November 2016

NCSBA Monthly Legislative Report – October 2016

NCSBA Monthly Legislative Report

October 2016


Education Strategy and Practices

The House Select Committee on Education Strategy and Practices met on October 18.  The following pertinent presentations were given at this meeting.

An experimental new method of learning that is starting to pop up around the country is called Competency Based Learning.  Dr. Michelle Soler, Director of Competency Based Education and Assessment at UNC, discussed the concept of competency-based learning and how it differs from other learning models.  Dr. Soler touted it as a good thing that NC lawmakers should consider adopting, but did not give any specifics on how to implement it across the state in a workable manner.  In addition to this presentation before NC lawmakers, we are starting to see an increasing number of presentations on competency-based learning in front of other groups such as BEST NC and the Foundation for Excellence in Education.  NCSBA will have a presentation on this topic at the upcoming Public Policy Conference in January.  Click here to register for the conference.
Presentation Materials:  Click here

and how NC uses analytics in education was discussed by Emily Baranello, Vice President, Education Practice at SAS and Jennifer Bell, Senior Education Specialist, State and Local Government, SAS.
Presentation Materials:  Click here and here

A presentation on how High School start times impact student achievement was given by Dr. Kevin Bastian, Director, Teacher Quality Research Initiative, Education Policy Initiative at Carolina and Dr. Sarah Fuller, Research Assistant Professor, Education Policy Initiative at Carolina.  The following research findings were discussed:

  • Little evidence of later start times impacting EOC scores.
  • Some evidence that later start times, particularly after 8:30am and for economically-disadvantaged students, predict higher ACT scores.
  • Robust evidence that later start times predict absence, suspension, and course grades results for economically-disadvantaged students.

The presenters also talked about several questions/concerns to think about for districts that might want to look into later High School start times.  Those questions/concerns included how later High School start times might impact elementary and middle schools in the district and getting adequate buy-in from local stakeholders.
Presentation Materials:  Click here

Dr. Kathryn Marker, Associate Director for K-12 Programs, State Education Assistance Authority, talked about the special education school voucher program.
Presentation Materials:  Click here

A presentation on assessing students with disabilities was given by DPI staff.

A background and history of the 12.5% per district cap on supplemental funding for students with disabilities was given.  The presentation also discussed the fiscal implications of possibly eliminating the cap.
Presentation Materials:  Click here


Joint Legislative Study Committee on School-Based Administrator Pay

The Joint Legislative Study Committee on School-Based Administrator Pay met on October 24.  The Committee received presentations on the following pertinent topics:

A review of the current school-based administrator salary schedule and recent notable changes to the schedule was given by Alexis Schauss, Director of School Business, DPI.
Presentation Materials:  Click here and here

Timothy Hale, Fiscal Analyst, General Assembly’s Fiscal Research Division discussed important considerations lawmakers should consider in thinking about reforming or restructuring the school-based administrator salary schedule.  The proposal reviewed by Mr. Hale would do away with set salary schedules for principals and distribute money for principal pay to school districts through block grants.
Presentation Materials:  Click here and here

There was also a panel and committee discussion involving the following participants:

  • Dr. Stephen Gainey, Superintendent Randolph County Schools;
  • Dr. Beverly Emery, Superintendent Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools;
  • Dr. Frank Till, Superintendent Cumberland County Schools;
  • Dr. Pascal Mubenga, Superintendent Franklin County Schools;
  • Katherine Joyce, Executive Director, NC Association of School Administrators;
  • Leanne Winner, Director of Governmental Relations, NC School Boards Association.

The panel discussed the block grant proposal and unanimously voiced concerns about the difficulties and inequities a block grant allocation for principal pay could cause.  NCASA and NCSBA representatives acknowledged problems with the current pay structure for school administrators but talked about the need to keep a base salary schedule for principal pay instead of moving to a block grant while reforming the schedule so it works better for school districts.  A redesigned schedule should be accompanied by a layer of some district-flexible incentives to address each LEA’s specific challenges in principal recruitment and retention.

Dr. Till noted the challenges scrapping the principal salary schedule might create for large school districts, where it could be difficult to negotiate salaries with all LEA principals.

Capital Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Commission

The General Assembly’s Blue Ribbon Commission to Study the Capital Infrastructure Needs of the State met on October 25.  The Committee discussed the following pertinent topics:

A review of the NC Capital Improvement Program was given by staff members from the Office of State Budget and Management.

Election Materials

The 2016 election will be held on November 8.  NCSBA has created two lists for you to help you in looking at election night returns.  Please find those lists in the first attached document.  The first list shows former/current school board members who are running for State House and Senate, including incumbent legislators.  The second list, below the first, is a review of key General Assembly races to watch based on analysis and research by outside groups that track legislative races.

Public Policy Conference

The fourth Public Policy Conference is slated for January 12-13, 2017 at the Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst.  Attached is a draft agenda for the conference.  We are still working on securing a couple more presentations.

To Register click here.  You can make your hotel reservations at the Pinehurst Resort with the special conference group rate one of two ways:

  1. Click here and enter Group Code 60158.
  2. Call 844.738.5781 and ask for the NCSBA Public Policy Conference group rate.




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

Bruce MildwurfNCSBA Monthly Legislative Report – October 2016
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