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NCSBA Legislative Update – September 7, 2018

The survey was emailed to all school board members on Tuesday, September 4, at approximately 2:25pm
from Leanne Winner. Completed surveys are due by 3pm, Monday, October 1, 2018. Survey responses
play a significant role in determining NCSBA’s top education legislative priorities for the next
two years. The committee approved the survey at its August 27 meeting.

Innovative School District – Sept. 5
Dr. Eric Hall, Deputy State Superintendent of Innovation, presented the State Board of Education
with a list of six schools (from a list of 14 qualifying low- performing schools) under
consideration for transfer into the Innovative School District (ISD) for the 2019-20 school year:
1. Carver Heights Elementary – Wayne County Public Schools
2. Gaston Middle – Northampton County Schools
3. Hillcrest Elementary – Alamance Burlington Schools
4. Williford Elementary – Nash-Rocky Mount Schools
5. Fairview Elementary – Guilford County Schools
6. Hall-Woodward Elementary – Forsyth County Schools
Dr. Hall plans to present a final list of 2-4 schools at the October meeting. The Board is
scheduled to approve the selected ISD schools in November.

SBE Members – Sept. 6
This was the last meeting for Chairman Bill Cobey, Becky Taylor, and Greg Alcorn. All three members
chose to resign from the Board. Governor Cooper
will have the opportunity to fill the unexpired terms of these members.

Board Vice Chairman Eric Davis was elected Chairman and member Alan Duncan was elected Vice
Chairman. Mr. Davis is the former chair of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education and Mr.
Duncan is the former chair of the Guilford County Board of Education.


House Select Committee on School Safety – Aug 30
The Committee met in Charlotte and heard from several local officials at its August 30 meeting in
Charlotte. Committee members also received an update from the Center for Safer Schools and a
presentation from three members of Generation Nation, a group that strives to develop young civic

The next meeting is scheduled today, September 7, at 4pm in the Watauga High School auditorium in

Child Fatality Task Force – Intentional Death Prevention Committee – Aug. 29 The Committee received
a report on the implementation of Raise the Age. The presentation included information on school
based complaints to the judicial system. Slide 5 of the presentation shows that the complaints from
schools have been slightly higher than 40 percent of the overall complaints
received. To view the full presentation, click here.
The Committee also discussed the legislation that was introduced during the biennium to require
school districts to provide employees training on suicide prevention. The Committee voted to
recommend to the full Child Fatality Task Force that they support the compromise legislation that
was presented by the State Superintendent which was based on a working coalition of which NCSBA was

Tis the season for candidate forums with only 60 days until November 6. Below are a few suggested
questions to submit for events in your area that include legislative candidates:

Statewide School Construction Bond
1) A February 2018 High Point University poll shows 76% of North Carolina residents favor a
statewide bond referendum for public school construction and renovation. However, North Carolina
voters have not seen a bond referendum on a statewide ballot since 1996 – even though a 2016 DPI
report found the school construction backlog was more than
$8 billion dollars over the next five years. Would you support placing a school bond referendum on
the ballot to let the voters decide whether it’s a priority?

2) This year, General Assembly leaders have provided North Carolina voters an opportunity to amend
the State Constitution with six separate proposed constitutional amendments, yet state lawmakers
failed to even consider proposed legislation to allow North Carolinians to vote on a school bond
referendum. Do you believe the General Assembly should provide the public the opportunity to
determine whether a statewide school construction bond is a priority and a good use of their tax

School Calendar Flexibility
1) The General Assembly revoked local control of school calendars in 2004. The current “one-size
fits all law” says traditional public schools can start no earlier than the Monday closest to
August 26. This makes it difficult to align the K-12 and community college systems, reduce summer
learning loss, schedule final exams before the Christmas break,

manage the state’s diverse weather, and it doesn’t account for the August 1 official start date for
fall sports. Do you believe local officials should have more control in setting the local school
calendar or should it be controlled by the General Assembly?

2) North Carolina’s public charter schools are authorized to set their own school calendar. Low
performing public schools have the ability to create their school calendars. Clearly, the General
Assembly believes local control over the school calendar is a tool that can improve student
achievement. Yet, a vast majority of North Carolina’s traditional public schools have zero calendar
flexibility. The schedule is determined by lawmakers in Raleigh. Would you vote to provide local
officials with at least some calendar flexibility or do you support the current calendar law?

Please contact us if you would like assistance with questions on other topics.

First Extra Session – July 24: The General Assembly returned to Raleigh to debate and approve a
bill to clarify the names of constitutional issues on the November ballot and to strip the party
designation on the ballot for judicial candidates that changed political parties 90 days before
filing for office.
Governor Cooper vetoed both bills – the vetoes were overridden.
Second Extra Session – August 24: Lawmakers returned to Raleigh again to rewrite the two vetoed
constitutional amendment bills that had been rejected by a Superior Court three-judge panel because
they did not fully inform voters of what they were voting on. The General Assembly decided not to
appeal the ruling that the law retroactively stripping party designations violated the

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – September 7, 2018