NCSBA Legislative Update – September 2, 2022


The State Board of Education (SBE) met on Tuesday, August 30, and Wednesday, August 31, for a planning and work session, followed by the Board’s monthly meeting on Thursday, September 1. During the September monthly meeting, Board members were presented with the following:

2021-2022 school year accountability data: Prior to the presentation of 2021-2022 school year accountability data, it was noted that 2018-2019 school year data would be included for context, not evaluation. Additionally, Board members were reminded that due to the COVID-19 pandemic both testing and accountability was waived for the 2019-2020 school year and accountability was waived for the 2020-2021 school year. While test scores have increased from the 2020-2021 school year, students are not back to pre-pandemic levels of proficiency. The following are highlights of 2021-2022 school year accountability data:

  • School growth scores (slide 47)
    • Exceeded: 28.8% (27.9% in 2018-2019)
    • Met: 40.8% (45.5% in 2018-2019)
    • Did Not Meet: 30.4% (26.7% in 2018-2019)
  • School performance grades (slide 54)
    • A: 5.6% (8% in 2018-2019)
    • B: 17.2% (29.3% in 2018-2019)
    • C: 35% (41% in 2018-2019)
    • D: 32.1% (18.2% in 2018-2019)
    • F: 10.2% (3.6% in 2018-2019)
  • Low-performing designation (slide 67)
    • Schools: 864 (488 in 2018-2019)
    • Districts: 29 (8 in 2018-2019)
  • The four-year cohort graduation rate was 86.2% (slide 8)
    • 86.5% in 2018-2019

Following the presentation, Board members praised the progress that schools have made while also acknowledging the work that still needs to be done. Vice Chair Alan Duncan said, “For anyone who seeks to criticize educators based on the release of this data, you are wrong…We should be praising and encouraging our educators and lifting them up.”

  • Click here to access the performance and growth data
  • Click here to access the graduation rate data
  • Click here for a further breakdown on the data on the state, region, district, and school levels
  • Click here for an article on the presentation and discussion of the data

Principal retention supplement: The 2022 State budget requires principals’ salaries to be based on school growth scores from the 2021-2022 school year, beginning on January 1, 2023. For the past several years, salaries have been based on school growth data from the best two out of three previous school years. This change in salary calculation is predicted to decrease pay for 15% of principals by amounts between $7,200 and $18,000 over a one-year period. In response to this legislative change, the Board approved the utilization of $4.5 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to supplement the salaries of principals whose pay will be negatively impacted. Click here to access the State Superintendent’s statement about the plan to address this principal pay issue.

Recommendations for changes to principal preparation requirements: The Board received an update on proposed revisions to principal licensure requirements. Over the past several months, DPI has gathered recommendations from various stakeholder groups based on the current principal licensure requirements, asking what should stay the same and what should change. During the meeting, DPI staff presented recommendations based on that stakeholder feedback, with the plan of requesting the Board’s approval at the October meeting. There was much discussion amongst Board members, with disagreements on whether to require a licensure exam and teaching experience. Following the discussion, Dr. Olivia Oxendine, who chairs the committee overseeing the process of reforming principal preparation requirements, said she would like to have more time to discuss these recommendations prior to sending them to the legislature for consideration.

School health support personnel report: The Board was presented with a report on school health support personnel that will be submitted to the legislature. The report compares the State’s student to health support personnel ratios with the nationally recommended ratios. It also lists barriers individuals face when entering each school health support profession and includes the following recommendations:

  • Reduce student ratios to the recommended ratios of each profession to aid manageability of student caseloads
  • Employ at least one social worker, psychologist, and nurse in each school to strengthen on site student support services teams
  • Fund competitive salaries to increase retention and recruitment
  • Create clearer job descriptions to protect school health support personnel from engaging in inappropriate job duties

Click here for the full report.

Click here to access all meeting materials.

During the planning and work session, Board members participated in small group discussions and were presented with the following:

Click here to access all planning and work session materials.


On Wednesday, the State Supreme Court heard arguments on funding the Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan. The objective of the Leandro Plan is to ensure that every child has the opportunity to receive a sound basic education, as required by the State constitution. This hearing follows Superior Court Judge Michael Robinson’s finding that $785 million of State funds is needed “to properly fund years two and three” of the eight-year Leandro Plan.

Earlier this year, Robinson replaced Superior Court Judge David Lee. After this replacement, the State Supreme Court ordered Robinson to review Lee’s November 10, 2021, order prior to the Leandro case coming before the Supreme Court. Lee’s order called for the transfer of over $1.7 billion from the unappropriated balance in the General Fund to fund the Leandro Plan. Robinson amended Lee’s order to instead call for $785 million, following an analysis of how much the State budget, which passed on November 18, 2021, funds the Plan. Robinson’s order, however, declined to direct the transfer of funds.

Members of the seven-justice Supreme Court questioned the parties on whether a trial judge had ever previously ruled that there was a statewide violation of the constitutional right to the opportunity to receive a sound basic education and whether the courts can order the transfer of the $785 million to state agencies for the Leandro Plan. Click here for an article that provides more details on the hearing, as well as background on the case. It is not known when the Supreme Court will release its decision.

Click here to access a recording of the hearing.


Last week, data was released showing that during the 2021-2022 school year, NC’s K-2 students outperformed students in other states on literacy skills. This article provides more context on the data.


The Committee met on August 15 and August 29. During the August 15 meeting, Committee members were given the following presentations on principals:

During this meeting, legislators voiced support for solving the issue of looming pay cuts for some principals beginning in January 2023, which is when the 2022 State budget requires principal salary to be based on school growth data from the 2021-2022 school year. (See “Principal retention supplement” under the SBE Planning/Work Session and Monthly Meeting section for more on how the SBE plans to resolve this issue.)

Click here to access all meeting materials.

During the August 29 meeting, Committee members were given the following presentations on school discipline:

Click here to access all meeting materials.


We are now receiving federal updates on education-related issues, which we will be including in our legislative updates. The following are the Consortium of State School Boards Association’s (COSSBA) most recent weekly education reports.


Tuesday, September 6

9:30 am – Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee – Legislative Offices Building, room 643 (livestream)




Bruce Mildwurf
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association

Rebekah Howard
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association

Madison Skeens
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – September 2, 2022