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February 2016 Monthly Legislative Report

Special Session on Redistricting

Lawmakers returned to Raleigh this month to hold a special session to redraw North Carolina’s congressional maps following a federal judge’s ruling that two of the districts were racially gerrymandered and unconstitutional. The redrawn map can be found here. The maps must receive court approval before officially going into effect.

As a result of the new maps, lawmakers moved the NC congressional primaries to June 7. No other business was taken up during this special session. If you want to see if you are in a new congressional district as a result of the redrawn map you can click here to find out.

Education Oversight

The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee met on February 2 and discussed the following pertinent topics:

The Every Student Succeeds Act

State Superintendent June Atkinson and DPI Director of Data, Research, and Federal Policy Dr. Lou Fabrizio updated legislators on The Every Student Succeeds Act, the new federal law that has replaced No Child Left Behind. Dr. Atkinson and Dr. Fabrizio talked about: the new law’s major components; how the law compares to NC’s current requirements; and major implementation actions that need to be taken over the next few years. To see the materials provided as part of this presentation click hereherehereherehere, and here.

You can watch the full presentation here.

Work Experience Credit/Licensure

Rebecca Garland, Deputy State Superintendent, and Dave Fairall, HR Director of Lexington City Schools, talked about the State Board’s experience with giving teachers credit for non-teaching work experience. Some committee members questioned whether this process should be done more at the local level. You can view the presentation materials here.

Juvenile Literacy Study

The Honorable Ann Marie Calabria and Anna Hedgepeth talked about an initiative in Wake County called the Juvenile Literacy Center program. This program provides direct one-on-one tutoring to court-involved youth. The Ed Oversight committee was directed by the legislature to study this program and make recommendations on expansion. Click here to see the presentation materials.

Education Strategy and Practices

The House Select Committee on Education Strategy and Practices met on February 24 & 25 and discussed the following pertinent topics:

Principal Salaries

Alexis Schauss of DPI came back before the committee to answer some lingering questions that had been prompted by her January presentation on principal compensation.

Early Childhood Education

John Pruette, Executive Director of DPI’s Office of Early Learning, reviewed research evidence demonstrating that Pre-K programs work well. You can view his presentation materials here.

Joan Lord, Vice-President of the Southern Regional Education Board, discussed the findings and recommendations of her group’s Early Childhood Commission report. You can view her presentation materials here.

Mark W. Lipsey, Vanderbilt University, presented some findings that Pre-K programs have yielded mixed results nationally. He also talked about some additional factors that must be considered in evaluating Pre-K programs. You can view his presentation materials here.

Sydney Atkinson with the Division of Public Health discussed the State’s Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program. You can view her materials here.

Principal Leadership and Preparation

The committee heard from a series of speakers, including administrators with experience in low-performing schools, talking about how to cultivate strong school leaders.

Betty Fry, Southern Regional Education Board: Materials here; Video here

Dr. Pascal Mubenga, Franklin County superintendent: Materials here; Video here

Jan Wagner and Larry Hodgkins, Martin County school administrators: Materials here; Video here

Dr. Steve Tozer, University of Illinois Chicago Professor: Materials here; Video here

The individual presentations were followed by a panel discussion between lawmakers and the presenters which you can watch here.

ESSA

There were two presentations on the federal Every Student Succeeds Act and how it will impact state education systems:

Lee Posey with the National Conference of State Legislatures: Materials here; Video here

Claire Voorhees with the Foundation for Excellence in Education:  Materials here; Video here

Buildings/Infrastructure Commission

A new Blue Ribbon Commission tasked with studying the capital infrastructure needs of the state held its first meeting on February 22. This commission is a mix of legislators and members of the public representing various groups across the state that have an interest in capital infrastructure, including school boards, county commissions, cities, the UNC system, the Community College system, and the NC Chamber of Commerce. School boards are being represented on the commission by Mr. Barry Shoemaker, a member of the Cabarrus County school board. Click here to see all the members of this commission.

At this first meeting, the Commission received an overview of how public school building construction/renovation projects are funded. There was also a presentation on the funding of  community college and other State capital projects.

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

Bryan Holloway
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6677 direct dial

Katapult MarketingFebruary 2016 Monthly Legislative Report