April 2017

NCSBA Legislative Update – April 28, 2017

NCSBA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
APRIL 28, 2017

 



K-3 CLASS SIZES

Changes to the planned K-3 class sizes have been signed into law.  As we reported to you Tuesday, an agreed-upon version of HB 13 gives LEAs flexibility for 2017-18 in setting average K-3 class sizes higher than the funded level to continue generating the positions for specialty program teachers.  The bill was passed by the Senate Wednesday, passed by the House Thursday and then quickly signed into law by the Governor.

 

In 2017-18, districts have flexibility for the following differentials between funded and average class sizes in the early grades: Kindergarten:(differential of 2); Grade 1: (differential of 4); Grades 2-3: (differential of 3).  The maximum size of any individual class in grades K-3 will be 23.

In subsequent years (2018 and beyond) the class size averages in grades K-3 will have to equal the allotment ratios and the maximum in any one class could not be more than 3 students above the allotment ratio.  This means that the changes that were set to go into effect this school year will be delayed until next year.

Senator Chad Barefoot, R-Wake, stated during the Senate Education Committee hearing on the bill that it is their intent to create a new funding allotment for the specialty (program enhancement) teachers next school year but that they must first collect data to know how much to fund for the needed positions.  However, there is no language in the bill that addresses this point.  On the Senate floor, Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, D-Wake, offered an amendment to specifically state in the bill that it is the legislature’s intent to create this separate funding stream, but Sen. Barefoot used a procedural maneuver on the floor to block the amendment.  Remember that the General Assembly will not convene in 2018 until a week or two after the primary, which is usually held in May.

The new version of HB 13 also creates new reporting requirements.  The local school board is required to submit the report in both September and in February of each year.  The report includes the following:

For each class in each grade level at each school:
– Duties of the teacher

– Source of funds to pay each teacher

– The number of students assigned to the class

For each school:

– The number of program enhancement teachers (art disciplines, PE, health and world languages)

– The source of funds to pay each program enhancement teacher

The average class size for each grade in K-3.

Any other information the Superintendent of Public Instruction may require.

The new law also requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to conduct periodic audits.  If it is determined that the LEA is exceeding requirements for average and individual class sizes without a waiver, the State Board of Education may impose a penalty that withholds State funds for the superintendents’ salary.   LEAs will be required to pay the State’s portion.

The law also delineates a time frame for a school district to come into compliance if an application for a waiver has been denied.

CROSSOVER WEEK/BUDGET

April 27 was the deadline for crossover.  Crossover is the date by which most bills must pass one chamber or the other in order to stay eligible for the remainder of the biennium.  In next week’s update we will have a list of all the bills we are tracking that made the crossover deadline and will be eligible for the remainder of the biennium.

Senate leaders also announced their budget timetable this week.  It is the Senate’s turn to go first with the budget.  Their leadership announced that they hope to finish their work on the budget next week and roll it out publicly the week of May 7.

SCH BD LAWSUIT AUTHORITY

SB 531, eliminating school boards’ authority to file local funding lawsuits, passed the Senate this week.  This means it has made crossover and is eligible for the remainder of the two-year biennium.  The bill eliminates the formal mediation and if after a joint meeting between the two boards, the sides have not agreed then the decision of the county commissioners on funding is the final decision.  The bill sponsor, Sen. Tommy Tucker, R-Union, has stated publicly he has spoken with House leaders about not moving this bill further until the results of a legislative study are released.  That report is expected to be released sometime in May or early June.

Sen. Tucker also publicly pledged that the final version will include formal mediation and a fallback formula if no agreement is reached.

CHARTER AND OTHER BILLS THIS WEEK

A series of charter school bills passed the House this week ahead of the crossover deadline.  These bills will all be eligible for consideration the remainder of the biennium.

HB 514– Permit Municipal Charter School/Certain Towns
This bill allows the Towns of Matthews and Mint Hill to set up and operate charter schools.  This could raise concerns about towns and cities breaking off from the county school system before the concept has actually been studied.  HB 514 also allows students living in the municipality to receive preferential enrollment over other applicants.  It appears there could be a scenario where no admission slots are open to students who reside outside of the municipality.  NCSBA also has concerns with allowing municipalities to provide public dollars directly for school construction.  There may be significant constitutional issues associated with this and the location of where students served by the charter school reside.

HB 779– Charter School Changes
This bill originally would have allowed charter schools to access school capital funds.  This provision was removed by the House K-12 Education Committee.  As passed by the House the bill loosens the threshold for charter schools to automatically expand.  Instead of automatically expanding up to 20% over planned enrollment, the bill would allow charters to automatically expand up to 30% over planned enrollment, unless it is a low-performing school.

HB 800– Various Changes to Charter School Laws
The House K-12 Education Committee removed the provision supported by NCSBA to restructure the way charter schools are funded locally.

As passed by the House, HB 800 gives charter school enrollment priority to children from corporations that donate land or capital infrastructure funds to the charter.  In exchange, up to 50% of the charter’s student enrollment can be reserved for children of the corporate partner’s employees.  NCSBA opposes this provision as it could limit enrollment opportunities for the general public.

HB 826 also passed the House overwhelmingly.  This bill modifies the definition of “low-performing” school to ensure that the definition is limited to only those schools that are D or F grade and have not met expected growth.

Attached please find a list of all bills with action this week.

 

 

 

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

Bruce MildwurfNCSBA Legislative Update – April 28, 2017
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HB13/New Version

Subject: HB13/New Version View: Public
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This evening the Senate Education Committee approved a new version of HB 13.  The bill provides that during the 2017-2018 school year the class size averages in grades k-3 shall not exceed 20 students and that the maximum students in any one class will not exceed 23 students.

In subsequent years (2018 and beyond) the class size averages in grades k-3 will have to equal the allotment ratios and the maximum in any one class could not be more than 3 students above the allotment ratio.  If the funded allotments do not change they would be:

Kindergarten:  1 teacher to every 18 students
1st grade:  1 teacher to every 16 students
2nd and 3rd grades:  1 teacher to every 17 students

These changes, in essence, create a one year delay from these provisions going into effect the upcoming school year.

Senator Chad Barefoot, R-Wake, stated it is their intent to create a new funding allotment for the specialty (program enhancement) teachers but that they must first collect data to know how much to fund for the needed positions.  But there is no language in the bill that addresses this point.  Remember that the General Assembly will not convene in 2018 until a week or two after the primary, which is usually held in May.

The bill also creates a new reporting requirement.  The report will be due from the local board of education in both September and in February of each year.  The report will have to show the following:

For each class in each grade level at each school:
– Duties of the teacher
– Source of funds to pay the teacher
– The number of students assigned to the class

For each school:
– The number of program enhancement teachers.  Program enhancement teachers include art disciplines, PE, health and world languages.
– The source of funds to pay the teachers.

Any other information the Superintendent of Public Instruction may require.

The bill also requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to conduct periodic audits.  If it is determined that the LEA is exceeding requirements for average and individual class sizes without a waiver, the State Board of Education may impose a penalty may withhold that state funds for the superintendents’ salary.

It also delineates a time frame for a school district to come into compliance if an application for a waiver has been denied.

Attached please find the press release from the Senate.

The new version of the bill will be heard in Senate Rules tomorrow morning April 25, at 8 AM.  If favorable, the bill then goes to the Senate floor.  Then the bill would return to the House for a concurrence vote and then to the Governor.

 

Bruce MildwurfHB13/New Version
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NCSBA Legislative Update – April 21 2017

NCSBA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
APRIL 21, 2017

 

 

**Next Thursday, April 27, is the deadline for crossover.  This is the date by which non-finance non- appropriation bills must pass one chamber or the other in order to be eligible for consideration the remainder of the biennium.  There will likely be a flurry of legislative activity as crossover approaches. 

Please pay attention to your email next week as we may have some legislative alerts throughout the week that require immediate action on legislation. **

SCH BD LAWSUIT AUTHORITY

 

Legislation eliminating school boards’ authority to file legal challenges to local funding passed the House State and Local Government I Committee this week.  The bill, HB 305, generated healthy debate and was approved by a narrow margin.  It now goes to the House K-12 Education Committee.

Meanwhile the Senate version of this bill, SB 531, has been calendared for consideration next week.  It is scheduled to be heard in the Senate State and Local Government Committee at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, April 25.  Please contact members of this committee (click here) and ask them to oppose this bill.

 


NOTABLE BILLS 

On the House Floor next week:

HB 285– Suicide Prevention/Awareness School Personnel.
This establishes a training requirement for school personnel on teen suicide prevention.  NCSBA has spent a large amount of time working on this bill to try to align it with the recently passed State Board of Education policy on mental health, which requires six hours of training every three years for both certified and non-certified personnel.  We have not yet been able to get the bill into a form that aligns with the SBE policy.  As currently written, HB 285 requires school personnel in grades 6-12 to have an additional two hours of training on teen suicide awareness.  Neither this bill nor the SBE policy provides funding for this mandate.  HB 285 is expected to come up on the House floor Monday.

The House K-12 Education Committee is scheduled to hear the following notable bills next week:

HB 514– Permit Municipal Charter School/Certain Towns (Monday, April 24 at 12:00 Noon)
Allows certain municipalities to set up and operate charter schools.  This could raise concerns about towns and cities breaking off from the county school system before the concept has actually been studied.  Indeed, there is already a bill scheduled for the next day to study the idea of breaking up the larger school systems.  If you have any concerns about the concept of towns/cities creating charters please contact your House member(s).

HB 779– Charter School Changes (Monday, April 24 at 12:00 Noon)
The most notable provision of this multi-part bill is a section that allows charter schools to access school capital funds.  NCSBA has concerns about this provision.  The bill also loosens the threshold for charter schools to automatically expand.  Instead of automatically expanding up to 20% over planned enrollment, the bill would allow charters to automatically expand up to 40% over planned enrollment.

HB 800– Various Changes to Charter School Laws (Monday, April 24 at 12:00 Noon)
Section 3 of this bill attempts to reform the funding relationship between LEAs and charter schools by requiring that charter schools get their local funding directly from county commissioners instead of through a transfer from the LEA.  This would remove the LEA’s role in charter school funding, which is a priority outlined in the NCSBA legislative agenda.

Section 1 gives charter school enrollment priority to children from groups with whom a charter is a “partner.”  A “partner” is defined in the bill as a business entity that has donated land or capital infrastructure funds to the charter.  NCSBA opposes this provision as it could limit enrollment opportunities for the general public.

Section 2 allows employees of an EMO/CMO to work as teachers in a charter.

HB 681– Teacher Licensure/Military Spouses (Tuesday, April 25 at 10:00 AM)
A provision of this bill requires DPI to give priority in teacher licensure applications to military spouses.  NCSBA has concerns about this portion of the bill as it could alter the playing field in processing licensure applications for those LEAs near military bases.  If you have concerns about this provision please reach out to your House member(s).

HB 704– Divide School Systems/Study Committee (Tuesday, April 25 at 10:00 AM)
Establishes a study committee to look at the pros and cons of dividing larger school systems.

HB 826- Modify Low-Performing School Definition (Tuesday, April 25 at 10:00 AM)
Provides that if a D or F school/LEA is meeting expected growth, it cannot be considered “low-performing.”  This is an NCSBA legislative agenda priority.

Activity This Week

HB 13, the bill to provide relief from the impending K-3 class size changes, has been moved from Senate Rules to the Senate Education Committee, which indicates a deal has been struck.

HB 406.  Passed by the House State and Local Government I Committee.  This bill repeals the authority of Orange County to impose impact fees.  Another bill that moved this week, HB 436, freezes impact fees statewide and establishes a study committee to look into impact fees.

HB 866.  This is the House version of the $1.9 billion statewide bond proposal for public school construction purposes.  It was filed this week and is identical to the Senate companion, SB 542.  The sponsors are Reps. Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus, Craig Horn, R-Union, Kevin Corbin, R-Macon, and Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg.  Please be sure to thank the sponsors for their leadership in filing this bill.

HB 833.  Passed by the House K-12 Education Committee.  This bill makes a few changes to the Driver Education laws.  Among other things, it would restrict transfers OUT of the driver education allotment.  These funds could only be transferred out if they go to support a driver education program in another LEA.  Another section sets out a directive for local boards to be provided with technical assistance if they desire to contract out driver education services.

Attached are lists of all NCSBA-tracked bills that had action this week and all new bills filed this week that NCSBA is tracking.

UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE MEETINGS AND EVENTS

 

Monday, April 24

12:00 PM
The House K-12 Education Committee will meet and consider the following pertinent bills:
HB 514- Permit Municipal Charter School/Certain Towns
HB 534- Computer Coding Course Elective
HB 779- Charter School Changes
HB 800- Various Changes to Charter School Laws
HB 806- Student Notice/Charter School Closure/Restr.

Tuesday, April 25

10:00 AM
The House K-12 Education Committee will meet and consider the following pertinent bills:
HB 600- School Construction Flexibility
HB 681- Teacher Licensure/Military Spouses
HB 704- Divide School Systems/Study Committee
HB 826- Modify Low-Performing School Definition
HB 849- Restore Longitudinal Data System Board

12:00 PM
The House Judiciary II Committee will meet and consider the following pertinent bills:
HB 336- Ltd. License/Drive to School Event Past 9:00
HB 670- Protect Educational Property

2:00 PM
The Senate State and Local Government Committee will meet and consider the following pertinent bills:

SB 375- State Emps./No Payroll Dues Deductions

 

 

 

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

Bruce MildwurfNCSBA Legislative Update – April 21 2017
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NCSBA Legislative Update – April 13 2017

NCSBA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
APRIL 13, 2017

 



EASTER RECESS

Lawmakers returned home to their districts after Tuesday’s session for a week-long Easter recess.  The next floor votes in the House and Senate will occur Wednesday, April 19.  After that the next major date on the legislative calendar is April 27, which is the crossover date.  Crossover is the date by which statewide bills outside of those touching on spending or money-raising must pass one chamber or the other in order to remain eligible for the remainder of the 2017-18 biennium.  With crossover approaching there will likely be a great deal of legislative activity when lawmakers return.

ACTION NEEDED – SCH BD LAWSUIT AUTHORITY

HB 305, the measure stripping school boards of the authority to file legal challenges to local funding, is scheduled for a committee hearing when lawmakers return from Easter recess.  HB 305 is on the calendar for 10:00 AM on Wednesday, April 19, in the House State and Local Government I Committee.

Please contact members of this committee (click here) and your local House members (click here) and ask them to OPPOSE HB 305.  Remind them how important it is that school boards keep this one mechanism that ensures checks and balances in the local education funding process.

 
Key Points to Communicate – School Board Lawsuit Authority/HB 305

 

1) NCSBA and the NC Association of County Commissioners agreed last year to have legislative staff study the local education funding dispute process and make some recommendations.  That study is still ongoing, so moving legislation right now would be premature.  The original agreement should be honored.

2) Eliminating local funding lawsuit authority raises the concern of how school boards are supposed to fulfill their Leandro obligation to provide an opportunity for a sound basic education on behalf of the State.  This is because school boards would no longer have a method to hold county commissioners accountable for insufficient funding levels.  Also, creating these roadblocks for school boards to advocate for sufficient funding could potentially invite student/parent lawsuits.

 

3) Only a small handful of education funding disputes have actually gone to trial.  Mediation has usually worked to resolve any funding disagreements. But it is the threat of legal action that creates the incentive for commissioners to come to the table. HB 305 removes this one check and balance on commissioners and says that if there is no agreement in mediation, the commissioners have the final word on funding.  This would make the mediation process essentially meaningless and there would be NO checks and balances between the two boards.

ACTION NEEDED – HOMESCHOOL ACCESS TO PUB SCHOOL SPORTS

There are indications that the Senate Education Committee could soon hold a hearing on SB 254, which requires LEAs to make its high school sports teams and extracurricular activities open to homeschooled students.

SB 254 also requires that if a public school student does not have a specific sport or extracurricular at his/her base high school, he/she must be allowed to participate in that sport/extracurricular at another public high school.

Please contact members of the Senate Education Committee (click here) as well as your own Senate members (click here) in opposition to SB 254.  Below are just some of the significant issues that could result from mandating public high school sports and extracurriculars be made open to non-enrolled students.  Make sure to communicate these points to your Senators.

 

Talking Points – Homeschool/Non-Enrolled Student Access to High School Sports

Residency accountability.  How can schools or school systems check into the “red flags” of residency for homeschooled students?  For example, a student assignment office might do “in home” visits if there are concerns about the student/parent/legal custodian living where they indicate is their residence.  Would the school system have the legal right to investigate or do an “in-home” visit if the student is homeschooled?

Competitive balance. Non-enrolled students playing on high school sports teams could dramatically alter and upset the competitive balance.  NCHSAA schools are classified into four different classes based on ADM at their school and play toward championships in those classifications.  But now a school may be drawing from a much larger base (students from other schools); would classifications have to be altered to accommodate that?

Insurance and liability.  It is unclear what the insurance/liability situation would be with SB 254. Would the student-athletes be covered even though they are not actually students at the given school?

Determining eligibility. In recent years the NCHSAA has tightened standards for checking eligibility, especially residency.  But the logistics of trying to do this for students not even enrolled at that school and are from a whole host of different high schools could be mind-boggling.  It is challenging enough for an athletic director to check eligibility for students at his or her school when the records are right there; this could mean trying to get attendance, academics and other information from a whole variety of other high schools and homeschools just for one athletic team’s eligibility.

School unity.  Students who playing sports at two different high schools would be playing AGAINST their school in one sport but playing FOR that school in another sport.  What effect would this have on school spirit?  What effect would it have on school spirit, team loyalty, etc., when students who do not attend the school are now part of one of the sports teams?

SCHOOL CALENDAR FLEXIBILITY

A second school calendar flexibility bill cleared the House on Monday.  Legislation giving authority to ALL LEAs to move their start date as early as August 15 to align with the start of their local community college- HB 375– passed 108-6.  Along with HB 389, which passed last week, the House has now sent the Senate two different kinds of calendar flexibility bills to consider.

Be sure to thank your House members who voted for the calendar flexibility bills.

HB 375 voting: click here
HB 389 voting: click here

To see which LEAs would be put into the HB 389 calendar pilot click here.

TEACHER BILLS PASS COMMITTEE

Several bills designed to help improve teacher recruitment and retention cleared the Senate Education Committee this week.  They have all been referred to other committees.  Among the bills the committee passed Tuesday were:

Senate Bill 448.  Authorizes school boards to contract with professors at universities and community colleges to teach core academic subjects in any grade.  The individual would not have to obtain a teaching license but would be subject to certain criteria established by the SBE.
Sponsors: Senators Chad Barefoot, R-Wake, Paul Newton, R-Cabarrus, Joyce Krawiec, R-Forsyth

Senate Bill 447.  Expands the teacher assistant tuition reimbursement pilot program to include 10 more LEAs.  This popular pilot reimburses TAs for up to $4,500 of the costs of tuition for pursing teacher licensure degrees.  This bill expands the pilot to Bertie, Duplin, Edenton-Chowan, Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash-Rocky Mount, Northampton, Tyrrell, Vance, Washington.  It also clarifies that TAs participating in this pilot can receive their salary and benefits while doing their student teaching.
Sponsors: Senators Chad Barefoot, R-Wake, Tom McInnis, R-Richmond, Erica Smith-Ingram, D-Northampton

SB 517 and SB 598 were also approved.  These are designed to improve the teacher preparation pipeline and encourage teacher ed graduates to stay in state.

NOTABLE BILLS FILED THIS WEEK

School Construction
HB 638.  This expands lottery advertising to generate additional lottery revenue.  Each LEA in Tier 1 and Tier 2 would be eligible for up to $10 million/year in additional school construction lottery funds through the increased revenue.
Sponsors:  Reps. Kevin Corbin, R-Cherokee, Terry Garrison D-Vance, Howard Hunter, D-Hertford, Larry Potts, R-Davidson

Low-Performing School Definition
HB 826.  This provides that if a D or F school/LEA is meeting expected growth, it cannot be considered “low-performing.”  This is an NCSBA legislative agenda priority.
Sponsors:  Reps. Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance, Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, Andy Dulin, R-Mecklenburg, John Fraley, R-Iredell

Opportunity Scholarship Accountability
HB 678.  Requires that a non-public school provide evidence of accreditation in order to be eligible to receive public funds through the state’s voucher program.  NCSBA’s legislative agenda suggests this as a method of putting additional accountability into the program.
Sponsor:  Rep. John Ager, D-Buncombe

School Bus Drivers
HB 641.  Sets aside funds to allow for school bus drivers to receive a raise of up to $2.00/hr.
Sponsor:  Rep. Beverly Boswell, R-Dare

MEDIA COVERAGE

K-3 Class Sizes: Phillip Price, former CFO of DPI, writes how any discussion about the K-3 class size issue needs to factor in how overall resources for public schools have declined.  Click here to read the editorial.

School Capital: Leanne Winner, NCSBA Director of Governmental Relations, and Kevin Leonard, NCACC Executive Director, were on the latest episode of Education Matters to talk about legislative proposals to help locals cope with the $8 billion in public school construction needs.  You can watch the conversation here.

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

Wednesday, April 19

10:00 AM
The House State and Local Government I Committee will meet and consider the following pertinent bill:
HB 305- School Boards Can’t Sue Counties

The House State and Local Government II Committee will meet and consider the following pertinent bill:
HB 482- County Comm. Role in School Bldg Acquisition

The Senate Health Care Committee will meet and consider the following pertinent bills:
SB 316- Suicide Prevention/Awareness School Personnel
SB 594- Family/Child Protection & Accountability Act

1:00 PM
The Senate Finance Committee will meet and consider the following pertinent bill:
SB 343- Increase Teacher Supplement/Electronic Notice

Thursday, April 20

9:00 AM
The House K-12 Education Committee will meet and consider the following bills:
HB 285- Suicide Prevention/Awareness School Personnel
HB 556- Office of Early Childhood Education
HB 634- Private Alternative Preparation

 

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

Bruce MildwurfNCSBA Legislative Update – April 13 2017
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NCSBA Legislative Update – April 7 2017

NCSBA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
APRIL 7, 2017

 



LEGISLATOR SPRING BREAK/K-3 CLASS SIZE

Lawmakers are planning to leave Raleigh after this coming Tuesday’s legislative session to take a “spring break” for the Easter holiday. They will return to town a week later. If they do not take action on the K-3 class size issue on Monday or Tuesday of next week there will not be another opportunity to get something passed until they reconvene on Wednesday, April 19.

Click here to read a letter NCSBA sent to all Senators encouraging them to address the K-3 class size issue prior to leaving for break next week.

STUDENT LETTERS/HB 13

It has come to our attention that some elementary school classes are having their students write letters to their legislators asking them to support HB 13. Concerns are being raised around Jones Street that such activity may not be an appropriate use of classroom time. We advise you to check with your elementary principals to make sure this is not occurring in your schools.

SCHOOL CALENDAR FLEXIBILITY PASSES HOUSE

There was a lot of important action on school calendar flexibility this week. Two bills- HB 375 to give authority to ALL LEAs to have a start date aligned with their local community college as early as August 15 and HB 389 to set a pilot program to allow 20 LEAs to move the start date as early as the Monday closest to August 10- were discussed and given overwhelming support Thursday on the House floor. The calendar pilot bill moves on to the Senate. The community college calendar alignment bill received preliminary approval but won’t get a final vote until Monday. A House member objected to the bill on third reading.

To see which LEAs would be put into the HB 389 calendar pilot click here.

You can read more about the House debate on these bills here.

NOTABLE MEDIA COVERAGE/SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION

Financing NC’s $8 billion backlog of school construction and renovation needs is being talked about on notable political and education TV shows. The topic was discussed by a panel of political commentators on a recent episode of NC Spin. You can watch that here (the discussion begins at the 20:10 mark).

The next episode of Education Matters, the Public School Forum’s weekly TV show, will also have a segment on this issue that features Leanne Winner, NCSBA Director of Governmental Relations alongside Kevin Leonard, Executive Director of the NC Association of County Commissioners. See below for information on air times of this episode.

Broadcast Information

Saturdays at 7:30PM WRAL-TV (Raleigh/Durham)
Sundays at 6:30 AM and Mondays at 3:00 PM on UNC-TV’s statewide channel
Online at https://www.ncforum.org

NOTABLE LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY

Charter Schools/Fund 8/Capital Funding
SB 658, legislation requiring LEAs to share additional monies with charter schools was filed in the Senate this week. The charter school fund sharing bill is sponsored by Senators Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) and Chad Barefoot (R-Wake). It is essentially the same fund sharing language as the HB 539 bill that NCSBA fought last session, except this bill ALSO contains a provision allowing charters to access school capital funding.

Education Savings Accounts
SB 603. This is a bill to set up Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) for students with disabilities in North Carolina. ESAs are part of the school voucher family except instead of having tax money go to a private school to cover tuition costs, ESAs allow parents to receive tax money directly (usually in the form of a debit card) that they can use to pay for various types of educational services. This ESA bill would only set up accounts for parents/guardians of students with disabilities, who would receive the average State per-pupil amount plus the exceptional children per-pupil funding amount.

Local Funding Disputes/Sch Bd Lawsuit Authority
The House version of legislation to strip school boards of their power to initiate lawsuits challenging local funding sufficiency (HB 305) was scheduled to be heard in a House committee Wednesday morning but it was later removed from the calendar prior to the start of the meeting. HB 305 could still emerge at any time.

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, April 10

5:00 PM
The Senate will convene for session.

6:00 PM
The House will convene for session. The following notable bills are on the House calendar:

HB 265- Partisan Elections/Certain School Boards
HB 293- Onslow/Pender Bd. Of Ed/Partisan Election
HB 520- Union Co. Bd. Of Ed/Partisan Election
HB 375- School Cl. Flex/CC

 

 

Tuesday, April 11

10:00 AM
The House K-12 Education Committee will meet and consider the following bills:
HB 149- Students W/Dyslexia and Dyscalculia
HB 360- Harnett Co. Schools/Exam Window

1:00 PM
The House University Education Committee will meet and consider the following bills:
HB 532- Modify UNC Laboratory Schools

 

 

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

Bruce MildwurfNCSBA Legislative Update – April 7 2017
read more