NCSBA Legislative Update – March 24 2017

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NCSBA Legislative Update – March 24 2017

NCSBA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
MARCH 24, 2017

 



ACTION NEEDED/K-3 CLASS SIZES

It is critical that Senator(s) be contacted this weekend on the K-3 class size issue/HB 13.  Please communicate with your Senate member(s) this weekend and press upon them the serious urgency of getting the K-3 class size issue resolved.  Click here to find your Senator(s).

Below are three points to specifically talk about with your Senator(s).

1) Whether the uncertainty on the class size issue has caused any delays in issuing planning guides to principals in your district for the 2017-18 school year.

2) Whether the uncertainty on the class size issue has been creating any issues in your district in contracting with personnel for the 2017-18 school year.

3) Whether there are concerns in your district about the ability to find certified teachers to fill the additional classrooms from the class size changes.  Let them know that having long-term substitutes to fill these vacancies is not an educationally sound solution.

GUNS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY

HB 174- Concealed Carry/Church School Prop., is a measure moving in the House that aims to allow concealed carry permit holders the right to carry a concealed firearm into a church service on property that also contains a church school.  Some lawmakers raised concerns during committee Wednesday that the language as drafted could also be read to create a right to carry a concealed firearm on the property of public schools that rent out space to religious groups for church services.  This could lead to some public schools choosing to discontinue those leases.  NCSBA has been working with the bill sponsor to get that language clarified as it moves to the House floor next week.

The committee hearing on HB 174 produced some tense moments as one member objected to having the bill approved before resolving the uncertainty about its applicability to public school property.  You can read about the committee hearing and watch a video here.

EDUCATION BILLS WITH MOVEMENT THIS WEEK

School Calendar Flexibility
Two school calendar flexibility bills have been scheduled for a hearing in the House K-12 Education Committee next week.  The bills are:

1) HB 389 creates a pilot program for 20 LEAs to begin the school year no earlier than August 10.  It is sponsored by Reps. Harry Warren, R-Rowan, Craig Horn, R-Union, Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus, and Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson.  Click here to see which LEAs would be put into this pilot.

2) HB 375 would allow ALL LEAs to align the start of their school year with that of their local community college, but no earlier than August 15.  Reps. Jonathan Jordan, R-Ashe, Craig Horn, R-Union, Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus, and Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, are the sponsors.

The meeting begins at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, March 28.


Youth Suicide Prevention

HB 285 is a measure that directs local school boards to establish staff awareness/prevention training programs and risk referral protocols for middle/high school students at risk of suicide.  Boards could either develop their own local programs that follow certain guidelines or adopt programs developed by the State Board.  The programs would have to be in place by the 2018-19 school year under the current version of HB 285, which cleared one House committee this week and will be taken up next by the House K-12 Education Committee.  NCSBA has worked with the bill sponsors and they have incorporated some of our suggested changes.

HB 285 is sponsored by Reps. Greg Murphy, R-Pitt, Jon Hardister, R-Guilford, Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, and Josh Dobson, R-McDowell.

NC Final Exams
The House passed a bill this week to eliminate the NC Final Exams, the Analysis of Student Work process, and all locally developed measures for measuring how a teacher contributes to student growth.  HB 90 is sponsored by Reps. Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes, Kyle Hall, R-Stokes, and Pat Hurley, R-Randolph.


Third Grade Teacher Bonuses

SB 169 cleared the Senate chamber this week.  This bill ensures that those teachers who taught 3rd grade last year, placed in either the top 25% of state or local reading growth scores, and then were asked to move to another grade level will still be able to get the bonus awards that were distributed in January.  SB 169 now goes to the House.

RURAL EDUCATION ADVOCACY DAY

There will be a Rural Education Advocacy Day taking place next week at the State government complex.  Click here for a flyer with more information about the event.

BILLS

Action Bills:  Click here for the NCSBA-tracked bills that had action this week.

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


UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE MEETINGS AND EVENTS

Monday, March 27

7:00 PM
The House and Senate will convene for session.

Tuesday, March 28

10:00 AM
The House K-12 Education Committee will meet and consider the following bills:

HB 389- School Calendar Flexibility Pilot Program

HB 375- School Cal. Flex/CC
HB 450- Future Ready Student Act

1:00 PM
The House University Education Committee will meet and consider the following bill:

HB 339- North Carolina Teaching Fellows

 

 

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