Progress is being made in the budget negotiations between the House and Senate. Last Friday, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) tweeted
that significant progress on the budget has been made and that both sides have agreed upon the tax package portion. The two chambers have also agreed on raises for teachers and state employees but have not released those numbers yet. According to reporting
by WNCN CBS-17, Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) is saying that the budget could be done by the week of August 13th
, but Senator Berger is less optimistic due to the number of issues still to be negotiated.
The House was scheduled to meet on Monday August 7th with several veto overrides on the calendar. However, the override votes on HB219: Charter School Omnibus, HB 618: Charter School Review Board, and HB 574: Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, have now been pushed back one week to Tuesday, August 15th. Neither the House nor the Senate will be holding session next week.
Meanwhile, SB 49: Parents’ Bill of Rights is still in the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate. It is unclear when the override vote will occur. It is highly likely that all four of those vetoes will be overridden when a vote is taken.
State Board of Education Monthly Meeting
The State Board of Education met remotely Wednesday and Thursday this week. The Board approved the following:
- New Members of the Board of Governors for the NC Governor’s School
- Eligibility Criteria, Standards, and Procedures for Admissions to the Schools for the Deaf and Blind for the 2023-2024 school year
- Licensure Renewal Requirements Policy Amendment
- NC Public Schools Allotment Policy Manual: ESSER II Various PRCs and Potential State PRCs Policy Amendment
Recommendations for New Members to Board of Governors for the NC Governor’s School: The State Board approved the recommended member appointments to the Board of Governors for the North Carolina Governor’s School. Further information about the newly approved members can be found here.
Eligibility Criteria, Standards, and Procedures for Admissions to the schools for the Deaf and Blind for the 2023-2024 school year: For the 2023-2024 school year, DPI approved eligibility criteria, standards, and procedures for admissions to NC School for the Deaf (NCSD), Governor Morehead School (GMS), and Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf (ENCSD). In the years following the 2023-2024 school year, the respective boards of trustees shall set the eligibility criteria, standards, and procedures for admissions for the schools. More information regarding NCSD can be found here, for GMS here, and for ENCSD can be found here.
Licensure Renewal Requirements Policy Amendment: The Board approved revisions to the licensure renewal requirements for an expired Continuing Professional License (CPL). The revisions allow educators with an expired NC CPL to be eligible for a three-year validated professional license when the educator completes eight renewal credits during the three-year period. Following the completion of the required renewal credits, a license will be issued with a new five-year renewal cycle. Additionally, the Retirement License has been replaced by the Lifetime License. Click here for further details regarding the policy amendments.
NC Public Schools Allotment Policy Manual: ESSER II Various PRCs and Potential State PRCs Policy Amendment: The Board approved proposed changes made to the NC Public Schools Allotment Policy Manual by the Division of School Business. These changes include the expanded use of the funds for afterschool tutoring and enrichment in all tested core subjects, Math, ELA, and Science. These funds were previously constrained to Math only. Further, a new program report code (PRC) has been established for Career Technology services for credentialing activities. Finally, additional funding provides for the incurred cost of substitute teachers employed as a result of paid parental leave. The 2022-2023 Allotment Policy Manual and details about the policy amendments can be found here.
The Board also approved several items reviewed at the meeting last month as follows:
Standard Course of Study Revision Update: DPI staff provided the monthly update on the progress of revising standards for K-12 Healthful Living, K-12 Arts, K-12 Guidance, and K-12 World Language standards. DPI reports it has released several stakeholder surveys on healthful living standards and continues to gather data regarding the American School Counselor Association Student Mindsets and Behaviors. For the presentation see here. For the 2023 Internal Procedures Manual on the North Carolina Standard Course of Study see here.
Paid Parental Leave: In July, the Board reviewed draft temporary administrative rules to respond to legislation from the General Assembly providing paid parental leave for certain groups of public employees, including local school administrative unit employees. Since the July meeting the draft rules have been revised to clarify that the charter schools may, but are not required, to provide paid parental leave and are eligible to receive funds allocated for schools that provide said leave. The Board approved these temporary administrative rules. The temporary administrative rules may be found here. Further information on paid parental leave may be found here.
This month, the Board also received reports on the following:
- State Superintendent’s Report
- State Summary of Academic Gains in Restart Schools and Research Study: Learning Loss and Recovery in Restart Schools (December 2022 Annual Report)
- Draft SBE Policies for Appointed Interim Superintendent Process and Assistance Teams
- Approval of Six Contracts over $500,000
- Employees Benefit and Employment Policies
State Superintendent’s Report: An assessment conducted by Amplify shows that a post-pandemic rebound of student achievement began in the 2021-2022 school year. North Carolina continues to close gaps through improvement in all grade levels and improvement across all subgroups. In kindergarten through third grade during the 2022-2023 school year, North Carolina has demonstrated a growth of the percentage of students on track (ready for core instruction) from the beginning of the school year as compared to the end of the school year that outpaced national averages.
State Summary of Academic Gains in Restart Schools and Research Study: Learning Loss and Recovery in Restart Schools (December 2022 Annual Report): The state summary provides the progress of Restart schools which are required to submit annual reports. Currently 159 schools have been approved by the Board as Restart Schools; however, at the time of the December 2022 Annual Report, 148 schools were approved Restart Schools. Of those 148 schools, 21 exceeded expectations in academic gain, 95 met expectations in overall academic gain, and 32 did not meet overall academic gain expectations. For the full report, see here. For more information on the Restart model, click here.
Draft SBE Policies for Appointed Interim Superintendent Process and Assistance Teams: DPI staff reviewed the new draft SBE policies that in conjunction with State would allow the Board to (1) appoint an interim superintendent in a local school administrative unit in limited circumstances and (2) assign an assistance team to any school that either identifies as low-performing or requests an assistance team and that the Board determines would benefit from an assistance team. For the draft Appointed Interim Superintendent Process policy, click here. For the draft Assistance Teams policy, click here.
Approval of Six Contracts over $500,000: Six contracts for sums over $500,000 were approved by the Board. Five of these six contracts were for replacement school buses for public school units. The sixth contract approved was for speech therapy and physical therapy for students of the Governor Morehead School.
Employees Benefit and Employment Policies: The Board heard a presentation regarding changes to the N.C. Public School Employees Benefit and Employment Policies following passage by the General Assembly of legislation providing paid parental leave for certain groups of public employees, including local school administrative unit employees. One change requires teachers using personal leave days to provide a reason for the leave in order to avoid the substitute deduction, even in the event that the request for leave is made at least five days in advance. The Board indicated that what may constitute a valid reason for personal leave may be at the discretion of local boards of education. The Board was originally scheduled to vote on these changes at the August 3rd meeting, but in order to allow time to gather information and respond to questions on the personal leave days , the action item has been moved to next month’s meeting. For the revised Benefits and Employment Policy Manual for 2023, click here.