July 2019

NCSBA Legislative Update – July 26, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

We have come to the close of another short week at the legislature. Both chambers adjourned for the week on Wednesday. The House will return to Raleigh on Monday for a Rules Committee meeting and a voting session. Senators were notified by leadership that they will not have another voting session until August 6th. Therefore, we expect very little, if any, action in the Senate over the next week and a half.

We have now hit the 26th day of the new fiscal year without a State budget. The Senate stopgap budget measure (HB 961), which ensures that federal dollars continue to be utilized (but does not include funding for k-12 ADM growth like the House proposal), passed both chambers and was sent to the Governor. Until a new State budget becomes law, North Carolina will continue to operate on last year’s recurring funding levels.

 

Headlines of K-12 Education Bills

For more detailed bill summaries see Highlights of K-12 Education Bills below.

Bills with House Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Tranp Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

SB 522: Low-Perf. Schools/Stand. Student Conduct

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

 

Bill with Senate Action

SB 476: Compt-Based Assess. & Mental Hlth/Teen Viol.

 

Bill with House & Senate Action

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

 

Bills on the Governor’s Desk

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

 

Bill Still on the Governor’s Desk From Last Week

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

 

Bills Signed by the Governor

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities 

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

Bills with House Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

  • Passed third reading in the House 114-0 and sent to the Senate for a concurrence vote
  • Establishes that school safety requirements apply to all public schools and strongly encourages non-public schools to participate in school safety plans
  • Clarifies the powers and duties of the Center for Safer Schools
  • Requires reporting on the operational status of all public schools during states of emergency
  • Defines the term “school resource officer” (SRO) and requires training for SROs
  • Requires annual vulnerability assessments for each public school building
  • Requires threat assessment teams to be established at each public school and codifies the duties of threat assessment teams
  • Requires LEAs to require peer-to-peer support programs at all schools with grades six and higher
  • Requires DPI to transfer up to $1.5 million from the funds appropriated for the 2018-19 fiscal year for the anonymous safety tip line application to the Department of Public Safety to be used for the digital panic alarm system
  • Requires trauma kits to be in every public school classroom, but the contents inside the trauma kits are optional

 

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Tranp Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

  • Passed third reading in the House (passed second reading 115-0) and sent to the Senate for a concurrence vote
  • Revises the geographically isolated schools formula regarding the allocation of teachers for Currituck County (the goal is to add one new teacher)
  • Increases the transportation efficiency budget rating for Currituck County Schools (the goal is to add two new buses to the fleet)
  • Requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to develop draft policies and procedures for auditing public school attendance and membership data, including schools participating in the virtual charter school pilot program

 

SB 522: Low-Perf. Schools/Stand. Student Conduct (Innovative School District bill)

  • Passed third reading in the House (click here to see 58-54 vote on second reading) and regular message sent to the Senate
  • The House adopted the following amendments:
    • Allow LEAs to request that a school under its control be selected to the ISD
    • Expand the contents of SB 219: Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements (S.L. 2019-71) to apply to residency licenses (RL)
      • Adds that an individual who was issued an initial professional license (IPL) or RL, but failed to fulfill examination requirements after three years of licensure may be eligible for a limited license
    • Defines a qualifying school as a Title I school governed by a LEA in the lowest-performing 5% of school performance grades
    • Aligns the selection of innovative schools with those identified by the SBE for comprehensive support and improvement
    • Expands options for the innovative school district (ISD) to require LEAs to inform boards of county commissioners of academic progress annually
    • Requires the SBE to transfer the lowest scoring school in the State for the 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 school years to the ISD in the 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 school years respectively
    • Establishes a multi-year process that will transition eligible schools to the ISD in the 2023-24 school year and annually thereafter – NCSBA was instrumental in maintaining the multi-year process because the bill had previously been changed to shorten the process by one year
    • Allows up to five schools to be selected to the ISD beginning in the 2023-24 school year
    • Requires further study of reforms for assistance to low-performing schools

 

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

  • Approved by the House Finance Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Berger, R-Rockingham; Tillman, R-Randolph
  • The House Finance Committee added the contents of HB 667: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility to the bill, which gives counties additional flexibility with regard to local option sales and use tax without increasing the existing maximum tax rate

 

Bill with Senate Action

SB 476: Compt-Based Assess. & Mental Hlth/Teen Viol.

  • Failed to concur in the Senate
  • The House replaced the contents of the original bill that dealt with student discipline policies with the contents of two House bills – the House version does the following:

 

Bill with House & Senate Action

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

  • Passed third reading in the House 75-39 (click here to see vote), failed to concur in the Senate, and conference committee appointed
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Berger, R-Rockingham
  • The House adopted an amendment that authorizes LEAs to select different k-3 diagnostic assessments—this would allow a LEA to continue using mCLASS or transition to Istation
  • Establishes individual reading plans (IRPs) for k-3 students performing below grade level
  • Establishes a Digital Children’s Reading Initiative, which provides free tools and resources to assist with learning outside of school
  • Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a task force to develop a Comprehensive Plan to Improve Literacy Instruction that will ensure literacy instruction in NC public schools is evidence-based, designed to improve student outcomes
  • Requires the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) to provide professional development in literacy instruction
  • Requires educator preparation programs (EPPs) to provide literacy training coursework for elementary education teachers
  • Requires the alignment of literacy curriculum and instruction with Read to Achieve
  • Requires DPI approval of local reading camp plans
  • Studies the phasing out of certain alternative assessments
  • Creates a uniform template for Read to Achieve data
  • Provides continuing education credits related to literacy for certain reading camp instructors and allows certain retired teachers to serve as reading camp instructors
  • Expands the Wolfpack WORKS program

 

Bills on the Governor’s Desk

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

  • Presented to the Governor on Wednesday, July 24
  • Establishes a mandatory process for participating units seeking withdrawal from a regional school
  • Requires a participating unit to adopt a resolution requesting withdrawal (including a withdrawal plan) and submit a copy to the regional school board of directors
    • The participating unit must receive conditional approval to withdraw with a 2/3 vote from the board of directors — prohibits a participating unit from withdrawing without approval from the regional school board of directors
    • If the participating unit receives the 2/3 vote approval, the SBE must grant final approval

 

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

  • Presented to the Governor on Wednesday, July 24
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators McInnis, R-Richmond; B. Jackson, R-Sampson
  • Extends the participation in college transfer pathways and enrollment in college courses to include qualified freshmen and sophomores who meet the specified requirements
  • Requires that the criteria for adjunct career and technical education (CTE) instructors weigh work experience and industry recognized licenses/credentials over educational attainment level — requires the SBE to develop and report the minimum criteria to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by April 15, 2020
  • For the 2019-20 school year, allows an individual without an associate or baccalaureate degree to be deemed to meet the minimum criteria for an adjunct CTE instructor if the individual (i) can demonstrate a minimum of six years in the last ten years of professional experience in the relevant skill or trade and (ii) has a recognized industry credential or active professional license in each subject area

 

Bill Still on the Governor’s Desk From Last Week

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 19
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Brown, R-Onslow; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Designates the Superintendent of Public Instruction as an applicable elected representative who may approve bonds to finance or refinance a charter school facility
  • Clarifies charter school renewal standards
  • Requires background checks for charter boards of directors
  • Permits the SBE to allow a school participating in the virtual charter school pilot program to increase its student enrollment by more than 20% for any year of the school’s operation – NCSBA opposes this part of the bill because of the virtual charter schools’ poor school performance grades

 

Bills Signed by the Governor

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-149 on Monday, July 22
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson; Lucas, D-Cumberland
  • Makes clarifying/technical changes to the annual educator preparation program (EPP) performance report
  • Requires the SBE to adopt a rule creating a small group reporting exception any time data are at risk of being individually identifiable
  • Requires the SBE (in consultation with DPI and the Professional Educator Preparation & Standards Commission) to develop a scoring model that would compare the performance of each EPP and report it to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee
  • Requires the SBE to study two-year retention rates of EPP graduates initially licensed and employed in a NC public school as a potential EPP performance measure

 

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-154 on Monday, July 22
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Harris, D-Mecklenburg; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Autry, D-Mecklenburg
  • Makes permanent the 15-point scale for school performance grades, which is one of NCSBA’s top priorities for this legislative session
  • Requires the SBE to adopt emergency rules in preparation for permanent rule making
  • Directs the SBE to study (i) if the weighting of school achievement and school growth used to calculate school performance grades best reflects the performance and growth of each school and (ii) the reporting methods used for school accountability purposes on the NC annual school report cards

 

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-142 on Friday, July 19
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Corbin, R-Macon; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Johnson, R-Cabarrus
  • Combines the career and college readiness indicators used for school performance grades and for the purpose of compliance with federal law
  • Requires that the SBE include additional career and college readiness information on annual report cards

 

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-176 on Friday, July 26
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives D. Hall, R-Caldwell; Lewis, R-Harnett; Arp, R-Union
  • Requires LEAs to insure and keep insured buildings owned by the LEA to the extent of not less than 80% (previously not less than 75%) of the current insurable value against loss by an insurable hazard such as fire, windstorm, vandalism, sprinkler leakage, water damage, etc.
  • When property of the LEA is located in the 100-year flood plain on the latest Flood Insurance Rate Map, that local school board is required to insure or keep insured to the extent of not less than 80% of the current insurable value for flood damage to buildings and their contents
  • Requires county commissioners to provide the necessary funding for compliance
  • Transfers the School Insurance Fund Section of DPI to the Department of Insurance (DOI) – the balance of the Public School Insurance Fund will also be transferred to DOI

 

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-165 on Friday, July 26
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Ballard, R-Watauga
  • For the 2019-20 school year, requires each LEA to report its instructional calendar start and end dates to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the SBE by August 1, 2019 and requires the SBE to report the dates to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by September 1, 2019 — annually thereafter, requires each LEA to report by April 1 and the SBE to report by June 15
  • Staggers Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission appointments

 

SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-166 on Friday, July 26
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Gunn, R-Alamance; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Provides a limited exception to the prohibition of 16-18-year-old students participating in supervised, practice experiences with employers in occupations declared by the Commissioner of Labor to be detrimental to the health and well-being of youth
  • Clarifies that the Commissioner of Labor must make the required findings that would allow an eligible student to qualify for the exception

 

 

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 – July 26, 2019
read more

NCSBA Legislative Update – July 19, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

It was a short week at the legislature with the Senate leaving on Tuesday and the House leaving on Wednesday. The Senate joint resolution (SJR 688) filed last Wednesday that would adjourn both chambers on Monday, July 22 and reconvene on Tuesday, August 27 has made no movement and will most likely not go into effect. The Speaker of the House indicated this week that the House has no plans of going home until the budget is resolved.

We are nineteen days into the new fiscal year and the budget waiting game continues. Until a new State budget becomes law, North Carolina will continue to operate on last year’s recurring funding levels. The stopgap budget measure (HB 111) passed the House last week and essentially saw no movement in the Senate this week. Senate leadership instead came up with their own stopgap budget measure (HB 961) titled “Ensuring Authorization of Federal Funds”. Unlike the House version, the Senate proposal does not fund k-12 ADM growth. The bill passed one committee and will likely be heard in the Senate Rules Committee early next week.

 

Headlines of K-12 Education Bills

For more detailed bill summaries see Highlights of K-12 Education Bills below.

 

Bills with House Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Transp Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

 

Bills with Senate Action

SB 354: Sam’s Law

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

 

Bills on the Governor’s Desk

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

 

Bills Still on the Governor’s Desk from Last Week

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

Bills with House Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

  • Approved by the House Rules Committee and placed on the House calendar for Monday, July 22
  • The bill does the following:
    • Establishes that school safety requirements apply to all public schools and strongly encourages non-public schools to participate in school safety plans
    • Clarifies the powers and duties of the Center for Safer Schools
    • Requires reporting on the operational status of all public schools during states of emergency
    • Defines the term “school resource officer” (SRO) and requires training for SROs
    • Requires annual vulnerability assessments for each public school building
  • The House Rules Committee made the following changes to the bill:
    • Requires threat assessment teams to be established at each public school and codifies the duties of threat assessment teams
    • Requires LEAs to require peer-to-peer support programs at all schools with grades six and higher
    • Requires DPI to transfer up to $1.5 million from the funds appropriated for the 2018-19 fiscal year for the anonymous safety tip line application to be used for the digital panic alarm system implemented by the Department of Public Safety (DPS)
    • Requires trauma kits to be in every public school classroom, but the contents inside the trauma kits are optional

 

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Transp Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and placed on the House Rules Committee agenda for Monday, July 22
  • The House Education K-12 Committee converted the original bill which allowed sick leave to be transferred between a charter school and a LEA to a bill addressing Currituck County schools and public school attendance data
  • The new version of the bill does the following:
    • Revises the geographically isolated schools formula regarding the allocation of teachers for Currituck County (the goal is to add one new teacher)
    • Increases the transportation efficiency budget rating for Currituck County Schools (the goal is to add two new busses to the fleet)
    • Requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to develop draft policies and procedures for auditing public school attendance and membership data, including schools participating in the virtual charter school pilot program

 

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

  • Passed third reading in the House and placed on the Senate calendar for Monday, July 22
  • Establishes a mandatory process for participating units seeking withdrawal from a regional school
  • Requires a participating unit to adopt a resolution requesting withdrawal (that includes a withdrawal plan) and submit a copy to the regional school board of directors
    • The participating unit must receive conditional approval to withdraw with a 2/3 vote from the board of directors
    • If the participating unit receives the 2/3 vote approval, the SBE must grant final approval
  • An amendment proposed on the House floor by Representative K. Smith, D-Pitt, that would give the SBE authority to make the final decision on approval of withdrawal, regardless of the board of directors’ vote, was not considered—the amendment was identical to one voted down in the House Rules committee last week—the floor amendment failed on a vote of 54-63 (click here to see vote)

 

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

  • The House vote on the Conference Report passed 110-0 and Senate vote on the Conference Report is scheduled for Monday, July 22
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators McInnis, R-Richmond; B. Jackson, R-Sampson
  • The conference report does the following:
    • Allows qualified freshmen (which was previously removed) and sophomores who meet the specified requirements to participate in college transfer pathways and enroll in college courses
    • Requires that the criteria for adjunct career and technical education (CTE) instructors weigh work experience and industry recognized licenses/credentials over educational attainment level
    • Adds the requirement that the SBE develop and report the minimum criteria developed in accordance with the previous bullet point to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by April 15, 2020
    • Adds that for the 2019-20 school year, an individual without an associate or baccalaureate degree meets the minimum criteria for an adjunct CTE instructor if the individual (i) can demonstrate a minimum of six years in the last ten years of professional experience in the relevant skill or trade and (ii) has a recognized industry credential or active professional license in each subject area

 

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

  • Approved by the House Rules Committee and passed second reading in the House 58-51
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Berger, R-Rockingham
  • Establishes individual reading plans (IRPs) for k-3 students performing below grade level
  • Establishes a Digital Children’s Reading Initiative, which provides free tools and resources to assist with learning outside of school
  • Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a task force to develop a Comprehensive Plan to Improve Literacy Instruction that will ensure literacy instruction in NC public schools is evidence-based, designed to improve student outcomes
  • Requires the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) to provide professional development in literacy instruction
  • Requires educator preparation programs (EPPs) to provide literacy training coursework for elementary education teachers
  • Requires the alignment of literacy curriculum and instruction with Read to Achieve
  • Requires DPI approval of local reading camp plans
  • Studies the phasing out of certain alternative assessments
  • Creates a uniform template for Read to Achieve data
  • Provides continuing education credits related to literacy for certain reading camp instructors and allows certain retired teachers to serve as reading camp instructors
  • Expands the Wolfpack WORKS program

 

Bills with Senate Action

SB 354: Sam’s Law

  • Failed to concur in the Senate
  • The Senate version of the bill is titled “Student Notice/Charter School Closure/Restr.” and does the following:
    • Requires notice to parents prior to closing a charter school or materially revising its charter
    • Requires notice and hearings prior to the termination of a charter or the nonrenewal of the charter of a continually low-performing charter school
  • The House version of the bill does the following:
    • Allows a parent of any student to petition a school for the development of a seizure action plan if the student is diagnosed with a seizure disorder and enrolled in the school
    • Requires each public school unit to adopt a policy outlining a seizure education program for all k-12 school personnel that have direct contact with students – must be administered on an annual basis in each school

 

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

  • Failed to concur in the Senate and conference committees were appointed
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga; Sawyer, R-Iredell
  • The Senate version of the bill does the following:
    • Eliminates the NC Final Exam
    • Establishes plans to reduce standardized testing by LEAs
    • Requires DPI to review the third grade English Language Arts assessment to ensure alignment with Reach to Achieve
  • The House version of the bill adds the following to the Senate version:
    • Replaces the EOGs with a through-grade assessment model that is similar to the NC Check-Ins
    • Replaces the EOCs with the ACT or other nationally recognized assessment of high school achievement and college readiness
    • Prohibits graduation projects as a condition of graduation
    • The bill modifies language that rewrites S.115C-81.36 in SB 500: Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment (S.L. 2019-120):
      • Changes “end-of-grade test” for students in grades three through five to “State-mandated test”
      • Changes “end-of-grade or end-of-course test” for students in grades six and higher to “State-mandated test that denotes superior command of knowledge and skills”

 

Bills on the Governor’s Desk

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 19
  • Requires LEAs to insure and keep insured buildings owned by the LEA to the extent of not less than 80% (previously not less than 75%) of the current insurable value against loss by an insurable hazard such as fire, windstorm, vandalism, sprinkler leakage, water damage, etc.
  • When property of the LEA is located in the 100-year flood plain on the latest Flood Insurance Rate Map, that local school board is required to insure or keep insured to the extent of not less than 80% of the current insurable value for flood damage to buildings and their contents
  • Requires county commissioners to provide the necessary funding for compliance
  • Transfers the School Insurance Fund Section of DPI to the Department of Insurance (DOI) – the balance of the Public School Insurance Fund will also be transferred to DOI

 

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

  • Presented to the Governor on Wednesday, July 17
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Ballard, R-Watauga
  • Repeals and changes certain education reports and report dates
  • Requires each LEA to annually report the instructional calendar start and end dates to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the SBE by April 1 and requires the SBE to annually report the dates to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by June 15 – for the 2019-20 school year, each LEA must submit its report by August 1, 2019 and the SBE must submit its report by September 1, 2019
  • Clarifies that Education Workforce Innovation Commission membership is extended to designees
  • Staggers Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission appointments
  • Exempts SBE charter actions from contested case provisions

 

SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities

  • Presented to the Governor on Wednesday, July 17
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Gunn, R-Alamance; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Provides a limited exception to the prohibition of 16-18-year-old students participating in supervised, practice experiences with employers in occupations declared by the Commissioner of Labor to be detrimental to the health and well-being of youth
  • Clarifies that the Commissioner of Labor must make the required findings that would allow an eligible student to qualify for the exception

 

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 19
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Brown, R-Onslow; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Designates the Superintendent of Public Instruction as an applicable elected representative who may approve bonds to finance or refinance a charter school facility
  • Clarifies charter school renewal standards
  • Requires background checks for charter boards of directors
  • Permits the SBE to allow a school participating in the virtual charter school pilot program to increase its student enrollment by more than 20% for any year of the school’s operation – NCSBA opposes this part of the bill because of the virtual charter schools’ failing school performance grades

 

Bills Still on the Governor’s Desk from Last Week

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 12
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson; Lucas, D-Cumberland
  • Makes clarifying/technical changes to the annual educator preparation program (EPP) performance report
  • Requires the SBE to adopt a rule creating a small group reporting exception any time data are at risk of being individually identifiable
  • Requires the SBE (in consultation with DPI and the Professional Educator Preparation & Standards Commission) to develop a scoring model that would compare the performance of each EPP and report it to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee
  • Requires the SBE to study two-year retention rates of EPP graduates initially licensed and employed in a NC public school as potential EPP performance measure

 

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 12
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Harris, D-Mecklenburg; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Autry, D-Mecklenburg
  • Makes permanent the 15-point scale for school performance grades, which is one of NCSBA’s top priorities for this legislative session
  • Requires the SBE to adopt emergency rules in preparation for permanent rule making
  • Directs the SBE to study the reporting methods used for school accountability purposes on the NC annual school report cards

 

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

  • Presented to the Governor on Thursday, July 11
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Corbin, R-Macon; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Johnson, R-Cabarrus
  • Combines the career and college readiness indicators used for school performance grades and for the purpose of compliance with federal law
  • Requires that the SBE include additional career and college readiness information on annual report cards

 

July 22-26 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, July 22

3:00 pm – House: Rules – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio)

 

 

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 – July 19, 2019
read more

NCSBA Legislative Update – July 12, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

Plenty of legislation saw movement at the General Assembly this week, though the one that garnered the most attention did not budge at all – the State Budget bill (HB 966) and the potential override of Governor Cooper’s veto. During the first half of the week, high-pressure lobbying was evident by both parties on the House floor and in the halls trying to persuade members that were considered “in play.” Three-fifths of members present are needed to override the veto. If all are in attendance (which was not the case this week) seven House Democrats and one Senate Democrat are needed to join Republicans to successfully override the veto. Since HB 966 originated in the House, the House must be the first chamber to attempt the override.

House GOP leaders were constantly counting votes to obtain the three-fifths of members present. Republicans were said to be close, at times just one or two votes away. The minority leader publicly stated that Democrats feared leaving the House floor to go to the bathroom – in case a sudden override vote was called. In the end, the Speaker chose not to attempt an override, though it remains a possibility on any day that the House is in session.

Preparing for an indefinite stalemate, the Republican majority went with plan B – a stopgap budget measure – a six-page bill (HB 111) covering more than a dozen items that House budget writers said is primarily geared toward utilizing federal funds in the state budget (more details below). Representative Donny Lambeth, a bill sponsor, stated during the House floor debate that the bill is “absolutely vital” and designed to cover the minimum items necessary for the state to continue functioning. The Senate is expected to take up the stopgap measure next week – it remains unclear which parts of the bill they will agree to. Current law allows the state to operate at last year’s recurring funding levels. Programs and services funded with non-recurring dollars will not be funded unless legislative action is taken to do so.

A joint resolution (SJR 688) filed by the Senate on Wednesday gave us our first clue as to what the General Assembly’s upcoming schedule could possibly look like. The resolution calls for both chambers to adjourn on Monday, July 22, 2019. Both chambers would then reconvene on Tuesday, August 27, 2019. Neither chamber has yet to debate, let alone vote on the resolution. We will keep you posted!

 

Movement of K-12 Education Bills

Bills with House Action

HB 111: Supplemental Appropriations Act

  • Passed the House 118-0, sent to the Senate, and referred to the Senate Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsor: Representative Lambeth, R-Forsyth
  • Part II appropriates $50,548,003 in recurring funds for FY 2019-20 to fund changes in Average Daily Membership (ADM) and average salary adjustments in public schools

 

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

  • Referred to the House Insurance Committee
  • Requires LEAs to insure and keep insured buildings owned by the LEA to the extent of not less than 80% (previously not less than 75%) of the current insurable value against loss by an insurable hazard such as fire, windstorm, vandalism, sprinkler leakage, water damage, etc.
  • When property of the LEA is located in the 100-year flood plain on the latest Flood Insurance Rate Map, that local school board is required to insure or keep insured to the extent of not less than 80% of the current insurable value for flood damage to buildings and their contents
  • Requires county commissioners to provide the necessary funding for compliance
  • Transfers the School Insurance Fund Section of DPI to the Department of Insurance (DOI) – the balance of the Public School Insurance Fund will also be transferred to DOI

 

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and placed on the House Rules Committee agenda for Monday, July 15
  • The House Education K-12 Committee replaced the contents of the original bill that dealt with access to the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) for capital funding needs with language from HB 76: School Safety Omnibus
  • The new version of the bill does the following:
    • Establishes that school safety requirements apply to all public schools and encourages non-public schools to participate in school safety plans
    • Clarifies the powers and duties of the Center for Safer Schools
    • Requires reporting on the operational status of all public schools during states of emergency
    • Defines the term “school resource officer” (SRO) and requires training for SROs
    • Requires annual vulnerability assessments for each public school building

 

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and the House Rules Committee and placed on the House calendar for Monday, July 15
  • The House Education K-12 Committee replaced the contents of the original bill that dealt with extending the study of current statutes on regional schools and clarifying regional school transportation requirements to a bill that establishes a mandatory process for participating units seeking withdrawal from a regional school
  • The new version of the bill states that a participating unit must adopt a resolution requesting withdrawal (that includes a withdrawal plan) and submit a copy to the regional school board of directors
    • The participating unit must receive conditional approval to withdraw with a 2/3 vote from the board of directors
    • If the participating unit receives the 2/3 vote approval, the State Board of Education (SBE) must grant final approval
    • An amendment to give the SBE authority to make the final decision on approval of withdrawal, regardless of the board of directors’ vote, was voted down in the House Rules Committee

 

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

  • Placed on Senate calendar for concurrence for Monday, July 15
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Ballard, R-Watauga
  • Repeals and changes certain education reports and report dates
  • Requires each LEA to annually report the instructional calendar start and end dates to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the SBE by April 1 and requires the SBE to annually report the dates to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by June 15 – for the 2019-20 school year, each LEA must submit its report by August 1, 2019 and the SBE must submit its report by September 1, 2019
  • Clarifies that Education Workforce Innovation Commission membership is extended to designees
  • Staggers Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission appointments
  • Exempts SBE charter actions from contested case provisions

 

SB 354: Sam’s Law

  • Placed on Senate calendar for concurrence for Monday, July 15
  • Allows a parent of any student to petition a school for the development of a seizure action plan if the student is diagnosed with a seizure disorder and enrolled in the school
  • Requires at least one employee at each school to be trained to administer or assist with self-administration of seizure medication
  • Requires each public school to adopt a policy outlining a seizure education program for all K-12 school personnel that have direct contact with students
  • The House Rules Committee made the following changes to the bill:
    • Modifies the definition of a “school” to only include a school within a public school unit (previously included private and nonpublic schools)
    • Prohibits volunteers from administering or assisting with self-administration of seizure medication if the volunteer has not met the adopted training requirements
    • Modifies that the seizure education program must be administered on an annual basis in each school (was previously required in each public school unit)

 

SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities

  • Regular message received by the Senate for concurrence in House amendment
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Gunn, R-Alamance; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Provides a limited exception to the prohibition of 16-18-year-old students participating in supervised, practice experiences with employers in occupations declared by the Commissioner of Labor to be detrimental to the health and well-being of youth
  • Clarifies that the Commissioner of Labor must make the required findings that would allow an eligible student to qualify for the exception

 

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Berger, R-Rockingham
  • Establishes individual reading plans (IRPs) and a Digital Children’s Reading Initiative
  • Establishes a Comprehensive Plan to Improve Literacy Instruction
  • Requires the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) to provide professional development in literacy instruction
  • Requires educator preparation programs to provide literacy training coursework for elementary education teachers
  • Requires the alignment of literacy curriculum and instruction with Read to Achieve
  • Requires DPI approval of local reading camp plans
  • Studies the phasing out of certain alternative assessments
  • Creates a uniform template for Read to Achieve data
  • Provides continuing education credits related to literacy for certain reading camp instructors and allows certain retired teachers to serve as reading camp instructors
  • Expands the Wolfpack WORKS program

 

SB 476: Competency-Based Assessments & Mental Health/Teen Violence

  • Approved by the House Rules Committee and placed on the House calendar for Monday, July 15
  • The House Education K-12 Committee replaced the contents of the original bill that dealt with reaffirming local control over student discipline policies to a bill with the contents of HB 714: Competency-Based Assessments and HB 434: Suicide Risk Referral/Mental Health/Teen Violence
  • The new version of the bill does the following:
    • Directs the SBE to recommend steps necessary to transition to a competency-based assessment and teaching model for all elementary and secondary students
    • Requires public school units to adopt and implement a suicide risk referral protocol, a mental health training program, and a policy against teen dating violence and abuse

 

SB 522: Low-Performing Schools

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • The House Education K-12 Committee replaced the contents of the original bill that dealt with various changes to charter school laws to a bill with the contents of HB 798: Low-Performing Schools
  • The new version of the bill does the following:
    • Defines a qualifying school as a Title I school in the lowest performing 5% of school performance grades that is (i) governed by a LEA and (ii) receives funds under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
    • Aligns the selection of innovative schools with those identified by the SBE for comprehensive support and improvement
    • Expands options for the innovative school district (ISD) to require LEAs to inform boards of county commissioners of academic progress annually
    • Establishes a three-year process before a school can be transferred to the ISD beginning in the 2023-24 school year – NCSBA was instrumental in maintaining the three-process because the bill had previously been changed to make it a two-year process
    • The SBE may transfer up to five schools to the ISD annually beginning in the 2023-24 school year
    • In addition to the previously mentioned three-year process, requires the SBE to transfer the lowest scoring school in the State for the 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 school years to the ISD in the 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 school years respectively
    • Strikes language that a school in the innovation zone must become an innovative school if it does not exceed growth in the last two years of the five consecutive years in the innovation zone
    • Requires further study of reforms for assistance to low-performing schools

 

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

  • Placed on Senate calendar for concurrence for Monday, July 15
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga; Sawyer, R-Iredell
  • Eliminates the NC final exam
  • Replaces the EOGs with a through-grade assessment model that is similar to the NC Check-Ins
  • Replaces the EOCs with the ACT or other nationally recognized assessment of high school achievement and college readiness
  • Establishes plans to reduced standardized testing by LEAs
  • Prohibits graduation projects as a condition of graduation
  • Requires DPI to examine third grade English language arts assessments to better meet the goals of Read to Achieve
  • The House Rules Committee modified language that rewrites G.S.115C-81.36 in SB 500: Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment (S.L. 2019-120):
    • Changes “end-of-grade test” for students in grades three through five to “State-mandated test”
    • Changes “end-of-grade or end-of-course test” for students in grades six and higher to “State-mandated test that denotes superior command of knowledge and skills”

 

Bills on the Governor’s Desk

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 12
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson; Lucas, D-Cumberland
  • Makes clarifying/technical changes to the annual performance report
  • Requires the SBE to adopt a rule creating a small group reporting exception any time data are at risk of being individually identifiable
  • Requires the SBE (in consultation with DPI and the Professional Educator Preparation & Standards Commission) to develop a formulaic, performance-based weighted model and report it to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee
  • The Senate made the following changes to the bill:
    • Removes the requirement that two-year retention rates of EPP completers initially licensed and employed in NC public schools be used as a performance measure for EPPs
    • Adds the requirement that the SBE study the inclusion of two-year retention rates of EPP completers initially licensed and employed in NC public school as a performance measure for EPPs

 

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 12
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Harris, D-Mecklenburg; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Autry, D-Mecklenburg
  • Makes permanent the 15-point scale for school performance grades, which is one of NCSBA’s top priorities for this legislative session
  • Requires the SBE to adopt emergency rules in preparation for permanent rule making
  • Directs the SBE to study the reporting methods used for school accountability purposes on the NC annual school report cards
  • An amendment proposed on the Senate floor by Senator Waddell, D-Mecklenburg, to change the weight of school performance grades from 80% school achievement and 20% school growth to 51% school achievement and 49% school growth was not considered

 

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

  • Presented to the Governor on Thursday, July 11
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Corbin, R-Macon; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Johnson, R-Cabarrus
  • Combines the career and college readiness indicators used for school performance grades and for the purpose of compliance with federal law
  • Requires that the SBE include additional career and college readiness information on annual report cards

 

 

Bills Signed by the Governor

HB 924: Teacher Contract Changes

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-82 on Monday, July 8
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives D. Hall, R-Caldwell; Horn, R-Union
  • Clarifies eligibility for extended teacher contracts by defining a year of employment as not less than the standard 120 workdays performed as a teacher in a full-time permanent position (which had previously been the standard for career status)
  • The Senate amended the bill to include contents of SB 134: Economics & Financial Literacy Act, which establishes completion of an economics and personal finance course as a public high school graduation requirement beginning with the freshman class of 2020-21

 

SB 88: Electrician Requirements for Certain Organizations

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-78 on Thursday, July 4
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Sawyer, R-Iredell; T. Alexander, R-Cleveland
  • Enables licensed electrical contractors employed by schools to make repairs and conduct maintenance at all facilities at all times when done at the direction of the school

 

SB 219: Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-71 on Monday, July 1
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators McInnis, R-Richmond; Tillman, R-Randolph; Johnson, R-Union
  • Extends the timeframe to pass testing requirements for a continuing professional license (CPL) from two to three years
  • Provides a one-year initial professional license (IPL) extension for elementary and special education teachers
  • Creates a three-year nonrenewable limited license for:
    • Individuals who were issued an IPL but have not yet qualified for a CPL
    • Out-of-state applicants that do not have an IPL or a CPL, but have a current teacher license in good standing and at least three years of teaching experience
    • A military spouse who holds a current teaching license in another state
    • (An individual’s limited license can only be used in the LEA that requested it)
  • Authorizes LEAs to determine experience credit for teachers from other states to pay them at the commensurate level on the State salary schedule during the first year of the license
  • Reduces the number of years required to get a lifetime teaching license from 50 to 30 years
  • Authorizes emergency rulemaking by the SBE to implement the requirements of the bill in accordance with its timeline.

 

SB 399: Rehire High-Need Teachers

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-110 on Thursday, July 11
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Horner, R-Nash; Berger, R-Rockingham; Chaudhuri, D-Wake
  • Allows teachers who retired on or before February 1, 2019 to return to work in high-need schools (Title I schools or schools with an overall school performance grade of D or F at any point on or after July 1, 2017) without adversely impacting the retired teachers’ benefits
  • Qualifying schools would no longer be allowed to hire teachers who retired before February 1, 2019 under the earnings cap
  • Will be repealed if the IRS determines that the Teachers’ and State Employee’s Retirement System (TSERS) would be jeopardized
  • Any penalties assessed to the retirement system are the responsibility of the LEA
  • It is important that school districts note the potential for significant financial exposure once this session law is administered. NCSBA posed a series of questions to the Retirement System that we hope will help personnel directors and principals better understand the law. Click here to view the Q&A.

 

SB 500: Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-120 on Thursday, July 11
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Smith, D-Northampton; Tillman, R-Randolph; Chaudhuri, D-Wake
  • Makes the following modifications to the implementation of advanced math courses and opportunities:
    • When practicable, LEAs must offer advanced learning opportunities in math for students in grades three through five
    • Any student in grades three through five who scores at the highest level on the EOG must be provided advanced learning opportunities in math approved for that student’s grade level
    • Before a parent or guardian can provide written consent for their student to be excluded or removed from an advanced learning opportunity for students in grades three through five or from an advanced math course for students in grades six and higher, it is required that the parent or guardian be informed that the student’s placement was determined by the student’s achievement at the highest level on the previous EOG or EOC
    • Schools that did not offer Math I to eighth graders during the 2018-19 school year are not required to offer it for the 2019-20 school year, but are required to develop and submit an implementation plan by January 15, 2020 (schools may still offer Math I to eighth grades if they choose)
  • (See SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019 for changes in bill language)

 

July 15-19 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, July 15

3:00 pm – House: Rules – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio)

Tuesday, July 16

9:00 am – House: Insurance – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio)

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

 

 

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 – July 12, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – June 28, 2019

Week of July 4th

NCSBA will not be sending out a weekly legislative update next Friday, July 5 as the House will not be in session and the Senate will only be meeting on Monday and Tuesday at most.

 

State Budget Released

The conference report for the State budget was released this past Tuesday night and was approved by both chambers on Wednesday and Thursday. In the Senate, both votes were 33-15 with four Democrat Senators joining Senate Republicans. In the House, three Democrat Representatives joined Republicans in a 66-51 vote on Wednesday, and one Democrat joined House Republicans in the 64-49 vote on Thursday. To see the votes, click here.

All eyes are now on Governor Cooper, who stated this morning that he will veto the budget when he receives it. When the budget is vetoed, it will take 3/5 of those present and voting in each chamber to override the Governor’s veto. In the House that would be 72 votes, if everyone is present and voting, and in the Senate that would be 30 votes, if everyone is present and voting.

We hope that yesterday’s email containing notable education k-12 State budget provisions was helpful in understanding how the budget will affect your school district. We have compiled a chart that includes House, Senate, and Conference budget numbers. All State budget provisions will be summarized in the final legislative session summary if the current budget is ultimately adopted.

If there is no State budget enacted by July 1, the State would continue to operate under the provisions set forth in G.S. 143C-5-4. This statute would apply until such time as a State budget is adopted (i.e. NC can operate indefinitely without a new budget). The provisions in the statute that apply directly to public schools are the following:

  • Recurring funds will be allocated at the same level as the prior fiscal year (i.e. non-recurring funds will not be allocated)
  • Salary schedules from the previous fiscal year will remain in place and employees shall NOT move up on salary schedules or receive automatic step increases
  • Employer contribution rates for retirement and related benefits will remain at the same level as June 30

Click here to view the State budget bill.

Click here to view the budget comparison chart.

Click here to view a list of education k-12 budget provisions and page numbers.

Click here to view notable education k-12 budget provisions listed by category.

Click here to view State Capital and Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) allocations by LEA.

 

Movement of K-12 Education Bills

Bills Signed by the Governor

HB 57: Create Term for Public Schools & Codify NCVPS

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-51 on Wednesday, June 26
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Elmore, R-Wilkes; Johnson, R-Cabarrus; Horn, R-Union
  • Defines a public school unit as a local school administrative unit, a charter school, a regional school, or a school providing elementary or secondary instruction operated by the State Board of Education, such as innovative schools and schools for students with visual and hearing impairments, or the University of North Carolina, such as the NC School of the Arts high school, NC School of Science and Mathematics, and UNC Laboratory Schools
  • Codifies the NC Virtual Public School

 

SB 227: TP3/Principal Fellows Consolidation

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-60 on Thursday, June 27
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Tillman, R-Randolph
  • Maintains the existing administration of the Transforming Principal Preparation Program (TP3) for current grant recipients until 2021 (previously, the TP3 program was to be transferred to the control of the Principal Fellows Commission on July 1, 2019)
  • Merges the TP3 and the Principal Fellows Program on July 1, 2021 to become the North Carolina Principal Fellows and TP3 Commission

 

Bills Sent to the Governor

SB 399: Rehire High-Need Teachers

  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Horner, R-Nash; Berger, R-Rockingham; Chaudhuri, D-Wake
  • Allows teachers who retired on or before February 1, 2019 to return to work in high-need schools (Title I schools or schools with an overall school performance grade of D or F at any point on or after July 1, 2017) without adversely impacting the retired teachers’ benefits
  • Qualifying schools would no longer be allowed to hire teachers who retired before February 1, 2019 under the earnings cap
  • Will be repealed if the IRS determines that the Teachers’ and State Employee’s Retirement System (TSERS) would be jeopardized
  • Any penalties assessed to the retirement system are the responsibility of the LEA

 

SB 500: Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment

  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Smith, D-Northampton; Tillman, R-Randolph; Chaudhuri, D-Wake
  • Makes the following modifications to the implementation of advanced math courses and opportunities for grades three and higher:
    • When practicable, LEAs must offer advanced learning opportunities in math in grades three through five
    • Any student in grades three through five who scores at the highest level on the EOG must be provided advanced learning opportunities in math approved for that student’s grade level
    • Before a parent or guardian can provide written consent for their student to be excluded or removed from an advanced learning opportunity for students in grades three through five or from an advanced math course for students in grades six and higher, it is required that the parent or guardian be informed that the student’s placement was determined by the student’s achievement at the highest level on the previous EOG or EOC
    • Schools that did not offer Math I to eighth graders during the 2018-19 school year are not required to offer it for the 2019-20 school year, but are required to develop and submit an implementation plan by January 15, 2020 (schools may still offer Math I to eighth grades if they choose)

 

HB 924: Teacher Contract Changes

  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives D. Hall, R-Caldwell; Horn, R-Union
  • Clarifies eligibility for extended teacher contracts by defining a year of employment as not less than the standard 120 workdays performed as a teacher in a full-time permanent position (which had previously been the standard for career status)
  • The Senate amended the bill to include contents of SB 134: Economics & Financial Literacy Act, which establishes completion of an economics and personal finance course as a public high school graduation requirement beginning with the freshman class of 2020-21

 

Bills with House Action

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

  • Placed on the House calendar for Tuesday, July 9
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Corbin, R-Macon; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Johnson, R-Cabarrus
  • Combines the career and college readiness indicators used for school performance grades and for the purpose of compliance with federal law
  • Requires that the SBE include additional career and college readiness information on annual report cards

 

SB 230: Excused Absences for Military Children

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators D. Davis, D-Greene; Brown, R-Onslow, Ballard, R-Watauga
  • Directs the SBE to adopt rules providing for excused absences from school for children of members of the U.S. armed forces

 

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Ballard, R-Watauga
  • Repeals and changes certain education reports and report dates
  • Requires each LEA to annually report the instructional calendar start and end dates to the Superintendent of Public Instruction by April 1 and requires the SBE to annually report the dates to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by June 15
  • The House Education K-12 Committee added three new parts to the bill:
    • Clarifies that education workforce innovation commission membership is extended to designees
    • Staggers professional educator preparation and standards commission appointments
    • Exempts SBE charter actions from contested case provisions

 

SB 354: Sam’s Law

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Edwards, R-Henderson; Harrington, R-Gaston
  • Allows a parent of any student to petition a school for the development of a seizure action plan if the student is diagnosed with a seizure disorder and enrolled in the school
  • Requires at least one school employee to be trained to administer and assist with self-administration of seizure medication
  • Requires each public school to adopt a policy outlining a seizure education program for all K-12 school personnel that have direct contact with students

 

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga; Sawyer, R-Iredell
  • The House Education K-12 Committee combined this bill with HB 377: Reduce Testing, which is sponsored by Representatives Elmore, R-Wilkes; K. Hall, R-Stokes; Bell, R-Wayne; Conrad, R-Forsyth
  • Eliminates the NC final exam
  • Replaces the EOGs with a through-grade assessment model that is similar to the NC Check-Ins
  • Replaces the EOCs with the ACT or other nationally recognized assessment of high school achievement and college readiness
  • Establishes plans to reduced standardized testing by LEAs
  • Prohibits graduation projects as a condition of graduation
  • Requires DPI to examine third grade English language arts assessments to better meet the goals of Read to Achieve

 

Bills with Senate Action

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

  • Approved by the Senate Rules Committee and sent to the Senate Floor
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson; Lucas, D-Cumberland
  • Includes the two-year retention rates of EPP completers initially licensed and employed in NC public schools as a performance standard for EPPs
  • Makes clarifying/technical changes to the annual performance report
  • Requires the SBE to adopt a rule creating a small group reporting exception any time data are at risk of being individually identifiable
  • Requires the SBE (in consultation with DPI and PEPSC) to develop a formulaic, performance-based weighted model and report it to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee
  • The Senate Education Committee added the following to the bill:
    • Require the SBE to at least annually review the accountability state of each EPP and assign warned, probation, or revoked statuses to EPPs that do not meet accountability standards

 

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

  • Approved by the Senate Rules Committee and sent to the Senate floor
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Harris, D-Mecklenburg; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Autry, D-Mecklenburg
  • Makes permanent the 15-point scale for school performance grades
  • The Senate Education Committee added the following to the bill:
    • Require the SBE to adopt emergency rules in preparation for permanent rule making
    • Direct the SBE to study the reporting methods used for school accountability purposes on the NC annual school report cards

 

 

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

  • Approved by the Senate Rules Committee and sent to the Senate floor
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives D. Hall, R-Caldwell; Lewis, R-Harnett; Arp, R-Union
  • The Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee replaced the contents of the original bill that dealt with changes to the Vacation Rental Act with a bill dealing with State insurance coverage for public school buildings and community colleges
  • The new version of the bill does the following:
    • Requires local boards of education to insure and keep insured buildings owned by the LEA to the extent of not less than 80% of the current insurable value against loss by an insurable hazard such as fire, windstorm, vandalism, sprinkler leakage, water damage, etc.
    • When property of the LEA is located in the 100-year flood plain on the latest Flood Insurance Rate Map, that local school board is required to insure or keep insured to the extent of not less than 80% of the current insurable value for flood damage to buildings and their contents
    • Requires county commissioners to provide the necessary funding for compliance
    • Transfers the School Insurance Fund Section of DPI to the Department of Insurance (DOI) – the balance of the Public School Insurance Fund will also be transferred to DOI

 

Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education – June 25

At this month’s meeting, commission members revisited each work group’s draft priorities. Priority topics include finances and resources, teachers, principals, early childhood/“whole child”, and assessment and accountability. While there were many technical changes suggested amongst work groups, the main discussion centered around the teacher work group draft priorities presentation. The group introduced the idea of a sliding scale that would pay teachers depending on whether they teach in a low wealth district and/or a high poverty school. The idea was favored by many commission members, but there were also concerns expressed. Teacher work group members were asked to consider whether this framework might incentivize schools to re-segregate in an attempt to receive more funding and whether teacher retention might decrease when new teachers are placed in high-needs schools under the proposed expansion of the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program (NC NTSP). After hearing numerous suggestions for all work groups, a July meeting is planned to be scheduled as the commission prepares to compile each work group’s priorities.

Click here to access all agenda items and attachments.

 

 

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 – June 28, 2019
read more

State Budget Highlights

We are pleased to inform you that the Senate budget provision aiming to remove local school boards’ ability to take county commissioners to court if capital funding is not resolved in mediation was not included in the State budget that was released on Tuesday evening. We would like to give a special thanks to all of the local school boards that have contributed to the North Carolina School Boards Action Center (NCSBAC). Without your contributions, we would have not been able to create and share this video that combated the Senate budget provision.

The following are descriptions of key State budget special provisions that we believe may be important to you. We will include additional summaries in our weekly update on Friday.

Click here to access the State budget bill. 
Click here to access the State budget committee report.

 

Summaries of Special Provisions:

Section 7.9 – Advanced Teaching Roles Changes (pgs. 35-40)

  • Codifies and makes permanent the advanced teaching roles program that was created in the 2016 budget as a three-year pilot (pgs. 18-21) and was extended to eight years in the 2018 budget (pgs. 21-22)
  • Adds that the loss of an advanced teaching role shall not be considered a demotion under G.S.115C, Article 22, Part 3
  • Maintains maximum pay increase at 30% of the State teacher salary schedule
  • Removes the 10 LEA maximum for program participation – SBE can choose up to five LEAs from each of the following categories: previous school year ADM of 4,000 or less, previous school year ADM between 4,001 and 20,000, and previous school year ADM of 20,001 of more
  • LEAs that are already participating in the pilot and apply under the new statute shall be approved as long as they meet the standards of the program
  • Allows class size flexibility and budget flexibility for advanced teaching roles schools
  • Approval of the program is for five years and may be renewed
  • Adds that grant funds are awarded to LEAs for a term of up to three years, without giving a LEA eligibility to receive funding for more than one term (LEAs can continue the program, but will not receive funds after three years)

 

Section 7.23 – 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades (pg. 47)

  • Makes permanent the 15-point scale for school performance grades

 

Section 7.27 – Cooperative Innovative High Schools/Cap on Number of New Schools (pgs. 48-49)

  • Allows SBE to approve up to four applications each year for cooperative innovative high schools that request additional funds
  • If an LEA is not one of the four applicants awarded additional funds, it may apply for approval but will not receive any funding
  • There will be no reduction in funding for cooperative innovate high schools

 

Section 7.31 – Classroom Supplies to Teachers (pgs. 50-52)

  • Allots $150 for the purchase of classroom supplies through an electronic account to each eligible classroom teacher for the 2019-20 fiscal year no later than January 15, 2020
  • Allots $200 for the 2020-21 fiscal year as of August 31, 2020
  • The $15 million of appropriations is estimated to cover $145 of supplies for each teacher during each year of the biennium

 

Section 7.41 – Permit Use of Special State Reserve Fund for Transportation/Establish Transportation Reserve Fund for Homeless and Foster Children (pgs. 59-60)

  • DPI shall use funds from the Special State Reserve Fund (SSRF) to cover extraordinary transportation costs for high-needs children with disabilities attending LEAs and charter schools
  • DPI shall establish the Transportation Reserve Fund for Homeless and Foster Children to cover extraordinary transportation costs for homeless and foster children attending LEAs and charter schools

 

Section 7.43 – Student Meal Debt Report and Reduced-Price Lunch Co-pays (pg. 61)

  • SBE shall report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee on unpaid meal charges in LEAs
  • DPI funds shall be used to provide school lunches at no cost to students of all grades who qualify for reduced-price meals in schools participating in the National School Lunch Program in the 2019-2020 school year

 

Section 7B.1 – Teacher Salary Schedule (pgs. 75-77) and Section 7B.3A – Veteran Teacher Bonuses (pgs. 77-78)

  • Increases average teacher salary by 3.9% over the biennium
  • Maintains regular step increases for teachers with 0-15 years of experience
  • Gives teachers with 16-20 years of experience a $500 raise for each year of the biennium
  • Gives teachers with 21-24 years of experience a $1,500 raise in the first year and a $500 raise in the second year
  • Gives teachers with 25 or more years of experience a $600 raise in the first year and a $500 raise in the second year
  • Provides a $500 bonus no later than October 31, 2019 for teachers with 25 or more years of experience as of October 1, 2019 – GA intends to continue this bonus in 2020

 

Section 7B.3 – Support Highly Qualified NC Teaching Graduates (pgs. 77-78)

  • Program began in the 2017 budget (pgs. 93-94)
  • Applies to those entering the teaching profession in the 2019-2021 fiscal biennium
  • Modifies the definition of a “highly qualified graduate” as an individual entering the teaching profession and hired on or after July 1, 2019 who graduated from an approved educator preparation program (EPP) located in NC, earned a GPA of 3.75 or higher, and scored 48 or higher on a majority of edTPA assessments or equivalents
  • Qualified graduates receive a salary supplement each month

 

Section 7B.4 – Principal Salary Schedule (pg. 78-80)

 

Section 7B.5 – Principal Bonuses (pgs. 80)

  • Increases the existing principal bonus for the top 5% from $10,000 to $15,000 and for the top 10% from $7,500 to $10,000
  • Eliminates the principal double bonus for principals in schools with D or F performance grades

 

Section 7B.5A – Principal Recruitment Supplement (pgs. 80-82)

  • Provides an annual salary supplement of $30,000 for up to 36 months for a principal who is paid on the exceeded growth column of the salary schedule and accepts employment at a low-performing school that is in the bottom 5%
  • The principal remains eligible for the 36 months regardless of future school performance grades or whether the principal continues to be paid based on the exceeded growth column

 

Section 7B.7 – Central Office Salaries (pgs. 82-84) and Section 7B.8 – Noncertified Personnel Salaries (pgs. 84-85)

  • Increases central office salaries and noncertified personnel salaries by 1% GA intends to continue this pay increase in 2020
  • Establishes maximum monthly salary levels for central office employees from State funds

 

Section 8A.9 – Combine K-12 Scholarship Programs for Children with Disabilities (pgs. 109-117)

  • Combines the current personal education savings account (PESA) with the disability grants program
  • Changes “PESA” to “Personal Education Student Accounts for Children with Disabilities”
  • Defines an eligible student as a child who is four years old before April 16 and is found to meet enrollment requirements
  • An eligible student with certain disabilities including autism, hearing impairments, intellectual/developmental disability, orthopedic impairments, and visual impairments may be awarded up to $17,000 in scholarship funds for each school year – other eligible students are awarded up to $8,000 and eligible part-time students are awarded $4,000
  • Students can still qualify for this program and the Opportunity Scholarship if the family/student meets the eligibility of both

 

Section 38.25 – Rehire High-Need Teachers (pgs. 321-325)

 

Section 39.2(h) – School Capital (pgs. 330-333)

  • Provides $1.5 billion for school capital from the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) and delineates how much each LEA will receive, with at least $500 million appropriated by 2020-21

 

 

Additional Notable State Budget Provisions:

  • Section 4.3 – Education Lottery Funds (pg. 13)
  • Section 4.5 – Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund (pg.13)
  • Section 7.3 – Supplemental Funding in Low-Wealth Counties (pgs. 29-32)
  • Section 7.4 – Small County School System Supplemental Funding (pgs. 32-33)
  • Section 7.13 – Create Definition for Public Schools/School Resource Officers Report (pgs. 40-41)
  • Section 7.18 – Economics and Financial Literacy (pgs. 43-46)
  • Section 7.24 – Arts Education Graduation Requirement (pg. 47)
  • Section 7.36 – School Safety Grants Programs (pgs. 54-58)
  • Section 7.42 – Read to Achieve Reading Camp Curriculum Pilot Program (pgs. 60-61)
  • Section 7.47 – School Mental Health Crisis Response Program (pg. 63)
  • Section 7.51 – Extend Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform to 2020 (pg. 64)
  • Section 7.52 – Recommendations for Students with Disabilities Funding (pgs. 64-65)
  • Section 7.53 – Education on the Holocaust and Genocide/Gizella Abramson Holocaust Education Act (pg. 65)
  • Part VII-A – Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019 (pgs. 65-75)
  • Section 7B.6 – Assistant Principal Salaries (pg. 82)
  • Section 7B.9 – Small County Signing Bonus for Teachers (pgs. 84-85)
  • Section 7B.10 – Consolidate and Broaden Qualifications for Certain Teacher Bonuses (pgs. 85-89)
  • Section 7B.11 – School Psychologist and School Counselor Position Study (pgs. 89-90)
  • Section 8A.6 – Modify NC Teaching Fellows Program (pgs. 106-107)
Rebekah HowardState Budget Highlights
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