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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