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Legislative Alert – Feb 3, 17

Legislative Alert – Feb 3, 17

K-3 Class Size Fix

HB 13 is the K-3 class size fix legislation sponsored by Reps. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson), Jeffrey Elmore (R-Wilkes), and Chris Malone (R-Wake).  The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the House K-12 Education Committee on Tuesday, February 7 at 10 AM.  Please be contacting members of the committee in support of HB 13.  Click here to find the members of the House K- 12 Education Committee.

HB 13 would:

a) Provide substantial relief from the drastic K-3 class size changes that have passed and are scheduled to take effect in the upcoming school year.

b) 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 there is no legislative fix, teacher allotment flexibility will disappear and 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; (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 of not having this important flexibility.

Additional Coverage 

There are some groups making the argument that this problem was created by districts misusing money and that any change to the law would be used for partisan political purposes.  Click here and here to read examples.  Points raised in these blog posts are becoming a major concern for some legislators and could potentially present a hurdle to enacting a compromise.

Click here for a WRAL story on the issue, which includes some comments attributed to Sen. Jerry Tillman.

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 sholmes@ncsba.org.  Also send a copy to your local delegation, as well as:

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (Phil.Berger@ncleg.net)

House Speaker Tim Moore (Tim.Moore@ncleg.net)

Rep. Debra Conrad (Debra.Conrad@ncleg.net) – House K-12 Education Chair

Rep. Jeffrey Elmore (Jeffrey.Elmore@ncleg.net) – House K-12 Education Chair

Rep. Craig Horn (Craig.Horn@ncleg.net) – House K-12 Education Chair

Rep. Linda Johnson (Linda.Johnson2@ncleg.net) – House K-12 Education Chair

Sen. Chad Barefoot (Chad.Barefoot@ncleg.net) – Senate Education Co-Chair

Sen. David Curtis (David.Curtis@ncleg.net) – Senate Education Co-Chair

Sen. Michael Lee (Michael.Lee@ncleg.net) – Senate Education Co-Chair

DPI Turnover

Some significant changes are occurring at the top levels of the NC Department of Public Instruction.  There have been at least three announcements of resignations or retirements from top level DPI staff members in recent days.  Deputy State Superintendent of Public Instruction Rebecca Garland is retiring and was recognized at Thursday’s State Board of Education meeting for her long service to public education.  Chief Financial Officer Philip Price will be retiring effective March 1.  Legislative and Community Affairs Director Rachel Beaulieu is transitioning to private sector work and February 3 is her last day with DPI.

These changes come alongside the switch to the new Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson.  Click here to read more about DPI’s shift in leadership.

Bills

New Bills: Click here for a list of bills filed this week that NCSBA is tracking.


Upcoming Legislative Meetings and Events

Monday, February 6

The Senate will convene at 4:00 for a skeleton session (no votes taken)

The House will convene at 7:00 for a skeleton session  (no votes taken)


Tuesday, February 7

10:00 AM
The House K-12 Education Committee is scheduled to take up HB 13.

Ramona PowersLegislative Alert – Feb 3, 17
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Chatham County Board of Education Commits to Working Together

Chatham County Board of Education Commits to Working Together

NCSBA’s Master Board Program challenges governance teams to set aside time to train together. Master Board status is awarded when the governance team of a district completes 5 courses. Each course provides four hours of activities and discussion designed to help the board sharpen its governance skills.

“The NCSBA Master Board program is a knowledge- and skills-based training program that provides school boards with the opportunity to develop as a full board,” said Ed Dunlap, NCSBA executive director. “What makes Master Board unique from the Association’s other training programs is that all board members and the superintendent commit to the training.”

NCSBA News is proud to spotlight the Chatham County Board of Education for its commitment to improving its governance, maintaining open communication, and evaluating its processes. The members of the Chatham County Board of Education (above first row: Del Turner, Jane Allen Wilson, Melissa Hlavac; second row: Gary Leonard, David Hamm) have reached Level IV status by completing 40 hours of Master Board training, a first in the state. The board and superintendent were recognized for their achievement during the 2016 Annual Conference. Dr. Derrick D. Jordan, superintendent of Chatham County Schools remarked, “As the first board of education in North Carolina to reach Level IV Master Board Status, our board members have established a high bar for their colleagues across the state. This award underscores an unmistakable commitment to ensuring that they are well-equipped to make the best decisions possible for our students and employees.”

NCSBA recognizes the tireless commitment of all school board members throughout the state. Thank you for making a difference and taking the time to serve and invest in the children of our great State. NCSBA staff members are honored to support what you do!

Ramona PowersChatham County Board of Education Commits to Working Together
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State Board of Education January Meeting

State Board of Education January Meeting

New State Superintendent
The January 2017 State Board of Education (SBE) meeting was the first for newly elected State Superintendent Mark Johnson. Mr. Johnson attended the committee meetings and then delivered his formal introductory remarks on the second meeting day. Mr. Johnson discussed his background and why he is passionate about improving public education. You can view his remarks here.

New Local Board Advisor
During the full board meeting, Ms. Amanda Bell of Rockingham County was formally introduced as the SBE’s new local board advisor. Ms. Bell was awarded the Raleigh Dingman Award for 2016-17 and will be serving as the SBE’s local board advisor this year. She replaces Dr. Christine Fitch of Wilson County.

ESSA Update
An update on NC’s implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act was delivered. The NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) staff talked about some of the changes to the NC State Plan that had been made based on feedback and input from stakeholders. Feedback and comments are still being accepted. It was also reported that at the most recent superintendent’s quarterly meeting, superintendents expressed support for making growth a significant component of any redesigned accountability model. Superintendents also expressed caution about using chronic absenteeism as an accountability indicator, as all schools don’t have an impact on this.

The SBE and DPI plan to finalize the NC State Plan no later than September 2017.

Cooperative Innovative High Schools
The SBE gave approval to the following applications for Cooperative Innovative High Schools:

  • Ashe County Early College High School
  • Bladen Early College High School
  • Cumberland Polytechnic High School
  • Charlotte Middle College at Merancas Campus
  • Charlotte Teacher Cadet Early College
  • Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Early College
  • Harnett County Early College
  • Agriculture and Science Early College (Iredell-Statesville Schools)
  • McDowell Academy for Innovation
  • Montgomery County Early College
  • Onslow Early College High School
  • CTE High School North (Wake County Schools)
  • Washington County Early College High School

Teacher Bonus Money Approved
The SBE gave approval to the distribution of monies for legislatively mandated bonuses for AP/IB teachers and third-grade teachers. A provision in the 2016 budget set aside money for bonuses of $50 for AP/IB teachers for each of their students who score at a certain level on 2015-16 AP/IB tests. These teachers may receive bonuses of up to $2,000 per year. Another provision set aside money for bonuses for third-grade teachers who score in the top 25% of third-grade student reading growth scores statewide and in the top 25% of student reading growth scores in their LEA. The SBE gave approval to the distribution of the monies to LEAs.

Click here and here to see how much each LEA will get for awarding these bonuses.

Ramona PowersState Board of Education January Meeting
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Legislative Alert – Jan 27, 17

Legislative Alert – Jan 27, 17

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 sholmes@ncsba.org.  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.

You can read media coverage of HB 13 here and here.  Note that the latter story contains a quote from a former General Assembly staffer.


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  

Bills

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)

Ramona PowersLegislative Alert – Jan 27, 17
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Rockingham County Board Member Wins Prestigious Award

Rockingham County Board Member Wins Prestigious Award

Amanda Bell of the Rockingham County Board of Education is the 2016 recipient of the Raleigh Dingman Award for Outstanding Boardsmanship. To receive this esteemed award, which is given annually by the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA), a board member must be peer-nominated by their local school board.

bell1“This board member will be a great asset as she serves as an advisor to the State Board of Education,” remarked NCSBA Executive Director Ed Dunlap during the announcement. She has devoted more than 34 years to the field of education. She has been an advocate for children, a voice for parents, a bridge for community members, and a mentor to new board members. Bell has served on NCSBA’s Board of Directors and on the North Carolina School Boards Trust (NCSBT). She is a lifelong learner who always stands up for public schools.

The Raleigh Dingman Award is the highest honor bestowed on a North Carolina school board member. The award is named in honor of Dr. Raleigh Dingman, the Association’s first full-time executive director, and was first presented at the 1981 annual conference. In 2002, legislation was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly that provides for the Raleigh Dingman Award winner to serve as an ex officio advisor to the State Board of Education and to attend meetings and participate in deliberations of the State Board. Amanda Bell will also serve in this capacity.

 

Ramona PowersRockingham County Board Member Wins Prestigious Award
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Wake Superintendent Honored as 2017 A. Craig Phillips Superintendent of the Year

Wake Superintendent Honored as 2017 A. Craig Phillips Superintendent of the Year

The North Carolina Association of School Administrators and the North Carolina School Boards Association have partnered since 2005 to award this distinguished honor to a public school superintendent. Being named NC Superintendent of the Year is the highest honor bestowed on a North Carolina superintendent. The winner of this prestigious award competes for the title of National Superintendent of the Year and serves as an adviser to the State Board of Education.

Congratulations to Dr. Jim Merrill, Superintendent of Wake County Schools, who was named the 2017 A. Craig Phillips North Carolina Superintendent of the Year at an awards presentation and reception held Nov. 17 in Greensboro. The award was given jointly by the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA) and the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA). Scholastic sponsored the award and provided a $5,000 award to the winner. Dr. Merrill will represent his colleagues and all of North Carolina public schools well in the AASA National Superintendent of the Year competition.
Along with Merrill, all 2017 Regional Superintendents of the Year were honored:
soysRegion 1 | Northeast | Mr. Melvin Hawkins, Camden County Schools
Region 2 | Southeast | Mr. Rick Stout, Onslow County Schools
Region 3 | Central | Dr. James Merrill, Wake County Schools
Region 4 | Sandhills | Dr. Robert Taylor, Bladen County Schools
Region 5 | Piedmont/Triad | Dr. Lory Morrow, Davidson County Schools
Region 6 | Southwest | Mr. Jeff Booker, Gaston County Schools
Region 7 | Northwest | Mr. Larry Putnam, Burke County Schools
Region 8 | Western | Dr. Tony Baldwin, Buncombe County Schools
Congratulations to all the nominees and thank you for your continued work for the children of North Carolina.
Ramona PowersWake Superintendent Honored as 2017 A. Craig Phillips Superintendent of the Year
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Burke County Board of Education Member Wins Prestigious Award

Burke County Board of Education Member Wins Prestigious Award

Buddy Armour of the Burke County Board of Education is the 2016 recipient of the School Board Member Leadership Award. To receive this esteemed award, which is given by the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA), a board member must be peer-nominated by their local school board.

armour1NCSBA President-Elect Minnie Forte-Brown shared with participants that Armour helped start STRIVE – Students Taking a Renewed Interest in the Value of their Education – in his community. “He invests one-on-one time with high school seniors through STRIVE, presenting them with life skills and encouraging them to avoid senioritis,” she added. He has served on his board since 1997 and remains passionate about each students’ success.

The School Board Member Leadership Award honors a school board member for exemplary leadership during the previous school year.

Ramona PowersBurke County Board of Education Member Wins Prestigious Award
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Columbus County Board of Education Wins Leadership Award

The Columbus County Board of Education is the 2016 recipient of the School Board Leadership Award. This award honors a school board for extraordinary leadership during the 2015-2016 school year. To receive this esteemed award, which is given by the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA), a board must demonstrate excellent governance skills through commitment to the role of the school board. The Columbus County Board of Education received this award in 2014 as well.

columbusColumbus County was recognized during the Awards Ceremony of the Association’s 47th Annual Conference for Board Member Development in Greensboro on November 17. During comments to ceremony attendees, the board was celebrated for consistently continuously seeking to expand opportunities for the students it serves. After a fire destroyed one of the schools two years ago, the board responded quickly and made sure the students could return to the next day. This year, these students entered the doors of a beautiful state-of-the-art school. As budgets dwindle across the state, the necessity of an insightful, forward-thinking school board has become increasingly essential to a school system’s success.

Ramona PowersColumbus County Board of Education Wins Leadership Award
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McDowell County Commissioners Recognized by School Boards Association

The North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA) presented its prestigious County Commissioners of the Year Award to the McDowell County Board of County Commissioners.

Touted by their local board of education as county commissioners that give extraordinary support to their students, teachers, and schools, the McDowell County Board of Commissioners remain dedicated to maintaining a solid working relationship with the board of education. Such commitment is visible through their work with the school board on needed space for the Early College Program. Doing what benefits the children of the county the most is the guiding principle for these commissioners.

The award is given to a board of county commissioners that received nomination by the local board of education in recognition of their extraordinary efforts. The McDowell County Board of County Commissioners was recognized during the Awards Ceremony of the NCSBA 47th Annual Conference for Board Member Development in Greensboro on November 17.

Ramona PowersMcDowell County Commissioners Recognized by School Boards Association
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May 20 Legislative Update

May 20 Legislative Update

Charter Advocates Continue to Push HB 539

The charter school community is continuing to push strongly for the House to concur with HB 539.  While it remains important that you maintain contact with your House member(s) in opposition, it is also critical to be making local contacts to develop grassroots opposition to HB 539 within your communities.  Reach out to local PTAs and other community groups that support public education, make sure they understand what is at stake with HB 539, and get them involved in spreading the word to parents and concerned citizens.  These types of efforts are happening on the charter side.  For example, proponents of HB 539 are spreading their message of “fair funding” on social media using the hashtag #fairfundsnc.  Charter schools are also sending to their parents call to action messages such as this (click here).  School districts need to be countering these efforts.  Remember that HB 539 could come up at any time.

Resources & Points to Remember

Below are materials and informational items to circulate in your communities.

*A one-page sheet with talking points on HB 539 can be found here.

*A short video on this issue can be found here.  Make sure to continue sharing this video on social media and encourage others to do so.

*A longer Myth/Fact sheet on the issue can be found here.

*Legislators and others need to understand the pots of monies that school districts would have to transfer if HB 539 becomes law (reimbursements, gifts, federal grants, etc.).  A review of the types of monies at risk can be found here. 

*Charter schools can already seek out many of the monies at issue in HB 539 without having to take them from school districts.  For example, school districts would have to transfer E-rate reimbursements under HB 539 but charters already have the ability to seek out E-Rate reimbursements if they so choose.

*There are policies and laws that limit how federal grants and reimbursements are used and which students may be served.  Charters continue to claim that despite these policies and laws, they should be entitled to a share of federal grants and reimbursements that a school district receives.

*Charters continue to claim that charter students receive only 75 cents for every dollar provided to LEAs.  This is a flawed calculation based on factors unrelated to per-pupil funding and reflects an apples-to-oranges comparison of district and charter funding.

Budget News

House Budget Approved-Senate Moves Next

The House passed its version of the 2016-17 budget this week.  Including compensation increases, the House budget increases appropriations for K-12 public schools by 4.4% above the original spending target for 2016-17.  Teachers with 5-25 years of experience receive an average 4.1% salary increase, with the largest increases going to mid-career teachers.  Other teachers will get a one-time $1,000 bonus.  Most school administrators will get an average 2% increase (with some receiving a $500 bonus).  Non-certified and central office staff will get a 2% raise and a one-time $500 bonus.  Click here to read the Money Report.  See below for more details on the House budget and what happened as it moved through the chamber this week.

On the Senate side, budget writers have said that their budget is not likely to be very different from that of the House except on salaries.  The biggest difference between the House and Senate budgets is expected to be on salaries for teachers, school employees, and State employees.  It is expected that the Senate will turn its budget around within two weeks.  One thing to watch for in the Senate budgetis whether it includes the language from SB 862- Opp. Scholarships Forward Funding, a bill filed by Sen. Chad Barefoot (R-Wake).  It would significantly increase funding for the Opportunity Scholarship voucher program.  A reserve fund would be created and there would be an automatic transfer of funds from the General Fund to this reserve fund to be used to award new vouchers.  Funding for the program would be increased from $17.6 million to $44.8 million for the 2018-19 school year.  This number would rise by $10 million each year thereafter until it reaches $134.8 million in the 2027-28 school year.

House Budget Process

Several amendments were offered and passed in both the House Appropriations Committee and on the House floor throughout the week as the budget was developed.  The most notable amendments for K-12 public schools dealt with virtual charters and the Opportunity Scholarship school voucher program.

Virtual Charters

Rep. James Langdon (R-Johnston) ran an amendment touching on the virtual charter pilot language.  A provision had been included in the K-12 education section that allowed the two virtual charter pilot schools to have a higher withdrawal rate than the original virtual charter legislation allowed.  The same provision would also legislatively mandate that several types of students are to be excluded from the withdrawal rate, making it easier for the virtual charters to stay below the higher withdrawal rate caps.  Rep. Langdon’s amendment attempted to remove this provision and return to the original virtual charter language, which set a 25% cap and allowed the State Board of Education to determine what types of students should and should not be counted  in the withdrawal rate.  This amendment passed 59-56.

About an hour later, Rep. Rob Bryan (R-Mecklenburg) successfully ran an amendment that undid most of the Langdon amendment.  Under the Bryan amendment, the rate cap stays at 25% (the existing level) but the State Board would still be directed to exclude five categories of students from the calculation of the withdrawal rate.  The State Board, not the General Assembly, should determine how to calculate a fair withdrawal rate for these schools, as they are the body in charge of overseeing these programs and receiving periodic updates on how they are doing.  Another troubling provision in the virtual charter language would increase the portion of virtual charter teachers who can be non-NC residents from 10% to 20%.

Opportunity Scholarships

An amendment from  Rep. Jeffrey Elmore (R-Wilkes) in the House Appropriations Committee modified the proposed changes to the school voucher program.  The current law allows vouchers to be awarded to kindergarten and grade 1 students even if they have not previously been enrolled in a public school, but caps the portion of newly awarded vouchers they can receive at 35%.  Under the original House budget language, Grade 1 students would have been removed from this cap, meaning that there would be no limit on how many new vouchers they could receive.  Rep. Elmore’s amendment changed this so that grade 1 students go back to being subject to the cap, but the cap itself would go up from 35% to 40%.


Other Notable House Budget Provisions

Vouchers.  There is an increase of $5.8  million to the special education voucher program.

ADM Growth.  Public school ADM growth is fully funded ($46.8 million).

Literacy Coaches.  There is an appropriation of $25 million to put K-3 Literacy Coaches in the lowest performing 20% of elementary schools across the state.  This would be the first State appropriation for literacy coaches in any public schools since the line-item was zeroed out in 2009.

Advanced Teaching Roles/Elevating Educators Act.  Modified language from last session’s Elevating Educators Act is included in the subcommittee’s approved budget.  This provision establishes a three-year pilot program where 10 LEAs would experiment with models of differentiated pay for teachers linked to advanced teaching roles (new or additional roles and responsibilities).  There would be a $1 million set aside for this pilot.

A-F School Performance Grades.  The formula for calculating A-F letter grades for schools is changed from 80% assessment scores 20% growth to a 50-50 split between the two components.  The 15-point scale is also made permanent (it is scheduled to end with this year’s set of grades).

Read to Achieve.  Like last year’s House budget, this year’s House budgets contains several provisions to improve the Read to Achieve program.  Among these would be a requirement for the SBE to expand the types of diagnostic and formative assessments school districts could use to measure reading progress in grades K-3.

Other Funding Increases.  Digital Learning Plan ($9.4 million); Textbooks/Digital Resources ($11.7 million)

Achievement School District

There are lots of conversations happening on House side about the Achievement School District issue and bill.  Be sure to watch your email closely for updates and notable developments on this.

Click here for the NCSBA issue brief on this.

Union School Boards/County Comm Funding Lawsuit Moratorium

A bill was filed this week by Sen. Tommy Tucker (R-Union) to prohibit the Union school board from initiating a legal challenge over the sufficiency of local funding from their county commissioners in the 2016-17 school year.  The bill is SB 881.


Bills

New Bills:  Click here for a list of new bills filed this week that NCSBA is tracking.

Upcoming Legislative Meetings and Events

Monday, May 23

4:00 PM
The Senate will convene for session.

5:00 PM
The House will convene for session.

Tuesday, May 24

 

Wednesday, May 25

 

Thursday, May 26

North Carolina School Boards AssociationMay 20 Legislative Update
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