My Blog

NCSBA Legislative Update – February 8, 2019

House Committee Meetings

The House Committee on Education K-12 met on Tuesday to discuss school calendar flexibility. The Committee heard from legislative staff about the history of state control of local school calendars. Click here to view the legislative staff’s presentation. The Committee then reviewed calendar flexibility bills for Alamance-Burlington Schools (HB12) and the LEAs in Catawba and Davie counties (HB13). The bill sponsors described their proposed legislation and answered questions, but no votes were taken on the bills.

The House Appropriations Committee on Education met on Tuesday for an introduction of members and staff. Legislative staff gave a brief overview of the budget process. A schedule of budget hearings has not been established.

The House Finance Committee met on Wednesday for an overview of the State tax system. One interesting note from the meeting was the amount of tax revenue cut since 2011. From FY 2011-12 to FY 2018-19, the cumulative General Fund Revenue reduction is $2.7 billion. By FY 2019-20, the General Fund Revenue reduction will be $3.2 billion. Most of the revenue loss is in personal income tax and corporate income tax.

School Calendar Bills

A total of nine House bills and two Senate bill providing school calendar flexibility have been introduced since the first day of the 2019 long session.

NCSBA has created this spreadsheet to track school calendar bills that are filed each week.

Follow the Local Authority for NC School Calendars’ Twitter account @nclocalcalendar to keep up with the progress being made for local school calendar flexibility.

School Calendar Resolutions

Thank you to the forty-five school boards and fifteen county commissions that have shared their adopted resolutions with NCSBA in support of school calendar flexibility. Click here to see the full list of school calendar resolutions.

For boards in need of assistance, this packet provides sample resolutions and draft bills that can be used in discussions with your legislators. Please email a copy of your board’s calendar flexibility resolution to Richard Bostic at rbostic@ncsba.org.

After adopting a resolution, school boards and/or county commissions should request that their legislative delegation file a local bill. If the response from the legislator is that the bill is dead on arrival, request that your delegation introduce the bill anyway.

State Board of Education Meeting

State Testing – There was plenty of discussion around the idea of reducing the amount of testing for students in NC public schools. Superintendent Johnson previously proposed several initiatives to reduce testing, which include reducing the stress at schools around testing time, reducing the number of locally required tests, and reducing the length of required tests. Board member JB Buxton stated that review of test content is also necessary, while board member Lisa Godwin proposed layering testing with project-based learning. The board plans to provide a recommendation later this year.

Teaching Profession Report – During the Board’s meeting on Wednesday, Dr. Tomberlin of DPI presented data showing the steady attrition rate of teachers in NC. An analysis of average EVAAS index scores for teachers shows that most teachers leaving our schools demonstrate low rates of effectiveness. The main problem that the state is currently facing is a lack of elementary school teachers for core subjects. Dr. Tomberlin stated that the focus needs to be on the input of teachers, since the output is steady and not high. Click here to see the report.

Bill Tracking

NCSBA Governmental Relation’s bill tracking system allows users to navigate education-related bills through a series of methods. Go to the NCSBA website and select the Bill Tracking option under the Governmental Relations tab, or click here to search for bills using the following options:

  • Direct Link – type in a specific bill number
  • Date Lookup – select a time frame in which a bill was filed
  • Tracking Level – choose one of NCSBA’s positions on filed bills
  • Bill Type – see House bills, Senate bills, or all bills
  • Groups – choose a group and a keyword to narrow down your bill search

The site also includes links to specific pages on the NC Legislature website, as well as a tab containing information about elected officials.

Legislative Agenda Issue Briefs

The NCSBA Governmental Relations staff is writing issue briefs for each topic in the 2019-20 Legislative Agenda. They can be accessed on the NCSBA website under the Governmental Relations tab or by clicking this link. Fourteen of the seventeen issue briefs are complete and accessible. Click here to access our most recent issue brief on Principal Pay.

Legislative Public Policy Conference

The NCSBA Legislative Public Policy Conference is scheduled for April 30/May 1 in Raleigh at the NCSBA building. The agenda is still under development, but we are securing a legislative education panel of two State senators (one committee chair) and two House members (one committee chair). Other sessions include an analysis of the real impact on summer learning loss and potential remedies, along with state evaluations on Read to Achieve and the Innovative School District. Also, since the General Assembly is in session during our conference, you will have an opportunity to see them in action and visit with your legislative delegation.

The early bird registration rate for the conference is $250 through February 28, and the normal registration rate is $325 starting March 1. Click here to register.

Revised House Committee Assignments

The following are adjustments to the preliminary House committee assignments that NCSBA posted in a previous legislative update:

Appropriations, Education
Chairs: Reps. Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke (former Burke County School Board member); Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; John Fraley, R-Iredell; Craig Horn, R-Union; Pat Hurley, R-Randolph; John Sauls, R-Lee; Vice Chairs: Reps. Debra Conrad, R-Forsyth; Pat Hurley, R-Randolph; Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus (former Kannapolis City School Board Member); Members: Reps. Cynthia Ball, D-Wake; Cecil Brockman, D-Guilford; Susan Fisher, D-Buncombe (former Asheville School Board member); James Gailliard, D-Nash; Terry Garrison, D-Vance; Rosa Gill, D-Wake (former Wake County School Board member); Holly Grange, R-New Hanover; Bobby Hanig, R-Currituck; Marvin Lucas, D-Cumberland

Education – K-12 Policy
Chairs: Reps. Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; Craig Horn, R-Union; Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus (former Kannapolis City School Board Member); Vice Chairs: Reps. Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke (former Burke County School Board member), Cecil Brockman, D-Guilford; Members:  Reps. Cynthia Ball, D-Wake; Chaz Beasley, D-Mecklenburg; Mark Brody, R-Anson; Ashton Clemmons, D-Guilford; Kevin Corbin, R-Macon (former Macon County School Board member); Jean Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson; Susan Fisher, D-Buncombe (former Asheville School Board member); John Fraley, R-Iredell; James Gailliard, D-Nash; Rosa Gill, D-Wake (former Wake County School Board member); Charles Graham, D-Robeson; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford; Cody Henson, R-Transylvania; Frank Iler, R-Brunswick; Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth; Marvin Lucas, D-Cumberland; Graig Meyer, D-Orange; Larry Potts, R- Davidson; Mitchell Setzer, R-Catawba; Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance; Kandie Smith, D-Pitt; Larry Strickland, R-Johnston (former Johnston County School Board member); Brian Turner, D-Buncombe; Rena Turner, R- Iredell; Donna White, R-Johnston (former Johnston County School Board member)

 

 

Leanne E. Winner
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6686

Bruce Mildwurf
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6692

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6677

Rebekah Howard
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6688

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – February 8, 2019