Bruce Mildwurf

NCSBA Monthly Interim Legislative Report – Feb 2018


JOINT LEGISLATIVE EDUCATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

The General Assembly’s Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee held its fourth meeting of the interim on February 6.

Schools That Lead
The Committee heard about Schools That Lead (STL).  This organization “develops teacher leaders within and across schools, bringing a deep focus on student learning.  Key to this work is developing teacher leaders with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to build the social capital of their organizations.”

To see the presentation materials click here.

ENC STEM
An overview and update was provided on the Eastern North Carolina STEM initiative.  This initative “seeks to provide high quality STEM learning opportunities and leadership training to high school students living in economically disadvantaged communities in Eastern North Carolina.”

To see the presentation materials click here.

Next Meeting – Tuesday, March 6 at 10:00 AM in Room 643 LOB

JOINT LEGISLATIVE TASK FORCE ON EDUCATION FINANCE REFORM
The Task Force met for the fourth time on February 22 and heard from three presenters.  The meeting focused on charter school funding.  According to DPI – for the 2017-18 school year – there are 173 brick and mortar charter schools statewide with a population of more than 100,000 students.

Alexis Schauss with DPI explained how the state agency projects a charter school’s ADM, the process to determine funding amounts and the time frames charter schools receive funding.  Click here to view Schauss’ presentation.

Gregg Sinders with TeamCFA, a charter management organization, requested additional funds local, state, and federal sources.  Mr. Sinders also requested local and state dollars for charter school facilities, including:

-Allowing county commissioners to provide local tax dollars.
-Providing access to NC Education Lottery funds.
-Allow state budget dollars designated for school facilities to flow to charter schools.
-Provide start-up funds totaling $100-thousand per charter school.

Click here to view Sinders’ presentation

Steven Walker, General Counsel for Lt. Governor Dan Forest & member of the Charter School Advisory Committee agreed with Sinders that money should follow the child and that consideration should be given to allow county commissioners to provide charter schools with capital funds if they so choose.

Walker presented figures from 2013-14, complaining that charter school students were funded on the local level at 73% of traditional public-school students.  When asked by Rep. Craig Horn where the data came from, Walker responded that it is anecdotal and that the figures may not even be correct.  Click here to view Walker’s presentation.

Next meeting – Thursday, March 15 at 1:00 PM

SPEAKER FORMS HOUSE SCHOOL SAFETY COMMITTEE
In the wake of the Parkland school shootings, House Speaker Tim Moore this month formed a special House committee that will be charged with developing recommendations for how to improve safety in North Carolina’s public schools.  The Committee will be Chaired by Reps. David Lewis (R-Harnett) and John Torbett (R-Gaston).  The select committee has over 40 members from the House, including 9 former school board members (Reps. Susan Fisher, Rosa Gill, Verla Insko, Linda Johnson, Donny Lambeth, Chris Malone, Bobbie Richardson, Larry Strickland, Donna White).  To see all members of the committee click here.  Click here to read a press release about the formation of the committee.

Jt. Legislative study committee on the division of local school administrative units
This special committee, formed via HB 704 from the 2017 session, is tasked with looking at data and reseach on the differences in school district sizes and providing that information to lawmakers.  The chair, Rep. Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg), has specified that this committee will not be recommending splitting up particular LEAs and is exploring if a process should be prescribed in statute much like the consolidation statutues are designed.

The Committee held its first meeting February 21.  At this meeting the Committee reviewed the ranges of funding levels for NC LEAs, data on NC school district sizes and a comparison of district sizes to student performance levels.

To see the presentation materials click here and here.
To see members of this committee click here.

Next meeting – Tuesday, March 13 at 1:00 PM


GOVERNOR’S LEANDRO COMMISSION
The Governor’s Commission on Access to a Sound Basic Education held its second meeting on February 20.  This Commission is comprised of representatives of school districts, community colleges and universities as well as non-profit and private sector organizations with an interest in public education and child welfare.  Their charge is to develop a pathway to provide all public school students with an opportunity for a sound basic education per Leandro.

At this second meeting the Commission focused on public school funding issues.

Context and Overview of NC’s School Funding
Karen Halwey Miles, CEO and president of national nonprofit Education Resource Strategies, provided information on how NC’s school funding system, teacher salaries, student performance, LEA funding distribution and other data compared to other states around the country.  Ms. Miles also talked about factors that need to be looked at in determining whether school funding is “adequate” and suggestions for building a more efficient and equitable funding system.

Click here to see the presentation materials.

State Funding for NC Schools
DPI’s Chief Financial Officer Adam Levinson outlined how the State’s school funding model works.

Local Funding for NC Schools
Keith Poston, Executive Director of the Public School Forum, provided notable data on local funding for public schools.  He talked about some of the main drivers of local funding disparities across NC’s local school districts.  Most of Mr. Poston’s presentation was based on information published in the Public School Forum’s annual local school finance study, which you can find here.

Perspectives from Superintendents
Three local district superintendents participated in a panel discussion to talk about financial challenges they are facing and tools they believe would help them improve educational outcomes in their districts.  The participating superintendents were: Dr. Janet Mason from Rutherford (the 2018 superintendent of the year), Dr. Tim Markley from New Hanover and Dr. Anthony Jackson from Vance.  Mr. Poston moderated the panel, which also included an opportunity for commission members to ask questions.

Governor’s Remarks
Governor Roy Cooper arrived during the afternoon portion of the meeting.  He reiterated the importance of the Commission’s work and talked about some of the educational and equity barriers he had been seeing during his visits to public schools across the state.

You can read more about this meeting via EdNC’s coverage by clicking here.

K-3 CLASS SIZE FIX TO BECOME LAW
Lawmakers this month struck a deal to phase-in the implementation of the K-3 class size reductions and establish a separate funding stream for program enhancement teachers.  HB 90, which also contained several other provisions pertaining to K-12 public education, passed overwhelmingly in a special session of the House and Senate.  Governor Roy Cooper later announced he would let the bill become law without his signature, citing portions of the bill that he and some Democrat lawmakers viewed as objectionable.

Lawmakers are expected back in Raleigh May 16 to begin their “short session.”  We do not anticipate any additional special sessions between now and then.

NCSBA had been working behind the scenes for months with key legislators to solve the K-3 class size chaos.  We cannot emphasize enough that this agreement would not have been possible without all your hard work at the local level.  Thank you once again for all your efforts keeping this issue front and center in your communities.

Below are more details of what is in HB 90 pertaining to K-12 public education.

K-3 Class Size Reduction Phase-In and Program Enhancement Teachers (Parts 2-5)

– Class size reduction implementation timeline:

Avg                      Max

2017-18:     1:20 (K-3)          1:23 (K-3)

2018-19:     1:20 (K-3)          1:23 (K-3)

2019-20:     1:19 (K-3)          1:22 (K-3)

2020-21:     1:18 (K-3)          1:21 (K-3)

2021-22:     1:18 (K)              1:21 (K)

1:16 (Grade 1)    1:19 (Grade 1)

1:17 (Grades 2-3)  1:20 (Grades 2-3)

2018-19 program enhancement teacher funding for grades K-5 will be $61,359,225, distributed at a ratio of 1:191 of K-5 program enhancement teachers.

Education Savings Accounts (Part 6)
The bill also makes some changes to the Education Savings Account program.  It still limits the awards to parents of children with disabilities eligible to enroll at a public school who have not received a high school diploma, but it loosens all the other eligibility requirements and just provides that the student not be placed in a nonpublic school by a public agency at public expense.  This broadens the eligibility for ESAs for parents who have never enrolled their student with a disability in the public school system.

NC Pre-K (Part 7)
This provision of the bill increases NC Pre-K funding by $9.35 million in each of fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21.  Total funding in the coming years will be as follows:

2017-18: $69.6 million
2018-19: $72.7 million
2019-20: $82 million
2020-21: $91.35 million

The legislative staff summary says that these appropriations should be enough to eliminate the NC Pre-K waitlist by 2020-21.

ACP Dollars (Part 1)
This provision would allocate the funds from a $57.8 million fund linked to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to the LEAs in the counties that will be impacted by the pipeline.  The bill creates a formula for distributing the funding.  The estimated allocations from the formula to LEAs are below.

Cumberland: $15,115,607
Halifax: $1,920,839
Roanoke Rapids: $2,157,148
Weldon City: $642,996
Johnston: $11,998,658
Nash-Rocky Mount: $7,547,838
Northampton: $3,574,629
Robeson: $7,544,754
Sampson: $2,416,321
Clinton City: $875,403
Wilson: $4,005,807

Total: $57,800,000
Leanne E. Winner
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6686 direct dial

Bruce Mildwurf
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 606-3916 mobile

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6677 direct dial

Sean Holmes
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6688

Bruce MildwurfNCSBA Monthly Interim Legislative Report – Feb 2018
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Bill Details- K-3 Class Size Fix and Other Ed Changes

The K-3 class size fix bill (HB 90) has been made public.  HB 90 is an omnibus bill dealing with several education issues.  HB 90 is currently being discussed by a joint session of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.  Follow us on Twitter @NCSBAGovtRel for up to the minute accounts of what is going on.

Below are more details of what is in the bill pertaining to public education.

K-3 Class Size Reduction Phase-In and Program Enhancement Teachers (Parts 2-5)
Here is the class size reduction implementation timeline:

Avg                      Max

2017-18:     1:20 (K-3)          1:23 (K-3)
2018-19:     1:20 (K-3)          1:23 (K-3)
2019-20:     1:19 (K-3)          1:22 (K-3)
2020-21:     1:18 (K-3)          1:21 (K-3)
2021-22:     1:18 (K)              1:21 (K)
1:16 (Grade 1)    1:19 (Grade 1)
1:17 (Grades 2-3)  1:20 (Grades 2-3)

Program enhancement teachers for grades K-5 will be funded at $61,359,225 for 2018-19 to be distributed at a ratio of 1:191 of K-5 program enhancement teachers.

Education Savings Accounts (Part 6)
The bill also makes some changes to the Education Savings Account program.  It still limits the awards to parents of children with disabilities eligible to enroll at a public school who have not received a high school diploma, but it loosens all the other eligibility requirements and just provides that the student not be placed in a nonpublic school by a public agency at public expense.  This broadens the eligibility for ESAs for parents who have never enrolled their student with a disability in the public school system.

NC Pre-K (Part 7)
This provision of the bill increases NC Pre-K funding by $9.35 million in each of fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21.  Total funding in the coming years will be as follows:
2017-18: $69.6 million
2018-19: $72.7 million
2019-20: $82 million
2020-21: $91.35 million

The legislative staff summary says that these appropriations should be enough to eliminate the NC Pre-K waitlist by 2020-21.

ACP Dollars (Part 1)
This provision would allocate the funds from a $57.8 million fund linked to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to the LEAs in the counties that will be impacted by the pipeline.  The bill creates a formula for distributing the funding.  The estimated allocations from the formula to LEAs are below.

Cumberland: $15,115,607
Halifax: $1,920,839
Roanoke Rapids: $2,157,148
Weldon City: $642,996
Johnston: $11,998,658
Nash-Rocky Mount: $7,547,838
Northampton: $3,574,629
Robeson: $7,544,754
Sampson: $2,416,321
Clinton City: $875,403
Wilson: $4,005,807

Total: $57,800,000

Bruce MildwurfBill Details- K-3 Class Size Fix and Other Ed Changes
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NCSBA Monthly Interim Legislative Report – January 2018

JOINT LEGISLATIVE EDUCATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
The General Assembly’s Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee held its third meeting of the interim on January 9.

Virtual Charter Schools
Members received an update on the performance of the NC Virtual Academy, the virtual charter school pilot managed by K12, Inc..  Dr. Joel Medley, the head of the school, talked about student demographics, feedback from teachers and parents and other school performance factors.  Dr. Medley explained that the school’s withdrawal rate has been going down while enrollment has been increasing.  He requested to have the school’s pilot status changed to permanent rather than wait until the pilot runs its course.

To see the presentation materials click here.

Licensure
Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin, Deputy State Superintendent, gave an update on the teacher licensure process.  There was also a presentation on the results of a recent audit of DPI’s teacher licensure process.

To see the presentation materials click here and here.

Advanced Courses
Sneha Shah-Coltrane, Director of Advanced Learning and Gifted Education at DPI, updated the committee on AP/IB program enrollment.

To see the presentation materials click here.

Next Meeting – Tuesday, February 6 at 10:00 AM in Room 643 LOB
Click
here for the meeting agenda

JOINT LEGISLATIVE TASK FORCE-ED FINANCE REFORM
The Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform met on January 31.  Three local school district superintendents and three local school finance officers shared their perspectives on the current school funding system and items the task force should consider as it moves forward.  Common themes from their presentations included the need for more local flexibility in budgeting and the need to remove the local funding cap for students with disabilities.  They also talked about disentangling the charter school/school district funding relationship.

NCSBA Director of Governmental Relations Leanne Winner and NCASA Executive Director Katherine Joyce also spoke to the task force about the school funding system and considerations that should be taken into account in any reform effort.

The local superintendents who spoke were:

Dr. Stephen Fisher (Cleveland) click here for the presentation materials

Dr. Tim Markley (New Hanover) click here for the presentation materials

Dr. Rob Jackson (Edenton-Chowan) click here for the presentation materials

The finance officers who spoke were:

Jeff Hollamon (Onslow) click here for the presentation materials

Norris Barger (Transylvania) click here for the presentation materials

Carol Herndon (Rowan-Salisbury) click here for the presentation materials

Click here to see Ms. Winner’s presentation materials
Click here to see Ms. Joyce’s presentation materials

Next Meeting – Thursday, February 22 at 10:00 AM

PROGRAM EVALUATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
The Program Evaluation Oversight Committee met on January 22 for the first time since 2016.  Staff released several new reports, 3 of which impact public schools:
A report on the county commissioner-school board dispute resolution process (click here to read)
A report on options for increasing lottery proceeds (click here to read)
A report on the demand for school nurses (click here to read)

The reports are expected to be discussed in detail at the committee’s next meeting on February 12.

The Committee also heard about a study of NC school capital needs in 9 LEAs that was conducted by an outside consulting group.  This study is separate from the DPI 5-year facility needs survey.  The group used its own methodology in looking at school building capacity and utilization.  They determined which LEAs having the highest facility needs in relation to their capacity to meet those needs and ability to pay.  Click here to read the report.

Next Meetings –
Monday, February 12 at 1:00 PM
Monday, February 26 at 1:00 PM

CHILD FATALITY TASK FORCE
The Child Fatality Task Force met on January 17.  The Committee voted to support legislation to require suicide prevention training for school staff (HB 285) and increase funding for school nurses.

Next Meeting – Tuesday, February 6 at 10 AM (intentional death prevention committee); Tuesday, February 13 at 10 AM (unintentional death prevention committee)

JOINT LEGISLATIVE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
The Joint Legislative Emergency Management Oversight Committee met on January 25.  The committee received an update on school safety initiatives.  Click here to read more about what occurred at this meeting.

Click here and here to see the presentation materials.

SPECIAL SESSION
The General Assembly convened for a special session on Wednesday, January 10.  Lawmakers did NOT take up the K-3 class size mandate and did NOT do anything on school administrator pay.  However, House and Senate leaders are reportedly making progress on the class size issue.  If anything transpires on this issue we will send out an alert immediately.

NOTABLE UPCOMING MEETINGS
The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee will next meet on February 6 at 10:00 AM.

The Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform will next meet on February 22 at 10:00 AM.

The Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee will meet on February 12 at 1:00 PM and February 26 at 1:00 PM.

The Child Fatality Task Force will hold subcommittee meetings on February 6 at 10 AM and February 13 at 10 AM.

 

 

Leanne E. Winner
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6686 direct dial

Bruce Mildwurf
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 606-3916 mobile

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6677 direct dial

Sean Holmes
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6688

Bruce MildwurfNCSBA Monthly Interim Legislative Report – January 2018
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Special Session Update

State lawmakers returned to Raleigh this week to hold a special legislative session.  The special session, which started on Wednesday, involved lawmakers taking up veto overrides and moving a few stand-alone pieces of legislation, including a multi-part “technical corrections” bill.  Prior to the start of the special session, NCSBA contacted all legislators outlining several issues with the new school administrator pay model and principal bonuses with the hope that lawmakers would address some of the concerns while they were in town.  Attached please find a copy of the email that NCSBA transmitted to lawmakers with the school administrator pay concerns.

The “technical corrections” bill that ultimately passed (SB 582) included one of the school administrator pay fixes- a clarification that principals and assistant principals who are paid on the teacher salary schedule WILL be held harmless for the 2017-18 fiscal year.  SB 582 did NOT extend the hold harmless past 2017-18 or make any of the other fixes NCSBA suggested.  The bill did NOT include any relief from the lower K-3 class size requirements for next school year.  There is a provision clarifying test cut scores for new teachers to qualify for accelerated placement on the salary schedule.  Governor Roy Cooper has 10 days to sign or veto the bill.  There are several controversial provisions in the bill which could prompt his veto.  Notably, the bill did not pass either chamber with enough votes to override a veto (29-17 in the Senate and 70-46 in the House).

Lawmakers will be holding skeleton sessions (no votes) until October 17 to avoid having to return in November to hold veto override votes.  There will be another special session beginning January 10, 2018, at which the General Assembly may take up a number of different items, including: judicial redistricting, constitutional amendments, vetoes, pending conference reports, bills responding to legal challenges and local bills that passed the originating chamber.

Click here to read the school administrator pay letter.

Bruce MildwurfSpecial Session Update
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ISD Plans Emerge

The new Innovative School District Superintendent talked about the anticipated plans for the selection of schools for the Innovative School District. Selections will be made in December.

Click here to read more.

Bruce MildwurfISD Plans Emerge
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NCSBA Legislative Update – June 30, 2017

NCSBA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
JUNE 30, 2017

 



BUDGET ACTIVITY

On Monday Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the budget that was sent to him by the General Assembly.  He held a news conference that morning to explain his veto, at which he highlighted the public education portion as a large concern.  Gov. Cooper expressed disappointment that the budget did not put additional funding into teacher assistants, school counselors, or school nurses.  He also criticized the budget’s shifting of additional funds to the Opportunity Scholarship voucher program and the decision to not raise salaries at the first and last steps of the teacher salary schedule.  If you would like to watch the Governor’s full press conference you can click here.  You can read the Governor’s veto message by clicking here.

Twenty-four hours later the General Assembly overrode the veto, with the Senate voting 34-14 and the House voting 76-43.  The budget bill has now been codified into law- SB 257 (S.L. 2017-57).  As usual a stand-alone bill later passed making technical changes to the budget bill (HB 528, see below).  You can read the Money Report here.

This marks the first time since 2011-12 that a State budget has been enacted before the July 1 start of the new fiscal year.

REGULAR SESSION ENDS/LOOKING AHEAD

In addition to the budget, lawmakers passed a flurry of stand-alone bills this week as they closed out the 2017 legislative regular session.  The General Assembly officially adjourned its 2017 regular session early this morning.

Lawmakers will be home for a little over a month and will then return to Raleigh for a limited special session starting on August 3, 2017.  At this session, the General Assembly will be able to finish up some work on some bills that were moving in the final days of the regular session, as well as take up overrides of gubernatorial vetoes, confirmation of appointments, and responses to lawsuits.

There will also be a special session on September 6, 2017.  House Rules Chairman David Lewis (R-Harnett) said this session will likely focus on redistricting (lawmakers are under court order to redraw the legislative districts).  However, the adjournment resolution also says that the GA could take up bills revising districts for local governments (including school boards).

The GA will begin its 2018 regular “short session” on May 16, 2018.

As usual, there will be several committees meeting throughout the periods between legislative sessions, including the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee.  Some notable special committees that will be meeting during this time include the Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform and a special committee to study the new school construction lottery grant program (see below).  Any legislative recommendations that emerge from these committees can be taken up during the 2018 regular session beginning May 16.

This will be our last weekly legislative report until the August special session.  We will be publishing monthly reports covering these interim committees and other legislative news that might come up until the next session.  We will also be publishing our end of year summary of K-12 legislation and the budget sometime in the middle of July.

SPECIALTY TEACHERS/CLASS SIZES

Per HB 13, all school districts will have to lower their K-3 max and average class sizes by 1 starting this upcoming school year.  School districts will also have to abide by several new reporting requirements.  The Department of Public Instruction has put together a helpful informational document reviewing the class size changes and LEA reporting requirements.  To find this document you can click here.

One of the issues looming over the next school year will be the scheduled K-3 class size changes for 2018-19 when LEAs will have to equalize funded and average class sizes and significantly reduce max class sizes.  The final budget did not include a new allotment stream for program enhancement teachers in 2018-19 but the budget technical corrections bill (HB528) DID include language expressing legislative intent to establish an allotment stream for K-5 program enhancement teachers starting in 2018-19.  Timing will be a big challenge for school districts on this issue.  Unless the General Assembly takes up the issue in one of the special sessions the earliest opportunity for the GA to deal with this issue will be the 2018 session that starts May 16.  This is the same period when LEAs will be in the latter stages of developing their 2018-19 budgets.  During the interim, make sure to speak with your House and Senate members and make them aware of this timing challenge.

SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION

While regular session adjourned without passage of the $1.9 billion school construction bond, some new school construction lottery money was included in the budget through a new Needs-Based School Capital Fund.  This Fund contains new school construction lottery monies ($30 million in 17-18 and $75 million in 18-19) that will available to the 40 least economically healthy counties as designated by the Department of Commerce (Tier I counties) until 2020-21.  Eligible counties will have to apply for grants from this Needs-Based Fund, which can be up to $15 million for one county’s school capital needs in a fiscal year, with a 3 to 1 match.  As a comparison, the largest distribution of lottery school capital that went to a Tier I county last year was $1.5 million (Robeson).  It is likely that two Tier I counties will get the grants in year 1 and five will get it in year 2.  Starting 2020-21, Tier II counties (the next 40 least economically healthy) will also become eligible for grants from this fund.

Note that this new money is in addition to the $100 million in school capital lottery money that has traditionally been going out to counties.  Those counties that apply for and receive lottery school capital money through the new Needs-Based Fund will be excluded from receiving a portion of the $100 million appropriation for a five-year period, meaning that the remaining appropriation will be reallocated to the other districts.

While this new money for school construction is helpful, it is just a drop in the bucket compared to the staggering $8 billion backlog of school construction needs around the state.  If you talk to your legislators during the interim let them know the new lottery school capital money is appreciated but it is not by itself going to be enough to deal with the school construction backlog.

With regard to the statewide bond, we will be working with other interested groups over the coming weeks and will have a more detailed plan of action shortly.

To see county tier designations you can click here.
To see what your county received from the $100 million lottery school capital allocation click here.

BILLS STILL ELIGIBLE FOR 2018 SESSION

As a reminder here are some of the notable K-12 education bills that made crossover in 2017 and can be taken up during the next regular session that begins May 16, 2018.

School Calendar Flexibility

HB 375.  Allows LEAs statewide the flexibility to start the school year as early as August 15 to align with their local community college.  It passed the House and is currently residing in Senate Rules.

HB 389.  Allows 20 LEAs to start the school year as early as August 10 for 3 years as part of a pilot to study the impact of an earlier school year on travel/tourism and student achievement.  It passed the House and is currently in Senate Rules.

Make sure to continue talking about school calendar flexibility with your Senate members during the interim.  Make them aware that school districts were forced into another condensed calendar in 2017-18, with school not allowed to start until August 28.  Continue to make them aware of the challenges of setting academically sound calendars into this extremely narrow window.

Local Education Funding Lawsuits
SB 531.  Eliminates school boards’ local education funding lawsuit authority.  It passed the Senate and is currently residing in the House State and Local Government I Committee.

A-F School Grades
HB 322.  Reforms the A-F school grade formula to give equal weight to performance and growth (50/50) instead of the 80/20 weight that is currently used.  It passed the House and is currently in Senate Rules.

Low-Performing Schools Definition
HB 826.  Narrows the definition of “low-performing school” so that if a school is meeting growth it is not considered low-performing.

School Construction Bond
HB 866.  Puts a statewide $1.9 billion bond for school construction on the ballot.  Because it is a Finance bill it remains eligible for session.  It has passed a House Committee and is now in House Finance.

Fines/Forfeitures and School Technology
HB 554.  Establishes a plan to repay the $747 million in improperly withheld fines that Judge Manning ordered are owed to schools for technology purposes.  It is residing in the House K-12 Education Committee. 

UPDATES ON NOTABLE BILLS THIS WEEK

SB 117, the bill to retroactively overturn the court ruling in the pension-spiking case, did not move this week and remains in the House K-12 Education Committee.

Additionally, the House inserted language into HB 894 that includes the 2-hour LEA personnel training requirements on suicide prevention and awareness that mirrors the original version of HB 285.  This version is NOT aligned with the State Board’s Mental Health Policy.  HB 894 did not pass this week but under the rules of adjournment could be taken up during the August special session.

Below are some of the notable bills that passed the General Assembly in the waning days of session this week and have been sent to the Governor.

HB 528.  This is the annual bill that makes technical corrections to the budget.  It includes language stating the General Assembly’s intent to fund K-5 program enhancement teachers in 2018-19 (see story above).  It also changes some reporting requirements for DPI.

HB 155.  This omnibus education bill includes:

– A provision saying that if a high school has 1,500 students or more then assistant principals may conduct the annual performance evaluation of a teacher, provided that the principal does at least one of the teacher’s first three annual evaluations.

– A provision that delays implementation of the State Board’s recently passed school-based mental health policy.

HB 800.  This bill makes it easier for charters not identified as low-performing to expand their student population without needing approval from the State Board of Education.  Starting immediately, these charters can expand automatically if they are expanding 25% (was 20%) beyond their original anticipated enrollment.  This allowance will expand to 30% on July 1, 2018.

 

Leanne E. Winner
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6686 direct dial

Bruce Mildwurf
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 606-3916 mobile

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6677 direct dial

Bruce MildwurfNCSBA Legislative Update – June 30, 2017
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