Rebekah Howard

NCSBA Legislative Update – December 2, 2022

 

On November 14, the NCSBA Delegate Assembly approved NCSBA’s 2023-2024 Legislative Agenda, which will be used to guide the Association’s advocacy efforts. We are currently working on issue briefs for each item on the Legislative Agenda, so be on the lookout for those. Click here to access NCSBA’s Legislative Agenda.

 

The State Board of Education (SBE) met this week on November 30 and December 1 for its December monthly meeting. Board members were presented with the following:

Teacher licensure/salary model – blueprint for action: On Thursday, the Board approved a blueprint of the draft teacher licensure/salary model, which would most likely be implemented as a pilot rather than a statewide revamp. Last month, Board members heard a presentation from the chair of DPI’s Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC) on this blueprint. As a reminder, this draft model would pay teachers based on performance, effectiveness, and years of experience, rather than exclusively on years of experience. The draft model would also provide higher salaries for most, if not all, teachers.

At its November 10, 2022, meeting, PEPSC approved a version of this blueprint to be sent to the SBE for approval. On Thursday, the Board unanimously approved a motion acknowledging receipt of the blueprint, which includes 10 items. The motion also does the following:

  1. Requires the State Superintendent to identify how the blueprint aligns with the Board’s Strategic Plan and DPI’s Operation Polaris
  2. Directs SBE General Counsel to determine statutes and policies that would be impacted by the work of PEPSC
  3. Requests PEPSC to make recommendations to implement field testing or piloting for specific parts of the blueprint

The State Superintendent and SBE General Counsel are required to report back to the Board at the next monthly meeting on January 4 and 5, 2023, and PEPSC is required to report back to the Board no later than the monthly meeting on March 1 and 2, 2023. Board Chair Eric Davis explained that this approved motion precedes a motion for a formal legislative ask.

Click here for an article on the presentation and the Board’s discussion. Click here for an article on PEPSC’s November 10, 2022, meeting, which provides more information on PEPSC’s approval of this blueprint and the work still to be done.

NC school performance grades redesign: The Board was presented with an update on the work of the Testing and Accountability Working Group, which is in the process of creating recommendations for redesigning the current school accountability model. Earlier this fall, the Working Group launched a public survey to gain stakeholder feedback. The presentation to the Board included top academic and school quality indicators based on that feedback, as well as feedback gathered from various education groups including the NCSBA Board of Directors.

DPI presenters stated that there is consensus among education groups to recommend separate accountability models for elementary, middle, and high schools. Going forward, DPI will continue to refine the list of indicators based on feedback, review indicators to determine measurements of validity and reliability, and provide findings to the Working Group at its December 12, 2022, meeting. DPI staff stated that a recommendation from the Working Group will most likely be brought to the Board in February 2023.

Click here for an article on the presentation to the Board. Click here for an article on the Working Group’s November 7, 2022 meeting, which includes a review of the survey results and discussion about which indicators should be prioritized.

DPI’s Portrait of a Graduate update: The Board heard two presentations on DPI’s newly released State Portrait of a Graduate. The Portrait identifies seven competencies that students need for success after high school (click here for the list). State Superintendent Catherine Truitt explained the “why” behind the creation of the Portrait, saying that employers seek durable skills almost four times more than the top five technical/hard skills. Following a study over the past two years of 2.8 million job postings across 20 industries, DPI staff found that 2.1 million NC jobs demand durable skills. Truitt also presented the Portrait Playbook, which is meant to familiarize school districts with Portrait competencies. The Playbook is a living document that allows educators to provide feedback.

The other presentation on the Portrait was a request to continue using federal COVID reserve funds to roll out phases II and III, during which rubrics and performance assessments around the seven competencies will be created to guide the work of school districts in implementing the Portrait. The Board approved the funding request.

Click here for the Portrait FAQ and click here for the Portrait webpage.

Legislative requests for the 2023 long session: The Board received a brief update on DPI’s and SBE’s draft legislative requests. Minimal changes had been made since the November monthly meeting presentation, but Chair Davis said that more work will be done on the requests prior to the Board’s vote for approval at the January 2023 monthly meeting.

Click here to access all meeting materials. Click here for an article on the meeting.

 

House Select Committee on An Education System for North Carolina’s Future

During the November 15 meeting, Committee Chair, Representative John Torbett, R-Gaston, hinted at a few items that will be included in the Committee’s forthcoming report. Torbett said the report will “suggest a Labor Day to Memorial Day calendar” and recommend realigning the responsibilities of the State Superintendent, State Board of Education, and General Assembly. The report will also include a recommendation for increased teacher pay and advancement opportunities for teachers that will keep them in the classroom. Torbett said the report will be discussed and voted on at the Committee’s next meeting, which has not yet been scheduled.

Click here for a list of Committee members to contact if you have concerns about the upcoming report. (Click on individual Committee member pictures to access their contact information.)

The Committee also heard two presentations:

Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee

The Committee met on November 29 and heard four presentations, two of which focused on K-12 education. DPI presented the Excellent Public Schools Act 2021-22 State Summary. Most notably among the findings, NC’s literacy growth in K-2 students outpaces all other states. Additionally, DPI is placing one Early Literacy Specialist in each of the State’s 115 school districts.

Schools That Lead presented on its efforts to provide professional development for teachers and principals. The organization focuses on improvement efforts at the classroom level, in order to elevate student outcomes. Their Networked Improvement Community initiative works with 52 schools across 15 districts and charters to increase on-time graduation, reduce ninth grade retention, and reduce the number of students with early warning indicators in attendance, behavior, and course performance. The network serves 30,000 students, 70% of whom live in poverty. According to the presentation, graduation rates and chronic absenteeism in these schools generally improved.

Click here for an article on the meeting.

 

As Congress wraps up its business before the end of the year, there’s an opportunity to help schools operating JROTC programs. The US Senate’s version of the annual Defense Authorization Bill contains language that broadens the pool of military professionals that schools may employ as JROTC instructors. Previously, those instructors were limited to retired military. The new language would allow active reservists and the honorably discharged with at least eight years of service to also be employed as instructors, thereby making it easier for schools to staff these positions.

NOW is the time to call and email members of the NC Congressional delegation to urge the inclusion of this important language in the final version of the Defense Authorization Bill. To find out who represents you and obtain contact information, click here.

 

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

November 7, 2022, Weekly Report

  • Headlines for this edition include:

November 14, 2022, Weekly Report

November 21, 2022, Weekly Report

 

The Committee met on November 29 and worked on goal setting and planning for 2023. The Committee broke into groups and discussed the following:

  • What State policies the Committee should inform
  • How the Committee can use its platform to elevate the teaching profession
  • What local education issues need to be highlighted
  • Who to partner with to advance the Governor’s priorities

Click here to read more about the Committee’s discussion. The Committee’s next meeting is scheduled for January 24, 2023.

 

Tuesday, December 6

3:00 pm – House Select Committee on Advancing Women in STEM – Legislative Offices Building, rm 643 (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 – December 2, 2022
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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
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NCSBA Legislative Update – October 7, 2022

 

The State Board of Education (SBE) met on Wednesday, October 5, and Thursday, October 6, for the monthly meeting. Board members were presented with the following:

School performance grade redesign update: State Superintendent Catherine Truitt provided the Board with an update on DPI’s advisory group that is creating recommendations to redesign the school performance grade model. Currently, school grades are calculated as 80% achievement and 20% growth. The redesigning work is being led by DPI’s Office of Innovation, and the advisory group held its first meeting on September 12 (click here for an article on the meeting). On September 22, the advisory group launched a public survey to gain critical stakeholder feedback. So far, over 15,000 people have completed the survey. About 43% of respondents are K-12 teachers, and so far, 91% of respondents agree that school quality needs to be measured in addition to testing and growth. Click here to access the survey, which closes on October 10.

Recommended changes to principal preparation requirements: Board members spent hours discussing proposed changes to principal preparation/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, and Board members voted to approve a modified version of those recommendations. The Board approved the following motions to be submitted as requests for legislative action in the 2023 long session:

  1. Amend the statute requiring the passage of a licensure exam to allow the option of submitting an evidenced-based portfolio, as defined by SBE
  2. Remove “year-long” from the statute that requires a school administrator internship and allow SBE and DPI to adopt a framework to guide the development of the internship
  3. Amend the statute that requires classroom teaching experience to allow other licensed support personnel, such as social workers, media specialists, and counselors to be eligible for a school administrator license
  4. Amend the statute requiring a master’s degree in education administration to allow the option of an add-on licensure program if a candidate is holding a master’s in an education-related field

Although all four motions were approved, there was disagreement on whether to recommend keeping the licensure exam in statute and whether to recommend expanding the experience requirement to include other licensed support personnel. All stakeholder groups recommended removing the exam requirement, but some Board members pushed back, saying the exam is a baseline measurement of professionalism. The motion that was approved recommends allowing individuals to either take the exam or submit a portfolio. To read more about the Board’s discussion, click here.

Read to Achieve data report: The Board was presented with 2021-22 Read to Achieve accountability data, which shows NC’s K-2 students outperformed students in other states on literacy skills. Overall, the State’s first through third grade students saw literacy improvements from the 2020-21 school year, but proficiency is still below the pre-pandemic numbers of the 2018-19 school year. DPI staff stated that while there have been some great gains, there are also some large gaps in proficiency, and efforts need to continue to be proactive. Click here to access the state level summary report.

Virtual charter school pilot program report: The Board was presented with 2021-22 school year data on the State’s virtual charter school pilot program, which includes enrollment numbers, student performance and accountability data, graduation rates, and demographics. Both virtual charter schools continue to be low performing – receiving D performance grades and “Not Met” growth designations. The presentation also included comparative data to the State’s full-time virtual public schools, which shows the virtual charter schools are behind the virtual public schools in grade level proficiency and college and career readiness. The Board was also presented with a final report on virtual charter school enrollment, which follows the SBE’s approval of a waiver allowing these schools to enroll hundreds more students for the 2022-23 school year than is allowed under current law. (For more on the enrollment waiver, click here to access our August 5, 2022, Legislative Update.)

Click here to access all meeting materials. Click here for an article on the meeting.

 

Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee

The Committee met on Wednesday, October 5, and heard a presentation from Dr. Sherry Thomas, Senior Director of the Office of Exceptional Children at DPI. Dr. Thomas presented recommendations from a report on special education funding that was previously presented by RTI to the State Board of Education.

The report found that other states are moving towards special education funding models based on service level, rather than the model used in North Carolina based on disability category. RTI recommends that DPI continue the development of a funding model based on service level, using Every Child Accountability Tracking System (ECATS) data to monitor implementation, and ensure students are not over-identified or placed in service-intensive, high-cost funding tiers. RTI also explained that a service level model provides more accurate and direct accounting of costs.

House Select Committee on An Education System for North Carolina’s Future

The Committee met on October 3 at the North Carolina Center for Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) in Cullowhee. Committee members were given a presentation on teacher trends in the State, which included data on teacher preparation programs, and a presentation on NCCAT, which is a State organization that provides residential professional development for NC public school teachers. Click here to watch a recording of the meeting.

The Committee also met on September 12 at Harding University High School in Charlotte. Committee members were given a presentation on career pathways provided by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, including partnerships with Road to Hire, The ROC (Rebuilding Opportunities in Construction), and Central Piedmont Community College. Click here to watch a recording of the meeting.

 

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

September 6, 2022, Weekly Report

September 12, 2022, Weekly Report

  • Headlines for this edition include:
    • Secretary of Education Cardona Comes to NC: Recently, Secretary Cardona was in the Triad, along with First Lady Jill Biden as part of a Road to Success School Bus Tour. They visited North Carolina A&T State University, as well as Guilford Technical Community College.

September 19, 2022, Weekly Report

  • Headlines for this edition include:
    • Four NC Universities Win $4.5 Million In Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Grants: The TQP program from the USED funds teacher preparation programs in high-need communities at colleges and universities for the undergraduate, “fifth-year” level, and for teaching residency programs for individuals new to teaching with strong academic and professional backgrounds. Four North Carolina Universities have won the grants: High Point University, Winston-Salem State, East Carolina University, and UNC-Charlotte.
    • Five NC Schools Among 297 Nationwide Awarded as National Blue Ribbon School by USED: Founded in 1983, the Blue Ribbon School award is specifically meant to recognize schools that close achievement gaps in subgroups. North Carolina’s 2022 recipients are:
      • East Robeson Primary School, Robeson County
      • Southeastern Academy, Robeson County
      • 71st Classical Middle School, Cumberland County
      • A. Bess Elementary School, Gaston County
      • Weatherstone Elementary School, Wake County

September 26, 2022, Weekly Report

  • Headlines for this edition include:
    • Educators Release Joint Statement on Solution to Teacher Shortage: A number of professional organizations for teachers released a statement detailing solutions for the national teacher shortage crisis, arguing that short-term solutions will not correct the systemic issues that existed prior to the pandemic; that “filling classrooms with under qualified individuals” is not the answer.

October 3, 2022, Weekly Report

 

The NCSBA Governmental Relations team is now fully staffed after adding two new lobbyists in September. Please welcome Madison Skeens and Rob Black. Madison earned her law degree from Campbell University and worked at the General Assembly for the House majority before joining NCSBA. Rob Black earned his master’s degree from George Washington University. He was involved in DC politics for more than a decade before returning home to North Carolina where he ran his own public relations/lobbying firm for fifteen years. One thing to know about Rob – his favorite color is red and to say he’s extremely proud of that is putting it lightly.

 

 

 

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 – October 7, 2022
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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
bmildwurf@ncsba.org

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

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – September 2, 2022
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NCSBA Legislative Update – August 5, 2022

 

The State Board of Education (SBE) met on Wednesday and Thursday this week and were presented with the following:

Draft teacher licensure model update: During the monthly chairman’s report, Board Chair Eric Davis and State Superintendent Catherine Truitt voiced their support for redesigning the State’s teacher licensure system. During the April Board meeting, the SBE received an initial update on the draft teacher licensure model that is being developed by the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC). This draft model has received a range of critiques to which Chair Davis and Superintendent Truitt stated the following:

  1. The current teacher licensure system needs to be overhauled because it offers few supports to teachers in their early years, provides no opportunity for teachers to increase their compensation, and does not contribute to the growth and development of teachers as professionals.
  2. The draft model would allow teachers to advance in their career without having to leave the classroom for an administrative position.
  3. The draft model does not threaten to withhold raises from teachers but rather provides multiple avenues for teachers to increase their compensation that are not offered in the current system.
  4. The draft model does not threaten to revoke a teacher’s license but instead aims to ensure that every student has access to a highly qualified teacher. The draft model would require teachers to demonstrate effectiveness for three years within two five-year renewal periods, while providing teachers with support to achieve this goal.
  5. This draft model is not merit pay, which is pay based solely on student testing. Only a minority of teachers teach in subject areas with standard student testing data. There are many teachers who are creating positive outcomes for their students who are not being recognized, and this draft model would identify that great work so that it can be rewarded and learned from.

Superintendent Truitt stated that this process is not close to being done and that feedback continues to be welcomed (feedback can be sent to pathways.feedback@dpi.nc.gov). It is expected that PEPSC will present an update on this teacher licensure model at the September SBE meeting. Chair Davis stated that even if the Board votes to approve a final model this fall, it is very likely to be “a preliminary final model with further iterations for improvement as we gather feedback from teachers and other stakeholders.” Ultimately, the General Assembly would have to fund the implementation of this new teacher licensure model, and Superintendent Truitt stated that the ideal goal is to send the model to legislators during the 2023 session. Click here to watch this part of the meeting. Click here to access an article on this draft teacher licensure model and the pushback it has received.

Virtual charter school enrollment waiver: The SBE approved a waiver allowing the State’s two virtual charter schools to enroll hundreds more students for the 2022-2023 school year than is allowed under current law. The schools are legally required to abide by the virtual charter school pilot program’s 2,592 enrollment cap for the 2022-2023 school year, but as of July 29, NC Virtual Academy had enrolled 3,425 students and NC Cyber Academy has enrolled 2,705 students.

Board member discussion on the enrollment waiver occurred during closed session. Prior to the Board’s vote on the waiver, Board Member Amy White, who chairs the committee overseeing charter schools, explained that DPI staff did not notice the discrepancy in enrollment numbers until July 29 and that the waiver is in the best interest of students, given that the start of the school year is only weeks away. The Board approved the waiver, which allows each school to maintain its enrollment numbers, as of July 29, for the 2022-2023 school year only; prohibits enrollment of additional students during the 2022-2023 school year if some students withdraw, unless enrollment has dropped below the statutory cap; and requires the schools to submit timely enrollment waiver requests for future school years. All Board members voted in favor of the enrollment waiver except Board Vice Chair Alan Duncan.

Rural-urban differences in ELA progress and home internet access during the pandemic: DPI’s Office of Learning Recovery and Acceleration (OLR) presented data showing that home internet access was 2.5 times more important for academic progress in English Language Arts (ELA) during the pandemic than in prior years. Students in the farthest rural areas experienced about 30% more ELA learning loss than students in cities or city adjacent areas. This rural-urban difference was largest in third grade, with data showing that rural students experienced about 60% more ELA learning loss than their urban peers. While the data did not allow DPI staff to estimate the independent value of home internet to student academic outcomes, the report concluded that the State should continue to increase home internet access, especially in rural areas. Geoff Coltrane, Governor Roy Cooper’s education advisor, explained that this is already in the works because the 2021 State budget appropriated roughly $700 million to broadband expansion. Click here to access the OLR white paper.

Promising Practices Clearinghouse update: The Board was presented with an update on the Promising Practices Clearinghouse, which was launched in January with the goal of sharing information about evidence-based practices across the State. The Promising Practices focus on six key strands: learning recovery and acceleration, district and school transformation, reforming accountability and testing, strengthening literacy, student support services, and human capital. Since January, DPI staff has organized data into these six strands, including data on work-based learning, teacher housing initiatives, and literacy. Click here to access the Clearinghouse website.

Click here to access all meeting materials.

 

On Monday, State Superintendent Catherine Truitt and DPI staff gave a presentation to the House Select Committee on an Education System for North Carolina’s Future. The presentation included information about State and federal education expenditures, research findings on the impact of the pandemic from the 2020-2021 school year, state-level plans for pandemic recovery, and diagnostic reading data.

Following the meeting, DPI corrected the reading data that had been presented. The corrected data shows that at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, students in kindergarten and first grade were 27% and 38% proficient in reading, respectively, and at the end of the 2021-2022 school year, students in kindergarten and first grade were 67% and 63% proficient in reading, respectively. Previously, the reading data chart labeled the data from the beginning of 2021-2022 school year as being data from the 2018-2019 school year. This article notes that the corrected data does not compare these 2021-2022 school year reading proficiency gains with previous school years, and that a final version of the data will be presented later this month.

The Committee also heard a presentation on Harnett County School’s contracted services from the district’s superintendent, Dr. Aaron Fleming, and the district’s Assistant Superintendent for Financial Services, Andrew Cox.

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.

 

 

 

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

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – August 5, 2022
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NCSBA Legislative Update – July 22, 2022

 

NCSBA’s 2022 Legislative Summary is here! Click here to read an in-depth summary of the State budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, as well as summaries of education bills that became session law.

 

The General Assembly is scheduled to reconvene next Tuesday, July 26, and adjourn next Thursday, July 28. During this time, they could take votes on overriding some of the governor’s vetoes, or they may take no legislative action at all. The governor did not veto any bills tracked by NCSBA for the 2022 legislative session. We will keep you updated on any action that occurs next week.

 

 

 

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

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – July 22, 2022
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NCSBA Legislative Update – July 15, 2022

 

On his last day to take action on the 2022-2023 fiscal year State budget (Monday, July 11), Governor Roy Cooper signed the budget into S.L. 2022-74 and released this statement: “Today, I signed the State budget (HB 103) that includes critical investments in education, economic development, transportation and the state workforce…Negotiations are occurring now and we are closer than ever to agreement on Medicaid Expansion, therefore a veto of this budget would be counterproductive.”

The total General Fund allocation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year is $27.9 billion, which is said to be a 7.2% increase from the 2021-2022 fiscal year. For K-12 public education, the budget appropriates $11.3 billion, which is a 6.4% increase from the 2021-2022 fiscal year and 3.2% increase from the 2022-2023 fiscal year budget certified in the 2021 Appropriations Act.

The budget provides raises for all school staff, including teachers, noncertified personnel, and principals. Teachers in their earlier years will be getting higher percentage increases than veteran teachers, with the exception of teachers in their 25th year. The budget also includes appropriations for school safety grants, school capital, and broadband expansion. For more information on education provisions included in the budget, click here to access NCSBA’s summaries.

In the press release about signing the budget, it was announced that Governor Cooper’s COVID-19 State of Emergency will be lifted on August 15, 2022. “The budget includes the changes in the law requested by the NC Department of Health and Human Services to ensure flexibility that is currently made possible by the Governor’s COVID-19 State of Emergency.”

Additional State budget links:

  • Click herefor the education appropriations from the budget money report
  • Click herefor the full budget money report
  • Click herefor the budget bill (HB 103)
  • Click here for House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger’s joint statement on the governor’s approval of the budget

 

During the last week of session, the legislature sent dozens of bills to Governor Cooper for his signature. Since last Friday, July 8, he has signed 21 bills into law (including the State budget), vetoed four bills, and let one bill become law without his signature. The following are three education bills that were signed into law.

SB 671: Virtual Educ./Remote Acad./Virtual Charters (sponsored by Representative Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes) was signed into S.L. 2022-59 on Friday, June 8, and includes language that is identical to a provision included in the State budget, which was signed into law on Monday, July 11. SB 671 does the following:

  • Allows public school units (PSUs) to continue providing remote instruction for severe weather and other emergencies, using the same number of maximum days allowed during the 2021-2022 school year
  • For the 2022-2023 school year,
    • Allows PSUs assigned a separate school code by May 1, 2021, to continue providing virtual instruction
    • Allows PSUs that submitted a virtual instruction plan to DPI for the 2021-2022 school year to continue providing virtual instruction according to that plan
  • Beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, if a LEA provides virtual/remote instruction, it is required to be provided through a new type of remote academy
    • Each approved remote academy will receive a separate school code
    • Students can only be enrolled with parental consent
    • Lists requirements for these remote academies and remote academy plans
  • Extends the pilot program for the State’s two virtual charter schools from eight to 10 years, ending the pilot with the 2024-2025 school year
    • At the end of the pilot program, allows the two virtual charter schools to apply to the State Board of Education (SBE) for a charter renewal

Click here for an official bill summary.

HB 159: Education Law Changes was signed into S.L. 2022-71 on Friday, July 8. HB 159 makes various changes to education laws, including extending the principal licensure waiver from August 31, 2022, to August 31, 2024. This extension was a request of DPI based on a 2021 session law that provided the waiver for certain individuals in the process of becoming a licensed principal and exempted principals granted a license for any school year from 2010-2011 to 2020-2021 from certain statutory licensure requirements.

HB 159 also requires all PSUs to submit a school threat assessment survey to DPI’s Center for Safer Schools by November 15, 2022. The language in this section was also included in the State budget that was signed into law on Monday, July 11. Click here for an official bill summary.

HB 177: Extend Spiking Moratorium/LGERS Surety was signed into S.L. 2022-70 on Friday, July 8. HB 177 was requested by NCSBA and the State Treasurer’s Office. The bill extends the pension-spiking litigation pause and the report deadline established in a 2021 session law. It is our goal that the report will include recommendations from NCSBA, the State Treasurer’s Office, and other organizations that will reduce the number of pension spiking cases and lawsuits. The bill does not allow the Treasurer’s Office to intercept funds during the litigation pause that would have otherwise been directed to a LEA. Click here for an official bill summary.

For more information on the other bills that Governor Cooper took action on, click here and here to access press releases. The General Assembly is scheduled to return on July 26 for a couple of days. During this time, they could take votes on overriding some of the governor’s vetoes, or they may take no legislative action at all.

 

 

 

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

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – July 15, 2022
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NCSBA Legislative Update – July 8, 2022

 

Governor Roy Cooper has still not publicly indicated what he plans to do with the 2022-2023 fiscal year State budget that passed the legislature last week. He can either sign it, veto it, or take no action and let it become law after 10 days. Since the budget was presented to him on July 1, he has until July 11 to take action. For more on last week’s legislative action on the budget and what it includes for education, click here to access last week’s legislative update.

 

During the last week of session, the legislature sent dozens of bills to Governor Cooper, and yesterday he signed 11 of those bills into law, two of which include education provisions.

SB 496: DOI Omnibus Bill (primary sponsors: Senators Todd Johnson, R-Union; Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson; Tom McInnis, R-Richmond) was signed into SL 2022-46 on Thursday. Section 6 of this bill requires LEAs to provide the Commissioner of Insurance with a list of all its insurable buildings, equipment and contents of the buildings, and their insurance values by October 1 each year. Section 6 also requires LEAs to provide the Commissioner with copies of insurance policies when purchasing insurance from an authorized company.

SB 265: Bond Information Transparency/LGC Toolkit II (primary sponsors: Senators Todd Johnson, R-Union; Carl Ford, R-Rowan) was signed into SL 2022-53 on Thursday. SB 265 requires local governments to provide additional disclosures regarding bond referenda and requires more monitoring and oversight of local governments’ financial operations. Click here for an official bill summary.

 

The State Board of Education (SBE) met for its monthly meeting on Thursday. The agenda was relatively light, and Board members heard brief presentations on compelling evidence for effective summer programing, which used data showing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on student performance to make recommendations for summer learning programs, and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s (NCHSAA) updated rules and schedule of fee sharing for playoff games. These NCHSAA updates follow the implementation of a 2021 session law and a memorandum of understanding that require more transparency from the NCHSAA. SBE general counsel, Allison Schafer, explained that the SBE is not tasked with approving the updated rules, but if the Board has any objections to the rules, it can share that with the NCHSAA and/or take a vote to invalidate rules.

The Board was also presented with the results of a dual enrollment opportunity study that was required by the 2021 State budget (Section 7.85). The study looked at the three pathways of the Career and College Promise (CCP) dual enrollment program: College Transfer, Career and Technical Education, and Cooperative Innovative High Schools. In the 2019-2020 school year, approximately 30% of all 12th graders participated in one the CCP pathways, and the presentation identified differences in disparities and equitable participation across the pathways. There was also discussion on factors contributing to CCP pathway access and success, including strong secondary-postsecondary education partnerships. DPI staff is preparing a policy proposal to address this necessary partnership for the August SBE meeting. Click here for the full report and click here for an executive summary of the report.

Prior to concluding the meeting, Board Chair Eric Davis stated that the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit has retired, and that school staff, students, and families should now refer to the CDC’s Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools for information concerning COVID-19. Chair Davis explained that while the Toolkit is no longer in effect, DHHS staff will continue to update and share supplemental materials with school leaders as they prepare for the upcoming school year.

Click here to access all meeting materials.

 

 

 

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

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – July 8, 2022
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NCSBA Legislative Update – July 1, 2022

 

In the midst of an extremely busy week of voting on bills and tying loose ends, both the House and Senate passed the State budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. The budget was presented in a conference report, which could not be amended, and passed the House 85-27 and the Senate 38-9.

The total General Fund allocation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year is $27.9 billion, which is said to be a 7.2% increase from the 2021-2022 fiscal year. For K-12 public education, the budget appropriates $11.3 billion, which is a 6.4% increase from the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

The budget provides raises for all school staff, including teachers, noncertified personnel, and principals. While the average raise for teachers is 4.2%, teachers in their first five years of teaching will receive a range of raises from 7.2% to 6.1%, but teachers with 15 or more years of experience will (for the most part) not get more than a 2.7% raise. The budget also includes appropriations for school safety grants, school capital, and broadband expansion. For more information on education provisions included in the budget, click here to access NCSBA’s summaries.

Even though the budget received bipartisan support, both House and Senate Democrats criticized the budget for not utilizing more of the billions of dollars in surplus projected by the State Revenue Consensus Forecast in May. Concerns were also expressed about teacher pay, additional funds going towards the voucher program, and the lack of funding for the Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan. To the question of how much funding is in the budget for the Leandro Plan, Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said, “We looked at what the requirements are for funding education in North Carolina, and we appropriated dollars to do that. How that matches up with what a nonprofit from California (WestEd) determined is an appropriate amount, I couldn’t say.”

Governor Roy Cooper has not yet publicly commented on this budget. Now that he has received the budget, the Governor can either sign it, veto it, or take no action and let it become law.

Click here for NCSBA’s summaries of the budget’s education provisions.

Click here for the education appropriations from the budget money report.

Click here for the budget bill (HB 103).

Click here for the full budget money report.

Click here for an article on the education provisions of the budget.

Click here for Senate leader Berger’s press release on the budget’s passage.

Click here for House Speaker Moore’s press release on the budget’s passage.

The Governmental Relations Team is working on a more in-depth summary of the budget’s education provisions, as well as education bills that have become law during this legislative biennium. We will share this summary with you in the coming weeks.

 

Both the House and Senate passed a joint resolution to adjourn today, July 1, and reconvene July 26, 2022. The resolution lists specific days each month through the rest of year that they will reconvene and adjourn, but it is unclear if there will be legislative action during each of these sessions. The resolution also lists matters that may be considered when the legislature reconvenes, including veto override votes. We will be sure to notify you if the legislature reconvenes and takes action on education issues.

Statewide Education Bills with Action This Week

The conference report for SB 671: Virtual Educ./Remote Acad./Virtual Charters (sponsored by Representative Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes) was adopted by the House (81-27) and Senate (44-0) and presented to the Governor. Although the State budget, which has also been presented to the Governor, includes identical language to SB 671, the conference report for SB 671 was adopted and passed in case the Governor vetoes the budget. SB 671 does the following:

  • Allows public school units (PSUs) to continue providing remote instruction for severe weather and other emergencies, using the same number of maximum days allowed during the 2021-2022 school year
  • For the 2022-2023 school year,
    • Allows PSUs assigned a separate school code by May 1, 2021, to continue providing virtual instruction
    • Allows PSUs that submitted a virtual instruction plan to DPI for the 2021-2022 school year to continue providing virtual instruction according to that plan
  • Beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, if a LEA provides virtual/remote instruction, it is required to be provided through a new type of remote academy
    • Each approved remote academy will receive a separate school code
    • Students can only be enrolled with parental consent
    • Lists requirements for these remote academies and remote academy plans
  • Extends the pilot program for the State’s two virtual charter schools from eight to 10 years, ending the pilot with the 2024-2025 school year
    • At the end of the pilot program, allows the two virtual charter schools to apply to the State Board of Education (SBE) for a charter renewal

This new version of SB 671 no longer includes an enrollment cap for the new remote academies. Additionally, the charter school language no longer allows charter school applications to include a request to be a remote academy or existing charter schools to convert to remote academies.

Click here for an official bill summary.

The conference report for HB 159: Education Law Changes was adopted by the House (102-5) and Senate (44-0) and presented to the Governor. The new version of the bill includes the requirement that all PSUs submit a school threat assessment survey to DPI’s Center for Safer Schools by November 15, 2022. This requirement is also included in the State budget but was included in HB 159 in case the Governor vetoes the budget.

HB 159 makes various changes to education laws, including extending the principal licensure waiver from August 31, 2022, to August 31, 2024. This extension was a request of DPI based on a 2021 session law that provided the waiver for certain individuals in the process of becoming a licensed principal and exempted principals granted a license for any school year from 2010-2011 to 2020-2021 from certain statutory licensure requirements. Click here for an official bill summary.

HB 1173: Elect SBE Members/Super as Chair of SBE (primary sponsors: Representatives Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; John Torbett, R-Gaston; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford; Lee Zachary, R-Yadkin) was approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and House Rules Committee and was also added to the House calendar twice to receive a vote but was withdrawn both times. This bill is a constitutional amendment that would require the election of State Board of Education (SBE) members and make the Superintendent of Public Instruction 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.

This proposed constitutional amendment would require SBE members to be elected from each of North Carolina’s 14 congressional districts and serve four-year staggered terms. If HB 1173 becomes session law, which would require a 3/5 vote in each chamber, it will be on the ballot in November. Click here for an official bill summary. Click here for an article on HB 1173.

A conference report for SB 496: DOI Omnibus Bill.-AB (primary sponsors: Senators Todd Johnson, R-Union; Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson; Tom McInnis, R-Richmond) was adopted by the House (109-0) and Senate (43-0) and presented to the Governor. Section 6 of the bill requires LEAs to provide the Commissioner of Insurance with a list of all its insurable buildings, equipment and contents of the buildings, and their insurance values by October 1 each year. Section 6 also requires LEAs to provide the Commissioner with copies of insurance policies when purchasing insurance from an authorized company. Click here for an official bill summary.

SB 265: Bond Information Transparency/LGC Toolkit II (primary sponsors: Senators Todd Johnson, R-Union; Carl Ford, R-Rowan) passed the House 111-1, the Senate voted 47-0 to concur with House changes to the bill, and it has been presented to the Governor. SB 265 requires local governments to provide additional disclosures regarding bond referenda and requires more monitoring and oversight of local governments’ financial operations. Click here for an official bill summary.

SB 346: Extended Learning for Elective Courses (sponsored by Representative David Willis, R-Union) was approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and the House Rules Committee, passed the House 112-0, and was not voted on by the Senate for concurrence prior to adjournment. Prior to approval, the House Education K-12 Committee replaced the previous contents of the bill with a bill that authorizes local boards of education to adopt policies establishing requirements for granting elective course credit for certain alternative Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities. Click here for an official bill summary.

Retirement Bills with Action This Week

The House voted 106-0 to approve the Senate changes to HB 177: Extend Spiking Moratorium/LGERS Surety, and the bill has been presented to the Governor. HB 177 extends the pension-spiking litigation pause and the report deadline established in a 2021 session law. The report will include recommendations from NCSBA, the NC Department of the State Treasurer, and other organizations that will reduce the number of pension spiking cases and lawsuits. The bill does not allow the Treasurer’s Office to intercept funds during the litigation pause that would have otherwise been directed to a LEA. NCSBA supports HB 177. Click here for an official bill summary.

HB 1056: Ret. & Treasury Admin. Changes Act of 2022.-AB/SL 2022-14 (primary sponsors: Representatives Allen McNeill, R-Randolph; Carson Smith, R-Pender) and HB 1058: Ret. & Treasury Tech. Corrections Act of 2022.-AB/SL 2022-16 (primary sponsors: Representatives Allen McNeill; Carson Smith) were both signed into session law by the Governor.

HB 1058 makes technical corrections and HB 1056 does the following:

  • Clarifies that the Local Government Commission can decline to review a LEA’s borrowing request under a guaranteed energy savings contract if the LEA did not submit procurement documents prior to sending out the request for proposal
  • Under the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS), allows the Retirement System to correct errors for the “transfer benefit” to allow monies to be returned to supplemental retirement plans (the reversal would include lost earnings)
  • Makes changes related to the treatment of inactive employers and deadlines for reactivation under TSERS
  • Makes changes related to the establishment of a default option for employing units that fail to select an option for the transfer for remaining assets upon the discontinuation of the Department of State Treasurer-sponsored 403(b) plans
  • Makes changes related to the clarification of the eligibility for long-term disability benefits under TSERS

Official bill summaries: HB 1056 and HB 1058.

Local Education Bills with Action This Week

HB 995: Greensboro Deannex/Weldon City Bd of Ed Pay (primary sponsor: Representative Jon Hardister, R-Guilford) passed the Senate, was approved by the House on a concurrence vote, and was chaptered into SL 2022-33. The bill increases the compensation of the chair and members of the Weldon City Board of Education, allows the board to increase the monthly compensation of its members, and allows the board to establish an expense allowance for its members. Click here for an official bill summary.

HB 982: Granville Board of Ed. Terms to Four Years (primary sponsor: Representative Terry Garrison, D-Vance) was modified and approved by the House Local Government Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee. The bill would change the terms for Granville County Board of Education members from six to four years, beginning with the 2024 election. Click here for an official bill summary.

NCSBA Bill Tracking Chart

Click here for a list of education bills that NCSBA is tracking for this legislative biennium.

 

President Joe Biden signed a bill into law that will extend free universal school meals through the summer. Federal school nutrition waivers were set to expire on June 30, 2022, but the Keep Kids Fed Act extended many of them. In addition to extending free student meals another three months, the Act also extends administrative and reimbursement flexibilities. For more information, click here.

 

 

 

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

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – July 1, 2022
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NCSBA Legislative Update – June 24, 2022

 

During Thursday’s House session, Speaker Tim Moore stated that House and Senate budget leaders are in their final hours of negotiations. The budget adjustments are expected to be released and voted on next week. When the budget is released, it will be in a conference report, which means that it cannot be amended. We expect it to include salary increases, school safety provisions, and school capital funds. We will send out a legislative alert when the budget is released, highlighting key education provisions, followed by a more comprehensive summary in next Friday’s legislative update.

With the goal of wrapping of the legislative short session by July 1, we can expect next week to be busy at the legislature. The Senate is scheduled to start its week with a voting session on Monday at 7:00 pm. Speaker Moore said that he does not anticipate votes being taken in Monday’s House session, but if necessary, the House will also have a voting session at 7:00 pm.

Education Bill in Committee Next Week

HB 1173: Elect SBE Members/Super as Chair of SBE (primary sponsors: Representatives Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; John Torbett, R-Gaston; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford; Lee Zachary, R-Yadkin) is scheduled to be heard in the House Education K-12 Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 28, at 1:00 pm (livestream). This bill is a constitutional amendment that would require the election of State Board of Education (SBE) members and make the Superintendent of Public Instruction 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.

This proposed constitutional amendment would require SBE members to be elected from each of North Carolina’s 14 congressional districts and serve four-year terms. If HB 1173 becomes session law, it will be on the ballot in November. Over the years, NCSBA has heard concerns from states with a similar structure/method as the one being proposed in this bill.

Statewide Education Bills with Action This Week

House conferees for SB 671: Virtual Educ./Remote Acad./Virtual Charters (sponsored by Representative Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes) were appointed earlier this week and negotiations on a compromise bill are underway. The House conferees are Representatives Jefferey Elmore, R-Wilkes; Jason Saine, R-Lincoln; and John Torbett, R-Gaston. The Senate conferees are Senators Michael Lee, R-New Hanover; Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga; and Don Davis, D-Pitt.

SB 671 contains virtual/remote instruction provisions, including, for the 2022-2023 school year,

  • Allows public school units (PSUs) to continue providing remote instruction for severe weather and other emergencies
  • Allows PSUs that were assigned a separate school code by May 1, 2021, to continue providing virtual instruction
  • Allows PSUs that submitted a virtual instruction plan to DPI for the 2021-2022 school year to continue providing virtual instruction according to that plan

The bill also creates a new type of remote academy for all PSUs, beginning with the 2023-2024 school year. Click here for an official bill summary.

HB 159: Education Law Changes (sponsored by Senator Michael Lee, R-New Hanover) failed to concur in the House, and House conferees were appointed: Representatives John Torbett, R-Gaston; Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; and David Willis, R-Union. On the House floor, Representative Torbett explained that the House did not concur with HB 159 because it will become a K-12 education omnibus bill, and the House has several items it would like to add. The Governmental Relations team is working to find out what provisions will be added.

In its current form, HB 159 makes various “technical” changes to education laws, including extending the principal licensure waiver from August 31, 2022, to August 31, 2024. This extension was a request of DPI based on a 2021 session law that provided the waiver for certain individuals in the process of becoming a licensed principal and exempted principals granted a license for any school year from 2010-2011 to 2020-2021 from certain statutory licensure requirements. Click here for an official bill summary.

SB 496: DOI Omnibus Bill.-AB (primary sponsors: Senators Todd Johnson, R-Union; Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson; Tom McInnis, R-Richmond) failed to concur in the Senate last week and House and Senate conferees were appointed. Section 6 of the bill requires LEAs to provide the Commissioner of Insurance with a list of all its insurable buildings, equipment and contents of the building, and their insurance values by October 1 each year. Section 6 also requires LEAs to provide the Commissioner with copies of insurance policies when purchasing insurance from an authorized company. Click here for an official bill summary.

Retirement Bills with Action This Week

HB 177: Extend Spiking Moratorium/LGERS Surety passed the Senate 37-0 and has been sent to the House for a concurrence vote. Prior to Senate approval, the Senate Pensions and Retirement Committee replaced the original contents of the bill with a bill that extends the pension-spiking litigation pause and the report deadline established in a 2021 session law. The report will include recommendations from NCSBA, the NC Department of the State Treasurer, and other organizations that will reduce the number of pension spiking cases and lawsuits. The bill does not allow the Treasurer’s Office to intercept funds during the litigation pause that would have otherwise been directed to a LEA. NCSBA supports HB 177. Click here for an official bill summary.

HB 1056: Ret. & Treasury Admin. Changes Act of 2022.-AB (primary sponsors: Representatives Allen McNeill, R-Randolph; Carson Smith, R-Pender) and HB 1058: Ret. & Treasury Tech. Corrections Act of 2022.-AB (primary sponsors: Representatives Allen McNeill; Carson Smith) both passed the Senate 37-0 and have been sent to the Governor for his signature.

HB 1058 makes technical corrections and HB 1056 does the following:

  • Clarifies that the Local Government Commission can decline to review a LEA’s borrowing request under a guaranteed energy savings contract if the LEA did not submit procurement documents prior to sending out the request for proposal
  • Under the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS), allows the Retirement System to correct errors for the “transfer benefit” to allow monies to be returned to supplemental retirement plans (the reversal would include lost earnings)
  • Makes changes related to the treatment of inactive employers and deadlines for reactivation under TSERS
  • Makes changes related to the establishment of a default option for employing units that fail to select an option for the transfer for remaining assets upon the discontinuation of the Department of State Treasurer-sponsored 403(b) plans
  • Makes changes related to the clarification of the eligibility for long-term disability benefits under TSERS

Official bill summaries: HB 1056 and HB 1058.

Local Education Bills with Action This Week

HB 1169: Elect Thomasville City Schools Board Members (primary sponsor: Representative Sam Watford, R-Davidson) passed the House 103-0 and has been sent to the Senate. This bill would change the Thomasville City Schools Board of Education from appointed to (nonpartisan) elected members, beginning in 2023. Click here for an official bill summary.

HB 995: Greensboro Deannex/Weldon City Bd of Ed Pay (primary sponsor: Representative Jon Hardister, R-Guilford) was modified and approved by the Senate Finance Committee and referred to the Senate Rules Committee. The modified version of the bill increases the compensation of the chair and members of the Weldon City Board of Education, allows the board to increase the monthly compensation of its members, and allows the board to establish an expense allowance for its members. Click here for an official bill summary.

NCSBA Bill Tracking Chart

Click here for a list of education bills that NCSBA is tracking for this legislative biennium.

 

Monday, June 27

5:30 pm – Senate Rules Committee – Legislative Building, rm 1027/1128 (livestream)

 

Tuesday, June 28

9:00 am – House Finance Committee – Legislative Offices Building – rm 643 (livestream)

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

 

 

 

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

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – June 24, 2022
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