NCSBA Legislative Update – October 13, 2023

Just like the old wrestler “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, the NC General Assembly once again flexed their supermajority muscles this week by overriding several gubernatorial vetoes. Notably, these overrides were not directly related to K-12 education; nevertheless, local school board members should pay attention to SB 749, as it addresses the structure of local election boards.

SB749: No Partisan Advantage In Elections (primary sponsors Senators Warren Daniel, R-Burke; Paul Newton, R-Cabarrus; Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell)

  • Effective January 1, 2024, increase the number of members of the State Board of Elections from 5 to 8, with all 8 members being appointed by the General Assembly (was the NC Governor).
  • Effective January 1, 2024, decrease the number of members of each of the 100 county boards of elections from 5 to 4, with all 4 members being appointed by the General Assembly.
  • Click here for a bill summary

Local Bills Sent to Conference Committee

SB 68: Various Local Changes (primary sponsor: Senator Tim Moffitt, R-Henderson)

  • Senate voted NOT to concur by 49-0 vote
  • Includes a provision that outlines new boundaries for the Whiteville City Schools Administrative Unit

NCSBA Legislative Summary

Each legislative session, the NCSBA Governmental Relations Team compiles a comprehensive Legislative Summary, encompassing all K-12 education-related bills that have successfully passed into law, in addition to the K-12 education components of the state budget. The session summary was highlighted in last week’s update, and we have updated the document again this week. This invaluable resource condenses all essential legislative information that local school boards need into one place:

Click here to the view the NCSBA Legislative Summary.

Winding Down

The majority of business for the 2023 legislative long session is wrapping up. However, the NC General Assembly isn’t quite done yet. There are no votes scheduled next week, but the legislature is expected to vote on newly drawn electoral districts for both Congress and the NC General Assembly the week of October 23rd. Indications are that the session will adjourn the following week of October 30, but if this session has taught us anything, it’s to believe it when you see it, and not a moment before.

As the session winds down, the Legislative Update will revert back to monthly publication. We will of course keep you apprised of any legislative happenings between issues should the need arise. The monthly edition will continue to cover State Board of Education meetings, as well as the federal update from the Consortium of State School Boards Associations (COSSBA).

The following is the Consortium of State School Boards Association’s (COSSBA) most recent federal education report.
October 9, 2023 Headlines From the Weekly Report Include

Congressional Chaos Continues: With the passage of the continuing resolution to keep the government funded at FY 2023 levels to November 17th, all eyes turn to the election of the next Speaker of the House after the ouster last week of Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Without a speaker, the House cannot debate bills. The Appropriations Committee cannot meet to markup spending bills. The Rules Committee cannot meet to discuss what bills might be on the floor. Authorizing Committees cannot hold hearings on pressing issues. No work can be done without the selection of a Speaker.

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

State News

News & Observer: What’s Next For Former Wake Superintendent Catty Moore? A Seat On the NC Education Board
News & Observer: LGBTQ Rights Group Says NC’s New Parents Bill of Rights Violates Federal Law
News & Observer: Audit Says NC Schools Didn’t Keep Up With Monitoring Student Attendance During Pandemic
NC Newsline: State Education Leaders Disappointed By Size of Teacher Pay Raises
WFAE: North Carolina’s Audit of Pandemic-Year Truancy Sparks Debate About Its Value
WFAE: Iredell-Statesville Schools Changes Football Start Times After Incidents
WFAE: Teachers Drop Lawsuit Against Gaston County Schools As Payroll Nightmare Recedes 

National News

K-12 Dive: Many Districts Racing Against the Clock To Spend ARP Funds
Education Week: Three Reasons Why More Students Are In Special Education
Education Week: Republicans Keep Talking About Abolishing the Education Department. Why?
The Hill: Education Can Unite Us. That’s Needed Now More Than Ever
New York Times: Who Runs the Best U.S. Schools? It May Be the Defense Department
Washington Post: Guns Are Seized In U.S. Schools Each Day. The Numbers Are Soaring

There are no education-related committee meetings scheduled at this time.
Bruce Mildwurf
Director of Governmental Relations
NC School Boards Association

Madison Skeens
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
NC School Boards Association

Rob Black
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
NC School Boards Association

Christina DavoileNCSBA Legislative Update – October 13, 2023