Legislative Alerts

NCSBA Legislative Update – October 11, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

The State’s $24 billion budget impasse is now in its fourth month, with no sign of negotiations taking place between Democratic Governor Roy Cooper and the General Assembly’s Republican leadership. The only meaningful budget talks have been between the House and the Senate.

House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger mentioned separately to the media this week that teacher pay is something that they plan to address. The Speaker told a group of reporters that “the education budget is moving along right now.“  Moore added that he’s working on a proposal that would provide teachers and non-certified employees a higher pay increase than what was in the budget that the General Assembly sent to the Governor in June. Since both chambers announced that no bills will be voted on next week, we likely won’t hear more specifics before October 21.

To view the Speaker’s interview that touches on K-12, community college, and university faculty pay, along with several other topics, click here.

 

Also this week, the legislature introduced two more mini budget bills to the mix:

Three other mini budget bills were sent to the Governor this week:

So far this session the Governor has signed nine mini budget bills into session law.

 

School Safety Grant Program Deadline

The 2019-2020 School Safety Grant Program application has been released and can be found on the Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP) grants management system: ccip.schools.nc.gov. To apply, log into the system with your NCID, select your school system, and select the grant application under “Safe Schools.”

The grant competition closes on October 25, 2019 at 11:59 pm. Below are tips and resources for the application process.

 

New General Assembly Members

Below are the four newest General Assembly members. We encourage our local school board members to reach out and begin networking with their newly appointed legislators.

Senator Rob Bryan, R-Mecklenburg

Appointed: 10/2/19

Replaced: Dan Bishop, R-Mecklenburg

 

Representative Perrin Jones, R-Pitt

Appointed: 9/25/19

Replaced: Greg Murphy, R-Pitt

 

Representative Jake Johnson, R-Polk, Henderson, Transylvania

Appointed: 8/2/19

Replaced: Cody Henson, R-Transylvania

 

Representative Jeffrey McNeely, R-Iredell

Appointed: 7/5/19

Replaced: Rena Turner, R-Iredell

 

Next Week

The Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education will hold a conference call meeting on Monday, October 14. Public attendees can listen to the conference call from the EIC room in the NC Department of Transportation building. Click here for additional meeting information.

 

Since both the House and the Senate will not be holding voting sessions next week, NCSBA will not be sending out a weekly Legislative Update on Friday, October 18.

 

 

 

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 – October 11, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – October 4, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

State Board of Education Confirmations

Governor Cooper’s appointments of Wendell Hall, Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers, and J.B. Buxton to the State Board of Education were confirmed in a joint session of the General Assembly this Wednesday.

  • Wendell Hall of Hertford County will serve as a member at-large. Hall currently serves on the Hertford County School Board and the NC School Boards Association (NCSBA) Board of Directors. He previously served as the Interim Superintendent for Northampton County Schools, Warren County Schools and Weldon City Schools. He is also the only individual to serve as President of the NCSBA and the NC Association of School Administrators.
  • Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers of Clay County will serve as a district 8 representative. Tipton-Rogers is the President and CEO of Tri-County Community College.
  • B. Buxton of Wake County will serve as a member at-large. Buxton is the founding principal of the Education Innovations Group. He has also worked as the deputy state superintendent of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

 

Budget Update

With the return of the legislature from their week-long break came the movement of three mini budget bills:

If these mini budget bills become session law, that would bring the total number to 12. Included in HB 387: Growing G.R.E.A.T. is $15M in appropriations to the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (G.R.E.A.T.) Fund for each fiscal year from 2019-20 through 2028-29 to increase broadband across the State, which should provide more internet access to students.

There is still the option of a Senate budget veto override, which Senate leader Phil Berger said would be carried out in accordance with Senate rules that require for at least 24 hours’ notice to the Senate minority leader. Senator Berger also announced this week that regardless of the budget situation and the House’s session schedule, the Senate plans to adjourn by October 31.

 

State Board of Education Meeting – October 2 & 3

This month’s State Board of Education meeting included presentations on a variety of topics, with a major focus on the Innovative School District (ISD). There was discussion on the Board’s push to remove the current requirement of five schools automatically being placed into the ISD this year, which would give the Board more flexibility in choosing qualifying schools. The monthly legislative update compared current ISD law to what is included in SB 522: Low-Performing Schools/Standard Student Conduct, which is currently in conference.

Board members were also presented with an evaluation of the implementation of the ISD at Southside Ashpole Elementary School in Robeson County. Although the school received an F school performance grade in its first year of the ISD, there were increases from both last year’s school performance grade and academic growth score. Progress and challenges from the 2018-19 school year were presented, along with changes implemented for the 2019-20 school year. The presentation also emphasized that the year one report and results are an evaluation of the first year of ISD implementation in a single school setting and not an overall evaluation of the ISD initiative. Click here to view the presentation.

Click here to access the Board’s meeting agenda and materials.

 

Economics and Personal Finance Course

Several attendees of NCSBA’s 2019 district meetings inquired about the progress of incorporating the Economics and Personal Finance (EPF) course graduation requirement included in HB 924: Teacher Contract Changes (S.L. 2019-82). Click here for an update from DPI on this requirement and the process for realigning the Social Studies Standard Couse of Study beginning with the 2020-21 freshman class.

 

 

 

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 – October 4, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – September 20, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

After last week’s House budget veto override, Senate leader Phil Berger stated that the Senate would not attempt a budget veto override this week, as the Senate’s focus was on finishing the court-ordered redrawing of selected legislative districts. Both chambers approved each other’s new legislative district maps by the deadline of Wednesday, September 18. The Senate is not likely to consider a budget veto override vote until the newly vacant seat of State Senator Dan Bishop, R-Mecklenburg, who resigned this week after winning the 9th Congressional district race, is filled.

Also this week, Governor Cooper signed additional mini-budget bills into session law.

Below is a list of mini-budget bills signed into session law prior to this week.

 

House and Senate leaders have both publicly confirmed that they will not be holding voting sessions before Monday, September 30.

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bill

HB 75: School Safety Funds, Programs, and Reports

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-222 on Wednesday, September 18
  • Appropriates funds for school safety
          HB 75 (S.L. 2019-222)                                                                               FY 2019-2020                                          FY 2020-2021
Additional funding for the Instructional Support Allotment to increase school mental health support personnel $20,000,000   R $23,000,000  R
Continued funding for School Safety Equipment Grants $6,100,000 NR
Continued funding of School Safety Training Grants $4,500,000 NR
Continued funding for Students in Crisis Grants $4,500,000 NR
Additional funding for School Resource Officer Grants $3,000,000 R $6,000,000 R

 

  • Requires an annual report on school resources officers
  • Requires development of a recommended school mental health crisis response program
  • Requires annual reports on school mental health support personnel
  • Expresses the intention of the General Assembly that additional funds provided for instructional support personnel be used to fund additional school mental health support personnel
  • Requires DPI to study and report on school psychologist and school counselor positions
  • Provides for eight additional agents of the State Bureau of Investigation to support the Behavioral Threat Assessment program

 

 

Since both the House and the Senate will not be holding voting sessions next week, NCSBA will not be sending out a weekly Legislative Update on Friday, September 27.

 

 

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 – September 20, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – September 13, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

What started off as an uneventful week focused on redrawing legislative districts unexpectedly turned into a wild ride fueled by drama, high emotions, dueling press conferences, and a “he said, he said” controversy.

The House voted 55-9 on Wednesday morning to override Governor Cooper’s veto of the State budget, HB 966: 2019 Appropriations Act. (The vote was changed to 55-15 when several House Democrats who were in the chamber at the time but did not vote later asked to be recorded as having voted “no”.) As a result of the override, with just over 25% of House Democrats present, there was no shortage of name calling, finger pointing, and national news coverage.

Rather than try to explain what happened in writing, we believe in this case it is more appropriate for you to see and hear for yourself how the events unfolded. See the five links below.

1) Audio recording of the 8:30 am House session on September 11, 2019, during which two veto overrides occurred (morning session lasts 14:45 minutes)

2) Video of floor debate during the 1:30 pm House session – to recall the override votes that were sent to the Senate

3) House GOP’s press conference

4) Governor Cooper’s press conference

5) News article: Text message, outburst fuel partisan theories on big budget vote

 

The 2019 Appropriations Act, aka the State budget, is expected to be placed on the Senate calendar as early as next week. That does not mean the Senate will vote to override the Governor’s veto next week. Three-fifths of the members present are required to override the Governor’s veto. The Senate rules state that leadership “…shall give the Senate Minority Leader at least 24 hours’ notice that a vetoed bill may be considered by the Senate.” If all 50 Senators are in the chamber, 30 votes are needed. There are 29 Senate Republicans and 21 Senate Democrats. Meaning, Senate Republicans either need one Democrat to vote with them or at least two Democrats to be absent. Senate Democrats say they are in lockstep with the Governor to sustain his veto. Therefore, it appears that the waiting game on the budget that occurred in the House will now play out in the Senate. Stay tuned…

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-212 on Wednesday, September 4
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga; Sawyer, R-Iredell
  • Eliminates the NC Final Exam beginning with the 2020-21 school year
  • Requires annual reports on the progress of the NC personalized assessment pilot, which implements a through-grade assessment model and the goal to eliminate the EOGs and EOCs
  • Establishes plans to reduce standardized testing by LEAs by requiring local school boards, in each even-numbered year, to review locally required standardized tests
  • Requires reimbursement of up to $75.00 for expenses related to graduation projects for any economically disadvantaged student in a LEA that has a graduation project requirement
  • Requires DPI to examine third grade English Language Arts assessments to ensure alignment with Read to Achieve
  • Requires SBE to determine and analyze the necessary steps to transition to a competency-based assessment and teaching model for all elementary and secondary students (included in SB 476: Compt-Based Assess. & Mental Hlth/Teen Viol.)
  • Clarifies that the definition of a high-need retired teacher in SB 399: Rehire High-Need Teachers (S.L. 2019-110) is one that works at least 30 hours a week for 9 months or more – this allows the rehiring of retired teachers under the earnings cap, as long as they do not work more than 30 hours a week for 9 months or more
    • Under this Session Law, LEAs must notify the Retirement System no later than Sunday, September 15 if it will not employ high-need retired teachers for that school year
    • LEAs that employ high-need retired teachers could be fined if the IRS determines that the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System would be jeopardized by allowing retired teachers to return to work in high-need schools while receiving retirement benefits
  • Expands SB 219: Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements (S.L. 2019-71) to apply to residency licenses (RL)
    • Extends the timeline from two to three years for RLs to pass any necessary licensure tests
    • Adds RLs to the list of individuals who are eligible for a limited license if they failed to fulfill examination requirements after three years of licensure

 

HB 75: School Safety Funds, Programs, and Reports

  • Passed the Senate and sent to the House for concurrence
  • The Senate Appropriations Committee replaced the contents of the original bill that required a school mental health screening study with a bill that does the following:
    • Appropriates funds for school safety—$38,833,333 for FY 2019-20 and $29,800,000 for FY 2020-21
    • Requires an annual report on school resources officers
    • Establishes the School Resource Officer Grants Program
    • Requires development of a recommended school mental health crisis response program
    • Requires annual reports on school mental health support personnel
    • Expresses the intention of the General Assembly that additional funds provided for instructional support personnel be used to fund additional school mental health support personnel
    • Requires DPI to study and report on school psychologist and school counselor positions
    • Provides for eight additional agents of the SBI to support the Behavioral Threat Assessment program (consistent with the provisions of the conference report for HB 966: 2019 Appropriations Act)

 

 

State Board of Education Meeting – September 4 & 5

This month’s meeting marked the release of the 2018-19 accountability and school performance grades reports. Nearly 75% of schools met or exceeded growth expectations in the 2018-19 school year. It was reported that 45.2% of students in third-eighth grades are considered Career and College Ready in reading (scoring at a level 4 or 5), and 57.2% of students in third-eighth grades are considered Grade Level Proficient in reading (scoring a level 3, 4, or 5). Additionally, the percentage of schools that earned A or B school performance grades increased from 35.6% for the 2017-18 school year to 37.3% for the 2018-19 school year. Board member J.B. Buxton made the observation that most student scores in reading, math, and science are stuck in neutral. Many of the charts showing the percentage of students scoring at level 3 and level 4 and above over the past three school years show little to no increase in student achievement.

  • Click here to access the accountability and school performance grades presentation, which contains the previously-mentioned charts.
  • Click here to access the DPI news release on school grades.
  • Click here to access the 2018-19 Performance and Growth of NC Public Schools Executive Summary.

The SBE also approved the required report on school start and end dates under SB 343: Various Education Law Changes (S.L. 2019-165). The SBE’s draft report’s “Executive Summary” states in the second paragraph that “The State Board of Education shall report the information submitted by the local boards of education to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee.” Both the Findings and Data Collection sections of the draft report included DPI’s opinion that some schools were not in compliance with State law. The NCSBA Governmental Relations Team wrote a letter to SBE members prior to the September meeting, stating that nowhere in the session law does it require DPI to render an opinion. The letter read, “NCSBA does not believe it is appropriate for DPI to determine whether LEAs are not in compliance with the law, especially since there is no legal definition of ‘year-round’.” Click here to read the full letter written by NCSBA staff on behalf of all LEAs. The SBE removed the language before passing the revised draft report.

 

Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education – September 9

Commission members met this week to review each work group’s priorities and any changes that had been made based on discussion during the June 25th meeting. Priority topics include finance and resources, teachers, principals, early childhood/“whole child”, and assessment and accountability. The early childhood/“whole child” work group presented numerous changes to their priorities, but also left the meeting with many changes to make. There was discussion about whether a recommendation concerning literacy instruction was too detailed for a court to enforce or if it could actually help improve the State’s reading programs, which have not proven to be very beneficial. Because this workgroup is specifically focused on early childhood, the discussion of pre-k for all surfaced as well. Overall, the early childhood/“whole child” workgroup was tasked with the most follow-up work, while all other workgroups, except the principal workgroup, were assigned with polishing up a few of their recommendations.

The commission will potentially meet one more time in the future before submitting their priorities to the judge. Click here to access all meeting agenda items and attachments.

 

 

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

Bruce Mildwurf
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6692

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

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – September 13, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – August 30, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

Budget Update

While there is still no State budget in place, the legislature’s piecemeal budget approach continued this week. The General Assembly passed and sent an array of mini budget bills to the Governor that provide pay increases for State Highway Patrol officers (HB 126), State employees (HB 226), law enforcement officers of the State Bureau of Investigation and Alcohol Law Enforcement (HB 777), and State adult correctional facility employees (HB 609).

HB 426: Educators’ Pay Increases/Retiree Supplements, which was also heard on the House floor this week, includes salary increases for noncertified public-school employees, as well as salary increases for employees of the Community College System and the University of North Carolina. The bill passed the first of two required votes (click here to see vote) but was referred back to a House committee before the second vote. Noncertified public-school employees would receive a 1% salary increase in the 2019-20 fiscal year, and it is the General Assembly’s intent to provide another 1% increase in the 2020-21 fiscal year. That salary increase compares to a 2.5% increase for State employees, with recurring dollars in both years. HB 426 also provides a 0.5% annual increase in each year of the biennium for retirees. Although the bill is labeled “Educators’ Pay Increases”, it does not provide a salary increase for teachers or administrators.

House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger publicly stated that these mini budget bills include the exact numbers and language that was in the vetoed budget bill. They stated that they only plan to move forward in areas that are not in dispute with the Governor’s proposed budget, which is the reason that teacher pay was not included in HB 426. Speaker Moore was reported as saying that some form of HB 426 will return to the House floor as a conference report, which means that it can only get an up-or-down vote and cannot be amended.

 

What to Expect

Both the House and the Senate confirmed that they will not be holding voting sessions or committee meetings next week. At a press conference this week, Senator Berger said that school safety will be addressed in the next round of piecemeal budget bills when they return the week of September 9.

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019 (Read to Achieve)

  • Vetoed by the Governor on Friday, August 23 and referred to the Senate Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Berger, R-Rockingham

Last Friday, August 23, Governor Cooper vetoed SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019. Click here to see his veto message. The Governor’s veto of SB 438 comes as the legal fight between Istation and Amplify progresses. This dispute concerns the new contract that State Superintendent Mark Johnson signed with Istation in an effort to improve the Read to Achieve program, which is basis of SB 438. This week Superintendent Johnson announced a deal to continue Istation training for teachers while the legal review of how the State’s contract with Istation was awarded continues.

Below are articles on this issue.

 

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

  • Conference Report adopted by the House and the Senate on Monday, August 26
  • Presented to the Governor on Wednesday, August 28
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga; Sawyer, R-Iredell
  • Eliminates the NC Final Exam beginning with the 2020-21 school year
  • Requires annual reports on the progress of the NC personalized assessment pilot, which implements a through-grade assessment model and the goal to eliminate the EOGs and EOCs
  • Establishes plans to reduce standardized testing by LEAs by requiring local school boards, in each even-numbered year, to review locally required standardized tests
  • Requires reimbursement of up to $75.00 for expenses related to graduation projects for any economically disadvantaged student in a LEA that has a graduation project requirement
  • Requires DPI to examine third grade English Language Arts assessments to ensure alignment with Read to Achieve
  • Requires SBE to determine and analyze the necessary steps to transition to a competency-based assessment and teaching model for all elementary and secondary students (included in SB 476: Compt-Based Assess. & Mental Hlth/Teen Viol.)
  • Clarifies that the definition of a high-need retired teacher in SB 399: Rehire High-Need Teachers (S.L. 2019-110) is one that works at least 30 hours a week for 9 months or more – this allows the rehiring of retired teachers under the earnings cap, as long as they do not work more than 30 hours a week for 9 months or more
  • Expands SB 219: Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements (S.L. 2019-71) to apply to residency licenses (RL)
    • Extends the timeline from two to three years for RLs to pass any necessary licensure tests
    • Adds RLs to the list of individuals who are eligible for a limited license if they failed to fulfill examination requirements after three years of licensure

 

HB 852: Historic School Preservation Act

  • Approved by the House Finance Committee
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Adams, R-Catawba; Beasley, D-Mecklenburg; Warren, R-Rowan; Presnell, R-Yancy
  • Incentivizes the rehabilitation of historic educational buildings by increasing the historic rehabilitation tax credit if the certified historic structure is used for an educational purpose
  • This bill may be of interest to LEAs that have surplus property that can be sold or have a building that could be renovated and leased back

 

Since both the House and the Senate will not be holding voting sessions or committee meetings next week, NCSBA will not be sending out a weekly Legislative Update on Friday, September 6.

 

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 – August 30, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – August 23, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

Budget Update

On Wednesday, legislative leaders announced a piecemeal budget approach. The Senate initiated this approach with the Senate Appropriations Committee’s approval of HB 609: Salary Increases/Adult Correctional Employees on Wednesday, followed by the Senate Rules Committee’s approval on Thursday. This bill would give corrections officers the pay raises and additional annual leave that is included in the vetoed State budget. HB 555: Medicaid Transformation Implementation, which would appropriate funds for Medicaid operations, was also cleared this week by The Senate Health Care Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, stated that additional bills providing pay raises for State employees, including teachers, will be considered in the House next week. These pay raises may be revealed in the House Appropriations Committee meeting on Tuesday, August 27. Additionally, the Senate Finance Committee approved HB 74: Taxpayer Refund Act, which would distribute roughly $663 million of the $900 million budget surplus back to N.C. taxpayers.

 

As the World Turns – K-3 Reading Assessment Dispute

As the legal battle between Istation and Amplify continues, the Department of Information Technology (DIT) has ordered a hold on the State’s contract with Istation, the new company chosen to test the reading skills of K-3 public school students. Amplify, which was not chosen by State Superintendent Mark Johnson for a contract renewal, has requested a review of how the contract was awarded. Despite DIT’s order, Istation’s President has stated that the company will continue to train teachers in preparation for the new school year. Superintendent Johnson sent out a public statement on Thursday afternoon denouncing the legitimacy of DIT’s order, claiming that it was in contradiction with State law and DIT agency rules because DIT only heard arguments from one party, Amplify, before reaching a verdict. He further announced that DPI has filed a motion to dissolve the stay.

The following three articles explain the contract, the legal battle, and how this affects teachers and students.

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article234254022.html

https://www.wral.com/istation-will-continue-training-teachers-as-nc-puts-company-s-reading-contract-on-hold/18583577/

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article234205657.html

 

The following two articles cover Superintendent Johnson’s public statement.

https://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2019/08/22/superintendent-mark-johnson-pushes-back-against-dits-stay-on-istation-implementation/

https://www.carolinajournal.com/news-article/dpi-files-motion-to-dissolve-temporary-stay-in-istation-implementation/

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

  • Conference report submitted and placed on the House and Senate calendars for Monday, August 26
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Tillman, R-Randolph; Ballard, R-Watauga; Sawyer, R-Iredell
  • Eliminates the NC Final Exam beginning with the 2020-21 school year
  • Requires annual reports on the progress of the NC personalized assessment pilot, which implements a through-grade assessment model and the goal to eliminate the EOGs and EOCs
  • Establishes plans to reduce standardized testing by LEAs by requiring local school boards, in each even-numbered year, to review locally required standardized tests
  • Requires reimbursement of up to $75.00 for expenses related to graduation projects for any economically disadvantaged student in a LEA that has a graduation project requirement
  • Requires DPI to examine third grade English Language Arts assessments to ensure alignment with Read to Achieve
  • Requires SBE to determine and analyze the necessary steps to transition to a competency-based assessment and teaching model for all elementary and secondary students (included in SB 476: Compt-Based Assess. & Mental Hlth/Teen Viol.)
  • Clarifies that the definition of a high-need retired teacher in SB 399: Rehire High-Need Teachers (S.L. 2019-110) is one that works at least 30 hours a week for 9 months or more – this allows the rehiring of retired teachers under the earnings cap, as long as they do not work more than 30 hours a week for 9 months or more
  • Expands SB 219: Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements (S.L. 2019-71) to apply to residency licenses (RL)
    • Extends the timeline from two to three years for RLs to pass any necessary licensure tests
    • Adds RLs to the list of individuals who are eligible for a limited license if they failed to fulfill examination requirements after three years of licensure

 

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

  • Conference Committee appointed (click here to see conferee list)
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Berger, R-Rockingham; Tillman, R-Randolph
  • Both the Senate and House versions of the bill include the Rural Health Care Stabilization Program
  • The House added Part II of the bill which grants counties additional flexibility in using the local option sales and use tax authorized in S. 105 Article 46 without increasing the existing maximum tax rate—the local tax could be used for public school capital outlay purposes or to retire any indebtedness incurred by the county for public education purposes
    • That bill language was taken from HB 667: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility, sponsored by Representatives Howard, R-Davie; Saine, R-Lincoln; Szoka, R-Cumberland; Hunter, D-Hertford—HB 667 passed the House but has not yet been considered in the Senate
  • On Thursday, part of SB 681 (not including the local sales tax flexibility) was placed into HB 704: Rural Health Care Stabilization Act, which will go to the Senate Rules Committee, then the Senate floor, and then return to the House for concurrence

 

August 26-30 Legislative Meeting Calendar

Tuesday, August 27

9:00 am – House: Appropriations – Legislative Office Building, rm 643 (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 – August 23, 2019
read more

NCSBA Legislative Update – August 16, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

Headlines of K-12 Education Bills

For more detailed bill summaries see Highlights of K-12 Education Bills below.

Bills with Senate Action

SB 230: NC Military and Veteran Act of 2019

SB 295: Standards of Student Conduct

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

Bill on the Governor’s Desk

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

Bills with Senate Action

SB 230: NC Military and Veteran Act of 2019

  • Concurred in the Senate and sent to the Governor on Thursday, August 15
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators D. Davis, D-Greene; Brown, R-Onslow; Ballard, R-Watauga
  • Part I directs the SBE to adopt rules providing excused absences from school for children of members of the U.S. armed forces

 

SB 295: Standards of Student Conduct

  • Withdrawn from the Senate Calendar and referred to the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee
  • Requires public school unit boards to consult with teachers, school-based administrators, parents, and local law enforcement agencies when adopting policies and procedures governing student conduct and discipline
  • Requires public school unit boards to review current federal guidance issued by the US Department of Education on school discipline practices before adopting student conduct policies
  • Requires each public school unit board to annually submit a copy of its most up-to-date student discipline policies to DPI by September 1
  • Requires published student conduct policies and procedures to include the full range of responses to violations of disciplinary rules, including responses that do not remove a student from the classroom or school building
  • Allows public school unit boards to require that students and parents/guardians sign an acknowledgement that they have received a copy of student conduct policies and procedures
  • Clarifies that this bill does not regulate a public school unit board’s discretion to devise, impose, and enforce personal appearance codes
  • Applies to LEAs, charter schools, regional schools, innovative schools, and schools operated by the SBE and the University of North Carolina
  • Provides a temporary fix concerning the layoffs in the NC Virtual Public School (NCVPS) so that teachers may be employed for the upcoming fall semester
  • Standards of student conduct changes are effective beginning with the 2020-21 school year

 

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

  • Failed to Concur in the Senate and conference committee to be appointed
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Berger, R-Rockingham; Tillman, R-Randolph
  • The House added Part II of the bill which grants counties additional flexibility in using the local option sales and use tax authorized in G.S. 105 Article 46 without increasing the existing maximum tax rate—the local tax could be used for public school capital outlay purposes or to retire any indebtedness incurred by the county for public education purposes
    • That bill language was taken from HB 667: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility, sponsored by Representatives Howard, R-Davie; Saine, R-Lincoln; Szoka, R-Cumberland; Hunter, D-Hertford—HB 667 passed the House but has not yet been considered in the Senate

 

Bill on the Governor’s Desk

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

  • Conference report adopted and presented to the Governor on Wednesday, August 14
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Berger, R-Rockingham
  • Note: the conference report removed the part of the bill that would have authorized LEAs to select their own K-3 diagnostic assessments, which would have allowed for the continued use of mCLASS
  • Establishes individual reading plans (IRPs) for K-3 students performing below grade level
  • Establishes a Digital Children’s Reading Initiative, which provides free tools and resources to assist with learning outside of school
  • Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a task force to develop a Comprehensive Plan to Improve Literacy Instruction that will ensure literacy instruction in NC public schools is evidence-based, designed to improve student outcomes
  • Requires the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) to provide professional development in literacy instruction
  • Requires educator preparation programs (EPPs) to provide literacy training coursework for elementary education teachers
  • Requires the alignment of literacy curriculum and instruction with Read to Achieve
  • Requires DPI approval of local reading camp plans
  • Studies the phasing out of alternative assessments for third grade reading comprehension
  • Creates a uniform template for Read to Achieve data
  • Provides continuing education credits related to literacy for certain reading camp instructors and allows certain retired teachers to serve as reading camp instructors
  • Expands the Wolfpack WORKS program

 

 

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 – August 16, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – August 9, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

It’s the 40th day of the new fiscal year, and there is still no new State budget in place. As North Carolina continues to operate on last year’s recurring funding levels, teachers and other school district employees will not receive their pay increases until a new budget becomes law. A letter pledging support for the Governor’s budget veto was sent this week by all but four House Democrats to House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger. If those four House Democrats vote for the veto override, House Republicans will still need at least five more Democrats to be absent in order to have the necessary three-fifths majority.

 

Headlines of K-12 Education Bills

For more detailed bill summaries see Highlights of K-12 Education Bills below.

Bills with House Action

SB 230: NC Military and Veteran Act of 2019

SB 295: Standards of Student Conduct

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

Bills with Senate Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Tranps Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

SB 199: Child Sex Abuse/Strengthen Laws

SB 522: Low-Perf. Schools/Stand. Student Conduct

Bill with House & Senate Action

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

Bills with House Action

SB 230: NC Military and Veteran Act of 2019

  • Approved by the House Rules Committee, unanimously passed the House, and sent to the Senate for concurrence
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators D. Davis, D-Greene; Brown, R-Onslow; Ballard, R-Watauga
  • Directs the SBE to adopt rules providing for excused absences from school for children of members of the U.S. armed forces
  • The House Rules Committee changed the bill’s title from “Excused Absences for Military Children” to “NC Military and Veteran Act of 2019” and added four new parts related to NC military and veterans

 

SB 295: Standards of Student Conduct

  • Approved by the House Rules Committee and unanimously passed the House
  • Requires public school unit boards to consult with teachers, school-based administrators, parents, and local law enforcement agencies when adopting policies and procedures governing student conduct and discipline
  • Requires public school unit boards to review current federal guidance issued by the US Department of Education on school discipline practices before adopting student conduct policies
  • Requires each public school unit board to annually submit a copy of its most up-to-date student discipline policies to DPI by September 1
  • Allows public school unit boards to require that students and parents/guardians sign an acknowledgement that they have received a copy of student conduct policies and procedures
  • Clarifies that this bill does not regulate a public school unit board’s discretion to devise, impose, and enforce personal appearance codes
  • Effective beginning with the 2020-21 school year
  • The House made the following changes to the bill this week:
    • Replaces language that encourages school officials to use a full range of responses to violations of policies after informing the parent/guardian with language that requires published student conduct policies and procedures to include the full range of responses to violations of disciplinary rules, including responses that do not remove a student from the classroom or school building
    • Provides a temporary fix concerning the layoffs in the NC Virtual Public School (NCVPS) so that teachers may be employed for the upcoming fall semester
    • Defines certain terms referenced in the bill

 

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

  • Passed the House 81-31 (click here for vote)
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Berger, R-Rockingham; Tillman, R-Randolph
  • Part II of the bill grants counties additional flexibility in using the local option sales and use tax authorized in G.S.105 Article 46 without increasing the existing maximum tax rate—the local tax could be used for public school capital outlay purposes or to retire any indebtedness incurred by the county for public education purposes
    • That bill language was taken from HB 667: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility, sponsored by Representatives Howard, R-Davie; Saine, R-Lincoln; Szoka, R-Cumberland; Hunter, D-Hertford—HB 667 passed the House but has not yet been considered in the Senate

 

Bills with Senate Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

  • Withdrawn from the Senate Calendar for concurrence and referred to the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee
  • The Senate version of the bill expands The State Capital and Infrastructure Fund to include critical capital funding needs for LEAS and community colleges
  • The House version of the bill is a school safety omnibus

 

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Tranps Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

  • Withdrawn from the Senate Calendar for concurrence and referred to the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee
  • The Senate version of the bill allows sick leave to be transferred between a charter school and a LEA
  • The House version of the bill makes changes to a geographically isolated school in Currituck County and requires the development of auditing public school attendance and membership data

 

SB 199: Child Sex Abuse/Strengthen Laws

  • Unanimously failed to concur in the Senate
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Britt, R-Robeson; Harrington, R-Gaston; Chaudhuri, D-Wake
  • Section 5.4.(a) requires LEAs to adopt and implement training on child sex abuse and sex trafficking for school personnel
    • That bill language was taken from Section 4.(a) of HB 37: Child Sex Abuse/Extend Statute of Limitation, sponsored by Representatives Riddell, R-Alamance; White, R-Johnston; Torbett, R-Gaston; B. Turner, D-Buncombe—HB 37 passed the House but has not yet been considered in the Senate

 

SB 522: Low-Perf. Schools/Stand. Student Conduct

  • Withdrawn from the Senate Calendar for concurrence and referred to the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee
  • The Senate version of the bill makes various changes to laws affecting charter schools
  • The House version of the bill makes changes to teacher licensure laws and the innovative school district (ISD)

 

Bill with House & Senate Action

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

  • Conference Report Adopted in the House (click here for vote) and the Senate (click here for vote)
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Berger, R-Rockingham
  • The Conference Report removed the part of the bill that would have authorized LEAs to select their own K-3 diagnostic assessments, which would have allowed for the continued use of mCLASS
  • Establishes individual reading plans (IRPs) for K-3 students performing below grade level
  • Establishes a Digital Children’s Reading Initiative, which provides free tools and resources to assist with learning outside of school
  • Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a task force to develop a Comprehensive Plan to Improve Literacy Instruction that will ensure literacy instruction in NC public schools is evidence-based, designed to improve student outcomes
  • Requires the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) to provide professional development in literacy instruction
  • Requires educator preparation programs (EPPs) to provide literacy training coursework for elementary education teachers
  • Requires the alignment of literacy curriculum and instruction with Read to Achieve
  • Requires DPI approval of local reading camp plans
  • Studies the phasing out of alternative assessments for third grade reading comprehension
  • Creates a uniform template for Read to Achieve data
  • Provides continuing education credits related to literacy for certain reading camp instructors and allows certain retired teachers to serve as reading camp instructors
  • Expands the Wolfpack WORKS program

 

State Board of Education Meeting – August 7 & 8

This month’s meeting highlights include proposed new standards for math and recommendations from Whole Child NC. The meeting also included the introduction of the Board’s newest advisors: Dr. Patrick Miller, Superintendent of Greene County Schools and NC Superintendent of the Year; Matthew Bristow-Smith, 2019 NC Principal of the Year; and Mariah Morris, 2019 NC Teacher of the Year. During the Whole Child NC presentation, Mr. Bristow-Smith began the discussion by questioning why North Carolina does not have mandatory pre-k programs to help address the opportunity gaps that are seen as early as kindergarten. This question led to other points of consideration, including the incorporation of the Whole Child model into educator preparation programs and continuing to strive for the nationally recommended ratios of students to specialized instructional support personnel (SISP).

The State Board was also presented with recommended standards and descriptors for math assessments. The new standards contain four levels of student knowledge that would help educators better understand whether a student has an inconsistent, sufficient, thorough, or comprehensive understanding of the content. To view more on these recommendations and to access all Board materials, click here.

 

 

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 – August 9, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – August 2, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

By all accounts, Governor Cooper and the General Assembly are no closer to ending the budget stalemate. The State budget (HB 966) was placed on the House calendar each day this week, but the Speaker has yet to bring it to a vote. We are still exactly where we were five weeks ago. The Senate stopgap budget measure (HB 961), which ensures that the state has access to federal dollars, was signed into S.L. 2019-192 on Thursday, August 1. Although the stopgap measure does not include funding for K-12 ADM growth, it would allow federal funds to be transferred to the SBE to be used for the establishment of an abstinence until marriage education program. Until a new State budget becomes law, North Carolina will continue to operate in the shadow of last year’s recurring funding levels.

This week Governor Cooper vetoed two bills, doubling his use of the veto stamp for this legislative session. One of the bills impacts charter schools. In his required message to the General Assembly, the Governor stated that the section of SB 392: Various Charter School Changes that raises virtual charter schools’ enrollment cap by 20% per year was unnecessary. He cited the two schools’ low performance grades and the State Board of Education’s existing legal capacity to lift the enrollment cap on virtual charter schools as reasons for vetoing the bill. See below for more details on SB 392.

While the Senate took this week off, several House committees met. See below for House action on bills.

 

Headlines of K-12 Education Bills

For more detailed bill summaries see Highlights of K-12 Education Bills below.

Bills with House Action

SB 199: Child Sex Abuse/Strengthen Laws

SB 295: Standards of Student Conduct

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

Bills Signed by the Governor

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

Vetoed Bill

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

Bills with House Action

SB 199: Child Sex Abuse/Strengthen Laws

  • Passed the House 92-15 (click here to see vote) and sent to the Senate
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Britt, R-Robeson; Harrington, R-Gaston; Chaudhuri, D-Wake
  • Section 5.4.(a) requires LEAs to adopt and implement training on child sex abuse and sex trafficking for school personnel
  • An amendment that passed on the House floor eliminated the $50,000 appropriation to be used by DPI for assistance to LEAs, charter, regional, innovative, and laboratory schools in the implementation of the child sex abuse and trafficking training

 

SB 295: Standards of Student Conduct

  • Approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • The House Education K-12 Committee removed the contents of the original bill that dealt with residency for in-state tuition for NC community colleges and universities and replaced it with a bill that makes changes to local standards of student conduct
  • The new version of the bill does the following:
    • Requires LEAs to consult with teachers, school-based administrators, parents, and local law enforcement agencies when adopting policies and procedures governing student conduct and discipline
    • Requires LEAs to review current federal guidance issued by the US Department of Education before adopting student conduct policies
    • Requires each LEA to annually submit a copy of its most up-to-date student discipline policies to DPI by September 1
    • Removes examples of conduct that would not be deemed to be a serious violation of the LEA’s code of student conduct
    • Allows LEAs to require that students and parents/guardians sign an acknowledgement that they have received a copy of student conduct policies and procedures
    • Encourages school officials to use a full range of responses to violations of policies after informing the parent/guardian
    • Clarifies that this bill does not regulate a LEA’s discretion to devise, impose, and enforce personal appearance codes
  • The new version of the bill is effective beginning with the 2020-21 school year

 

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

  • Approved by the House Rules Committee and placed on the House calendar
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Berger, R-Rockingham; Tillman, R-Randolph
  • Part II of the bill gives counties additional flexibility with regard to local option sales and use tax without increasing the existing maximum tax rate
  • The House Rules Committee added to the bill that the 0.25% sales and use tax rate allowed by the bill may only be levied on or after October 1, 2020 if the 0.25% levy results in a 2.5% county sales and use tax rate

 

Bills Signed by the Governor

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-184 on Thursday, August 1
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Brown, R-Onslow
  • Establishes a mandatory process for participating units seeking withdrawal from a regional school
  • Requires a participating unit to adopt a resolution requesting withdrawal (including a withdrawal plan) and submit a copy to the regional school board of directors
    • The participating unit must receive conditional approval to withdraw with a 2/3 vote from the board of directors — prohibits a participating unit from withdrawing without approval from the regional school board of directors
    • If the participating unit receives the 2/3 vote approval, the SBE must grant final approval

 

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-185 on Thursday, August 1
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators McInnis, R-Richmond; B. Jackson, R-Sampson
  • Extends the participation in college transfer pathways and enrollment in college courses to include qualified freshmen and sophomores who meet the specified requirements
  • Requires that the criteria for adjunct career and technical education (CTE) instructors weigh work experience and industry recognized licenses/credentials over educational attainment level — requires the SBE to develop and report the minimum criteria to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by April 15, 2020
  • For the 2019-20 school year, allows an individual without an associate or baccalaureate degree to be deemed to meet the minimum criteria for an adjunct CTE instructor if the individual (i) can demonstrate a minimum of six years in the last ten years of professional experience in the relevant skill or trade and (ii) has a recognized industry credential or active professional license in each subject area

 

Vetoed Bill

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

  • Vetoed by the Governor on Monday, July 29
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Brown, R-Onslow; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Designates the Superintendent of Public Instruction as an applicable elected representative who may approve bonds to finance or refinance a charter school facility
  • Clarifies charter school renewal standards
  • Requires background checks for charter boards of directors
  • Increases the enrollment cap for virtual charter schools

 

School Calendar Flexibility

The @NCLocalCalendar Twitter handle has been tweeting about all of the charter and restart schools that have already started their 2019-20 school year due to their ability to utilize school calendar flexibility. The tweets recognize legislators who filed bills for their districts during this legislative session in hopes of extending school calendar flexibility to traditional public schools. Yesterday the account tweeted about the start of traditional public schools’ fall athletic practices. The tweet questioned why students are allowed to start playing sports on August 1 but have to wait until August 26 to begin exercising their minds. Great question!

Be sure to check out the @NCLocalCalendar Twitter page to see what charter schools in your district have already started their 2019-20 school year.

 

August 5-9 Legislative Calendar

Monday, August 5

3:00 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 – August 2, 2019
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NCSBA Legislative Update – July 26, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

We have come to the close of another short week at the legislature. Both chambers adjourned for the week on Wednesday. The House will return to Raleigh on Monday for a Rules Committee meeting and a voting session. Senators were notified by leadership that they will not have another voting session until August 6th. Therefore, we expect very little, if any, action in the Senate over the next week and a half.

We have now hit the 26th day of the new fiscal year without a State budget. The Senate stopgap budget measure (HB 961), which ensures that federal dollars continue to be utilized (but does not include funding for k-12 ADM growth like the House proposal), passed both chambers and was sent to the Governor. Until a new State budget becomes law, North Carolina will continue to operate on last year’s recurring funding levels.

 

Headlines of K-12 Education Bills

For more detailed bill summaries see Highlights of K-12 Education Bills below.

Bills with House Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Tranp Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

SB 522: Low-Perf. Schools/Stand. Student Conduct

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

 

Bill with Senate Action

SB 476: Compt-Based Assess. & Mental Hlth/Teen Viol.

 

Bill with House & Senate Action

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

 

Bills on the Governor’s Desk

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

 

Bill Still on the Governor’s Desk From Last Week

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

 

Bills Signed by the Governor

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities 

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

Bills with House Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

  • Passed third reading in the House 114-0 and sent to the Senate for a concurrence vote
  • Establishes that school safety requirements apply to all public schools and strongly encourages non-public schools to participate in school safety plans
  • Clarifies the powers and duties of the Center for Safer Schools
  • Requires reporting on the operational status of all public schools during states of emergency
  • Defines the term “school resource officer” (SRO) and requires training for SROs
  • Requires annual vulnerability assessments for each public school building
  • Requires threat assessment teams to be established at each public school and codifies the duties of threat assessment teams
  • Requires LEAs to require peer-to-peer support programs at all schools with grades six and higher
  • Requires DPI to transfer up to $1.5 million from the funds appropriated for the 2018-19 fiscal year for the anonymous safety tip line application to the Department of Public Safety to be used for the digital panic alarm system
  • Requires trauma kits to be in every public school classroom, but the contents inside the trauma kits are optional

 

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Tranp Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

  • Passed third reading in the House (passed second reading 115-0) and sent to the Senate for a concurrence vote
  • Revises the geographically isolated schools formula regarding the allocation of teachers for Currituck County (the goal is to add one new teacher)
  • Increases the transportation efficiency budget rating for Currituck County Schools (the goal is to add two new buses to the fleet)
  • Requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to develop draft policies and procedures for auditing public school attendance and membership data, including schools participating in the virtual charter school pilot program

 

SB 522: Low-Perf. Schools/Stand. Student Conduct (Innovative School District bill)

  • Passed third reading in the House (click here to see 58-54 vote on second reading) and regular message sent to the Senate
  • The House adopted the following amendments:
    • Allow LEAs to request that a school under its control be selected to the ISD
    • Expand the contents of SB 219: Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements (S.L. 2019-71) to apply to residency licenses (RL)
      • Adds that an individual who was issued an initial professional license (IPL) or RL, but failed to fulfill examination requirements after three years of licensure may be eligible for a limited license
    • Defines a qualifying school as a Title I school governed by a LEA in the lowest-performing 5% of school performance grades
    • Aligns the selection of innovative schools with those identified by the SBE for comprehensive support and improvement
    • Expands options for the innovative school district (ISD) to require LEAs to inform boards of county commissioners of academic progress annually
    • Requires the SBE to transfer the lowest scoring school in the State for the 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 school years to the ISD in the 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 school years respectively
    • Establishes a multi-year process that will transition eligible schools to the ISD in the 2023-24 school year and annually thereafter – NCSBA was instrumental in maintaining the multi-year process because the bill had previously been changed to shorten the process by one year
    • Allows up to five schools to be selected to the ISD beginning in the 2023-24 school year
    • Requires further study of reforms for assistance to low-performing schools

 

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

  • Approved by the House Finance Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Berger, R-Rockingham; Tillman, R-Randolph
  • The House Finance Committee added the contents of HB 667: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility to the bill, which gives counties additional flexibility with regard to local option sales and use tax without increasing the existing maximum tax rate

 

Bill with Senate Action

SB 476: Compt-Based Assess. & Mental Hlth/Teen Viol.

  • Failed to concur in the Senate
  • The House replaced the contents of the original bill that dealt with student discipline policies with the contents of two House bills – the House version does the following:

 

Bill with House & Senate Action

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

  • Passed third reading in the House 75-39 (click here to see vote), failed to concur in the Senate, and conference committee appointed
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Berger, R-Rockingham
  • The House adopted an amendment that authorizes LEAs to select different k-3 diagnostic assessments—this would allow a LEA to continue using mCLASS or transition to Istation
  • Establishes individual reading plans (IRPs) for k-3 students performing below grade level
  • Establishes a Digital Children’s Reading Initiative, which provides free tools and resources to assist with learning outside of school
  • Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a task force to develop a Comprehensive Plan to Improve Literacy Instruction that will ensure literacy instruction in NC public schools is evidence-based, designed to improve student outcomes
  • Requires the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) to provide professional development in literacy instruction
  • Requires educator preparation programs (EPPs) to provide literacy training coursework for elementary education teachers
  • Requires the alignment of literacy curriculum and instruction with Read to Achieve
  • Requires DPI approval of local reading camp plans
  • Studies the phasing out of certain alternative assessments
  • Creates a uniform template for Read to Achieve data
  • Provides continuing education credits related to literacy for certain reading camp instructors and allows certain retired teachers to serve as reading camp instructors
  • Expands the Wolfpack WORKS program

 

Bills on the Governor’s Desk

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

  • Presented to the Governor on Wednesday, July 24
  • Establishes a mandatory process for participating units seeking withdrawal from a regional school
  • Requires a participating unit to adopt a resolution requesting withdrawal (including a withdrawal plan) and submit a copy to the regional school board of directors
    • The participating unit must receive conditional approval to withdraw with a 2/3 vote from the board of directors — prohibits a participating unit from withdrawing without approval from the regional school board of directors
    • If the participating unit receives the 2/3 vote approval, the SBE must grant final approval

 

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

  • Presented to the Governor on Wednesday, July 24
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators McInnis, R-Richmond; B. Jackson, R-Sampson
  • Extends the participation in college transfer pathways and enrollment in college courses to include qualified freshmen and sophomores who meet the specified requirements
  • Requires that the criteria for adjunct career and technical education (CTE) instructors weigh work experience and industry recognized licenses/credentials over educational attainment level — requires the SBE to develop and report the minimum criteria to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by April 15, 2020
  • For the 2019-20 school year, allows an individual without an associate or baccalaureate degree to be deemed to meet the minimum criteria for an adjunct CTE instructor if the individual (i) can demonstrate a minimum of six years in the last ten years of professional experience in the relevant skill or trade and (ii) has a recognized industry credential or active professional license in each subject area

 

Bill Still on the Governor’s Desk From Last Week

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 19
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Brown, R-Onslow; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Designates the Superintendent of Public Instruction as an applicable elected representative who may approve bonds to finance or refinance a charter school facility
  • Clarifies charter school renewal standards
  • Requires background checks for charter boards of directors
  • Permits the SBE to allow a school participating in the virtual charter school pilot program to increase its student enrollment by more than 20% for any year of the school’s operation – NCSBA opposes this part of the bill because of the virtual charter schools’ poor school performance grades

 

Bills Signed by the Governor

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-149 on Monday, July 22
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson; Lucas, D-Cumberland
  • Makes clarifying/technical changes to the annual educator preparation program (EPP) performance report
  • Requires the SBE to adopt a rule creating a small group reporting exception any time data are at risk of being individually identifiable
  • Requires the SBE (in consultation with DPI and the Professional Educator Preparation & Standards Commission) to develop a scoring model that would compare the performance of each EPP and report it to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee
  • Requires the SBE to study two-year retention rates of EPP graduates initially licensed and employed in a NC public school as a potential EPP performance measure

 

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-154 on Monday, July 22
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Harris, D-Mecklenburg; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Autry, D-Mecklenburg
  • Makes permanent the 15-point scale for school performance grades, which is one of NCSBA’s top priorities for this legislative session
  • Requires the SBE to adopt emergency rules in preparation for permanent rule making
  • Directs the SBE to study (i) if the weighting of school achievement and school growth used to calculate school performance grades best reflects the performance and growth of each school and (ii) the reporting methods used for school accountability purposes on the NC annual school report cards

 

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-142 on Friday, July 19
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Corbin, R-Macon; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Johnson, R-Cabarrus
  • Combines the career and college readiness indicators used for school performance grades and for the purpose of compliance with federal law
  • Requires that the SBE include additional career and college readiness information on annual report cards

 

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-176 on Friday, July 26
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives D. Hall, R-Caldwell; Lewis, R-Harnett; Arp, R-Union
  • Requires LEAs to insure and keep insured buildings owned by the LEA to the extent of not less than 80% (previously not less than 75%) of the current insurable value against loss by an insurable hazard such as fire, windstorm, vandalism, sprinkler leakage, water damage, etc.
  • When property of the LEA is located in the 100-year flood plain on the latest Flood Insurance Rate Map, that local school board is required to insure or keep insured to the extent of not less than 80% of the current insurable value for flood damage to buildings and their contents
  • Requires county commissioners to provide the necessary funding for compliance
  • Transfers the School Insurance Fund Section of DPI to the Department of Insurance (DOI) – the balance of the Public School Insurance Fund will also be transferred to DOI

 

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-165 on Friday, July 26
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Ballard, R-Watauga
  • For the 2019-20 school year, requires each LEA to report its instructional calendar start and end dates to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the SBE by August 1, 2019 and requires the SBE to report the dates to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by September 1, 2019 — annually thereafter, requires each LEA to report by April 1 and the SBE to report by June 15
  • Staggers Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission appointments

 

SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-166 on Friday, July 26
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Gunn, R-Alamance; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Provides a limited exception to the prohibition of 16-18-year-old students participating in supervised, practice experiences with employers in occupations declared by the Commissioner of Labor to be detrimental to the health and well-being of youth
  • Clarifies that the Commissioner of Labor must make the required findings that would allow an eligible student to qualify for the exception

 

 

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 – July 26, 2019
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