Federal Secretary of Education Nomination and Hearings
Newly elected President Donald Trump has nominated Betsy DeVos to be the federal Secretary of the Department of Education. Mrs. DeVos, a Republican from Michigan, had her confirmation hearing last Tuesday and the US Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee is scheduled to vote on her nomination on Tuesday, January 31 (originally had been scheduled for this week).
NCSBA takes no position on the nomination. Senator Richard Burr is a member of the HELP committee that will be voting on her nomination. If you wish to share any comments about the nomination with Senator Burr you can email him at this link: https://www.burr.senate.gov/contact/email or you can call his DC office at 202.224.3154.
Below are some additional resources about the DeVos nomination and confirmation hearing.
Watch the entire hearing here.
Read about the hearing here.
Read a background profile of Ms. DeVos here
2017 Session Begins/K-3 Class Size Fix Re-filed
Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on Wednesday to begin official legislative business for the 2017 session. The first set of bills were filed and standing committee members were named this week. Both chambers held a couple of skeleton sessions with no votes before adjourning for the week. Lawmakers will reconvene Monday at 4:00.
Among the first bills to be filed this week was the K-3 class size fix bill NCSBA tried to advance during the December special session. The bill number is again HB 13 but it is a separate bill from the bill filed last session. This one is sponsored by Reps. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson), Jeffrey Elmore (R-Wilkes), and Craig Horn (R-Union). Even though it is a separate bill it is identical in language to the version filed last session. HB 13 would:
1) Provide substantial relief from the drastic K-3 class size changes that would otherwise take effect this upcoming school year.
2) Give LEAs the flexibility to have a differential of 3 between the funded and average classroom teacher ratios starting in 2017-18 for K-3, which has been the historical practice. The differential of 3 for average class sizes returns 75% of what is allowed (not necessarily used) this school year.
While understanding that HB 13 is not a perfect solution to the K-3 class size issue, NCSBA believes it to be the solution that is most viable and most likely to pass at this time. Remember that if nothing passes on this districts will be forced to equalize the funded and average ratios in 2017-18 which could lead to (i) drastic cuts in art, music, and physical education teaching positions in K-3; (ii) an increase in class sizes in grades 4-12; or (iii) a funding hole that would need to be filled by an infusion of local dollars.
If the General Assembly does not take action on the K-3 class size issue soon districts might have no choice but to begin developing their budgets under the assumption that the extra funding will not be provided.
Resources on K-3 Class Size Issue
Sample K-3 Class Size Resolution: click here
If your school board passes this resolution please send a copy to Sean Holmes at NCSBA at email@example.com. Also send a copy to Speaker Moore, Senate President Pro Tem Berger and the Chairs of the House and Senate Education Committees: Reps. Debra Conrad, Jeffrey Elmore, Craig Horn, Linda Johnson; Senators Chad Barefoot, David Curtis, Michael Lee.
2017 Committee Memberships
Below are the memberships of notable committees for K-12 public education that have been assigned for this session.
House K-12 Education Committee
|Rep. Debra Conrad – Chair||Rep. Holly Grange||Rep. Amos Quick|
|Rep. Jeffrey Elmore – Chair||Rep. Destin Hall||Rep. Dennis Riddell|
|Rep. Craig Horn – Chair||Rep. Kyle Hall||Rep. David Rogers|
|Rep. Linda Johnson – Chair||Rep. Jon Hardister||Rep. Jason Saine|
|Rep. Cecil Brockman||Rep. Cody Henson||Rep. Phillip Shepard|
|Rep. Bobbie Richardson||Rep. Howard Hunter||Rep. Scott Stone|
|Rep. John Ager||Rep. Pat Hurley||Rep. Rena Turner|
|Rep. John Bradford||Rep. Frank Iler||Rep. Donna White|
|Rep. Kevin Corbin||Rep. Bert Jones|
|Rep. Jimmy Dixon||Rep. Donny Lambeth|
|Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield||Rep. Graig Meyer|
|Rep. Rosa Gill||Rep. Rodney Moore|
|Rep. Charles Graham||Rep. Larry Pittman|
House Education Appropriations Committee
|Rep. Hugh Blackwell – Chair||Rep. Rosa Gill|
|Rep. Jeffrey Elmore – Chair||Rep. Holly Grange|
|Rep. John Fraley – Chair||Rep. Marvin Lucas|
|Rep. Craig Horn – Chair||Rep. Mickey Michaux|
|Rep. Pat Hurley||Rep. John Sauls|
|Rep. Debra Conrad||Rep. Lee Zachary|
|Rep. Cynthia Ball|
|Rep. Larry Bell|
|Rep. Cecil Brockman|
|Rep. Kevin Corbin|
|Rep. Susan Fisher|
Senate Education Committee
|Sen. Chad Barefoot – Co-Chair||Sen. Valerie Foushee|
|Sen. David Curtis – Co-Chair||Sen. Joyce Krawiec|
|Sen. Michael Lee – Co-Chair||Sen. Louis Pate|
|Sen. Deanna Ballard||Sen. Ron Rabin|
|Sen. Tamara Barringer||Sen. Erica Smith-Ingram|
|Sen. Bill Cook||Sen. Jeff Tarte|
|Sen. Don Davis||Sen. Jerry Tillman|
|Sen. Cathy Dunn||Sen. Joyce Waddell|
|Sen. Chuck Edwards|
Senate Education Appropriations Committee
|Sen. Chad Barefoot – Co-Chair||Sen. Erica Smith-Ingram|
|Sen. David Curtis – Co-Chair||Sen. Jerry Tillman|
|Sen. Michael Lee – Co-Chair||Sen. Joyce Waddell|
|Sen. Deanna Ballard|
New Bills: Click here for a list of bills filed this week that NCSBA is tracking.
Upcoming Legislative Meetings and Events
Monday, January 30
Both chambers will convene at 4:00 for skeleton sessions (no votes will be taken)