June 2020

NCSBA Legislative Update – June 26, 2020

This Week at the Legislature

This week was full of long days and late nights as both the House and the Senate wrapped up this portion of the 2020 legislative short session. Thursday night bled into Friday morning as conference committees settled disagreements and legislators voted on the passage of this session’s final bills. In addition to existing education bills, legislators sent four bills containing newly added K-12 education provisions to the Governor for final approval: HB 1023, SB 113, SB 212, and SB 681. See summaries of these bills below. While there were other education bills with movement this week, including the bond bill, the adjournment resolution does not allow further consideration of these bills when legislators return in September. However, we encourage you to read this op-ed by J. Wendell Hall published in EdNC concerning the need for a bond.

Although legislators finished all major business this week, Senate leader Phil Berger stated that they could meet again in the next two weeks for veto override votes or other pertinent issues. The adjournment resolution schedules a reconvening on September 2, 2020, but only to address COVID-19 funding, appointments, and veto overrides. Before the Senate adjourned early this morning, Senator Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, unexpectedly announced his retirement. Senator Tillman served in the Senate for 18 years and chaired the Senate Education and Senate Education Appropriations Committees for many years.

 

Statewide bills with new education provisions:

HB 1023: Coronavirus Relief Fund/Additions & Revisions

A Senate Appropriations Committee substitute replaced the contents of the original bill with modifications to HB 1043: 2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act (S.L. 2020-4), as well as additional provisions and appropriations. The bill does the following:

  • Extends the use of emergency school nutrition funds through December 30, 2020 and expands the program to include summer meals
  • Allocates $7 million for personal protective equipment for public schools and to facilitate in-person instruction for the 2020-21 school year
  • Allocates $5 million to DPI to award grants for services to exceptional children who lost critical services due to COVID-19 school closures
  • Permits DPI to withhold up to $12 million from the transportation allotment to cover transportation expenses related to emergency school nutrition services in the summer of 2020
  • Requires SBE to report on unpaid meal charges
  • Requires DPI to transfer $3.9 million in nonrecurring funds from the School Bus Replacement Fund to cover costs of reduced-price lunches
  • Allocates $2.5 million to establish a statewide pilot program to promote access to innovative digital and personalized learning solutions for high school students
  • Reduces appropriations to the School Technology Fund by $18 million in nonrecurring funds and appropriates these funds to the School Business System Modernization Plan

 

SB 113: Education Omnibus

The permanent year-round school definition was removed from this bill on Wednesday, June 24 and added to SB 212 (see below) after 1:00 am this morning. The conference committee substitute for SB 113 does the following:

  • Authorizes flexibility in adopted single-track year-round calendars when needed to address the health and safety of students for the 2020-21 school year, as long as the altered calendar otherwise meets requirements for year-round schools
  • Modifies the definition of year-round schools to be calendars adopted prior to March 1, 2020 and modifies the definition of a single-track year-round school as providing an average of 44 to 46 instructional days followed by an average of 15 to 20 vacation days throughout the school year
    • This section address issues in Wake County but may pertain to other single-track year-round schools
  • Authorizes LEAs to use additional remote instruction days when needed to address the health and safety of students for the 2020-21 school year
  • Extends the use of emergency school nutrition funds through December 30, 2020 and expands the program to include summer meals
  • Exempts certain school psychologists from NC Psychology Board Licensure
  • Clarifies usage of Digital Learning Plan funds to economically distressed counties
  • Allows local management entity/managed care organization reinvestment plans to include providing assistance to public school units
  • Revises the school administrator intern stipend to be based on the higher of the beginning salary of an assistant principal or, for a teacher who becomes an intern, at least as much as they would earn as a teacher on the salary schedule
  • Extends the maximum grant term from five to six years for the NC Transforming Principal Preparation Program

 

SB 681: Agency Policy Directives/2019-2020

The conference committee substitute contains the following K-12 education provisions that were included in the 2019 vetoed budget bill:

  • Requires LEAs to publish the schedule of fees on their website each school year instead of reporting to the Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Directs the SBE to include the completion of one arts education credit between grades six through 12 as a graduation requirement
  • Requires the SBE to establish an advanced teaching roles program that links teacher performance and professional growth to salary increases
  • Expands the Schools That Lead Pilot Program from 60 to 75 schools

 

SB 212: Capital Appropriations/R&R/DIT/Cybersecurity

The conference committee substitute contains a provision making permanent the temporary 2020-21 school year definition of a year-round school. At least one of the following plans would need to be utilized to be considered year-round:

  1. A plan dividing students into four groups and requiring each group to be in school for assigned and staggered quarters each school calendar year.
  2. A plan providing students be scheduled to attend 45 instructional days followed by 15 days of vacation, repeated throughout the school calendar year.
  3. A plan dividing the school calendar year into five nine-week sessions of classes and requiring each student to attend four assigned and staggered sessions out of the five nine-week sessions to complete the student’s instructional year.

 

Additional statewide education-related bills with legislative action this week:

HB 1087: Water/Wastewater Public Enterprise Reform

  • Part III appropriates VW settlement funds, of which a portion is directed to the School Bus Program

 

HB 308: Regulatory Reform Act of 2020

  • Conference committee substitute adopted by the House and Senate and presented to the Governor on Thursday, June 25
  • Extends provisions of section 4.23 of SB 704: COVID-19 Recovery Act (S.L. 2020-3)
    • Reduces the waiting period from six months to one month for retirees who retired on or after October 1, 2019 but before April 1, 2020 to return to work for a position that is needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Extends the period for retirees to return to work from August 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020

 

HB 158: COVID-19 New Driver Response – signed into S.L. 2020-30 on Friday, June 19

HB 1050: PED/Low-Performing School Districts – passed the Senate and presented to the Governor on Wednesday, June 24

HB 1053: PED/Military OL & Audiology Interstate Compct – passed the Senate, concurred in the House, and presented to the Governor on Wednesday, June 24

HB 1096: UNC Omnibus Changes/UNC Lab School Funds – passed the Senate, concurred in the House, and presented to the Governor on Thursday, June 25

SB 816: CC Funds/CIHS Funds/CR Funds and Offsets – conference committee substitute adopted and presented to the Governor on Thursday, June 25

 

Local education-related bill with legislative action this week:

SB 796: Carteret Co. Bd. Of Educ. Districts – concurred in the Senate and became S.L. 2020-34 on Wednesday, June 24

 

The Governmental Relations team will provide a complete 2020 Legislative Summary in the coming weeks.

 

Reopening Public Schools

On Wednesday, June 24 Governor Cooper announced a statewide requirement for face coverings as the State continues to abide by the “Safer at Home” phase of reopening. Following this announcement, DHHS released an updated FAQ on its updated school reopening guidance. The FAQ states that masks are required for all school staff, adult visitors, and middle and high school students when within six feet of another person inside school buildings, anywhere on school grounds, and while traveling in school buses or other transportation vehicles. Although masks are not required for elementary school students, they are strongly encouraged.

Earlier this session, legislators passed a provision in SB 704: COVID-19 Recovery Act (S.L. 2020-3) exempting the State’s anti-mask law through August 1, 2020. While the House approved an amendment in SB 782 that would extend the exemption through February 2021, the provision was later removed before passing both chambers. Click here to read an article about the controversy.

The Governor, in collaboration with DHHS, DPI, and SBE, will announce next Wednesday, July 1 which plan will be utilized for the reopening of public schools in the 2020-21 school year. DPI’s 116-page guidance proposes three potential plans: Plan A requiring minimal social distancing, Plan B requiring moderate social distancing, and Plan C requiring remote learning.

 

 

 

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 26, 2020
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NCSBA Legislative Update – June 19, 2020

This Week at the Legislature

Legislators wasted no time in moving numerous bills through committees and sessions this week, including many K-12 education bills. Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore share the same goal of wrapping up work next week but acknowledge that the short session may continue into the week after. While Senator Berger stated that the Senate has passed all appropriations bills it plans to address, Speaker Moore said the House still has spending bills to take up next week, as well as any veto override votes. It is possible that legislators may meet again in late July or early August, after the release of final tax numbers and more specific information about reopening schools.

On Tuesday, June 16 the House Education K-12 Committee adopted a committee substitute for HB 1035: 2020-2021 Calendar Modifications, which replaced the original education omnibus bill (contents included in SB 704/SL 2020-3) with a bill that removes restrictions on when remote instruction days can be scheduled and the number of remote instruction days allowed when needed to address the health and safety of students for the 2020-21 school year. The bill passed the House and is currently in the Senate Rules Committee. If your district is interested in the additional flexibility that this bill would provide for remote instruction days, we urge you to contact your Senators. HB 1035 also authorizes flexibility in adopted single-track year-round calendars when needed to address the health and safety of students for the 2020-21 school year and extends the use of emergency school nutrition funds to the Summer Food Services Program through December 30, 2020

SB 818: Compensation of Certain School Employees made it through both the Senate and the House and is now awaiting the Governor’s signature. This bill would provide a $350 bonus for teachers and instructional support personnel and step-increases for teachers and assistant principals. Despite its swift movement through each chamber, SB 818 received pushback from Democrats calling for higher bonuses and inclusion of non-certified personnel. The bill encourages Governor Cooper to use CARES Act funds to provide an additional $600 bonus for teachers and instructional support personnel, as well as noncertified personnel. Republicans claim that the federal dollars can be used for the bonuses, but Governor Cooper’s spokesperson has been quoted in the media saying that the funds are not authorized to be used in this way. To read more about the controversy over SB 818, click here.

HB 1225: Education & Transportation Bond Act of 2020 was amended on the House floor on Thursday, June 18 to move $350 million out of the transportation allotment and transfer $250 million to K-12 public schools and $100 million to community colleges. The proposed $3.1 billion bond would now provide $1.15 billion for transportation and $1.95 billion for education. The education portion would be divided as follows:

  • $1.05 billion for K-12 public schools
  • $600 million for the UNC System
  • $300 million for community colleges

The bill passed the first required vote in the House 113-4. The final House vote will be held on Monday, June 22. With House passage imminent, what will happen to HB 1225 in the Senate? According to the media, Senate Leader Phil Berger, who has not been a big fan of bonds in the past and instead prefers a pay-as-you-go methodology, said in response to the House bond bill, “I just don’t think it’s wise to go borrow money when you know that the money you’ve got coming in is less than what was previously anticipated.” But Berger added that the pay-as-you-go method will be difficult given the state’s finances as a result of the pandemic: “At some point I think we might have to borrow some money.”

If signed into law, the bond referendum would be split into two questions on the November 2020 ballot, one on education and one on transportation.

 

Additional statewide education-related bills with legislative action this week:

HB 1105: COVID/Supplementary G.R.E.A.T. Grant Period

  • Approved by the House Appropriations and House Rules Committees and will be calendared
  • Expands broadband infrastructure in the State, which would improve remote teaching and learning connectivity

SB 816: Funds for CC Enrollment Growth/CIHS Funds

  • Failed to concur in the Senate and conference committee appointed
  • Appropriates $1.9 million in nonrecurring funds to eight cooperative innovative high schools for the 2020-21 fiscal year

HB 158: COVID-19 New Driver Response

  • Presented to the Governor on Tuesday, June 16
  • Provides accommodations for driver education coursework interrupted by school closures on March 13
  • Temporarily waives the road test requirement to obtain an initial provisional driver’s license (Level 2 limited provisional license)

HB 1050: PED/Low-Performing School Districts – approved by the Senate Education/Higher Education and Senate Rules Committees and placed on the Senate calendar for Monday, June 22

HB 1096: UNC Omnibus Changes/UNC Lab School Funds – passed the House, approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee, and referred to the Senate Rules Committee

HB 1218: Salary-Related Contribs/Debt Service Funds – passed the House and presented to the Governor on Thursday, June 18

SB 374: Regulatory Reform Act of 2020 – approved by the House Regulatory Reform
Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee

SB 408: COLA for TSERS & CJRS – approved by the House Pensions and Retirement Committee and referred to the House Appropriations Committee

SB 706: Educ. Changes for Military-Connected Students – approved by the Senate Education/Higher Education and Senate Rules Committees and passed the Senate

SB 719: Retirement Tech/Protect/& Other Changes – passed the Senate and presented to the Governor on Thursday, June 18

 

Local education-related bills with legislative action this week:

HB 1113: Local Option Sales Tax/School Construction – approved by the House Finance and House Rules Committees and placed on the House calendar for Monday, June 22

HB 1151: Asheville-Buncombe Bd. of Trustees – became S.L. 2020-20 on Wednesday, June 17

SB 796: Carteret Co. Bd. Of Educ. Districts – passed the House and sent to the Senate for concurrence

 

Click here to view the status of education-related bills.

 

Leandro Action Plan

On Monday, June 15 the fight for the opportunity to a sound basic education continued with the filing of the Leandro action plan for fiscal year 2021. The action plan covers the seven key areas provided in Judge David Lee’s consent order released in January 2020. These key areas were developed following the release of the 301-page WestEd Report. WestEd is the independent consultant appointed by Judge Lee to develop recommendations for the State to best achieve its constitutional requirement of providing every student with the opportunity to a sound basic education. Both HB 1129: Ensure a Sound Basic Education and HB 1130: Invest in a Sound Basic Education address the Leandro recommendations, but neither have seen movement.

 

 

 

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 19, 2020
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NCSBA Legislative Update – June 12, 2020

This Week at the Legislature

Mini budget bills continued trending this week at the legislature. A committee substitute for SB 818 would maintain the current salary schedule for teachers and provide a one-time bonus of $350 for teachers and instructional support personnel.

On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee debated two education bills, HB 1071 and SB 814, that would transfer funds out of the School Bus Replacement Fund. While HB 1071 would fund increased Average Daily Membership (ADM) in K-12 public schools, SB 814 and HB 472, which also designates transfers out of the Fund, would not utilize the funds for K-12 public school needs. Senator Jim Davis, R-Macon, expressed concern about transferring a potential $13.9 million out of the Fund for this fiscal year. Appropriations Chair Senator Harry Brown, R-Onslow, assured Committee members that there was careful consideration in designating the transfers and that because of remote learning since mid-March, the Fund can afford the loss. Senator Brown also noted the importance of cautiously seeking funds to fill future needs as the State continues to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. For more about these designated transfers and the State’s efforts to fill an estimated $4.2 billion budget hole, click here.

 

The following statewide education-related bills had legislative action this week:

SB 818: Compensation of Certain School Employees

  • Committee substitute adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee and approved by the Senate Rules Committee
  • The original bill dealing with appropriations to DPI for increased ADM in public schools was replaced with a bill that provides compensation to certain public-school employees
  • Maintains the current teacher salary schedule, principal salary schedule, principal bonuses, and assistant principal salaries in HB 377: Teacher Step Act (SL 2019-247)
  • Provides step increases for teachers and assistant principals
  • Provides a one-time, lump sum bonus of $350 to teachers and instructional support personnel employed by an LEA, charter, regional, innovative, or lab school as of October 1, 2020
  • Encourages the Governor to allocate federal funds to provide a one-time, lump sum bonus of $600 to each teacher, instructional support personnel, and noncertified personnel employed in public schools
    • Governor Cooper’s spokesperson was quoted in the media saying: “Federal guidance for CARES Act prevents (these) funds from being used for teacher bonuses”, but legislative staff disagrees.
    • For more on this controversy between state leaders, click here

HB 1071: Funds to DPI for ADM Growth

  • Passed the Senate and the House and presented to the Governor on Friday, June 12
  • Appropriates $100.9 million in nonrecurring funds to be used to fund increased ADM in public schools for the 2020-21 fiscal year
    • $75 million from the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund
    • $3.9 million from the School Bus Replacement Fund
    • $22 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund
  • See the chart below for how ADM funds were calculated

SB 476: School-Based Mental Health

  • Signed into SL 2020-7 on Monday, June 8
  • Requires SBE to adopt a model mental health training program for school personnel who work with K-12 students
    • Program addresses youth mental health, suicide prevention, substance abuse, sexual abuse prevention, sex trafficking prevention, and teen dating violence
  • Requires SBE to adopt a model suicide risk referral protocol for school personnel who work with students in grades 6-12
  • Requires public school units to adopt a training program for employees to be provided with at least six hours of initial training in the first six months of employment and at least two hours in subsequent years

HB 158: Waive Road Test Requirement

  • Conference report adopted by the House and the Senate
  • Temporarily waives the road test requirement to obtain an initial provisional driver’s license (Level 2 limited provisional license)
  • The conference report includes contents of HB 1189: Driver Education COVID-19 Response, which provides accommodations for driver education coursework interrupted by school closures on March 13

SB 816: Funds for CC Enrollment Growth/CIHS Funds

  • Committee substitute adopted by the House Appropriations Committee and passed the House
  • The committee substitute includes $1.9 million in nonrecurring funds for the following cooperative innovative high schools for the 2020-21 fiscal year:
  1. The Center for Industry, Technology, and Innovation (Nash-Rocky Mount)
  2. The Innovation Early College High School (Pitt)
  3. The Marine Sciences and Technologies Early College High School (Carteret)
  4. The Roanoke Rapids Early College High School
  5. The Southeast Area Technical High School (New-Hanover)
  6. Halifax Early College High School
  7. Stanly STEM Early College High School
  8. Gaston Early College of Medical Sciences High School

HB 1079: Various Sales Tax Changes – signed into SL 2020-6 on Friday, June 5

SB 379: Retirement Systems Admin. Changes – passed the Senate and presented to the Governor on Thursday, June 11

SB 719: Retirement Tech/Protect/& Other Changes – passed the House and sent to the Senate

 

The following local education-related bills had legislative action this week:

HB 1199: Graduating Sr Numeric Grade/Appropriate Funds

  • Passed the Senate and ratified as SL 2020-13
  • Converted from a statewide bill to a local bill only affecting Union County

HB 1151: Asheville-Buncombe Bd. of Trustees – passed the Senate, failed to concur in the House, and conference committee appointed

Click here to view the status of education-related bills.

 

State Board of Education

The State Board of Education met for a called meeting on Thursday, June 11. Board members addressed the following:

Following Monday’s release of DHHS’s 26-page Public Health Toolkit for reopening K-12 schools, DPI staff presented implementation plans in a guidebook for reopening North Carolina’s public schools. Board members were provided with a presentation that summarizes the guidance and includes navigation links. Webinars addressing each component of the guidebook will be begin next Wednesday, June 17.

While DHHS and DPI staff share the goal of entering the 2020-21 school year utilizing Plan A guidance, which requires minimal social distancing, Plan B and Plan C guidance are also thoroughly discussed in the guidebook. DHHS and DPI staff stated that the current metrics being used to ease statewide restrictions will also be used in this process.

There is collaboration among the Governor, DHHS, DPI, and SBE to decide on a plan by July 1, and the application of the plan will be statewide. As of now, school districts will be given discretion in implementing tighter restrictions than what is provided in the chosen plan, but there was no definite answer to Board member questions regarding the application of the guidance on a district-by-district level. Ultimately, the SBE approved the guidebook as presented and plans to address policy recommendations based on implementation of the guidance in future meetings.

The Board approved five allotment policies in response to the passage of HB 1043: 2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act (SL 2020-4):

For more information on each policy’s purpose, eligibility, allotment formula, and provisions, click the links above.

Click here to access all meeting materials

 

 

 

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 12, 2020
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NCSBA Legislative Update – June 5, 2020

This Week at the Legislature

Legislators continued to make progress on mini budget bills this week, not giving any sign of a wholesale bill being passed, as in recent years. HB 1071 appropriates funds for increased enrollment in public schools, with funds being transferred out of the School Bus Replacement Fund. HB 472 and SB 814 would also transfer funds out of the School Bus Replacement Fund to be appropriated for NC State University funds, NC A&T State University funds, and the NC Promise Tuition Plan. So far, a total of $13.9 million has been designated for transfer out of the School Bus Replacement Fund. This pattern of transferring funds between sources is becoming more common as legislators determine what areas they believe have the current highest need. Because of the estimated $4.2 billion revenue shortfall for the current two-year biennium, Representative Lambeth, a senior House budget writer, has called this current budget situation a “grim picture”, explaining the importance of being fiscally prudent and appropriating funds only on absolutely necessary services.

If you are hearing from your community about the issue of school technology funding, now is a good time to refer them to your legislators as NCSBA continues to push for the creation of a multi-year plan to fund school technology using the $730 million owed to public schools.

 

The following statewide education-related bills had legislative action this week:

HB 1071: Funds to DPI for ADM Growth

  • Passed the House and referred to the Senate Rules Committee
  • Appropriates $78.9 million in nonrecurring funds to be used to fund increased average daily membership (ADM) in public schools for the 2020-21 fiscal year
  • Appropriates an additional $22 million in nonrecurring funds for increased ADM in public schools in low-wealth counties impacted by COVID-19 for the 2020-21 fiscal year

HB 158: Waive Road Test Requirement

  • Passed the Senate and sent to the House for concurrence
  • The Senate replaced the original contents of the bill with an act that temporarily waives the road test requirement to obtain an initial provisional driver’s license (Level 2 limited provisional license)

HB 1189: Drivers Education COVID-19 Response

  • Passed the House and referred to the Senate Rules Committee
  • The House’s version of a bill similar to HB 158: Waive Road Test Requirement
  • Temporarily waives the road test requirement to obtain an initial provisional driver’s license, among other things

HB 1050: PED/Low-Performing School Districts – passed the House and referred to the Senate Rules Committee

HB 1079: Various Sales Tax Changes – presented to the Governor on Tuesday, June 2

SB 379: Retirement Systems Admin. Changes – passed the House and sent to the Senate for concurrence

SB 717: PED/Military Occupational Licensure – passed the Senate and referred to the House Homeland Security, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee

SB 719: Retirement Protection Act – passed the House Pensions and Retirement Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee

The following local education-related bill had legislative action this week:

HB 1199: Graduating Sr Numeric Grade/Appropriate Funds

  • Committee substitute adopted by the House Education K-12 Committee, passed the House, and referred to the Senate Rules Committee
  • Converted from a statewide bill to a local bill only affecting Union County

Click here to view the status of education-related bills.

 

State Board of Education

The State Board of Education met for their monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 3 and Thursday, June 4. Board members addressed the following:

Remediation & Summer Jump Start Plan: The Board approved draft guidance and allotments in response to the requirement in HB 1043: 2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act (SL 2020-4) that each public school unit develop a Remediation & Summer Jump Start Plan for the 2020-21 school year. Plans are to be submitted no later than June 22 and should provide supplemental reading and math interventions for eligible K-4 students.

K-12 social studies standards: Much discussion centered around Board approval of the revised K-12 social studies standards. Following the passage of HB 924: Teacher Contract Changes (SL 2019-82), which requires the Board to include an Economics and Personal Finance (EPF) course as a graduation requirement, the Board approved a list of revised social studies courses. This month Board members were presented with State content standards revisions to be approved for LEA curriculum guidance. Many Board members expressed concern that the standards do not mandate the teaching of pivotal historical events and accounts. As a result, the Board only approved the standards for the EPF course and plans to revisit the other social studies course standards at the July meeting.

Student and staff device allocation policy: Board members approved an allotment policy for the distribution of $30 million for the purchase of computers/electronic devices for students and $5 million for the purchase of computers/electronic devices for school personnel appropriated in HB 1043: 2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act (SL 2020-4). Board members will approve the individual allotment numbers next week, after LEAs, charter schools, and the Innovative School District (ISD) have additional time to respond to a survey about their current need. The funding formula for student devices is based 50% on ADM and 50% on poverty funding, and the funding formula for school personnel devices is based on ADM allocation.

Click here to access all meeting materials

 

Governor’s Education and Nutrition Working Group

The Governor’s Education and Nutrition Working Group met on Thursday, June 4. The following was presented:

Access to Child Care – Susan Gale Perry, NC DHHS, Chief Deputy Secretary

  • Provided enhanced referrals to 2,400+ families to care for 3,600+ children to date
  • Provided NC Pre-K stabilization through the end of the school year
  • Provided bonus payments of $950/month to teachers and $525/month to staff for April and May

Access to Nutritious Food – Dr. Lynn Harvey, NC DPI, School Nutrition and District Operations

  • 9 million meals served since schools closed on March 16
    • $1.2 million/week would be required to continue supporting the 2,100 buses delivering meals
  • 12,000+ children across 21 LEAs received benefits from USDA demonstration project Emergency Meals-To-You (EM2Y)
    • Continues through June 30
  • Issued $314 million Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits to 837,000+ children from 616,000+ families
    • Continues through June 12 but NC has requested extension of benefits through the summer

 

June 8-12 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Monday, June 8

4:00 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 – June 5, 2020
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NCSBA Legislative Update – May 29, 2020

This Week at the Legislature

NCSBA School Technology Video Campaign

NCSBA continues to work with state leaders to produce a multi-year payment plan for school technology funds that are constitutionally owed to public schools. Part of our school technology campaign is running Facebook ads. If you are on Facebook and see the ads, we hope that you will share them. We also urge you to express your support of this initiative to your legislative delegation. Click here to access our webpage containing two videos that provide background information and explain the current need for school technology and the money owed to school districts. Click here to read NCSBA’s issue brief on school technology.

Legislative Activity

It was another busy week at the legislature. Numerous new education-related bills were filed (see below) and there was continued conversation about the state’s projected revenue deficit for the current and upcoming fiscal years. A joint meeting of the House and Senate appropriations committees was held on Tuesday, May 26 concerning the May Revenue Consensus Forecast. While there is an estimated $4.2 billion revenue shortfall for the current two-year biennium, Fiscal Research Division staff noted that the projections in the revenue forecast were formulated under a high level of uncertainty and the forecast will be updated with more data after the July 15 tax filing deadline. On Thursday, May 28 budget bills began being heard in appropriations committees, signaling the legislature’s intent to use the mini-budget bill process to fund the majority’s high-priority items instead of waiting for the completion of a comprehensive budget for FY 2020-21.

House Speaker Tim Moore followed up his comments last week expressing interest in a K-12 public schools construction bond referendum by filing HB 1225: Education & Transportation Bond Act of 2020, which would provide $800 million for school capital projects. This bill significantly reduces what the Speaker proposed in his bond bill last year, which included $1.5 billion for LEAs, and is also well below the last school bond issue of $1.2 billion in 1996, 24 years ago. When asked about a school construction bond, Senate Leader Phil Berger stated that he would not commit to a bond referendum until there is more clarity on the state’s revenue and potentially high budget shortfall. Click here to access an EdNC article explaining the State’s struggle to reach a consensus on how to best address school capital needs and the current opportunity to invest in a bond package. Click here to read NCSBA’s issue brief on school construction.

The following education-related bills had legislative action this week:

SB 476: School-Based Mental Health

  • Ratified and presented to the Governor on Friday, May 29
  • Requires the SBE to adopt a school-based mental health policy and requires K-12 public school units to adopt and implement a school-based mental health plan, including a mental health training program and a suicide risk referral protocol
    • There will be at least six hours of initial training in the first six months of employment and at least two hours in subsequent years

SB 419: Technical and Other Changes

  • Placed on Senate calendar for Monday, June 1
  • Section 8 concerns private activity bonds for charter schools

HB 1079: Various Sales Tax Changes – passed the Senate, received House concurrence, and is in the process of being sent to the Governor

HB 1151: Asheville-Buncombe Bd. of Trustees – passed the House and sent to the Senate

HB 1153: Iredell-Statesville Bd. of Ed/Election Method – passed the House and sent to the Senate

SB 717: PED/Military Occupational Licensure – committee substitute adopted by the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee and approved by the Senate Rules Committee

SB 719: Retirement Protection Act – passed the Senate and referred to the House Pensions and Retirement Committee

 

Governor’s Press Releases

  • On Tuesday, May 26 Governor Cooper announced the disbursement of federal COVID-19 relief funds to counties, which may be used for public health and essential service expenses.

 

June 1-5 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Tuesday, June 2

10:00 am – House: Education K-12 – Legislative Office Building, rm 643 (audio) (video)

1:00 pm – House: Homeland Security, Military, and Veterans Affairs – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (audio) (video)

 

Education-Related Bills Introduced This Week

HB 1178: Brake for Our Future Act of 2020

HB 1180: Sam’s Law

HB 1181: Certain Appropriations for Education/COVID

HB 1182: Funds of Educational Entities/COVID

HB 1189: Drivers Education COVID-19 Response

HB 1190: UNC-TV/At-Home Learning Initiative

HB 1192: Student Health Collaborative Pilot

HB 1193: Person County Funds

HB 1194: Granville County Funds

HB 1199: Graduating Sr Numeric Grade/Appropriate Funds

HB 1203: Ensure Healthy Schools/COVID-19

HB 1206: Student Mental Health Well-Being/COVID-19

HB 1212: NC Teacher Support Program Funds

HB 1213: DMV/Waive Rd. Test/Parent/Guard. Liability

HB 1217: HBCU/HMSI Funds/Doct. Prog./Teaching Fellows

HB 1225: Education & Transportation Bond Act of 2020

SB 833: DMV/Mdfy Req for Driving Perm/Prov License

SB 839: PPE & Hazard Pay for Public School Employees

SB 842: Graduating Sr Numeric Grade/Appropriate Funds

SB 843: Waive Road Test/DMV Expand Office Hours

SB 844: Student Mental Health Well-Being/COVID-19

SB 847: UNC Laboratory School Modifications

SB 850: Ensure Healthy Schools/COVID-19

SB 851: One-Time Retiree Supplement/Funds

SB 857: Private School Families Tax Incentive

SB 859: Student Internet Connectivity Act

 

 

 

 

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 – May 29, 2020
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