NCSBA Legislative Update – April 21 2017

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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