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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