NCSBA Legislative Update – April 8, 2022

 

The State Board of Education (SBE) met for its monthly meeting on Wednesday and Thursday this week. At the end of the meeting on Thursday there was an announcement that the Board would reconvene on Friday at 3:30 pm. This afternoon, the Board briefly met to take action on an issue concerning a charter school. On Wednesday and Thursday, the Board was presented with the following:

NC Pathways to Excellence for Teaching Professionals update: The Board received an update on a draft teacher licensure model that includes a new teacher salary structure. This model was developed by the Human Capital Roundtable with support work from subcommittees of the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC). DPI staff began the presentation by emphasizing that this is not a final model but rather an example of a model based on work done over the past year. The model is a seven-tier licensure process that is tied to competency, skill, and effectiveness, rather than time. When addressing concerns that this model is essentially merit pay, DPI staff clarified that this model aligns the organizational structure/goals of schools with teacher compensation systems. Previously, with merit pay “we took some ideas and we layered them on top of a century-old organizational structure and compensation structure and expected something different to happen.” Additionally, Superintendent Catherine Truitt stated, “this is not a model that ties teacher compensation to test scores…there are multiple ways for teachers to move up via effectiveness.” Click here for the presentation and click here for an article on the model.

Full-time equivalency (FTE) of public-school students formula: In the State budget, the General Assembly tasked the Board with establishing a formula for determining the FTE of a student enrolled in a public school unit for the purposes of providing State funds on a per pupil basis. DPI staff’s presentation began by explaining that the current average daily membership (ADM) accounting is an average that is not intended to look at each individual student. The FTE formula defines the minimum amount of instructional time that a student needs to be scheduled to be considered full-time. In response to funding concerns expressed by local superintendents, DPI staff stated that at this point, the task is not to use this FTE formula for funding. Additionally, Superintendent Truitt stated that when legislators were publicly asked about the FTE formula, the response was that they believe that schools are being funded in the best way now, but they still want to examine other possibilities. Truitt also stated that she did not think to request input from superintendents and other education leaders because the task was to develop a formula, not to submit recommendations. The Board’s local superintendent advisor, Dr. Brent Williams of Lenoir County, explained that the concern stems from not wanting to damage the collaboration between school systems and community colleges by potentially creating a competition for students. Click here for the presentation, click here for the report, and click here for an article on the formula.

Parent Advisory Commission update: Following Board questioning at last month’s meeting on Superintendent Truitt’s new Parent Advisory Commission, the Board received an update. Truitt stated that DPI had received roughly 3,500 applications for the 48-member Commission, but only 693 of those applications were fully complete. Truitt provided a list of DPI staff that will be reviewing the applications, which can be found in this article. Once staff gets the number of applications down to 150, Truitt will join the evaluation process and focus on representation and voice. Truitt has faced criticism from some Board members for the inclusion of many non-public school parents/guardians on the Commission. The Commission will consist of six parents/guardians from each of the State’s eight education regions:

  • Two traditional public schools
  • One charter public school
  • One homeschool
  • One private school
  • One at-large public-school member from the largest county in each region, including: Buncombe, Catawba, Cumberland, Guilford, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Pitt, and Wake

DPI/SBE legislative priorities: DPI staff presented the Board with proposed legislative priorities for the 2022 short session. Legislative priorities total $15.6 million and include a school psychologist internship program, school turnaround coaches, and an increase in the school transportation fuel price reserve. Additionally, cost-of-living salary increases for teachers and public sector employees would be a priority. Board member Wendell Hall, who chairs the committee working on the legislative priorities, stated that he wants to see items such as funding for social workers and additional school turnaround coaches added to the list. Click here for the presentation and click here for an article on these legislative priorities.

Revisions to school administrator licensure requirements: The Board was presented with an update on proposed revisions to principal licensure requirements. Per request of the SBE and DPI, a 2021 session law exempted principals granted a license for any school year from 2010-2011 to 2020-2021 from certain statutory licensure requirements and provided a waiver for certain individuals in the process of becoming a licensed principal. Over the past several months, DPI has gathered recommendations from various stakeholder groups on the current principal licensure requirements, asking what should stay the same and what should change. During the meeting, DPI recommendations were presented to be considered for Board approval at a future meeting. Following Board approval, the recommendations would be submitted to the General Assembly for consideration prior to the August 30, 2022, expiration date of the current exemption and waiver. Click here for the presentation, which includes DPI recommendations on slide 13 concerning a licensure exam, having a masters of school administration, a yearlong internship, and educator experience.

Also at this month’s meeting, Board Chair Eric Davis announced the appointment of John M. Blackburn to the Board. Blackburn will represent the Northwest region and replace former Board member Todd Chasteen who resigned in February.

Click here to access all meeting materials. Click here for an article on the meeting.

 

As of Friday, April 8, all 115 local school districts have approved mask optional policies (one has a mask optional policy with certain stipulations, and one has a pending effective date). Click here to access a chart of school board actions. If you have corrections to the chart, please email information to Rebekah Howard at rhoward@ncsba.org.

 

House Select Committee on An Education System for North Carolina’s Future

On Monday, the Committee held a meeting at Stanly Middle School in Gaston County. Click here for an article on the meeting, which includes recordings of presentations and public comment, and click here for the Gaston County Schools Superintendent’s presentation.

 

 

Please note that we may not be sending legislative updates on a weekly basis while the General Assembly is not in session.

 

 

 

Bruce Mildwurf
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
bmildwurf@ncsba.org

Rebekah Howard
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association
rhoward@ncsba.org

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – April 8, 2022