Johnson-R; Kathy Harrington, R-Gaston; Tom McInnis, R-Richmond (former Richmond County school board member); Don Davis-D; Gladys Robinson, D-Guilford; Jay Chaudhuri, D-Wake; Valerie Foushee, D-Orange (former Orange County school board member); Sam Searcy, D-Wake

 

House Committee Assignments:

Education: TBA

Base Budget Appropriations Senior Chairs: Reps. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln; Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus (former Kannapolis City school board member); Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth (former Winston-Salem/Forsyth school board chair)

Chairs: Reps. Dean Arp, R-Union (former Union County school board chair); Bill Brisson, R-Bladen; Josh Dobson, R-McDowell; John Faircloth, R-Guilford; Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson

Finance Chairs: Reps. Julia Howard, R-Davie; Mitchell Setzer, R-Catawba; John Szoka, R-Cumberland

Local Bills Filing Deadline

If your school board will be asking your local legislative delegation to introduce a local bill in the 2019 Session, please note the following bill filing deadlines:

Senate – Local bills must be submitted to legislative staff by February 27 (bill must be filed by March 14)

House – Local bills must be submitted to legislative staff by March 6 (bill must be filed by March 28)

Joint – The Crossover deadline is May 9. This means that a bill must be approved by its originating chamber and received by the second chamber by May 9 for it to be considered in 2019 and 2020. This rule does not apply to bills referred to the Appropriations and Finance committees.

Legislative Agenda Issue Briefs

The NCSBA Government Relations staff is writing issue briefs for each topic in the 2019-20 Legislative Agenda. The following issue briefs are now available (click on the titles below) :

State Board of Education (SBE) – January 10

Christian Overton –  Raleigh Dingman Award winner Christian Overton began his one year term as school board member adviser to the State Board of Education.

Carver Heights Elementary School –  The Board approved Carver Heights Elementary School in Wayne County for operation as a Restart Model school starting in the 2019-20 school year. In December 2018, the State Board of Education chose the school to be operated under the Innovative School District beginning in the 2019-20 school year. However, in late December 2018, the law was changed to allow Wayne County to apply for Restart Model school status for Carver Heights Elementary. (S.L. 2018-145, Section 27)

School Calendar Flexibility

As of January 11, NCSBA has received adopted resolutions from twelve school boards and five county commissions in support of school calendar flexibility (Burke approved a joint resolution).

Burke* Onslow*
Cherokee Roanoke Rapids
Columbus Stanly*
Edenton Chowan Washington*
Franklin* Watauga
Hoke Yancey
* denotes County Commissioners’ resolution

 

Please email a copy of your board’s calendar flexibility resolution to rbostic@ncsba.org.

Legislative Public Policy Conference
The NCSBA Legislative Public Policy Conference will held on April 30 and May 1 in Raleigh at the NCSBA Building. The agenda is still under development. Since the legislature is in session, it will give you an opportunity to 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.

 

Richard BosticNCSBA Legislative Update – January 11, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – January 7, 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – January 7, 2019

Once and for all, the North Carolina General Assembly adjourned the 2017-18 legislative biennium shortly after 4pm, December 27, 2018.

Fun Fact: No other General Assembly has adjourned, sine die, at such a late date in the 2nd year of a Regular Session.

2019 Long Session:
There’s no rest for the weary – the 2019 session convenes at noon this Wednesday, January 9. (The General Assembly will then adjourn until January 30.) Turnover from the last long session is about 24% – fourteen new Senators, twenty-seven new House members. Neither chamber has a veto-proof majority.

​Beginning this Friday, January 11, NCSBA will publish its Legislative Update weekly until the end of the legislative session.

2018 Session (November 27-December 27):
The session concluded with legislators overriding two of Governor Cooper’s highly publicized vetoes.
– SB824, Implementation of Voter ID Constitutional Amendment; and
– SB469, Technical Corrections

SB469, Technical Corrections:
When NCSBA published the December Legislative Update, the House had just passed a Technical Corrections bill (SB469), which included several education-related provisions. A few days later, the Senate did not concur. The final legislation did Not include two notable education components that were in the House version. 1) Expanding eligibility for the principal “double bonus” program. 2) Clarifying language to allow local boards of education to be innovative school operators.

Education-related provisions in the new law, include:

  • Section 1: Expands the Disability Scholarship eligibility requirements by making eligible those students in nonpublic schools who were enrolled in a NC public school for an entire prior school year.
  • Section 2: Changes who administers the Transforming Principal Preparation Grant Program from a nonprofit corporation administered by the NC Principal and Assistant Principal Association to the NC Principal Fellows Commission in collaboration with the State Education Assistance Authority, effective July 1, 2019.
  • Section 18: Permits public school buses to travel outside the State if the superintendent determines that the travel is the most direct route to and from a school.
  • Section 20: Allows municipal charter school teachers in Matthews, Mint Hill, Cornelius, and Huntersville to be enrolled in the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System and the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees.
  • Section 22: Expands eligibility for the Principal ADM Hold Harmless from schools closed for at least 15 school days due to Hurricane Florence to schools closed for at least 10 days.
  • Section 27: Allows the Wayne County Board of Education to apply to adopt a restart model for Carver Heights Elementary School. Repeals the requirement that at least two qualifying schools transfer to the Innovative School District no later than the 2019-20 school year.

School Calendar Flexibility – Reminder
One of the top NCSBA priorities in the 2019 legislative session is giving local school boards more control over local school calendars. Please don’t forget to email a copy of your board’s calendar flexibility resolution to rbostic@ncsba.org.

​Please contact us if you need additional support or have any questions.

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

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

Richard BosticNCSBA Legislative Update – January 7, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – December 7, 2018

NCSBA Legislative Update – December 7, 2018

2018 Session Continued – November 27

When the 2018 Session adjourned in June, it set a return date of November 27 in order to write bills to implement the constitutional amendments approved by voters on November 6. To that end, the General Assembly approved SB 824 this week to implement the constitutional amendment requiring a photo ID to vote. While in town, the General Assembly has considered hurricane relief and a few other matters that impact K-12 education.  Lawmakers will consider more legislation next week. They do not yet have an adjournment date.

 

SB 823 (S.L. 2018-138), Hurricane Florence / Supplemental Act, was approved by the General Assembly and was signed by Governor Cooper.  Key education components of the act include:

 

  • Funding: Appropriates $23.5 million to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to repair and renovate facilities damaged by Hurricane Florence for local school administrative units (LEAs), lab schools, and the Innovative School District. In addition, appropriates $1.5 million to DPI to repair or replace food, food nutrition equipment, and food nutrition supplies damaged by Hurricane Florence for local school administrative units (LEAs), lab schools, and the Innovative School District.

 

  • FAST NC: Authorizes DPI to transfer up to $350,000 from the State Public School Fund to Florence Aid to Students and Teachers of North Carolina (FAST NC) to help students and teachers recover from the impact of Hurricane Florence.

 

  • Principal ADM Hold Harmless: Holds harmless principal salaries impacted by lower average daily membership when the principal’s school is located in a disaster area and the school was closed for at least 15 days from September 2018 to November 2018 as a result of Hurricane Florence.

 

SB 824, Implementation of Voter ID Constitutional Amendment, was approved by the General Assembly and is awaiting the Governor’s signature or veto. The bill automatically becomes law if the Governor does not take action within ten days of receiving it.

Section 1.2(a) of this bill allows an employee identification card (ID) issued by a local government entity, including traditional and charter schools, to be used to vote in person at the polls. However, the local employee ID must be approved by the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement (State Board). Each local school board must decide if they want to seek approval of their employee ID from the State Board. To gain approval, the head elected official or the lead human relations employee of the local government entity (i.e. school board) must submit a signed letter stating the following are true (Section 1.2(c)):

  1. The ID cards contain photographs of the employees taken by the employing entity or its agents or contractors.
  2. The ID cards are issued after an employment application process that includes methods of confirming the identity of the employee.
  3. The equipment for producing ID cards is kept in a secure location.
  4. Misuse of the equipment for producing the ID cards would be grounds for termination of an employee.
  5. Local officials would report any misuse of ID card equipment to law enforcement.
  6. The cards issued by the local entity contain a date of expiration effective January 1, 2021.
  7. The local government entity provides copies of standard IDs to the State Board for training purposes.

 

SB 469, Technical Corrections, was approved by the House on December 6 and was sent to the Senate for concurrence with House amendments.  Key education components of the act include:

  • Section 3: Expands eligibility for the 2018-19 principal bonus program’s “double bonus” if the principal supervised a school with a grade D or F for either 1) the 2016-17 school year, if the principal supervised the school for a majority of the 2017-18 school year or 2) the 2017-18 school year.
  • Section 18: Expands eligibility for the Principal ADM Hold Harmless (see SB 823 above) from schools closed for at least 15 school days due to Hurricane Florence to schools closed for at least 10 days.
  • Section 19: Permits public school buses to travel outside the State if the superintendent determines that the travel is the most direct route to and from a school.
  • Section 20: Adds local boards of education to the list of potential innovative school operators.
  • Section 22: Modifies the Disability Scholarship eligibility requirements by making eligible those students in nonpublic schools who were enrolled in a NC public school for the entire prior school year.
  • Section 22.5: Allows the board of directors of municipal charters in Matthews, Mint Hill, Cornelius, and Huntersville to elect to become participating employers in the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System and the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees.

 

Governor’s Crime Commission Special Committee on School Shootings
Two well attended public forums in Greenville and Greensboro took place in November. They were designed to allow the public to provide community comments and concerns. Having now met six times since April 2018, the Special Committee on School Shootings will now develop recommendations and submit a report to the Governor’s Crime Commission by the end of December.

House Select Committee on School Safety – December 6
The committee heard presentations by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent, Dr. Clayton Wilcox, and Mathews Police Chief, Clark Pennington. They shared ongoing efforts that are improving school safety, and lessons learned following a recent school shooting in the district.

This was the committee’s final meeting of the 2018 session. Members approved a report that included six legislative proposals for the 2019-20 General Assembly. Click here to see the draft report. One of the recommendations is to reintroduce several school safety bills that passed the House in 2018 and were not taken up by the Senate.

Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education – December 4
Members discussed the state of teaching in North Carolina. There were several presentations and panel discussions focusing on teacher recruitment, preparation, retention, and advancement. To learn more about the work of this commission click here.

State Board of Education (SBE) – December 6

Innovative School District (ISD) –  The Board approved Carver Heights Elementary School in Wayne County for operation under the Innovative School District starting in the 2019-20 school year.

FAST NC (Florence Aid to Students and Teachers of North Carolina) – FAST NC has raised $78,000 toward its goal to give “school materials, supplies, and resources that aid students in being prepared for instruction and aid teachers in the restoration of a high-quality learning environment.”  Three grants totaling $42,000 were recently awarded to replace destroyed science supplies and  instructional materials.   If you are in one of the 28 counties declared a federal disaster area as a result of Hurricane Florence, click here to learn how to apply for these funds.

Roberta Scott – Roberta Scott was recognized and thanked for her service this year as the Raleigh Dingman Award school board member adviser to the State Board of Education. Christian Overton, 2018 Raleigh Dingman Award winner, will replace Ms. Scott in January.

Combine Educator Talent-Related Functions – In response to a recommendation from the Ernst & Young organizational assessment, DPI is planning to combine Ed Prep, Licensure, and Educator Effectiveness under the Educator Recruitment & Support Division. This change should be finalized by July 31, 2019. Click here for more information on this topic.

Business Modernization – DPI business systems for HR, finance and payroll are near the end of their useful life and must be modernized. DPI officials estimate this modernization effort will cost $154 million over the next five years. $28.8 million has been appropriated to date for this effort. Click here for more information of this project.

School Calendar Flexibility

Columbus and Yancey County School Boards have shared with us their resolutions asking their county commissioners to pass a resolution in support of calendar flexibility. Please email a copy of your boards calendar flexibility resolution to rbostic@ncsba.org.

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

Bruce Mildwurf
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 606-3916 mobile

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

Richard BosticNCSBA Legislative Update – December 7, 2018
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