NCSBA Legislative Update – January 27, 2023


On Wednesday, January 25, the House and Senate reconvened to begin work for the 2023 legislative long session. In the House, committee chairs were appointed and given their gavels. For a list of House education committee assignments, click here. For a list of Senate education committee assignments, click here. Dozens of bills were filed in both chambers, many of which concern education. In addition to HB 17 and HB 26, which are summarized below, see the “Bills Filed” section for a list of all education-related bills filed this week. Primary sponsors for both HB 17 and HB 26 include two of the three chairs of the House Education K-12 Committee.

Bill to Elect SBE Members and Make State Superintendent SBE Chair

HB 17: Elect the SBE/SPI as SBE Chair (primary sponsors: Representatives Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; John Torbett, R-Gaston; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford; David Willis, R-Union) was filed on Wednesday and is similar to a bill filed in the 2022 legislative session. HB 17 is a constitutional amendment that requires 14 State Board of Education (SBE) members to be elected to four-year terms from districts established by the General Assembly. The bill also makes the State Superintendent the chair of the SBE.

The SBE currently has 11 members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the General Assembly for eight-year terms (eight members are from each of the State’s education regions and three members are at-large). Currently, the State Superintendent is elected to a four-year term and is the Secretary and Chief Administrative Officer of the SBE.

A 3/5 vote in each chamber is required for this constitutional amendment to be put on the ballot for consideration by North Carolina’s voters.

Bill to Reform School Accountability Model

HB 26: Education Omnibus (primary sponsors: Representatives John Torbett, R-Gaston; Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; Mike Clampitt, R-Swain) was filed on Thursday and includes a requirement that the State Superintendent study and evaluate school achievement scores and metrics and report back to the General Assembly by April 15, 2023. The bill also requires DPI to submit a report to the General Assembly by February 15, 2024, on suggested changes to the school accountability model.

As a reminder, DPI’s Testing and Accountability Working Group first convened in September 2022 with the goal of creating recommendations for redesigning the State’s school accountability model. A comprehensive presentation of the Working Group’s recommendations is expected to be given at the SBE meeting next Wednesday, February 1. Additionally, reforming the current school accountability model is included in NCSBA’s Legislative Agenda, and you can access NCSBA’s Accountability Issue Brief by clicking here.


In November 2022, the NCSBA Delegate Assembly approved NCSBA’s 2023-2024 Legislative Agenda, which is used to guide the Association’s advocacy efforts. To provide additional background information on each item in the Legislative Agenda, including NCSBA’s position, the Governmental Relation’s team is publishing issue briefs, which are linked below. The final three issue briefs will be included in next Friday’s Legislative Update.


The following are additional education-related bills that were filed this week.

Statewide Bills

  • HB 3: UNC Report on Computer Science Credit (primary sponsors: Representatives Erin Pare, R-Wake; Donna White, R-Johnston; Kristin Baker, R-Cabarrus; Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke)
    • Requires a study on whether to incorporate one or more computer science courses into the minimum requirements for undergraduate admission for the UNC system
  • HB 4: Increasing Engagement in STEM Grant Program (primary sponsors: Representatives Erin Pare, R-Wake; Donna White, R-Johnston; Kristin Baker, R-Cabarrus; Shelly Willingham, D-Edgecombe)
    • Establishes the Increasing Engagement in STEM Program to provide public school units (PSUs) with grants to increase STEM engagement in middle school
  • HB 8: Computer Sci. Grad. Requirement (primary sponsors: Representatives Erin Pare, R-Wake; John Torbett, R-Gaston; Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford)
    • Allows computer science courses to fulfill one high school science elective credit and requires completion of a computer science course for high school graduation
  • HB 11: Schools for the Deaf and Blind (primary sponsors: Representatives Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; Ken Fontenot, R-Wilson; Erin Pare, R-Wake; Dianne Wheatley, R-Cumberland)
    • Upon request, for a student who has applied to a school for the deaf or blind, requires the local superintendent to share current evaluation data and the current or proposed individualized education plan for any child enrolled in that superintendent’s PSU
    • Establishes Boards of Trustees to govern the State’s schools for the deaf or blind, taking away the State Board of Education’s authority as the sole governing agency and DPI’s administrative responsibilities and oversight of these schools
  • HB 23: Gooru Contract (primary sponsors: Representatives Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; John Torbett, R-Gaston; Tricia Cotham, D-Mecklenburg)
    • Requires DPI to contract with Gooru, Inc., to address negative educational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • SB 3: NC Compassionate Care Act (primary sponsors: Senators Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick; Michael Lee, R-New Hanover; Paul Lowe, D-Forsyth)
    • Legalizes medical marijuana and clarifies that smoking or vaping medical marijuana is prohibited in or within 1,000 linear feet of the property line of a PSU
  • SB 4: Eliminate Tax on Gov’t Retirees (primary sponsor: Senator Jim Burgin; R-Harnett)
    • Allows a taxpayer to deduct from their adjusted gross income the amount received from one or more federal, State, or local government retirement plans for at least 20 years of government employment
  • SB 15: Hands Free NC (primary sponsors: Senators Jim Burgin, R-Harnett; Kevin Corbin, R-Macon; Mike Woodard, D-Durham)
    • States that a person who uses a cellphone while operating a school bus is subject to penalties and guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor

Local Bill


Governor Roy Cooper’s Teacher Advisory Commission held a meeting on Tuesday, January 24, which included:

  • Governor’s office updates
  • Teacher licensure/salary model updates
  • School performance grade redesign updates

Updates from the Governor’s office mainly concerned Leandro and the Governor’s plans to continue supporting full implementation of the Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan. It was noted that the State Board of Education (SBE) and DPI’s legislative priorities also include support for full implementation of the Plan. For the most recent update on the Leandro case, click here to access our January 6, 2023, Legislative Update.

Updates on the new teacher licensure/salary model came from the chair of DPI’s Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC) who explained that PEPSC is currently creating pilots to be considered by the SBE. When asked about different ways the new model could be implemented, PEPSC chair Dr. Van Dempsey said he believes different components of the model could be implemented over time, including restoration of master’s pay for teachers. As a reminder, any recommendations brought by PEPSC to the SBE would still require legislative approval prior to implementation. For the most recent update on PEPSC’s work on this new model, click here to access our January 13, 2023, Legislative Update.

Updates on the school performance grade redesign concerned indicators that DPI’s Testing and Accountability Working Group plans to include in its proposed accountability model. These indicators strive to measure school performance in a variety of ways, rather than solely focusing on test scores, and they include:

  • Postsecondary preparation inputs
  • Postsecondary outcomes
  • Improving student group performance
  • Extra/intra-curricular activities
  • Durable skills
  • School climate

The State’s current model calculates school grades based on 80% student achievement and 20% school growth. While the Working Group is continuing to refine its list of indicators that have “valid and reliable measurements”, it is also considering how to weigh growth versus proficiency. The Working Group’s next meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, January 31, and a comprehensive update will be given at the SBE’s meeting next Wednesday, February 1.


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

January 23, 2023, Weekly Report

  • Headlines for this edition include:
    • Scotland County Schools Wins Community Violence Prevention Grant
      • The US Department of Education awarded $8 million in grants to 11 school districts across the United States through its Project Prevent The grants help school districts expand their capacity to implement school- and community-based strategies to help prevent community violence. Scotland County Schools won a grant in the amount of $800,000.
    • US Supreme Court Hears Case that Could Change IDEA Dispute Resolution For School Districts
      • Perez vs. Sturgis Public Schools, a case involving how school districts handle dispute resolution under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), was argued before the US Supreme Court last week. At issue is whether individuals who have already entered into an IDEA settlement must exhaust the administrative process before pursuing a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The following are recent news articles and reports on state and national education-related issues.

State News

National News


Tuesday, January 31

1:00 pm – House Education K-12 Committee – Legislative Offices Building, rm 643 (livestream)



If your school board is planning to have a function with your legislative delegation, we would be happy for a member of the NCSBA Governmental Relations team to attend. Just let us know! Also, if your school board adopts its own legislative agenda, please forward it to




Bruce Mildwurf
Director of Governmental Relations
NC School Boards Association

Rebekah Howard
Advocacy Coordinator
NC School Boards Association

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

Rob Black
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – January 27, 2023