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March 2016 Monthly Legislative Report

Legislative Short Session Starts in April

The 2016 legislative “short session” begins April 25.  Over the next few weeks various interim committees will be finishing up their work and voting on recommendations for the General Assembly.  Any bills that are recommended by an interim committee are eligible for consideration during the short session.

2016 Primary

The 2016 primary election for statewide offices and state legislative seats was held on March 15.

Click here for a list of former and current school board members who had a primary opponent and won.

Click here for the other former/current school board members who will be moving on to the November general elections and did not face an opponent in a primary.

Achievement School Districts

The House Select Committee on Achievement School Districts met on March 30.  At this meeting, Rep. Rob Bryan (R-Mecklenburg), the primary sponsor of draft legislation to establish an Achievement School District in North Carolina, unveiled the most recent version of the legislation.  The new version, which you can read here, would allow school districts that transfer a school to the ASD to also establish Innovation Zones, which are areas where school districts can operate up to three low-performing schools with charter-like exemptions.  Unless school districts are allowed to transfer other types of schools into these Innovation Zones, the Innovation Zones provision would not allow school districts to do anything they cannot already do.

NCSBA continues to have significant concerns about the ASD approach based upon the lack of evidence of success with this model in other states.  There are also concerns about liability, ownership, financial responsibilities, FERPA, transportation, employment, enrollment, the memorandum of understanding, vague language and low standards.  Click here to find a detailed list of these concerns, which has also been shared with members of the select committee.

Rep. Bryan intends to have this committee meet one more time before session starts to vote on whether to recommend this draft bill to the full legislature for the short session.   Watch for further alerts on this bill in the weeks ahead.

Other Presentations

  • Malika Anderson, Superintendent of the Tennessee Achievement School District, talked about what she feels have been the successes of the Achievement School District she oversees and the lessons that North Carolina can take from the Tennessee experience.  You can watch her presentation here.
  • Dr. Gary Henry of Vanderbilt University reviewed findings from his research into the Tennessee  Achievement School District.  Dr. Henry’s research has found Tennessee’s ASD experience to be largely unsuccessful but one component, areas in which school districts can operate schools with charter-like flexibility, has shown some promise.  You can watch Dr. Henry’s presentation here.
  • Joshua Glazer of George Washington University also discussed the shortcomings of the Tennessee ASD and gave some insight into why the ASD model is inherently difficult.  You can watch his presentation here.

Education Strategy and Practices

The House Select Committee on Education Strategy and Practices met on March 24 and discussed the following pertinent topics:

Revisions to the Standard Course of Study

The Committee was informed of DPI’s plans to review and make modifications to the Standard Course of Study, guided in part by the recommendations of the Academic Standards Review Commission.  Dr. Rebecca Garland, Deputy State Superintendent, told the Committee that there will likely be substantial revisions to the Math II and Math III high school standards.  Implementation of those changes could begin as soon as the 2016-17 school year.  DPI’s standards review committee will look at changes to the K-8 Math standards this Fall.  The plan still needs to be approved by the State Board of Education.  You can watch this presentation here.

Draft Bills

Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake) shared copies of a five-part bill he is drafting for the upcoming session that would touch on several K-12 topics as follows:

Part 1 would place a cap on the monetary value of severance packages local superintendents can receive.

Part 2 would provide that the salaries of individual classroom teachers are no longer a public record.

Part 3 would allow teachers who earn a Master’s or advanced degree to teach in the subject area of their degree without needing a teaching license.  However, the proposal would not reestablish salary supplements for teachers with Master’s and advanced degrees.

Part 4 would expedite licensing for spouses of active duty military personnel.

Part 5 would allow educators who move into higher paying roles (teacher to assistant principal, assistant principal to principal, etc.) to earn as much as they would have made in the previous position regardless of whether there has been a break in service.

You can watch Rep. Stam discuss his bill here. You can take a look at the draft bill here.

Cooperative Innovative High Schools

The Committee heard from several individuals about the successes and challenges of Cooperative Innovative High Schools.

College and Career Ready Diploma Endorsements 

An update was given on the impact of high school diploma endorsements that were approved in 2013.

Charter Schools Advisory Board

The NC Charter Schools Advisory Board met on March 7 and 8.  This month’s meeting focused on conducting interviews with groups seeking a charter for 2017-18 and taking action on those applications.

Through March, the Board has forwarded 10 applications to the State Board of Education for approval and voted down another 10 applications.  One applicant has received a tie vote (will be settled by the SBE) and one applicant withdrew.  The Board has five applications remaining for interviews.

Below are the charter groups that have been recommended for approval to the State Board:

Addie C. Morris Children’s School (Forsyth)
Bonnie Cone Classical (Mecklenburg)
Discovery (Durham)
Emereau: Bladen (Bladen)
Emereau: Halifax (Halifax)
Johnston Charter Academy (Johnston)
Montcross Charter (Gaston)
Movement School (Mecklenburg)
Ridgeview Charter (Gaston)
Rolesville Charter (Wake)

Next Generation Charter Academy in Guilford received a tie vote and will be discussed by the State Board when they take up the remaining applications.

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

Bryan Holloway
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6677 direct dial

Katapult MarketingMarch 2016 Monthly Legislative Report
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February 2016 Monthly Legislative Report

Special Session on Redistricting

Lawmakers returned to Raleigh this month to hold a special session to redraw North Carolina’s congressional maps following a federal judge’s ruling that two of the districts were racially gerrymandered and unconstitutional. The redrawn map can be found here. The maps must receive court approval before officially going into effect.

As a result of the new maps, lawmakers moved the NC congressional primaries to June 7. No other business was taken up during this special session. If you want to see if you are in a new congressional district as a result of the redrawn map you can click here to find out.

Education Oversight

The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee met on February 2 and discussed the following pertinent topics:

The Every Student Succeeds Act

State Superintendent June Atkinson and DPI Director of Data, Research, and Federal Policy Dr. Lou Fabrizio updated legislators on The Every Student Succeeds Act, the new federal law that has replaced No Child Left Behind. Dr. Atkinson and Dr. Fabrizio talked about: the new law’s major components; how the law compares to NC’s current requirements; and major implementation actions that need to be taken over the next few years. To see the materials provided as part of this presentation click hereherehereherehere, and here.

You can watch the full presentation here.

Work Experience Credit/Licensure

Rebecca Garland, Deputy State Superintendent, and Dave Fairall, HR Director of Lexington City Schools, talked about the State Board’s experience with giving teachers credit for non-teaching work experience. Some committee members questioned whether this process should be done more at the local level. You can view the presentation materials here.

Juvenile Literacy Study

The Honorable Ann Marie Calabria and Anna Hedgepeth talked about an initiative in Wake County called the Juvenile Literacy Center program. This program provides direct one-on-one tutoring to court-involved youth. The Ed Oversight committee was directed by the legislature to study this program and make recommendations on expansion. Click here to see the presentation materials.

Education Strategy and Practices

The House Select Committee on Education Strategy and Practices met on February 24 & 25 and discussed the following pertinent topics:

Principal Salaries

Alexis Schauss of DPI came back before the committee to answer some lingering questions that had been prompted by her January presentation on principal compensation.

Early Childhood Education

John Pruette, Executive Director of DPI’s Office of Early Learning, reviewed research evidence demonstrating that Pre-K programs work well. You can view his presentation materials here.

Joan Lord, Vice-President of the Southern Regional Education Board, discussed the findings and recommendations of her group’s Early Childhood Commission report. You can view her presentation materials here.

Mark W. Lipsey, Vanderbilt University, presented some findings that Pre-K programs have yielded mixed results nationally. He also talked about some additional factors that must be considered in evaluating Pre-K programs. You can view his presentation materials here.

Sydney Atkinson with the Division of Public Health discussed the State’s Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program. You can view her materials here.

Principal Leadership and Preparation

The committee heard from a series of speakers, including administrators with experience in low-performing schools, talking about how to cultivate strong school leaders.

Betty Fry, Southern Regional Education Board: Materials here; Video here

Dr. Pascal Mubenga, Franklin County superintendent: Materials here; Video here

Jan Wagner and Larry Hodgkins, Martin County school administrators: Materials here; Video here

Dr. Steve Tozer, University of Illinois Chicago Professor: Materials here; Video here

The individual presentations were followed by a panel discussion between lawmakers and the presenters which you can watch here.


There were two presentations on the federal Every Student Succeeds Act and how it will impact state education systems:

Lee Posey with the National Conference of State Legislatures: Materials here; Video here

Claire Voorhees with the Foundation for Excellence in Education:  Materials here; Video here

Buildings/Infrastructure Commission

A new Blue Ribbon Commission tasked with studying the capital infrastructure needs of the state held its first meeting on February 22. This commission is a mix of legislators and members of the public representing various groups across the state that have an interest in capital infrastructure, including school boards, county commissions, cities, the UNC system, the Community College system, and the NC Chamber of Commerce. School boards are being represented on the commission by Mr. Barry Shoemaker, a member of the Cabarrus County school board. Click here to see all the members of this commission.

At this first meeting, the Commission received an overview of how public school building construction/renovation projects are funded. There was also a presentation on the funding of  community college and other State capital projects.

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

Bryan Holloway
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6677 direct dial

Katapult MarketingFebruary 2016 Monthly Legislative Report
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What’s it like being designated as a low performing school

I am currently the principal of what our state of North Carolina deems as a “low performing school.” Based on our EOG proficiency and value added analysis, we are an “F” school that showed no growth last year.

When I began at my school on July 1, 2015, I knew the situation. My superintendent was very clear with me about what I was “getting into” as some folks would word it. Then we received the official designation in September as part of new state policy. We are still in the process of figuring out the in’s and out’s of being a low performing school and it is now almost February.

View Full Article >>

Katapult MarketingWhat’s it like being designated as a low performing school
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January 2016 Monthly Legislative Report

Select Committee on Achievement School Districts

A special House committee formed to examine Achievement School District (ASD) legislation held its inaugural meeting on January 27.  A bill from Rep. Rob Bryan (R-Mecklenburg) under discussion in the House proposes to move up to five of the state’s lowest performing schools out from under their local boards of education and place them under a separate ASD run by a Superintendent hired by the State Board of Education.  The ASD would contract with charter management organizations (EMOs) to run the ASD schools.  The bill went through over 40 drafts behind the scenes last session but never received a public hearing or action in the General Assembly.  Twelve House members have been appointed to this select committee that will analyze the concept of ASD and make recommendations for the short session.

At the January 27 meeting, the Committee discussed the following pertinent topics:

Current State Turnaround Efforts

A DPI official told the committee about a program the State already has in place to help struggling schools.  Dr. Nancy Barbour, Director of DPI’s Division of District and School Transformation, outlined the initiatives her division provided to the bottom 5% of schools from 2010-14 using Race to the Top funds.  Through targeted efforts around technology, professional development, coaching, and other school improvement initiatives, Dr. Barbour told the committee that 83% of these schools moved out of the bottom 5% and 67% moved out of the bottom 10%.  While acknowledging successes in the State’s current efforts, some committee members expressed concern that the pace of turnaround is still too slow in many areas of the state.

Plans for Upcoming Meetings

It is anticipated that the February meeting will feature experts on ASD programs in other states and also allow time for public comment.  NCSBA has significant concerns about this approach based upon the lack of evidence of success in other states.  This along with eight pages of concerns and questions about the particulars of the bill have been shared with Rep. Bryan.  The committee is expected to vote on ASD recommendations/legislative proposals in March.


House Select Committee on Education Strategy and Practices

The House Select Committee on Education Strategy and Practices held meetings on January 27 and 28.

On January 27, the Committee received presentations on and discussed the following pertinent topics:

Teacher Pay Suggestions and Perspectives

Dr. June Atkinson, NC Superintendent of Public Instruction

Materials: hereherehere, and here.

Watch the Presentation here

Dr. Trip Stallings, Director of Policy Research, The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University

Materials: herehere, and here

Watch the Presentation here

Dr. Terry Stoops, Director of Education Studies, John Locke Foundation

Materials: here

Watch the Presentation here

Brenda Berg, President and CEO, BEST NC

Materials: here

Watch the Presentation here

Presentation Highlights

Dr. Atkinson suggested that lawmakers institute a 10% across-the-board salary increase for classroom teachers, estimated to cost approximately $540 million.  This suggestion was publicly rebuked by Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), who called it unrealistic.  You can read more about Speaker Moore’s response to Dr. Atkinson here.

Dr. Atkinson also suggested that an effective pay system would “layer” additional compensation models on top of base salary to improve retention of effective teachers and target personnel in low-performing schools.  The approach she suggested would be to provide supplemental pay for teachers who assume additional responsibilities and duties, then add pay incentives for staffing at low-performing schools, and finally provide bonuses for teachers in schools that exceed growth.

Dr. Stallings told the committee that there is no research-based evidence that pay-for-performance programs alone impact student outcomes or teacher behavior.  Lawmakers should focus on funding multiple differentiated pay pilots involving strategic staffing initiatives.

Dr. Stoops reviewed the five most important considerations for raising teacher quality.

Ms. Berg discussed the changing nature of the state’s workforce and made recommendations from BEST NC’s perspective on addressing teacher recruitment and retention challenges.

On January 28, the Committee received presentations on and discussed the following pertinent topics:

School Administrator Salaries


Alexis Schauss, Director of of School Business Administration, DPI

Materials: hereherehere
Watch the Presentation here

Presentation Highlights

Ms. Schauss discussed how Principals and Assistant Principals are compensated in North Carolina, some of the major changes that have occurred in administrator compensation over the past few decades, and significant challenges of the current pay structure.

Superintendent Perspectives

A group of local superintendents were invited to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns with the committee.  Most of their comments focused on the importance of teacher pay.  The superintendents who spoke were:

Greg Little, Mt. Airy

Sean Bulson, Wilson

Dr. Beverly Emory, Winston-Salem/Forsyth

Dr. John Parker, Roanoke Rapids

Mark Garrett, McDowell

Dr. Frank Till, Cumberland

Dr. Barry Williams, Gates

Jeff Booker, Gaston
To watch a video of the superintendent remarks click here.

Charter Schools Advisory Board

The NC Charter Schools Advisory Board met on January 11 and 12.  The Board took the following notable actions.

2017-18 Charter School Applications

The Board interviewed five (5) applicant groups seeking to open a charter school in 2017-18.  Three (3) of the interviewed applicants were recommended to the State Board of Education and one (1) was not recommended.  The Board deadlocked on whether to recommend the fifth applicant, Next Generation Academy (Guilford County) to the State Board.  Board members disagreed over whether the “need” for the school in its proposed Greensboro location outweighed an unclear educational plan/mission statement.  When it came time to vote on recommending Next Generation, the Board split 5-5.  The State Board will be notified of this tie vote when it takes up the 2017-18 recommended applicants.

Of 28 charter applicants for 2017-18, six (6) have been recommended for approval and 17 are still awaiting interviews.

For a complete status update on 2017-18 charter applicants click here.

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

Bryan Holloway
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919)747-6677 direct dial

Katapult MarketingJanuary 2016 Monthly Legislative Report
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October 2015 Monthly Legislative Report

The 2015 long session concluded in the early morning of Wednesday, September 30.  The 2016 short session is set to begin April 25, 2016, which is approximately three weeks earlier than usual. NCSBA has assembled two documents to give you an understanding of how the 2015 session affected local school boards and public schools.

  • The first document is the 2015 NCSBA Legislative Summary: a summary of all the relevant bills and budget provisions enacted in the 2015 session that affect local school boards and public schools. Please click here to find the 2015 NCSBA Legislative Summary.
  • The second document is a narrative highlighting NCSBA’s activities representing local boards of education at the legislature this session. Click here to find that document.

Several state lawmakers have resigned or announced that they will not be seeking reelection in 2016. Those lawmakers are:

House Members

  • Rep. Bryan Holloway (R-Stokes). Rep. Hollway resigned his seat on Monday, October 26, and has joined the NCSBA Governmental Relations team as Associate Director of Governmental Relations.
  • Rep. Paul Tine (U-Dare) won’t seek reelection
  • Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake) won’t seek reelection
  • Rep. Leo Daughtry (R-Johnston) won’t seek reelection
  • Rep. J. H. Langdon (R-Johnston) won’t seek reelection
  • Rep. Rayne Brown (R-Davidson) won’t seek reelection
  • Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer (R-Mecklenburg) won’t seek reelection
  • Rep. Nathan Baskerville (D-Vance) won’t seek reelection
  • Rep. Brian Brown (R-Pitt) resigned to take a position with US Senator Tillis
  • Rep. Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland) resigned in September to become the Executive Director of the NC Justice Center


  • Sen. Stan Bingham (R-Davidson) won’t seek reelection
  • Sen. Josh Stein (D-Wake) expected to run for Attorney General
  • Sen. Buck Newton (R-Nash) expected to run for Attorney General

DPI received 28 applications from groups wishing to open a charter school in August 2017. The deadline for applications for this cycle was September 25. The Charter Schools Advisory Board will be reviewing these applications over the next several months. The districts with the highest number of groups seeking charters for this cycle was CMS (6 applications) followed by Wake (4 applications). Click here to see the full list of charter applicants and the county in which they are seeking to operate.

Registration is now open for NCSBA’s third public policy conference December 10-11 at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill.  Several hot topics and notable presenters are on the conference agenda. Dr. Helen Ladd, Professor of Public Policy and Economics with Duke University, will talk about her recent findings of increased charter school segmentation. UNC Distinguished Professor Dr. James Johnson will highlight how demographic changes across the country are having an effect on North Carolina’s public schools.  Former lawmakers Rick Glazier and Bryan Holloway will share insights and knowledge learned from their time serving at the legislature. NCSBA Governmental Relations department staff will talk about legislative issues likely to arise in the 2016 session. A full agenda will be published soon.

Click here to register and find hotel information for the conference.

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

Katapult MarketingOctober 2015 Monthly Legislative Report
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