NCSBA Legislative Update – November 4, 2022

 

DPI’s Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC) is in the process of drafting a new teacher licensure/salary model that pays teachers based on performance, effectiveness, and years of experience, rather than exclusively on years of experience.

PEPSC most recently met on October 13, where discussion centered around this presentation. Under the proposed salary schedule, NC teachers start with a base salary of $38,000 and can make up to $80,434. A hold harmless provision is also included to ensure teachers do not make less than they currently receive. Below is a snapshot of the proposed salary schedule, and a more detailed chart can be found on slide 20 of the presentation.

Click here for the October 13 meeting agenda and materials, click here for an article on the meeting, and click here for a recording of the meeting.

The State Board of Education (SBE) met for a planning and work session on November 1 and November 2 and heard two presentations pertaining to the draft teacher licensure/salary model. Neither presentation included a description of the draft model but rather provided guidance on what action the Board may take once it is presented with the draft model.

The first presentation explained the legal roles of PEPSC and SBE concerning policy-making around teacher licensure. Slide 12 spells out the governing law that allows PEPSC to bring the teacher licensure/salary model to SBE as a requested recommendation. This recommendation request was made by the SBE Chair after the Board heard a presentation on February 4, 2021, from members of the Human Capital Roundtable regarding a proposal to revise teacher training and licensure requirements. SBE Attorney, Allison Schafer, said Board members need to begin thinking about what request they want to submit to the General Assembly – statutory implementation of the draft model, which would limit SBE flexibility, or statutory changes to allow SBE to implement the draft model through rulemaking.

The second presentation was given by the PEPSC Chair who explained the architecture and design elements for the draft model. Following this presentation, Board members participated in small group discussions and provided feedback on the design elements (slides 10-11) and the blueprint for action (slides 12-15). There were multiple requests to provide clarity about what “learner outcomes” are expected when teachers are “assessed and analyzed”. Additionally, support was expressed for the blueprint of action that would assess teacher effectiveness from multiple evidence points.

Click here for an article highlighting SBE’s discussion on the teacher licensure/salary reform plan.

The timeline for approval of the draft teacher licensure/salary model is as follows:

  • PEPSC plans to vote on the finalized draft model at its next meeting scheduled for November 10
  • PEPSC plans to present the draft model as a discussion item at the next SBE meeting scheduled for November 30 and December 1
  • A date has not been set by SBE to approve the draft model
  • Once approved by SBE, the model will go to the General Assembly for consideration

 

As mentioned above, the State Board of Education (SBE) met on November 1 and November 2 for a planning and work session.  SBE met once more on November 3 for the Board’s monthly meeting.

During the planning and work session, where Board members heard two presentations pertaining to the draft teacher/licensure model, Board members also heard the following presentations:

Click here to access all planning and work session materials.

During the monthly meeting, Board members were presented with the following:

Teacher Working Conditions Survey update: The Board was presented with an in-depth review of the 2022 NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey results. The survey had a 92% response rate, and results can be viewed online in summary (on the state, district, or school level) or by individual item/question. Presenters stated a big takeaway from the survey results is the need for effective and differentiated professional development opportunities for educators and administrators. The presentation includes a series of slides showing administrator-educator question comparison, as well as a demonstration of how district leaders can use scatterplots to understand which schools need additional support and which schools are examples of success. Click here to access the survey webpage, which includes survey results from 2022, 2020, and 2018.

Legislative requests for the 2023 long session: Board members were presented with the first draft of DPI’s and SBE’s budget priorities for the 2023 legislative long session. Priorities include:

  • Continue funding to eliminate the student copay for reduced-price lunch through the next fiscal year
  • Increase funding for Academically or Intellectually Gifted (AIG) programs
  • Modify the school psychologist allotment law that requires each LEA to employ one school psychologist to allow those funds to be used for contractual services if a LEA is unable to fill the school psychologist position

There was minimal discussion, as this was the first presentation on the budget priorities. These priorities will come back before the Board for discussion and approval.

School-Based Mental Health Plans and Compliance Report: The Board heard a presentation on a school mental health policy report that will be submitted to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee. The presentation lists data sources that school districts used when identifying their priorities, which included the Youth Risk Behavior Survey and data from the Say Something App. Additionally, the presentation contains a series of slides comparing specific goals included in school districts’ mental health plans vs. compliance with those goals in the 2021-22 school year. Click here for the full report.

Click here to access all meeting materials.

Click here for an article on potential SBE budget priorities for the upcoming long session.

 

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) recently released a report assessing fourth and eighth grade math and reading scores. The report compared the 2022 scores to math scores from 1990 through 2019 and reading scores from 1992 through 2019. NC, and a majority of the country, saw a decline in scores in both subject areas and in both grades.

In response to the NAEP report, US Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, stated: “The results released today from the National Assessment of Educational Progress are appalling, unacceptable, and a reminder of the impact that this pandemic has had on our learners. The data also represent a call to action for the important work we must do now for our students—especially those who have suffered the most during the pandemic.”

For NC, in particular, a DPI press release stated that average scores in fourth and eighth grade math have not been this low since 2000. Additionally, the percentage of fourth grade students scoring at “below basic” for reading achievement reached a 15-year high of 39%. State Superintendent Catherine Truitt said, “These findings reflect what our Office of Learning Recovery identified in March of this year regarding the effects of lost instructional time and reaffirms our commitment to working towards recovery and acceleration statewide.”

Click here for an article that takes a closer look at NC’s scores compared to prior years and shows break downs of the data by student subgroups.

 

DPI’s Center for Safer Schools awarded $74.1 million in school safety grants for the 2022-23 school year. The safety grants will benefit 111 LEAs and 89 charter schools across NC and will be used for safety equipment, school resource officers, training, and services for students in crisis.

A full list of districts and schools awarded grants can be found here.

 

In September 2022, DPI’s Testing and Accountability Working Group convened with the goal of creating recommendations for redesigning the State’s school accountability model. The current model calculates school grades based on a school’s achievement score (weighted 80%) and a school’s students’ academic growth (weighted 20%).

Thus far, the Working Group has held two meetings –  one on September 12 and another on October 17. During the October 17 meeting, the Working Group reviewed the results of a statewide survey conducted by DPI and EdNC about school performance grades. Over 19,000 people responded to at least one question on the survey. Survey results include the following statements of highest agreement across roles (see breakdown of roles on slide 16):

  • The NC legislature needs to reform school performance grades.
  • K-12 schools should have different measures of success for elementary, middle, and high schools.
  • Some level of standardized testing is necessary to understand how students are doing.
  • School performance grades should include measures beyond test scores and student growth.

For more information on the statewide survey results, click here. Click here for an article on the October 17 meeting.

Moving forward, the Working Group will continue to receive stakeholder feedback through November and begin examining new measures for school grades starting in December. The Working Group’s next meeting is scheduled for November 7.

 

On October 18, DPI released the State’s Portrait of a Graduate, which identifies seven competencies that students need for success after high school:

  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Empathy
  • Learner’s mindset
  • Personal responsibility

State Superintendent Catherine Truitt said, “There was and remains a steady need for students to develop skills outside of what we consider traditional technical skills and academic knowledge… This newly unveiled statewide Portrait is an important way we can allow, encourage, and invite schools to begin emphasizing durable skills in the classroom, and is a tool that will help students develop these competencies during their time in North Carolina public schools.”

Development of the Portrait began earlier this year as DPI staff worked directly with school districts, educators, students, employers, and business leaders to create a model that ensures student success in a range of postsecondary opportunities. DPI’s press release about the Portrait states: “The Portrait of a Graduate provides a potential framework for designing a multi-measured system of accountability that not only emphasizes strong academic outcomes but also highlights the durable skills and mindsets students need to thrive.” Additionally, the Portrait will inform the work of DPI’s Testing and Accountability Working Group as it creates recommendations for redesigning the State’s school accountability model.

Click here to access the Portrait webpage.

 

The NC Child Fatality Task Force (CFTF) met on October 31 and unanimously adopted the following two recommendations that will be included in the CFTF’s annual report submitted to the Governor and General Assembly:

  1. Appropriate $40 million in recurring funding for school health professionals to replace the $40 million provided through a COVID fund set to expire in 2023. According to CFTF’s presentation, with suicide rates for NC teens at the highest level in a decade, increased school supports for mental health are critically needed.
  2. Appropriate funding for a statewide school health data system. According to CFTF’s presentation, the current practice for keeping required health records varies, and many LEAs cannot afford an effective electronic record keeping system, which typically correlates with less access to healthcare for students.

Click here to access the meeting presentation, which includes more information on the adopted recommendations.

 

The following are the Consortium of State School Boards Association’s (COSSBA) most recent federal education reports.

October 10, 2022, Weekly Report

October 17, 2022, Weekly Report

October 24, 2022, Weekly Report

October 31, 2022, Weekly Report

 

Tuesday, November 29
9:30 am – Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee – Legislative Offices Building, rm 544 (livestream)

 

 

 

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

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

Madison Skeens
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
mskeens@ncsba.org

Rob Black
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
rblack@ncsba.org

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – November 4, 2022