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NCSBA Legislative Update – March 15, 2019

Education Bond Act of 2019 (HB 241)
On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, the House overwhelmingly approved the placement of a $1.9 billion school construction bond on the 2020 ballot (click here to see vote). Representatives Brody, Bumgardner, Cleveland, Kidwell, Pittman, and Speciale voted against the placement of the bond on the ballot. An approved committee substitute clarified the matching requirements on page ten lines 14-16 of the bill: “A county shall not be required to provide local matching funds for the bond proceeds if any portion of the proceeds results from low-wealth county or adjustment factor designation allocations.”, as well as a rounding error that was off by $4.00.

If approved by the Senate and signed by the Governor, this bond would give $1.5 billion to North Carolina public schools for construction needs, as well as $400 million to the University of North Carolina system and state community colleges.

 

School Calendar Bills in House Education Committee
The House Education K-12 Committee cleared two school calendar bills on Tuesday, March 12:

  • HB 79—A statewide bill sponsored by Representatives Horn, R-Union; Johnson, R-Cabarrus; Elmore, R-Wilkes; and Strickland, R-Johnston that would allow LEAs to determine opening dates of public schools based on the opening dates of community colleges serving their county.
  • HB 117—A bill sponsored by Representatives Warren, R-Rowan; Horn; Howard, R-Davie; and Johnson that would establish a 3-year pilot program in 22 counties, allowing schools to open no earlier than the Monday closest to August 10 and close no later than the Friday closest to June 11, starting in either the 2019-20 or 2020-21 school year. The purpose of the pilot program is to determine the impact of the program on student achievement and the effect on the travel and tourism industry.

Both bills have been referred to the House Rules Committee.

 

Joint Appropriations Committee on Education

Tuesday, March 12 – Staff from the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) presented the Governor’s Recommended Budget for Education for FY 2019-21 (click here for presentation). The Governor’s proposed budget would add $567.8 million to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) budget in FY 2019-20 and $843.3 million in FY 2020-21.

Thursday, March 14 – Eric C. Davis, chairman of the State Board of Education, presented the 2019 Legislative Expansion Budget Proposal for DPI, the State Board, and Superintendent Johnson (click here for presentation). Chairman Davis compared the Governor’s proposed budget to the joint departmental budget. There are many areas of agreement between the two proposals.

 

Superintendent Mark Johnson presented the highlights of his #NC2030 plan to the Committee (click here for report). The Superintendent emphasized his proposed five percent teacher salary increase over the biennium and the addition of compensation for first through fourth grade teachers for professional development at the beginning of the school year.

 

Other Bills on NCSBA’s Agenda

Treat Finance Officers Like Assistant Superintendents—Senate Bill 224

Primary Sponsors: Robinson, D-Guilford; Foushee, D-Orange

SB 224 would give school finance officers the same terms and conditions of employment as assistant and associate superintendents, as outlined in subsections (b) and (c) of G.S.115C-278. (Click here to view statute)

Click here to read our issue brief on School Finance Officers.

 

15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades—House Bill 362

Primary Sponsors: Horn, R-Union; Harris, D-Mecklenburg; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Autry, D-Mecklenburg

HB 362 would make permanent a 15-point scale for school performance grades. This bill is identical to HB 145, which was filed earlier this session.

Click here to read our issue brief on School Grades.

 

Restore Master’s Pay for Teachers—Senate Bill 244

Primary Sponsors: Waddell, D-Mecklenburg; Mohammed, D-Mecklenburg

SB 244 would allow teachers and instructional support personnel with master’s degrees to be paid on the “M” salary schedule or receive a salary supplement for their academic preparation at the six-year or doctoral degree level. SB 28, which would restore master’s pay for certain teachers, was filed earlier this session.

Click here to read our issue brief on Teacher Pay.

 

School Calendar Bills

So far this session, the Senate has introduced 16 local school calendar bills, and the House has introduced 36 local school calendar bills and 4 statewide school calendar bills. The 52 local bills cover 85 LEAs.

NCSBA has created this spreadsheet to track school calendar flexibility 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.

 

*sponsor intended to include – will fix when bill goes to committee

 

Legislative Public Policy Conference

The NCSBA Legislative Public Policy Conference is scheduled for April 30/May 1 in Raleigh at the NCSBA building. The following is a draft agenda:

Tuesday, April 30

9:00 – 9:10 Welcome
9:10 – 10:10 Legislative Update
10:15 – 11:15 Summer Learning Loss: The Problem & Some Solutions
11:15 – 12:00 Read to Achieve: Takeaways/How to Improve It & Evaluating the Innovative School District
12:00 – 12:45 Lunch
12:45 – 1:15 Evaluations on Advanced Teaching Roles & Opportunity Scholarships (Vouchers)
1:15 – 2:15 Chronic Absenteeism: What You Need to Know & Where Your District Stacks Up
2:15 – 3:15 School Construction: Statewide Bond vs. Pay-As-You-Go

 

Wednesday, May 1

9:00 – 10:00 Legislative Panel with Board Member Q&A
10:15 – 11:00 Getting the Most from Your Business/Community Partners
11:00 – 11:15 School Safety Funding
11:15 – 12:45 School Shootings: What We’re Doing Right & What We Can Do Better, Given Current Funding Levels

 

You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the legislative building to observe session and visit with and/or meet your delegation for dinner, and much more.

The registration rate is $325. Click here to register.

 

March 18-22 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, March 18

3:00 pm – House: Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House –Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio)

  • HB56: Arts Education Requirement

Tuesday, March 19

8:30 am – Joint Appropriations Committees on Education/Higher Education – Legislative Office Building, rm 423

1:00 pm – House: Education K-12 – Legislative Office Building, rm 643 (audio)

  • HB200: Education Report Changes
  • HB266: School Annual Report Card
  • HB276: Modify Low-Performing School Definition
  • HB295: Prohibit Corporal Punishment in Public Schools
  • HB354: Modify Weighing/School Performance Grades

 

Wednesday, March 20

8:30 am – Joint Appropriations Committees on Education/Higher Education – Legislative Office Building, rm 423

11:00 am – Senate: Education/Higher Education – Legislative Building, rm 1027/1128 (audio)

  • Agenda TBD

 

Thursday, March 21

8:30 am – Joint Appropriations Committees on Education/Higher Education – Legislative Office Building, rm 423

 

 

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 – March 15, 2019