Legislative Updates & Alerts

NCSBA Legislative Update – April 16, 2021

 

Voucher Bill

On Wednesday HB 32: Equity in Opportunity Act (primary sponsors: Representatives Dean Arp, R-Union; Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth; Jason Saine, R-Lincoln) passed the House along party lines (69-49), with all Republicans voting yes and all Democrats voting no. Before passing the House, an amendment submitted by Representative Rachel Hunt, D-Mecklenburg, that would have required students in the voucher program to take a common exam to evaluate the effectiveness of the program was voted down. HB 32 in its current state does not include any measurements of student achievement or success. The failed amendment was put into its own bill that was filed on Thursday (see more about HB 569 below). The following are key features of the 15-page bill:

Part I. Opportunity Scholarship Grant Program

  • Expands the definition of eligible beginning student from those entering grades K-1 to students entering grades K-2, beginning spring semester 2021-2022. Added to eligible students are four-year-olds with birthdays on or before April 16 that a school principal deems to be gifted or mature enough for school admittance (currently at least five years old by August 31).
  • Expands eligibility to include students whose parents are honorably discharged from the Armed Services in the past 18 months (income eligibility must be met).
  • Expands financial eligibility to include all foster children.
  • The scholarship grant cap increases from a fixed amount of $4,200 to 70% of the average State per pupil allocation beginning in the 2022-2023 school year. Based on last year’s numbers, the scholarship would increase to $4,646. The formula increases from 70% to 80% in the 2023-2024 school year.

Part II. Personal Education Savings Accounts

  • Merges the Personal Education Savings Accounts program and the Special Education Scholarships for Children with Disabilities program to form the Personal Education Student Accounts for Children with Disabilities.
  • Expands eligibility of students to four-year-olds with birthdays on or before April 16 that a school principal deems to be gifted or mature enough for school admittance (currently at least 5 years old by August 31).
  • Modifies the maximum scholarship amount per eligible student to be based on a percentage formula, rather than a fixed amount. Using last year’s numbers, the maximum amount per scholarship would increase from $9,000 to $10,091.
  • Creates a 10-year funding reserve similar to the voucher program and appropriates money for that reserve.

Part III. Local Funds to Supplement K-12 Scholarships

  • Authorizes the use of county property taxes for supplemental funds for students receiving K-12 scholarships for educational purposes.
  • Beginning in fiscal year 2021-2022, authorizes counties to appropriate up to $1,000 per child who lives in the county and receives a grant from one of the following: Special Education Scholarships for Children with Disabilities, Opportunity Scholarship Grant, and Personal Education Savings Account.

As a reminder, the Senate recently filed a similar version of the House’s voucher bill last week (SB 671). We outlined the major differences between the two bills in last week’s Legislative Update (second bill under Notable Bills Filed This Week).

School Calendar Flexibility Bills

On Tuesday, the House Education K-12 Committee approved 16 local school calendar flexibility bills, as well as one statewide bill. On Wednesday, two of the local bills passed the House and are now in the Senate:

  • HB 125: School Calendar Flexibility/Lenoir County (primary sponsor: Chris Humphrey, R-Lenoir) allows local school boards in Cumberland County, Franklin County, Lenoir County, Nash County, and Pitt County to determine schools’ opening and closing dates.
  • HB 201: Academic Alignment/Certain School Units (primary sponsors: Dean Arp, R-Union; Sarah Stevens, R-Alleghany; Mark Brody, R-Union; David Willis, R-Union) allows school calendar flexibility in Chatham County, Edgecombe County, Elkin City, Martin County, Mount Airy City, Surry County, and Union County if a school is year-round or if a school’s calendar is aligned with the opening date of the local community college.

All 16 local bills affect a total of 37 school districts, and many of the bills were presented as a means to address COVID-19 learning loss. Based on past Senate inaction and Senate Leader Phil Berger being quoted saying “I don’t know that the appetite for school calendar bills has changed”, we are unsure if the bills will be considered in the Senate. 10 of the local bills are scheduled to be heard in the House Local Government Committee meeting next Tuesday, April 20 at 11:00 am (see list of bills under April 19-23 Legislative Meeting Calendar). HB 12, a local bill affecting Alamance-Burlington Schools, and HB 376, a statewide bill, will be heard in the House State Government Committee meeting next Wednesday, April 21 at 11:00 am. For an article covering the progress of these school calendar flexibility bills, as well as other legislative action, click here.

Notable Bills Filed This Week

HB 579: School Self-Defense Act (primary sponsors: Representatives Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus; Mark Brody, R-Union; Keith Kidwell, R-Beaufort) was filed on Wednesday and authorizes certain school personnel to carry a handgun on school grounds to use in response to an act of violence or an imminent threat of violence. The bill sets forth requirements for these “volunteer school faculty guardians” and also clarifies that local school boards have the authority to prohibit the possession of a handgun on school grounds.

HB 569: Enabling Opportunity Scholarship Reporting (primary sponsors: Representatives Cynthia Ball, D-Wake; Rachel Hunt, D-Mecklenburg; Amos Quick, D-Guilford; Graig Meyer, D-Orange) was filed on Wednesday and includes the contents of the amendment to HB 32 (mentioned above) that was voted down on the House floor by the majority party. The bill requires the administration of a common exam to nonpublic and public-school students as a means to measure student achievement in the opportunity scholarship grant program. The bill provides appropriations for the selection of an independent organization to conduct research and report its evaluations.

For a list of other education-related bills filed this week look under Bills Filed near the end of the Update.

Bill Chart

Click here for a chart of all education-related bills that NCBSA is tracking.

 

On Tuesday, the Joint Legislative Committee on Governmental Operations, which is chaired by Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, voted to launch an investigation into the NC High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA). The investigation comes as lawmakers say that the NCHSAA, a nonprofit organization that receives state tax dollars, has accumulated too much money compared to other state associations. Tuesday’s meeting was followed by appointments to the Subcommittee on Interscholastic Athletics, which had their first meeting on Thursday. The Thursday meeting consisted of discussion and questioning of NCHSAA commissioner Que Tucker about the Association’s total assets of more than $40 million, the competitive imbalance in 1A athletics, and the Association’s service to its member schools. Tucker stated that these concerns will be the focus of the next NCHSAA board meeting in May. Click here to access an article on the Thursday meeting.

Additionally, SB 548: Interscholastic Athletics (primary sponsors: Senators Todd Johnson, R-Union; Tom McInnis, R-Richmond; Vickie Sawyer, R-Iredell), which was filed last week, authorizes the State Auditor to conduct an audit of the NCHSAA’s finances.

 

During a hearing this week on the decades-long Leandro case, Judge David Lee stated that rather than telling the legislature how much money they need to spend, he wants “this to be a cooperative effort with everyone having the same goal in mind.” This hearing follows the State Board of Education’s and DPI’s submission of their Comprehensive Remedial Plan on Monday, March 15, which currently calls for State spending of $5.6 billion over the next eight years. The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the necessary motion that would turn this remedial plan into a legal requirement of the State to abide by its constitutional obligation of providing every student with the opportunity to a sound, basic education. For more on the hearing, click here.

 

NC families have another chance to receive $335 in coronavirus relief through the 2020 NC Extra Credit Grant. The NC Department of Health and Human Services is working with the NC Department of Revenue to share information that explains if an individual with a dependent child who was 16 or younger at the end of 2019 is eligible for the $335 extra credit grant. If families with children did not receive this coronavirus relief payment last fall, click here for another chance to apply through May 31, 2021. Click here for a video that explains eligibility and the application process.

 

On Wednesday, a press conference led by SAS CEO Jim Goodnight reiterated business leaders’ plea to address and improve early literacy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The press conference included eight business leaders, as well as State Superintendent Catherine Truitt, State Board of Education Chair Eric Davis, and UNC System Senior Vice President for Strategy and Policy Andrew Kelly. The business leaders expressed support for SB 387: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2021/SL 2021-8 and called on the State to more adequately fund NC Pre-K and science of reading training. To read more about the press conference, click here.

 

This week Governor Cooper announced new appointments and nominations to North Carolina boards and commissions. The following individuals were nominated to serve on the State Board of Education:

  • Eric Davis as a representative for the 6th educational district, who currently serves as the Board Chair
    • Currently serves as a member at-large
  • Alan Duncan as a representative for the 5th educational district, who currently serves as the Board Vice Chair
  • Melody Chalmers McClain as a representative for the 4th educational district
    • Replacing Dr. Olivia Oxendine
  • Ronald Hargrave as a member at-large
    • Replacing J.B. Buxton who left the Board to serve as the President of Durham Technical Community College

 

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

Statewide Bills

  • HB 545: Mandatory Training Contributing to CEUs (primary sponsors: Representatives Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; Ashton Clemmons; D-Guilford; John Torbett, R-Gaston)
    • CEUs stands for continuing education units
  • HB 550: Free Breakfast & Lunch in Pub. Sch. Units (primary sponsors: Representatives Cecil Brockman, D-Guilford; Amos Quick, D-Guilford; John Autry, D-Mecklenburg; Rosa Gill, D-Wake)
  • HB 555: 2021 Governor’s Budget (primary sponsors: Representatives Jason Saine, R-Lincoln; Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth; Dean Arp, R-Union; John Faircloth, R-Guilford)
    • This bill contains the Governor’s budget recommendations that were released on Wednesday, March 24
    • Companion bill to SB 622
  • HB 558: Prohibit Mandatory CV19 Vaccinations (primary sponsors: Representatives Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus; Keith Kidwell, R-Beaufort)
    • This bill makes it unlawful to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine in NC, to require proof of vaccination, to discriminate in public spaces or employment based on vaccine status, to mandate vaccine tracking, and to require the waiving of privacy rights to obtain a vaccine
  • HB 567: 2021 Youth END Act (primary sponsors: Representatives Gale Adcock, D-Wake; Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth; Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg; Cynthia Ball, D-Wake)
  • HB 568: Youth Mentoring Services Act (primary sponsors: Representatives Graig Meyer, D-Orange; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford; Ricky Hurtado, D-Alamance)
  • HB 576: Marijuana Justice and Reinvestment Act (primary sponsors: Representatives Graig Meyer, D-Orange; Raymond Smith, D-Sampson; John Ager, D-Buncombe; Terry Brown, D-Mecklenburg)
    • Companion bill to SB 646
    • See page 16, lines 1-4
  • HB 580: My Body, My Choice Medical Privacy Act (primary sponsors: Keith Kidwell, R-Beaufort; Bobby Hanig, R-Currituck; Edward Goodwin, R-Bertie)
  • HB 586: Allow Public Employee Collective Bargaining (primary sponsors: Representatives Terry Brown, D-Mecklenburg; Zack Hawkins, D-Durham; John Autry, D-Mecklenburg; Vernetta Alston, D-Durham)
  • HB 591: Fines and Forfeitures/Payments to Schools (primary sponsor: Representative James Galliard, D-Nash)
    • This bill directs excess receipts in the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund to be transferred to the School Technology Fund in the same fiscal year and any capital funds for school technology to be used toward the payment of the $730 million in school technology funding owed to public schools, per a 2008 court judgment
  • HB 592: Remove Restriction on Public School Cap. Fund (primary sponsor: Representative James Galliard, D-Nash)
  • SB 717: Taxpayer Bill of Rights (primary sponsors: Senators Paul Newton, R-Cabarrus; Warren Daniel, R-Burke; Bill Rabon, R-Bladen)
    • One of the many things that this bill requires is that voters approve all local tax changes

Local Bill

 

Tuesday, April 20

11:00 am – House Local Government – Legislative Offices Building, rm 415 (live stream)

2:00 pm – House Pensions and Retirement – Legislative Offices Building, rm 415 (live stream)

4:00 pm – House Education K-12 – Legislative Offices Building, rm 643 (live stream)

Wednesday, April 21

11:00 am – House State Government – Legislative Offices Building, rm 643 (live stream)

The following are two additional meetings being held next week:

 

 

 

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

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
rbostic@ncsba.org

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – April 16, 2021
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NCSBA Legislative Update – April 9, 2021

 

Despite the legislature not holding session or committee meetings this week due to their spring break, a whopping 248 bills were filed. This is compared to most weeks which average around 100 bills filed. Most bills were filed by Senators prior to the Senate public bill filing deadline on Wednesday. The House still has until May 4 to file public bills and May 11 to file public money bills. Of the 248 bills filed this week, 38 are education-related (see list below). We have provided summaries of some of the filed bills. Bill content ranges from teacher pay increases to school capital to early education.

Today the Governor signed the following education bills into law:

For summaries of these bills, click here to access last week’s Legislative Update.

Notable Bills Filed This Week

SB 654: K-12 COVID-19 Provisions (primary sponsors: Senators Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga; Don Davis, D-Pitt; Michael Lee, R-New Hanover)

  • Waives the reporting of school performance grades, annual report cards, and low performing school identification based on 2020-2021 school year data
  • Provides remote instruction guidance, clarification on principal recruitment supplements, and context on teacher performance/effectiveness data for the 2021-2022 school year

SB 671: Changes to the K-12 Scholarship Programs (primary sponsors: Senators Michael Lee, R-New Hanover; Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga; Amy Galey, R-Alamance) has many similarities to HB 32: Equity in Opportunity Act (primary sponsors: Representatives Dean Arp, R-Union; Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth; Jason Saine, R-Lincoln), but also has the following major differences:

  • Does not include a 10-year appropriated reserve for education savings accounts
  • Does not allow counties to fund vouchers
  • Increases income eligibility from 150% to 175% of the amount required for the student to qualify for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program
  • Changes the amount paid per voucher from $4,200 to the amount the State pays per charter school student
    • HB 32 increases the voucher from $4,200 to 70% of the average State per pupil allocation beginning in the 2022-2023 school year and further increases to 80% in the 2023-2024 school year

HB 497: Support Veteran Teachers (primary sponsor: Representative Brenden Jones, R-Columbus)/SB 551: Support Veteran Teachers (primary sponsor: Senator Danny Britt, R-Robeson)

  • Raises base salaries for teachers with 15-24 years of experience from $5,000 to $5,250 per month and for teachers with 25 or more years of experience from $5,200 to $5,460

SB 700: Balanced Political Discussion in Classrooms (primary sponsors: Senators Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson; Joyce Krawiec, R-Forsyth; Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell)

  • Applies to all public school units (PSUs), except charter schools
  • Requires curriculum, professional development, and teaching standards used in public school classrooms to reflect balanced political viewpoints
  • When the viewpoint of one of the two major political parties is presented by whatever means in a classroom or other area of the school, the viewpoint of the alternative political party must also be presented and given equal weight during the same instructional unit
  • Requires applicable PSUs to post to their website a list of instructional materials, activities, and any procedures for approval of those materials
    • Applicable PSUs with less than 500 students are not required to comply with this requirement

SB 514: Youth Health Protection Act (primary sponsors: Senators Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell; Warren Daniel, R-Caldwell; Norman Sanderson, R-Carteret)

  • Requires school personnel that notice a student demonstrating gender dysphoria or nonconformity to immediately notify, in writing, each of the student’s parents or guardians and specifically describe the circumstances
  • States that school personnel will be disciplined if they withhold information or coerce a student to withhold information from their parents regarding the student’s physical and mental health

Attention School Board Attorneys

SB 593: Special Education Due Process Hearings (primary sponsors: Senators Brent Jackson, R-Sampson; Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga; Michael Lee, R-New Hanover), which was filed on Tuesday, alters the appeals process for special education due process hearings by eliminating State Hearing Review Officers (SHRO). The SHROs currently review, upon the request of a party, the decisions made by administrative law judges. Should the bill become law, such decisions would be appealed in state or federal court.

We are asking school board attorneys to review SB 593 and provide any concerns or feedback to Bruce Mildwurf, Director of Governmental Relations, at bmildwurf@ncsba.org.

Attention School Finance Officers

HB 159: Education Law Changes (primary sponsors: Representatives John Torbett, R-Gaston; Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke), which passed the House last week and is now in the Senate, contains a school nutrition section that we would like to bring to the attention of school finance officers and others involved in this area. This bill prohibits public school units from assessing indirect costs to a school nutrition program unless the program has a minimum of three month’s operating balance (currently is one month). Additionally, the bill adds a new requirement prohibiting public school units from assessing indirect costs that are more than 8% of a school nutrition program’s annual budget per fiscal year. If this provision is a concern for your district, please contact your State Senator and the House bill sponsors, as well as Bruce Mildwurf, Director of Governmental Relations, at bmildwurf@ncsba.org.

Attention School Finance Officers and Superintendents

HB 508: Education Funding Transparency (primary sponsor: Representative Mike Clampitt, R-Swain), which was filed this week, contains local school board budget reporting requirements that we would like to bring to the attention of school finance officers and superintendents. HB 508 is a companion bill of SB 406: Education Funding Transparency (primary sponsors: Senators Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson; Vickie Sawyer, R-Iredell; Kevin Corbin, R-Macon). The bills do the following:

  • Require reporting on local education expenditures and annual independent audits of LEA accounts to include program report code and object code
  • Require local school boards to submit their annual budgets to county commissioners with detail on local funds down to the program report code and object code level
  • Allow county commissioners to appropriate local funds at the program report code level

Next Week

The legislative meeting calendar is quickly filling up for next week, most notably in the House Education K-12 Committee meeting on Tuesday, April 13 at 1:00 pm (live stream). The Committee’s agenda currently includes 13 local school calendar flexibility bills that affect a total of 19 counties. Some bills are focused on combatting pandemic learning loss and expire within the next few school years, while others do not include a sunset date. See the April 12-16 Legislative Meeting Calendar section at the end of the Update for the list of bills, including links.

Bill Chart

Click here for a chart of all education-related bills that NCBSA is tracking.

 

The SBE met for their monthly meeting on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Board members were presented with the following:

Testing and accountability updates: The State’s federal waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education was approved on March 26 and waives the State from accountability measures, school identification, and some reporting requirements for the 2020-2021 school year. Despite this waiver, national assessments are still required and will be administered in-person. These assessments include grades 3-8 reading and math, grades 5 and 8 science, and high school end-of-course tests (EOCs). State Superintendent Catherine Truitt stated that her team will provide recommendations on how much end-of-grade tests (EOGs) and EOCs will count towards students’ grades. Following the approval of the federal waiver, the next step is to submit a waiver request from State accountability measures to the General Assembly, which was previously approved by the SBE. DPI presenters said that they will be tracking SB 654: K-12 COVID-19 Provisions, which was filed by Senate leadership on Tuesday and would waive school performance grades, annual report cards, and low-performing school identification based 2020-2021 school year data.

ESSER III application, draft allotments, and allotment policy: Board members approved the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III (ESSER III) funding application, draft allotments, and allotment policy. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides NC with $3.6 billion in ESSER III funds, $3.2 billion (90%) of which will go directly to public school units (PSUs). The following are ESSER III funding requirements for PSUs:

  • At least 20% must be used to address learning loss
  • PSUs must create a safe return to in-person instruction plan
  • PSUs must maintain equity in high-poverty schools (funding levels cannot be disproportionately lowered)

Like ESSER II, PSUs are required to apply for funding. DPI plans to open the application on April 12 and expects to receive submitted applications by May 7 in order to process them during this current fiscal year. DPI staff also provided an informative presentation on ESSER I, II, and III allotment policies, which includes total funds, funding uses, and expiration dates.

StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit: The Board voted to approve the current version of the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit (updated on March 24, 2021) as official guidance for in-person instruction for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, unless otherwise extended or modified. The motion to approve the Toolkit included language saying that the Board’s approval does not override the requirements of SB 220: The Reopen Our Schools Act of 2021/SL 2021-4, which requires compliance with the Toolkit as that guidance existed on March 4, 2021. The SBE, DPI, and NCSBA have been trying to work with legislators to modify the language in SB 220. To date, legislative leaders have not been willing to do so. We will continue our efforts next week as legislators return from their weeklong vacation.

DHHS COVID-19 update: DHHS staff presented updates to the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit, including the recommendation that school entry screenings are no longer necessary. DHHS still recommends testing as a component of mitigation strategies in K-12 schools, and these tests will continue to be offered at no cost to schools for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Staff added that they are submitting a funding request and plan to the CDC for a statewide vendor to support screening testing in schools. Additionally, students who are 16 or older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The presentation concluded with joint DHHS/DPI guidance on prom and graduation, which includes compliance with current capacity limits, requirement of face coverings, and utilization of rapid tests. Click here to access the DHHS presentation that includes data, resources, and guidance.

Click here to access all meeting materials.

Click here for an article summarizing the meeting.

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

Statewide Bills

Local Bills

 

Tuesday, April 13

1:00 pm – House Local Government – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (live stream)

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

Wednesday, April 14

12:00 pm – House Judiciary – Legislative Offices Building, rm 643 (live stream)

 

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

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
rbostic@ncsba.org

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – April 9, 2021
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NCSBA Legislative Update – April 1, 2021

 

Legislators wasted no time moving along many significant education bills before both chambers take a spring break next week. Bills were passing out of one chamber and being heard in the next chamber’s committee meeting within minutes, making it feel much more like the end of session rather than early April. A bill sponsored by Senate Leader Phil Berger and a bill sponsored by House Speaker Tim Moore are now awaiting the Governor’s signature. SB 387: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2021 (primary sponsors: Senators Phil Berger, R-Rockingham; Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga; Michael Lee, R-New Hanover), which modifies the State’s Read to Achieve program, was filed on Monday and quickly sped through the legislative process. HB 82: Summer Learning Choice for NC Families (primary sponsors: Representatives Tim Moore, R-Cleveland; Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; John Torbett, R-Gaston; Jeff Zenger, R-Forsyth), which mandates that each LEA provide a voluntary summer learning program for at-risk students, passed the Senate and concurred in the House. See more about each of these bills below.

Read to Achieve Bill

A bill modifying the State’s Read to Achieve program was filed on Monday, passed the Senate 48-0, passed the House 113-5, and was sent to the Governor. Bill sponsors and State Superintendent Catherine Truitt held a press conference announcing the filing of SB 387: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2021 (primary sponsors: Senators Phil Berger, R-Rockingham; Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga; Michael Lee, R-New Hanover), emphasizing its implementation of the science of reading into early childhood literacy. Before passing the Senate, an amendment was approved that sets a minimum $1,200 signing bonus for teachers who (i) work in reading camps, (ii) are associated with high growth in reading based on EVAAS data, and (iii) were previously awarded a reading performance bonus by DPI. The amendment also sets a performance bonus for teachers of at least $150 for each of their third-grade students who becomes proficient in reading by the end of the reading camp. Additionally, SB 387 does the following:

  • Defines the science of reading as “evidenced-based reading instruction practices that address the acquisition of language, phonological and phonemic awareness, phonics and spelling, fluency, vocabulary, oral language, and comprehension that can be differentiated to meet the needs of individual students.”
  • Bill sponsors mentioned Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) as the training program to be used for science of reading training for teachers working with NC Pre-K and K-5 students
    • HB 196/SL 2021-3 appropriates $12 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to contract with Voyager Sopris Learning, Inc. to provide LETRS training for teachers.
  • Establishes the Early Literacy Program within DPI (and in collaboration with DHHS) to facilitate the implementation of the science of reading into the NC Pre-K program
    • Requires an assessment of each child at the end of NC Pre-K to determine kindergarten readiness and share the results with the child’s kindergarten teacher
  • Requires Education Preparation Programs (EPPs) seeking approval or renewal on or after July 1, 2022 to include science of reading coursework
  • Requires LEAs to align literacy instruction with science of reading standards and an implementation plan developed by the State Board of Education (SBE) and DPI by the beginning of the 2024-2025 school year
  • Incorporates the science of reading into literacy interventions and reading camps
    • Requires LEAs to offer reading camps to third grade students who do not demonstrate reading proficiency and second grade students who demonstrate difficulty with reading development, beginning with the 2022-2023 school year
    • Allows LEAs to offer reading camps to first grade students who demonstrate difficulty with reading development, beginning with the 2022-2023 school year
    • Requires LEAs to submit a plan to DPI annually by October 1 describing literacy interventions that will be offered during the next school year, including reading camps, beginning with the 2022-2023 school year
  • Requires the development of an Individualized Reading Plan (IRP) for K-3 students demonstrating difficulty with reading development, beginning with the 2022-2023 school year
  • Establishes a Digital Children’s Reading Initiative that requires DPI to provide links to high-quality resources for families based on the science of reading and categorized by skill deficiency and grade level
  • Requires the SBE to approve one alternative reading comprehension assessment for use, beginning with the 2022-2023 school year
  • Requires DPI to create a uniform reporting structure for Read to Achieve data, beginning with 2021-2022 school year

Click here for an article on SB 387.

Summer Learning Bill

After a month of waiting to be heard in the Senate, HB 82: Summer Learning Choice for NC Families (primary sponsors: Representatives Tim Moore, R-Cleveland; Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; John Torbett, R-Gaston; Jeff Zenger, R-Forsyth) passed the Senate 48-0, concurred in the House 119-0, and was sent to the Governor. This bill mandates that each LEA provide a voluntary summer learning program for at-risk students (allows for additional students to participate within space available). Changes to the bill include:

  • Clarifies that year-round schools may offer the program during vacation periods through October 1, 2021
  • Allows LEAs to offer courses to high school students through the NC Virtual Public School
  • Clarifies that transportation to the program must be aligned with the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12) as of March 24, 2021
  • Requires a student who was retained for the 2021-2022 school year to be reassessed by their principal upon completion of the program (was “students who are at-risk of grade retention”)
  • Requires LEAs to provide teacher bonuses:
    • A minimum $1,200 signing bonus for teachers who have previously received a reading performance bonus or hold National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification
    • A minimum $150 performance bonus to teachers for each third-grade student who becomes proficient in reading by the end of the program
  • Extends the expiration of temporary contracts for all school personnel hired under this program from August 1, 2021 to October 1, 2021
  • Removes language that would have removed K-3 class size limits for the program
  • Clarifies that reading camp funds must only be used to support K-3 reading instruction in the program
  • Removes language that would have allowed students not enrolled in the LEA to participate in the program (enrolling those students was optional)
  • Removes language that would have directed the SBE to require LEAs to implement innovative benchmark assessments in certain grades and core subjects, beginning with the 2021-2022 school year
  • Requires the SBE to provide LEAs with an assessment per grade and subject for K-8 students to be taken at the beginning and end of the program
  • Changes the student academic performance reporting requirement date for LEAs to DPI from September 1, 2021 to October 15, 2021 (DPI will report to the legislature)

Additionally, HB 82 does the following:

  • Requires each LEA to submit a plan for its program to DPI no later than 30 days prior to the last instructional day of the 2020-2021 school year, and the plans must include:
    1. Instruction for at least 150 hours or 30 days
    2. Meal service each day
    3. A physical activity period each day
    4. Grade level course offerings
    5. Transportation in accordance with Plan A
    6. Time in the instructional day for teachers to provide individual or small group instruction to at-risk students
    7. Voluntary student participation (kindergarten students participating in the program are exempt from retention for the 2021-2022 school year and all other students who were retained for the 2021-2022 school year who participate in the program will receive a reassessment of promotion eligibility)
    8. Outreach to increase program participation
  • Allows retired teachers (retired by March 1) to be hired after one month separation (normally six months)
  • Requires schools to provide in-person social and emotional learning supports for students
  • Expresses intent to use federal COVID-19 funds directed to DPI for the program
  • Clarifies that the program will be funded by the LEA’s existing funds, including the recently appropriated federal COVID-19 funds, fiscal year 2020-2021 reading camp funds, and at-risk funds

Charter School Payment Bill

Following intense and lengthy negotiations between NCSBA, the NC Association of School Administrators, and the NC Coalition for Charter Schools, a much-improved bill was presented to the House Education K-12 and House Rules Committees and passed the House on a 117-2 vote. Changes to HB 335: Timely Local Payments to Charter Schools (primary sponsors: Representatives John Bradford, R-Mecklenburg; Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford; Jason Saine, R-Lincoln) include:

  • Requires that the 30-day clock for an LEA to submit payment to a charter school begin after the LEA is in receipt of both a charter school invoice and the monies into the local current expense fund (originally, the 30-day clock started after the LEA received a charter school invoice)
  • Requires an LEA to submit a payment to a charter school for the undisputed amount within the 30-day period
  • Requires an LEA to pay a 5% late fee only if both of the following occur:
    • A charter school provides written notice to the LEA’s superintendent and school finance officer after the 30-day period stating that the payment was not received
    • Electronic payment is not transferred within 15 days of that notice, or if mailed, not postmarked within 15 days of that notice (originally, the bill included an 8% late fee on day 31)
  • If the late fee is triggered, requires interest to accrue at a rate of 8% annually until the payment is received by the charter school
  • Requires the State Superintendent, in consultation with LEAs and charter schools, to create:
    • A standardized enrollment verification and transfer request document used by charter schools to request the per pupil share of the local current expense fund
    • A standardized procedure that LEAs must use when transferring the per pupil share of the local current expense fund

NCSBA does not support a late fee for LEAs but given the procedures and timeframes in the newly compromised bill, it is our hope that the penalty will never come into play.

Status of Other Notable Bills

HB 53: Educ. Changes for Military-Connected Students (primary sponsors: Representatives George Cleveland, R-Onslow; John Bell, R-Greene; Grier Martin, D-Wake) passed the Senate, concurred in the House, and was sent to the Governor. This bill would allow students of active-duty military parents who live out-of-state to attend school in NC if the student lives with a caregiver who lives in-state.

HB 18: Local School Administrative Unit Cash Management (primary sponsor: Representative Ted Davis, R-New Hanover) passed the House and was sent to the Senate. This bill authorizes public school units to hold State funds in local bank accounts for up to three business days after the date of drawing on the State funds, before making a final disbursement to the ultimate payee. This is a departure from the current cash management statute that requires the State Treasurer to keep money on deposit until final disbursement to the ultimate payee.

In 2020, the State Treasurer’s office identified a problem during the pilot testing for the DPI School Business Modernization Development Process software implementation. Without the change in HB 18, the new software could potentially make public school units out of compliance with the State Controller’s cash management statute.

HB 159: Education Law Changes (primary sponsors: Representatives John Torbett, R-Gaston; Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke) was approved by the House Rules Committee and passed the House. Highlights of the bill include:

  • Allows LEAs to use a payroll deduction plan to pay teachers in 12 monthly installments, regardless of
    • When the request is made (currently must be made on or before the first day of the school year)
    • If they are employed for less than 12 months
  • Requires the State Board of Education to follow the rulemaking process (G.S.150B) when adopting course standards

NCSBA is continuing to work with DPI and legislators to ensure that the payroll deduction plan is available to school employees paid on an hourly or other basis.

HB 32: Equity in Opportunity Act (three of the four primary sponsors are former school board members: Representatives Dean Arp, R-Union; Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth; Jason Saine, R-Lincoln) was approved by the House Education Appropriations Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee. This bill does the following:

  • Expands eligibility even further for recipients of opportunity scholarships and personal education savings accounts
  • Increases the opportunity scholarship grant cap by an estimated $446 in the 2022-2023 school year, with an additional increase in the 2023-2024 school year
  • Increases the maximum personal education savings account amount per eligible student by an estimated $1,091 in the 2023-2024 school year
  • Authorizes counties to appropriate local funds toward these scholarships, beginning with the 2021-2022 fiscal year

The bill does not include measures of educational attainment and success of private school scholarship recipients. Click here to access the General Assembly’s summary of HB 32.

HB 285: ENS Railroad Train/Driver Ed Curriculum (primary sponsors: Representatives Howard Penny, R-Harnett; Mike Clampitt, R-Swain) was approved by the House Transportation and Education K-12 Committees and referred to the House Rules Committee. This bill requires driver education curriculum to include instruction on the Emergency Notification System for railroad train emergencies.

Bill Chart

Click here for a chart of all education-related bills that NCBSA is tracking.

 

Last week’s Legislative Update summarized the Governor’s recommended budget, including a $4.7 billion bond referendum for November 2021, which would provide $2.5 billion for school capital projects. Click here to see the LEA allocation list for the recommended bond. As a reminder, following the release of the Govenor’s budget recommendations, a Governor’s budget bill will be filed. The Senate is continuing to work on its budget bill to be released in the coming weeks.

 

Statewide Bills

Local Bill

 

A new NC teacher’s group called the Carolina Teachers Alliance was recently formed, and you may be hearing more about them in the coming weeks. According to news reports, the Alliance was created by conservative activists who are “focused on traditional education.” Amy Marshall, the Alliance’s president, is a former Wake County teacher and leader of the Wake Conservative Parents Alliance. To read more about the Carolina Teachers Alliance, click here.

 

 

 

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

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
rbostic@ncsba.org

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – April 1, 2021
read more

NCSBA Legislative Update – March 26, 2021

 

On Wednesday, the Governor released his recommended budget, which includes $11.1 billion in FY 2021-2022 (11.1% increase from the base budget) and $11.7 billion in FY 2022-2023 (16.3% increase from the base budget) for K-12 public education. The following are highlights from the K-12 education section of the budget:

  • Provides bonuses for teachers, principals, and all other school personnel
    • $2,000 bonus in May 2021
    • $1,000 bonus in each year of the biennium
  • Includes pay increases over the biennium
    • 10% average pay increase for teachers, principals, assistant principals, and instructional support personnel
    • 5% pay increase for noncertified personnel and central office staff
  • Requires all noncertified personnel to be paid at least $15/hour and provides funds to districts to cover noncertified personnel salaries paid with local dollars
  • Restores master’s pay for teachers whose advanced degrees are in the subjects they teach
  • Starting in FY 2022-2023, restores annual State funding to fully fund the cost for up to 1,000 teachers to become National Board Certified
  • Proposes a $4.7 billion statewide bond referendum for November 2021, including $2.5 billion for school capital projects
  • Provides $120 million over the biennium for approximately 1,000 full-time school counselors, nurses, social workers, and psychologists
  • Creates a new professional development allotment of $30 million over the biennium for teachers and school leaders in areas such as digital literacy and personalized learning
  • Provides $50 million over the biennium in additional teacher assistant funding to support K-3 literacy
  • Provides $4 million in nonrecurring funds in FY 2022-2023 (in addition to the $12 million in federal ESSER funds) to support early literacy instruction based on the science of reading
  • Removes funding caps and increases funding for
    • Children with Disabilities allotments ($40M in FY 21-22/$70M in FY 22-23)
    • Limited English Proficiency allotments ($10M in FY 21-22/$20M in FY 22-23)
  • Increases funding for
    • Disadvantaged Student Supplemental funding ($35M in FY 21-22/$70M in FY 22-23)
    • Low Wealth allotments ($20M in FY 21-22/$40M in FY 22-23)

The Governor’s budget also invests roughly $78 million in early education, with the goal of enrolling more children in the NC Pre-K program. Additionally, the Opportunity Scholarship Program would gradually be eliminated under the budget plan. Governor’s budget links:

Following the release of the Governor’s budget recommendations, a Governor’s budget bill will be filed, including more details on the salary schedule. The Senate is now working on its budget bill to be released in the coming weeks. House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, stated in Thursday’s House session that there has already been some discussion between the Governor and legislative leaders on areas of agreement and disagreement of budget priorities, hopefully leading to “a good result this year”. (Note that the Governor’s recommended budget does not include appropriations of the federal funds included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Appropriations of those federal funds are forthcoming.)

 

This week NCSBA released the inaugural episode of our new podcast The Board Table. In this episode NCSBA Director of Governmental Relations, Bruce Mildwurf, talks with Governor Cooper’s Education Advisor, Geoff Coltrane, about the Governor’s education budget proposals. Click here to listen to the podcast!

T

Status of Notable Bills

HB 136: Encourage Healthy NC Food in Schools (primary sponsors: Representatives Julia Howard, R-Davie; Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; Mitchell Setzer, R-Catawba; Jimmy Dixon, R-Duplin) passed the House on a 91-22 vote and is now in the Senate. This bill requires public schools to ensure that 100% muscadine grape juice is available to students in all schools. It does not include an appropriation.

HB 205: Abuse & Neglect Resources in Public Schools (primary sponsors: Representatives Ted Davis, R-New Hanover; Donna White, R-Johnston; Kelly Hastings, R-Gaston; Pat Hurley, R-Randolph) unanimously passed the House on Thursday and was sent to the Senate. This bill requires public schools to provide students in grades 6-12 with information and resources on child abuse (including sexual abuse) and neglect. The information and resources must be distributed to students in a document at the beginning of each school year, displayed on a poster, and include warning signs of abuse and how to report it. It does not include an appropriation.

HB 32: Equity in Opportunity Act (three of the four primary sponsors are former school board members: Representatives Dean Arp, R-Union; Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth; Jason Saine, R-Lincoln) was amended and approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Appropriations Committee. Changes to the bill include:

  • Allows eligibility for opportunity scholarships for students whose parents are honorably discharged from the Armed Services in the past 18 months (income eligibility must be met)
  • Allows financial eligibility for opportunity scholarships for all foster children

Additionally, the bill does the following:

  • Expands eligibility even further for other recipients of opportunity scholarships and personal education savings accounts (click here for a bill summary with more details)
  • Increases the opportunity scholarship grant cap by an estimated $446 in the 2022-2023 school year, with an additional increase in the 2023-2024 school year
  • Increases the maximum personal education savings account amount per eligible student by an estimated $1,091
  • Authorizes counties to appropriate local funds toward these scholarships, beginning with the 2021-2022 fiscal year

With the goal of improving the bill, the NCSBA Governmental Relations Team expressed concerns about HB 32 to the bill’s sponsors and Committee members, but the Committee ultimately rejected an amendment along party lines that would have measured educational attainment and success of private school scholarship recipients. For a more thorough bill summary, click here to access a previous Legislative Update.

HB 247: Standards of Student Conduct (primary sponsor: Representative John Torbett, R-Gaston) was amended and approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee. This bill requires public school unit boards (local boards of education and charter school boards) to do the following:

  • Consult with teachers, school-based administrators, parents, and local law enforcement before adopting discipline policies and student code of conduct
  • Consider existing federal guidance for disciplining students with disabilities, in addition to other school discipline guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Send most current discipline policies and student code of conduct to DPI by September 1 each year
  • Inform parents and guardians of the full range of responses to disciplinary violations at the beginning of each school year

A major point of Committee member disagreement was the removal of language that provides examples of student conduct not deemed punishable by long-term suspension, including inappropriate language, dress code violations, minor physical altercations, and noncompliance. An amendment that would have restored the language was rejected in Committee.

HB 69: Education on the Holocaust and Genocide (primary sponsors: Representatives Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; Julia Howard, R-Davie; Wayne Sasser, R-Cabarrus; Robert Reives, D-Chatham) was amended and approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Appropriations Committee. This bill requires the integration of education on the Holocaust and genocide into the standard course of study.

HB 335: Timely Local Payments to Charter Schools (primary sponsors: Representatives John Bradford, R-Mecklenburg; Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford; Jason Saine, R-Lincoln) will be heard in the House Education K-12 Committee next Tuesday, March 30, at 1:00 pm. This bill increases the amount that a LEA must transfer to a charter school by 8%, plus accrued interest, if the LEA does not transfer funds to the charter school within 30 days of receiving a written request from the charter school. Charter schools receive funds equal to the per pupil share of the local current expense fund.

Athletics Attendance Bills

This week two local athletics attendance bills passed the Senate and were sent the House: SB 232 and SB 256. Both bills allow up to 50% occupancy at outdoor sporting events in a total of 23 counties. Also this week, Governor Cooper announced an increase in capacity limits for indoor and outdoor sports arenas and fields from 30% to 50%, which means that the bills in their current state may no longer be needed.

Bill Chart

Click here for a chart of all education-related bills that NCBSA is tracking.

 

This week DHHS updated its StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit in response to NC’s improved COVID-19 metrics and the CDC’s updated guidance regarding physical distancing of at least 3 feet between students in K-12 schools. DHHS Toolkit updates include:

  • Allows middle and high schools to operate under Plan A
    • Recommends at least 3 feet of physical distance between students
    • Recommends at least 6 feet of physical distance between adults (school employees) and students and adults
  • Daily symptom screenings are no longer required, but are still recommended for employees
  • Regular disinfection of playgrounds is no longer required
  • Physical barriers are no longer recommended
  • Recommends that fully vaccinated and asymptomatic individuals who are identified as close contacts do not need to quarantine

Click here to access the DHHS Toolkit.

Click here to access the DHHS webpage with additional K-12 school resources.

 

The SBE met for a called meeting on Thursday to approve a contract with the ABC Science Collaborative of the Duke University School of Medicine and updates to DPI’s Lighting Our Way Forward guidance for reopening K-12 public schools. The $500,000 ABC Collaborative contract is required by SB 220: The Reopen Our Schools Act of 2021/SL 2021-4. The bill requires middle and high schools that open under Plan A to partner with the ABC Collaborative to collect and analyze data related to reopening schools, followed by a report to the General Assembly, DPI, SBE, DHHS, and the Governor. The contract begins today, March 26, 2021, and ends no later than September 15, 2021.

DPI’s Lighting Our Way Forward guidance was updated to reflect the newly released CDC guidance regarding physical distancing of at least 3 feet between students in K-12 schools. DPI’s guidance operationalizes DHHS’s StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit, which was also updated this week in accordance with CDC guidance. Because of the updated DHHS Toolkit, the DPI guidance now includes allowing all grades in charter schools to operate under Plan A.

 

Statewide Bills

Local Bills

 

10:00 am – House Transportation – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (live stream)

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

1:00 pm – House Local Government – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (live stream)

3:00 pm – Senate Education/Higher Education – Legislative Offices Building, rm 544 (live stream)

 

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

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
rbostic@ncsba.org

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – March 26, 2021
read more

NCSBA Legislative Update – March 19, 2021

 

Status of Notable Bills

HB 32: Equity in Opportunity Act (three of the four primary sponsors are former school board members: Representatives Dean Arp, R-Union; Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth; Jason Saine, R-Lincoln) will be heard in the House Education K-12 Committee next Tuesday, March 23, at 1:00 pm. The bill does the following:

  • Expands eligibility for recipients of opportunity scholarships and personal education savings accounts
  • Increases the opportunity scholarship grant cap by an estimated $446 in the 2022-2023 school year, with an additional increase in the 2023-2024 school year
  • Increases the maximum personal education savings account amount per eligible student by an estimated $1,091
  • Authorizes counties to appropriate local funds toward these scholarships, beginning with the 2021-2022 fiscal year

HB 32 does not include a method of measuring educational attainment or success when using these public tax dollars. If you have concerns about the bill, please contact Committee members prior to the Tuesday meeting. For a more thorough bill summary, click here to access a previous Legislative Update.

HB 335: Timely Local Payments to Charter Schools (primary sponsors: Representatives John Bradford, R-Mecklenburg; Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford; Jason Saine, R-Lincoln), which was filed this week, enforces a financial penalty on LEAs that do not transfer funds to a charter school within 30 days of receiving a written request from the charter school. The bill increases the amount that a LEA must transfer to a charter school by 8%, plus accrued interest, if the LEA fails to meet its 30-day deadline. Charter schools receive funds equal to the per pupil share of the local current expense fund. Charter school advocates say that HB 335 is necessary because some LEAs do not transfer funds on-time, and it can sometimes take several months before funds are received.

HB 205: Abuse & Neglect Resources in Public Schools (primary sponsors: Representatives Ted Davis, R-New Hanover; Donna White, R-Johnston; Kelly Hastings, R-Gaston; Pat Hurley, R-Randolph) was approved by the House Committee on Families, Children, and Aging Policy and will be heard in the House Education K-12 Committee next Tuesday, March 23, at 1:00 pm. This bill requires public schools to provide students in grades 6-12 with information and resources on child abuse (including sexual abuse) and neglect. The information and resources must be distributed to students in a document at the beginning of each school year, displayed on a poster, and include warning signs of abuse and how to report it.

HB 136: Encourage Healthy NC Food in Schools (primary sponsors: Representatives Julia Howard, R-Davie; Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; Mitchell Setzer, R-Catawba; Jimmy Dixon, R-Duplin) was approved by the House Agriculture Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee, which is the last stop before a House vote. The bill requires public schools to ensure that 100% muscadine grape juice is available to students in all schools. It does not include an appropriation.

HB 284: Repeal Right of Action/Capital Outlay Fund (primary sponsors: Representatives Larry Potts, R-Davidson; Bobby Hanig, R-Currituck; Ben Moss, R-Richmond; Mark Pless, R-Haywood), which removes local school boards’ ability to take county commissioners to court if capital funding disputes are not resolved in mediation, is currently scheduled to pass through four different committees before going to the House floor for a vote.

Athletics Attendance Bills

This week SB 170: Students, Parents, Community Rights Act (primary sponsors: Senators Kevin Corbin, R-Macon; Ted Alexander, R-Cleveland; Dean Proctor, R-Catawba) passed the Senate and was referred to the House Rules Committee. This bill allows up to 50% occupancy at outdoor sporting events in 11 counties.

In addition to SB 170, five other local athletics attendance bills have been filed since the beginning of session (HB 118, HB 129, SB 115, SB 232, SB 256), and two have passed their originating chambers (HB 118 and SB 115). SB 232 and SB 256 are on Monday’s Senate calendar for a potential vote. Two statewide athletics attendance bills have also passed their originating chambers but have not seen action since the beginning of March (SB 116 and HB 128, which includes graduation ceremonies and other outdoor events). All six local bills affect a total of 47 counties and would not require the Governor’s approval. All the athletics attendance bills exceed the Governor’s current 30% capacity limit at sports arenas and fields, which expires on March 26.

Budget Process

Joint appropriations committees will wrap up their meetings next week, which will be followed by the start of the Senate budget process. We have heard that the Governor plans to release his budget next Wednesday, which will be presented to the full Joint Appropriations Committee next Thursday. Dependent upon this schedule, we will provide highlights of the Governor’s budget in next week’s Legislative Update.

Bill Chart

Click here for a chart of all education-related bills that NCBSA is tracking.

 

Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its physical distancing guidance between students in schools to be at least 3 feet instead of the previously recommended 6 feet:

  • Students in elementary schools “should be at least 3 feet apart.”
  • Middle and high school students “should be at least 3 feet apart in areas of low, moderate or substantial community transmission”, but “in areas of high community transmission…should be 6 feet apart.”

Masks remain mandatory, and 6 feet of distance should still be maintained:

  • Between adults (school staff)
  • Between adults and students
  • When masks cannot be worn, like when eating
  • During indoor activities, like band and sports
  • In common areas

This updated CDC guidance follows a study published last week that found similar rates of COVID-19 transmission in schools with 6 feet of physical distancing and schools with 3 feet of physical distancing.

 

On Monday, the State Board of Education and DPI submitted a 52-page Comprehensive Remedial Plan for the decades-long Leandro court case that addresses how the State can abide by its constitutional obligation to provide every student the opportunity to a sound, basic education. The plan currently costs $5.6 billion and addresses the seven key areas outlined in the Superior Court’s January 2020 Consent Order and the WestEd report that was released in December 2019:

  1. A high-quality teacher in each classroom
  2. A high-quality principal in each school
  3. A finance system that provides adequate, equitable, and predictable funding to school districts
  4. An accountability system that reliably assesses multiple measures of student performance
  5. An assistance and turnaround function to provide support to low-performing schools and districts
  6. A system of early education to ensure that all students enter kindergarten on track for school success
  7. Alignment of high school to postsecondary and career expectations

The long-term plan outlines actions aligned with the seven key areas that the State plans to achieve by 2028. The appendix includes costs tables for the Plan, with some items not yet including cost totals. In addition to the SBE and DPI, the Plan includes the General Assembly and the Governor as responsible parties for carrying out the Plan’s goal. The Plan was submitted to Superior Court Judge David Lee, who needs to sign off on it. A court hearing has not yet been scheduled. For more background on the Leandro case, click here.

 

The SBE met for a called meeting on Monday to approve the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund II (ESSER II) application and DPI’s Lighting Our Way Forward amended guidance for reopening K-12 public schools. Federal law dictates that at least 90% ($1.44 billion) of the ESSER II funds be distributed directly to public school units, with the remaining 10% ($161.3 million) being reserved for DPI. The ESSER II application lists allowable uses of the funds, including:

  • Addressing learning loss
  • Sanitizing and cleaning supplies
  • Mental health services

DPI staff added that teacher bonuses are an allowable use of the federal funds. The ESSER II application is scheduled to open on April 1 and DPI hopes to have all submissions by May 31. Click here to access the ESSER II draft allotments for each public-school unit. ESSER II funds are available through September 30, 2023.

DPI’s Lighting Our Way Forward guidance operationalizes DHHS’s StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit. With the recent updates to the Toolkit and the passage of SB 220: The Reopen Our Schools Act of 2021 (SL 2021-4), DPI amended its guidance to include the following:

  • K-5 students are required to be in school at least four days a week under Plan A
  • Students in grades 6-12 are required to be in school either in Plan A at least four days a week or Plan B to the maximum extent possible
  • Plan C is not an option unless it is needed to ensure the health and safety of students in a specific school or district

DPI staff stated that because charter schools were not included in SB 220, they do not have the authority to require more than what is included in the Toolkit, which allows elementary schools to be in Plan A and middle and high schools to be in Plan B. (This week HB 324: Plan A for Charter Schools was filed, which allows K-12 charter schools to return to school under Plan A.) The DPI guidance takes effect on April 1.

Click here to access all meeting materials.

 

This week Republican Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson announced the creation of the FACTS Task Force: Fairness and Accountability in the Classroom for Teachers and Students. “The primary goal of this task force is to allow the voices of concerned citizens to be heard regarding public K-12 education in North Carolina.” The task force seems to be in response to the State Board of Education’s (SBE) recent 7-5 approval of new K-12 social studies standards, which the Lieutenant Governor voted against citing the more than 30,000 people that signed his online petition stating their concern about the content of the standards. The task force’s webpage allows people to submit concerns to the Lieutenant Governor’s office, which will use the submissions to “hold the system accountable.” Members of the task force include NC Senator Kevin Corbin, R-Macon, who is a former local school board member; NC Representative David Willis, R-Union; SBE Member Olivia Oxendine; Lindalyn Kakadelis, who is a charter school advocate; Dr. Terry Stoops with the John Locke Foundation; Union County School Board Member Melissa Merrell; Onslow County School Board Member Melissa Oakley; and Judy Henion with the Classroom Teachers Association of NC. The Lieutenant Governor’s Office has not officially released the task force’s full membership. For an article covering the announcement of the task force, click here.

 

The following education-related bills were filed this week:

Statewide Bills

Local Bill

 

Tuesday, March 23

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

2:00 pm – House Pensions and Retirement – Legislative Offices Building, rm 423 (live stream)

Wednesday, March 24

11:00 am – House State Government – Legislative Offices Building, rm 643 (live stream)

 

 

 

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

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
rbostic@ncsba.org

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – March 19, 2021
read more

NCSBA Legislative Update – March 12, 2021

 

Reopening Schools Bills

A compromise bill to reopen schools fast-tracked through the legislature and was signed into session law in just two days. SB 220: The Reopen Our Schools Act of 2021/SL 2021-4 (primary sponsors: Senators Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga; Michael Lee, R-New Hanover; Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell) was introduced at a press conference of State leaders on Wednesday afternoon and took the “gut and amend” route through the legislature, replacing the bill’s original CPR graduation requirements. The unanimously approved bill does the following:

  • Requires all elementary schools to open under Plan A
  • Allows middle and high schools to open under Plan A or Plan B (Plan C is not an option)
  • Requires middle and high schools that open under Plan A to notify DHHS and describe their plan to open safely (DHHS does not have the authority to veto a plan)
  • Becomes effective 21 days after the bill becomes law (April 1)
    • Districts ready to open sooner do not have to wait the 21 days
    • School districts may add teacher workdays between the time the bill becomes law and schools reopen
  • Requires students with an IEP or 504 plan to have the option of Plan A, at the discretion of the student’s parent or guardian
  • Maintains the Governor’s authority to close schools on a district-by-district basis
  • Gives local districts authority to close a school due to an outbreak or quarantine
  • Requires middle and high schools that open under Plan A to partner with the ABC Science Collaborative to collect data related to reopening schools
    • Allocates $500,000 from the 10% DPI reserve of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief II (ESSER II) funds for this study
  • Requires a virtual instruction option to be provided to families

As a reminder (DHHS Toolkit):

  • Plan A is all in-person instruction with minimal social distancing
  • Plan B is a combination of in-person and virtual instruction with six feet social distancing
  • Plan C is all virtual instruction

SB 220 only applies to traditional public schools and does not include charter schools. Senate Leader Berger stated that SB 220 makes the previously vetoed school reopening bill (SB 37) moot.

One day before the announcement of the compromise, the House Education K-12 Committee approved HB 90: In-Person Learning (primary sponsor: Representative Pat McElraft, R-Carteret). This is a local bill that gives 14 counties the option to provide full-time in-person instruction five days a week for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, while continuing to provide a remote instruction option. With the passage of SB 220, it is unlikely that HB 90 will continue to progress through the legislature.

COVID-19 Relief Bill

On Thursday Governor Cooper signed the $1.7 billion COVID-19 relief bill into session law. HB 196: 2021 COVID-19 Response & Relief/SL 2021-3 (primary sponsors: Representatives John Faircloth, R-Guilford; Dana Bumgardner, R-Gaston; Kyle Hall, R-Rockingham; Larry Strickland, R-Harnett) allocates $145.3 million for K-12 public education from the 10% DPI reserve of the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund II (ESSER II), including:

  • $40 million reserve for in-person summer programs to address learning loss (HB 82)
  • $26 million reserve to address COVID-19 related needs in public school units
  • $12 million to contract with Voyager Sopris Learning, Inc. to improve student literacy
  • Up to $10 million to bring public school units up to $180.00 per pupil in ESSER II funds
  • $10 million for additional physical and mental health support services for students
  • $10 million for federal school nutrition programs
  • $10 million to improve the cybersecurity infrastructure of public schools
  • $15 million for extended learning and integrated student support for at-risk students

HB 196 requires public school units to provide quarterly reports to DPI on the use of these federal funds. Additionally, the bill extends the provision that allowed increased virtual charter school enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year through the 2021-2022 school year.

Capital Disputes Bill

A bill that removes local school boards’ ability to take county commissioners to court if capital funding disputes are not resolved in mediation was filed on Thursday. HB 284: Repeal Right of Action/Capital Outlay Fund (primary sponsors: Representatives Larry Potts, R-Davidson; Bobby Hanig, R-Currituck; Ben Moss, R-Richmond; Mark Pless, R-Haywood) prohibits local school boards from filing “any legal action challenging the sufficiency of the funds appropriated by the…county commissioners to the capital outlay fund.” If this bill becomes law, it will eliminate any meaningful negotiation because the bill states that “the decision of the county commissioners is final.” We have no knowledge of a lawsuit being filed solely on capital funding.

Status of Other Notable Bills

HB 82: Summer Learning Choice for NC Families (primary sponsors: Representatives Tim Moore, R-Cleveland; Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; John Torbett, R-Gaston; Jeff Zenger, R-Forsyth), which requires LEAs to provide a voluntary summer learning program for at-risk students, was referred to the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee with no additional action in the Senate.

HB 159: Education Law Changes (primary sponsors: Representatives John Torbett, R-Gaston; Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke) was approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Appropriations Committee. Highlights of the bill include:

  • Allows teachers and school employees to be paid in 12 monthly installments regardless of when the request is made (currently must be made on or before the first day of the school year)
  • Allows teachers employed for less than 10 months to receive their salaries in 12 monthly installments
  • Requires the State Board of Education to follow the rulemaking process (S.150B) when adopting course standards

HB 136: Encourage Healthy NC Food in Schools (primary sponsors: Representatives Julia Howard, R-Davie; Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; Mitchell Setzer, R-Catawba; Jimmy Dixon, R-Duplin) requires public schools to ensure that 100% muscadine grape juice is available to all students beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, and appropriations are not included. The bill was approved by the House Education K-12 Committee and referred to the House Agriculture Committee.

Bill Chart

Click here for a chart of all education-related bills that NCBSA is tracking.

 

The nearly $1.9 trillion federal pandemic recovery bill passed the U.S. House and was signed by President Biden this week. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) includes roughly $122 billion for K-12 public schools, of which NC will receive $3.6 billion. Click here for a summary of the bill by the National School Boards Association.

 

The following additional education-related bills were filed this week:

Statewide Bills

Local Bills

 

Tuesday, March 16

1:00 pm – House Local Government Committee – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (live stream)

3:00 pm – House Families, Children, and Aging Policy Committee – Legislative Offices Building, rm 423 (live stream)

Wednesday, March 17

11:00 am – House State Personnel Committee – Legislative Offices Building, rm 415 (live stream)

2:00 pm – Senate State and Local Government Committee – Legislative Offices Building, rm 544 (live stream)

 

 

 

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

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
rbostic@ncsba.org

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – March 12, 2021
read more

NCSBA Legislative Update – March 5, 2021

 

Reopening Schools

SB 37: In-Person Learning Choice for Families: On Friday, February 26 Governor Cooper vetoed SB 37 (primary sponsors: Senators Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga; Michael Lee, R-New Hanover; Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell), stating that it violates DHHS health and safety guidance and fails to protect State and local emergency authority. The Senate was quick to respond with a veto override vote on Monday, which failed to pass by one vote (29-20). But Senate leadership refused to take no for an answer. Two days later the Senate approved a motion to reconsider the veto override without objection because one of the bill sponsors, Senator Ben Clark, D-Hoke, was not present for the Monday vote. Senator Clark was one of three Democratic Senators who voted in favor of SB 37. Senators Kirk deViere, D-Cumberland, and Paul Lowe, D-Forsyth, were the other two, but Senator Lowe changed his vote to uphold the Governor’s veto. Prior to the next veto override vote, Republican leaders are required to give Democratic leaders 24-hour notice.

HB 90: In-Person Learning: In response to Governor Cooper’s veto of SB 37, a local reopening schools bill is scheduled to be heard in the House Education K-12 Committee next Tuesday. HB 90 (primary sponsor: Representative Pat McElraft, R-Carteret) would require all public schools in Asheboro City, Carteret County, Haywood County, Randolph County, and Yancey County to reopen under Plan A, while still providing a remote instruction option. A press release from the House Speaker says that “additional counties and provisions are expected to be added through the legislative process.” According to the State constitution, education policy included in local bills can affect up to 14 counties, and no more than half of the State’s counties can be impacted by the same policy over the two-year biennium. Local bills also do not require the Governor’s approval. Click here to live stream the House Education K-12 Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 9 at 1:00 pm.

State Board of Education Resolution to Reopen Schools: On Thursday, the SBE approved a resolution that requires all NC public schools to begin providing the option of in-person instruction by the end of the month, in accordance with the updated DHHS StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit. The updated and approved DHHS guidance removes the option for LEAs to stay in Plan C (remote instruction only), except for higher-risk students and families that want a remote option. Middle and high schools are still limited to reopening under Plan B.

New COVID-19 Relief Bill

The week kicked off with House Republicans filing a bill that would provide $1.7 billion in COVID-19 relief. In just three days HB 196: 2021 COVID-19 Response & Relief (primary sponsors: Representatives John Faircloth, R-Guilford; Dana Bumgardner, R-Gaston; Kyle Hall, R-Rockingham; Larry Strickland, R-Harnett) sped through committee hearings, unanimously passed both chambers, and landed on the Governor’s desk. The bill allocates $145.3 million for K-12 public education from the 10% DPI reserve of the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund II (ESSER II), including:

  • $40 million reserve for in-person summer programs to address learning loss (HB 82)
  • $26 million reserve to address COVID-19 related needs in public school units
  • $12 million to contract with Voyager Sopris Learning, Inc. to improve student literacy
  • Up to $10 million to bring public school units up to $180.00 per pupil in ESSER II funds
  • $10 million for additional physical and mental health support services for students
  • $10 million for federal school nutrition programs
  • $10 million to improve the cybersecurity infrastructure of public schools
  • $15 million for extended learning and integrated student support for at-risk students

HB 196 requires public school units to provide quarterly reports to DPI on the use of these federal funds. Additionally, the bill extends the provision that allowed increased virtual charter school enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year through the 2021-2022 school year. Despite unanimous House approval, many House Democrats claimed that HB 196 did not go far enough and pushed for some of the State’s funding reserve to be used for additional needs like bonuses for school employees. House Republicans rejected several Democrat-proposed amendments and instead encouraged quick bill approval with the sentiment of addressing these additional needs in future legislation.

Athletics and Graduation Attendance Bills

Multiple athletics attendance bills progressed through their originating chambers this week, with one now including increased graduation attendance. The following are two Statewide bills that crossed over:

  • HB 128: Increase Access to Sporting Venues in Schools (primary sponsors: Representatives Kyle Hall, R-Stokes; Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; Destin Hall, R-Caldwell; David Willis, R-Union)
    • Allows up to 50% occupancy at indoor and outdoor sporting events, graduation ceremonies, and other outdoor activities
    • Passed 77-42
  • SB 116: Let Them Play and Let Us Watch (primary sponsors: Senators Todd Johnson, R-Union; Vickie Sawyer, R-Iredell; Danny Britt, R-Robeson)
    • Allows up to 40% occupancy at outdoor sporting events
    • Passed 34-15

The following are two local bills that crossed over:

Both local bills include the maximum 14 counties that can be affected by a local bill, and only one county overlaps. Meaning that these two local bills cover a total of 27 counties. Both local bills, as well as SB 116, give local school boards ultimate authority to implement stronger attendance restrictions. HB 128 not only loosens occupancy restrictions for more than just sporting events indoors and outdoors, it also does not give the local school board ultimate authority over event attendance. All four bills exceed the Governor’s current 30% capacity limit at sports arenas and fields. The two local bills would not require the Governor’s approval and it appears that they are being pushed through the legislative process in case the Governor vetoes the statewide bills. Additionally, SB 170: Students, Parents, Community Rights Act (primary sponsors: Senators Kevin Corbin, R-Macon; Ted Alexander, R-Cleveland; Dean Proctor, R-Catawba) was filed this week and allows up to 50% occupancy at outdoor sporting events in 11 counties, five of which are already included in the other local bills.

Summer Learning Bill

The Senate has not taken any action on a bill sent over by the House last week requiring LEAs to provide a voluntary summer learning program for at-risk students. Despite lack of movement on HB 82: Summer Learning Choice for NC Families (primary sponsors: Representatives Tim Moore, R-Cleveland; Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; John Torbett, R-Gaston; Jeff Zenger, R-Forsyth), HB 196: 2021 COVID-19 Response & Relief allocates $40 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to support the requirements of HB 82. Because of HB 196’s swift movement through the House and Senate, we anticipate that the Senate will soon consider HB 82. For a summary of HB 82, click here to access last week’s Legislative Update.

Senate Education/Higher Education Committee Meeting

On Wednesday, State Superintendent Catherine Truitt began her legislative priorities presentation to the Committee with her north star: “All students deserve a highly qualified, excellent teacher in every classroom.” The presentation included:

  • Implementing science of reading training
  • Remodeling school accountability
  • Building up computer science
  • Requesting reasonable local school calendar control

Following Superintendent Truitt’s presentation, there was a presentation on at-risk students. According to recent test results, approximately 23% of traditional public-school students are “at-risk for academic failure and are not successfully progressing towards grade level promotion.” Click here for the full presentation.

Budget Process

This week the Joint Education Appropriations Committee began digging deeper into the K-12 public school budget, with funding overview presentations on Tuesday and Wednesday and SBE budget requests on Thursday. To read more about the updated SBE legislative and budget priorities, see the SBE Monthly Meeting section below.

Bill Chart

Click here for a chart of all education-related bills that NCBSA is tracking.

 

The SBE met for their monthly meeting on Wednesday and Thursday this week. In addition to the previously mentioned SBE resolution to reopen schools, Board members were presented with the following:

Fall test results and accountability updates: Board members were presented with fall test results showing that a majority of high school students did not pass State end-of-course tests and a majority of third grade students performed at the lowest level on their beginning-of-grade reading tests. While this data shows obvious declines in student performance, DPI staff advised that test results be examined within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning. Click here to access the test result data. Click here for an article summarizing the fall test results. Board members were also presented with the U.S. Department of Education’s newest testing flexibilities, including shorter tests, extended testing windows, and remote administration. Additionally, the Board voted to approve a waiver request from State accountability measures for the 2020-2021 school year, which will be officially submitted to the General Assembly after the SBE’s federal waiver request from accountability requirements is granted.

ESSER II allotment policy: Board members approved the allotment policy for the $1.6 billion in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief II funds, along with draft allotments. Federal law dictates that at least 90% ($1.44 billion) of these funds be distributed directly to public school units, with the remaining 10% ($161.3 million) being reserved for DPI. Unlike the first round of federal COVID-19 relief funds, public school units are required to submit an application and budget to DPI for approval. The funds are available through September 30, 2023.

Updated 2021 legislative and budget priorities: The SBE approved additional legislative and budget priorities, including:

  • Science of reading training ($15.6 million nonrecurring)
  • Child nutrition – eliminate reduced-price lunch copay ($3.9 million recurring)
  • Cybersecurity expansion and training ($25.6 million recurring, $14.3 million nonrecurring)
  • Annual teacher working conditions survey ($300,000 recurring)

In addition to the legislative and budget priorities being presented to the Board, they were also presented to the Joint Education Appropriations Committee on Thursday as part of the budget process.

DHHS COVID-19 update: Board members received updates on COVID-19 metrics, CDC guidance, K-12 testing, vaccine distribution, and the modified StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit. DHHS is expanding its piloted access to free antigen tests for K-12 schools, and LEAs can request tests through at least the end of the school year. This expansion is based on updated CDC guidance that recommends testing as part of the reopening schools strategy. Slide 12 of the DHHS presentation lists requirements that LEAs must meet before submitting a request. Additionally, DHHS reported that almost 50,000 individuals who self-identify as K-12 or childcare center frontline essential workers have received a vaccine since February 24th.

Click here to access all meeting materials.

Click here for an article summarizing the meeting.

 

The following additional education-related bills were filed this week:

Statewide Bills

Local Bills

 

Tuesday, March 9

8:30 am – Joint Education Appropriations Committee – Legislative Building, rm 1027/1128 (live stream)

8:30 am – Joint Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee – Legislative Offices Building, rm 421 (live stream)

  • Child development and early education

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

2:00 pm – House Homeland Security, Military, and Veteran Affairs Committee – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (live stream)

The Joint Education Appropriations Committee will meet on Wednesday and Thursday at 8:30 am.

 

 

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

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
rbostic@ncsba.org

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – March 5, 2021
read more

NCSBA Legislative Update – February 26, 2021

 

Summer Learning Bill

HB 82: Summer Learning Choice for NC Families (primary sponsors: Representatives Tim Moore, R-Cleveland; Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; John Torbett, R-Gaston; Jeff Zenger, R-Forsyth) unanimously passed the House on Wednesday after being approved by three House committees within four hours on Tuesday. The bill mandates that each LEA provide a voluntary summer learning program for at-risk students (allows for additional students to participate within space available). There have been numerous changes to HB 82 since it was first filed, including:

  • Temporary contracts for all school personnel hired under this program expire on August 1, 2021
  • Instead of a 6-week summer program, districts must now provide instruction for at least 150 hours or 30 days
  • Requires LEAs to report student academic performance in the program to DPI by September 1, 2021 (DPI will report to the legislature)
  • Strikes language that would have allowed LEAs to charge a fee for students who participate in the program but are not enrolled in the LEA (enrolling those students is optional)
  • Requires that time be built into the day for teachers to provide individual or small group instruction to at-risk students
  • Requires schools to provide in-person social and emotional learning supports for students
  • Expresses intent to use federal COVID-19 funds directed to DPI for the program

In addition to the above modifications, HB 82 does the following:

  • Clarifies that the program will be funded by the LEA’s existing funds, including the recently appropriated federal COVID-19 funds, fiscal year 2020-2021 reading camp funds, and at-risk funds
  • Requires each LEA to submit a plan for its program to DPI no later than 30 days prior to the last instructional day of the 2020-2021 school year, and the plans must include:
    1. Meal service each day
    2. A physical activity period each day
    3. Grade level course offerings
    4. Transportation in accordance with Plan A
    5. Voluntary student participation (kindergarten students participating in the program are exempt from retention for the 2021-2022 school year and all other at-risk students who participate in the program will receive a reassessment of promotion eligibility for the 2021-2022 school year)
    6. Outreach to increase program participation
  • Allows retired teachers (retired by March 1) to be hired after one month separation (normally six months)
  • Removes K-3 class size limits for the program
  • Directs the SBE to require LEAs to implement innovative benchmark assessments in certain grades and core subjects beginning with the 2021-2022 school year

NCSBA believes that HB 82 will pose problems for year-round schools. If there are year-round schools in your district, please contact Bruce Mildwurf, NCSBA Director of Governmental Relations, at bmildwurf@ncsba.org. There is an effort to get HB 82 passed out of the legislature as soon as possible, so please do not delay.

 

Reopening Schools Bill

SB 37: In-Person Learning Choice for Families (primary sponsors: Senators Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga; Michael Lee, R-New Hanover; Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell) continues to sit on Governor Cooper’s desk with only one day left for him to sign, veto, or let the bill become law. At this week’s press conference, the Governor did not say what he plans to do with SB 37, only that he would sign a bill that follows DHHS guidance and protects State and local emergency authority. Based on last week’s vote counts (31-16 in the Senate and 77-42 in the House), it appears that both chambers have the numbers for a veto override. As a reminder, SB 37 does the following:

  • Requires local school boards to provide:
    • An in-person Plan A option for ALL students who have an IEP or a 504 Plan
    • An in-person Plan A or Plan B option for all other students in grades K-12 (boards may opt for all Plan A, all Plan B, or a combination thereof)
    • A remote option for families that wish to have this option
  • Requires that reasonable work accommodations be provided for certain classroom teachers in accordance with the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit
  • Requires that the bill be implemented on the first workday that occurs 15 days after becoming law

 

Budget Process

On March 10, the Governor’s Budget will be presented to the Joint Appropriations Committee.

The Joint Education Appropriations Committee kicked off the budget process on Tuesday February 23 with a budget overview by legislative staff. They will meet three mornings each week until March 25. The joint committee will disband on March 30, and the Senate Appropriations Committee on Education/Higher Education will begin deliberations to craft a Senate education budget. No further dates were provided for the budget process. Budget targets have not yet been announced for the subcommittees.

 

Athletics and Graduation Attendance Bills

Since last week, five local and statewide bills have been filed that would increase access to high school sports events: HB 118, HB 128, HB 129, SB 115, and SB 116. Some bills would allow up to 50% occupancy at sport facilities, and all require compliance with the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit. Additionally, SB 124 would allow up to 50% occupancy at outdoor high school graduations. Following the filing of these bills, Governor Cooper announced the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions, including allowing a 30% capacity limit (not exceeding 250 people indoors) at sports arenas and fields. Bill sponsors of SB 116, which allows a 40% capacity limit at outdoor facilities, say that the Governor’s actions do not go far enough, and they will continue to push for their bill. Click here for more from legislators and the Governor.

 

Bills in the Spotlight

HB 152: Modify School Performance Grades (primary sponsors: Representatives Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance; Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; Ashton Clemmons, D-Guilford; Erin Paré, R-Wake)

This bill modifies school performance grades by creating two separate grades, one for school achievement and one for school growth. Despite the separate grades, the calculation of school performance remains the same: 80% school achievement, 20% school growth. Additionally, only school achievement grades (was overall school performance) are used to define low-performing schools and to identify schools that qualify for the Innovative School District (ISD).

SB 152: Access to Sports/Extracurr. for All Students (primary sponsors: Senators Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell; Warren Daniel, R-Burke; Norman Sanderson, R-Carteret)

This bill allows students from public, private, or home schools that do not offer a specific sport or extracurricular activity to participate in that sport or activity at the public high school closest to the student’s school.

SB 52: Sex Offender Residence Restriction/Clarify (primary sponsors: Senators Vickie Sawyer, R-Iredell; Jim Perry, R-Lenoir; Todd Johnson, R-Union)

This bill passed through the Senate on Thursday and was sent to the House. It clarifies that a registered sex offender is prohibited from knowingly residing within 1,000 feet of any property line on which a public or nonpublic school or childcare center is located.

 

Local Bill Filing Deadline

The deadline to submit a proposed local bill to legislative staff in the Senate was yesterday, and the deadline in the House is next Wednesday, March 3. If a proposed local bill was /is submitted prior to the deadline, a legislator must file the local bill by:

  • Thursday, March 11 in the Senate
  • Thursday, March 25 in the House

 

Bill Chart

Click here for a chart of all education-related bills that NCBSA is tracking.

 

This week the U.S. Department of Education confirmed that federally mandated standardized tests will be required for this school year, but the following flexibility is available:

  • Extending the testing window or delaying tests
  • Providing tests remotely
  • Shortening tests

States can also submit waiver requests for accountability measures, which was an action taken by the SBE in their monthly January meeting. Click here to read more.

 

The following additional education-related bills were filed this week:

Statewide Bills

Local Bills

 

The 2021 NCSBA Legislative Agenda was approved by the NCSBA Delegate Assembly on Thursday, January 7. Following the approval of the agenda, the NCSBA Governmental Relations Team created issue briefs on each agenda item. Click here to access a webpage with links to each issue brief.

 

Tuesday, March 2

10:00 am – House Health Committee – Legislative Offices Building, rm 643 (live stream)

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

Joint House and Senate Education Appropriations Committees will meet on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 8:30 am

 

 

 

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

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
rbostic@ncsba.org

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

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – February 26, 2021
read more

NCSBA Legislative Update – February 19, 2021

 

Reopening of Schools

Following conferee negotiations over the weekend, the conference report (compromised bill) for SB 37: In-Person Learning Choice for Families (primary sponsors: Senators Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga; Michael Lee, R-New Hanover; Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell) passed through the Senate (31-16) and the House (77-42) and was presented to the Governor on Wednesday. Conferees only modified the requirement that reasonable work accommodations be provided for certain classroom teachers in accordance with the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit.

Governor Cooper has not said if he plans to veto the bill, but he released a statement on Wednesday before the House vote explaining that he will not sign SB 37 unless it’s modified. Cooper added that the compromise bill fails to adhere to DHHS health and safety guidance and fails to protect the ability of State and local leaders to respond to emergencies. On Thursday, Cooper stated that he will continue to discuss new school reopening legislation options with General Assembly leaders prior to taking action on SB 37. He now has eight days until the bill will become law without his signature. State Superintendent Truitt also released a statement on Wednesday commending the General Assembly for SB 37 and its alignment with DHHS health and safety guidance. Based on this week’s vote counts, both chambers have the numbers to override a veto. However, there have been times when members voted one way on a bill and voted differently on an override vote.

In addition to the conference report change, SB 37 does the following:

  • Requires local school boards to provide:
    • An in-person Plan A option for ALL students who have an IEP or a 504 Plan
    • An in-person Plan A or Plan B option for all other students in grades K-12 (boards may opt for all Plan A, all Plan B, or a combination thereof)
    • A remote option for families that wish to have this option
  • Allows local school boards to shift individual schools or classrooms to remote learning due to COVID-19 exposures that result in insufficient staff or required student quarantines
  • Requires that the bill be implemented on the first workday that occurs 15 days after becoming law

Click here for an article on SB 37.

Following last week’s announcement that anyone working in childcare or PreK-12 schools will be eligible to start receiving the COVID-19 vaccine on February 24, superintendents across the State received a letter from DPI and DHHS about new guidance on vaccine operations for schools. This guidance clarifies which K-12 school employees have vaccine prioritization and how superintendents can encourage their staff to get vaccinated.

Summer Learning Bill

On Monday, House Speaker Tim Moore filed HB 82: Summer Learning Choice for NC Families to address pandemic learning loss (primary sponsors: Representatives Tim Moore, R-Cleveland; Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; John Torbett, R-Gaston; Jeff Zenger, R-Forsyth). The bill in its current form is structured as follows:

  • Mandates that LEAs must provide the program
  • Enrollment priority will be given to at-risk students
  • The program will be funded by the LEA’s existing funds, including the recently appropriated COVID-19 funds, at-risk funds, and fiscal year 2020-2021 reading camp funds
  • Requires each LEA to submit a plan for its summer program to DPI no later than 30 days prior to the last instructional day of the 2020-2021 school year, and the plans must include:
    1. Instruction for at least five hours a day, five days per week for six weeks (NCSBA has learned that this requirement will likely be modified to 150 hours)
    2. Lunch
    3. A physical activity period each day
    4. Grade level course offerings
    5. Transportation
    6. Voluntary student participation (kindergarten students participating in the program are exempt from retention for the 2021-2022 school year and all other at-risk students who participate in the program will receive a reassessment of promotion eligibility for the 2021-2022 school year)
    7. Opportunity for other students to participate within the space available
    8. Outreach to increase program participation
  • Requires local school boards to employ teachers and school personnel on temporary contracts
  • Directs the SBE to require LEAs to implement innovative benchmark assessments in certain grades and core subjects beginning with the 2021-2022 school year

So far, HB 82 has only been heard in the House Education K-12 Committee for discussion, during which concerns were expressed regarding the program budget, teacher availability, teacher pay, and local flexibility. The House Education K-12 Committee will revisit the bill next week for amendments and voting. The bill sponsors acknowledged their willingness to amend the bill next week. Click here for an article on HB 82.

Bills Filed

The following additional education-related bills were filed this week:

Statewide Bills

  • HB 84: Sex Offender Premises Restrictions (primary sponsors: Representatives Harry Warren, R-Rowan; Allen McNeill, R-Moore; Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance; Sarah Stevens, R-Alleghany)
  • HB 112: A Safe Return for In-Person Learning (primary sponsors: Representatives Rosa Gill, D-Wake; Brian Farkas, D-Pitt; Raymond Smith, D-Sampson)
    • This is a companion bill of SB 78: A Safe Return for In-Person Learning (primary sponsors: Senators Don Davis, D-Pitt; Dan Blue, D-Wake) that would allow elementary schools to reopen under Plan A or B, but middle and high schools could only reopen under Plan B. This bill will most likely not be heard in committee, as the majority party is pushing for school reopening with SB 37.

Local Bills

  • HB 90: In-Person Learning (primary sponsor: Representative Pat McElraft, R-Carteret)
    • This is a local bill that would require all public schools in Asheboro City, Carteret County, Haywood County, Randolph County, and Yancey County to open under Plan A. This bill was filed in case SB 37 does not become law.

Local Bill Filing Deadline

The local bill filing deadline is quickly approaching – next week in the Senate and two weeks in the House. If a local bill is needed this legislative session, the proposed bill must be submitted to legislative staff for drafting by:

  • Thursday, February 25 in the Senate
  • Wednesday, March 3 in the House

A legislator must file a local bill by:

  • Thursday, March 11 in the Senate
  • Thursday, March 25 in the House

Bill Chart

Click here for a chart of all education-related bills filed so far during the 2021 legislative session, including NCSBA’s stance on each bill.

 

The 2021 NCSBA Legislative Agenda was approved by the NCSBA Delegate Assembly on Thursday, January 7. Following the approval of the agenda, the NCSBA Governmental Relations Team created issue briefs on each agenda item. See links for all issue briefs below.

 

On Friday, February 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released science-based recommendations on the reopening of schools. The U.S. Department of Education also released its ED COVID-19 Handbook, which utilizes CDC guidance to provide best practices and safety considerations for the education community.

 

The Governmental Relations Team will be leading NCSBA’s first round of regional conversations on Thursday, February 25. We will be providing an update on current legislative activity, followed by time for you to connect with fellow regional school board members. Click here for times and registration. We look forward to seeing you next week!

 

Monday, February 22

5:00 pm – Senate Rules Committee – Legislative Offices Building, rm 544 (live stream)

Tuesday, February 23

8:30 am – Joint House and Senate Education Appropriations Committees – Legislative Building, rm 1027/1288 (live stream)

10:00 am – House Health Committee – Legislative Offices Building, rm 643 (live stream)

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

 

 

 

Bruce Mildwurf
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
bmildwurf@ncsba.org
(919) 747-6692

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
rbostic@ncsba.org
(919) 747-6677

Rebekah Howard
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association
rhoward@ncsba.org
(919) 747-6688

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – February 19, 2021
read more

NCSBA Legislative Update – February 12, 2021

 

On Wednesday, Governor Cooper announced that the State will be providing COVID-19 vaccination prioritization for anyone working in childcare or PreK-12 schools. This modification moves teachers and school staff to top priority of Group 3 vaccinations, and they are eligible to start receiving the vaccine on February 24. According to a letter addressed to local leaders today, DHHS Secretary Cohen explained that this “does not guarantee they will get an appointment or get vaccinated between February 24 and March 10 because of very limited supply.”

Governor Cooper’s vaccine prioritization announcement comes amid legislative debate on the reopening of schools. SB 37: In-Person Learning Choice for Families (primary sponsors: Senators Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga; Michael Lee, R-New Hanover; and Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell) passed the Senate late Tuesday, then rushed through a House Education K-12 Committee meeting on Wednesday morning where no amendments were allowed. The bill was later approved by the House Rules Committee and reached the House floor for a vote only 24 hours after appearing in the first House committee. House Republicans rejected seven Democrat-proposed amendments on the floor, including:

  1. Modifying the requirement that ALL students with an individualized education program (IEP) or a 504 plan must be in Plan A
  2. Extending the bill implementation date to the first workday 21 days after becoming law
  3. Adding charter schools to the bill
  4. Requiring middle and high schools to only reopen under Plan B

Before SB 37 passed the House 74-44, it was amended to address reasonable work accommodations for certain classroom teachers. The Senate voted unanimously not to concur with the changes made by the House. Conference committees have been appointed and negotiations to work out a compromise are said to be happening this weekend. Additionally, SB 37 does the following:

  • Requires local school boards to provide:
    • An in-person Plan A option for ALL students who have an IEP or a 504 Plan
  • An in-person Plan A or Plan B option for all other students in grades K-12 (boards may opt for all Plan A, all Plan B, or a combination thereof)
  • A remote option for families that wish to have this option
  • Allows local school boards to shift individual schools or classrooms to remote learning due to COVID-19 exposures that result in insufficient staff or required student quarantines
  • Requires that the bill be implemented on the first workday that occurs 15 days after becoming law

It is unclear what action Governor Cooper would have taken had the Senate voted to concur. He has expressed concerns that SB 37 does not abide by DHHS’s health and safety guidance outlined in the Toolkit. The bill also takes away executive branch authority to take immediate action of closing schools, should another outbreak take place. Given the vote counts on SB 37 (29-15 in the Senate and 74-44 in the House), both chambers appear to have the numbers to override a veto, assuming each member votes the same way and the Republican Senators who were not present vote to override. We may have better clarity on next steps once the conferees publicly release their compromise bill.

On Wednesday, another school reopening bill was filed. SB 78: A Safe Return for In-Person Learning (primary sponsors: Senators Don Davis, D-Pitt; Dan Blue, D-Wake) would allow elementary schools to reopen under Plan A or Plan B, but middle and high schools could only reopen under Plan B. The bill incorporates many of the proposed amendments that were voted down on the House floor. SB 78 would also require DPI to examine and report the impacts of reopening schools to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee. SB 78 will most likely not be heard in committee because the majority party is already moving forward with SB 37.

Click here for an article summarizing this week’s action on the reopening of schools.

 

Bills in the Spotlight

SB 36: 2020 COVID Relief Bill Modifications (HB 42) (primary sponsors: Senators Brent Jackson, R-Sampson; Kathy Harrington, R-Gaston; Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell)

  • Signed into Session Law 2021-1 on Wednesday, February 10

The following are key K-12 education sections:

Section 3.2 extends the deadline for spending appropriations from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) from December 30, 2020 to December 31, 2021 for the following programs:

  • DPI – National School Lunch Program ($75 million)
  • DPI – Instructional Support Allotment ($10 million)
  • DPI – Supplemental Summer Learning Program ($70 million)
  • DPI – Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports Competitive Grant Program ($5 million)
  • UNC (SEAA) – Alternative educational option scholarships for disabled students ($6.5 million)
  • YMCAs – Remote learning opportunities ($19.8 million)

Section 3.12 extends the deadline for State agencies to procure COVID-19 supplies, materials, equipment, printing, or services from the open market from December 30, 2020 to December 31, 2021.

Section 5 appropriates $1.6 billion to DPI from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund II (ESSER II) in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, P.L. 116-260. DPI must receive approval from the Director of the Budget to spend the federal funds. Positions created with these funds shall terminate at the earlier of the funds being fully expended or the federal deadline for spending the funds. Recipient public school units must report quarterly to DPI beginning March 1, 2021 on the following:

  • Amount of federal funds received
  • Amount of grant funds expended
  • How the funds were used, including program information such as number of people served and geographic distribution
  • The amount spent on administration
  • The amount of funds that remained unspent
  • The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) positions established with funds received and, for each FTE established, a position number, position status, date the position was established, hire date, and date on which the position is to be abolished

Click here for a summary by the National School Boards Association on how the federal funds may be used.

SB 52: Sex Offender Residence Restriction/Clarify (primary sponsors: Senators Vickie Sawyer, R-Iredell; Jim Perry, R-Lenoir; Todd Johnson, R-Union)

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on February 10 to discuss a revised version of SB 52. Currently it is unlawful for a registered sex offender to reside within 1,000 feet of the property where a school or childcare center is located. SB 52 clarifies that a registered sex offender shall not knowingly reside on any point of a property whose line is within 1,000 feet of the property line of a property on which any public or nonpublic school or childcare center is located. The bill would become effective December 1, 2021 and apply to all persons registered or required to register on or after that date. It does not apply to a person who has lawfully established a residence prior to the effective date of the bill.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to meet on February 16 at 11:00 am to vote on the bill.

SB 59: Restore Master’s Pay for Certain Educators (primary sponsors: Senators Danny Britt, R-Robeson; Vickie Sawyer, R-Iredell; Jim Perry, R-Lenoir)

This bill would reinstate master’s pay supplements for teachers who spend at least 70% of their classroom instruction time on the subject area of their master’s degree.

 

Bills Filed

The following additional education-related bills were filed this week:

HB 69: Education on the Holocaust and Genocide (primary sponsors: Representatives Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes; Julia Howard, R-Davie; Wayne Sasser, R-Cabarrus; Robert Reives, D-Chatham)

HB 70: Historic School Preservation Act (primary sponsors: Representatives Jay Adams, R-Catawba; Kristin Baker, R-Cabarrus; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford; Harry Warren, R-Rowan)

HB 71: Living Donor Protection Act (primary sponsors: Representatives Phil Shepard, R-Onslow; Pat Hurley, R-Randolph; Marcia Morey, D-Durham; Larry Potts, R-Davidson)

  • This bill provides State employees, including public school employees, up to 30 days of paid leave for an organ donation and up to seven days paid leave for a bone marrow donation.

HB 72: Audiology Modifications (primary sponsors: Representatives Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth; Kristin Baker, R-Cabarrus; Donna White, R-Johnston; Carla Cunningham, D-Mecklenburg)

  • This bill updates definitions and responsibilities of audiologists, which includes school-based screening programs and management of students with hearing impairments and central auditory processing disorders.

HB 74: ApSeed Pilot Project/Funds (primary sponsors: Representatives Harry Warren, R-Rowan; Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; Julia Howard, R-Davie; Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth)

  • This bill establishes a pilot project to prepare preschool-age children for            kindergarten through an interactive learning device.

HB 77: School Calendar Flexibility/Moore County (primary sponsors: Representatives James Boles, R-Moore; Allen McNeill, R-Moore)

HB 78: Report on K-12 Computer Science Data (primary sponsors: Representatives Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; Ashton Clemmons, D-Guilford; Jefferey Elmore, R-Wilkes; Pat Hurley, R-Randolph)

HB 79: Student Digital Learning Access (primary sponsors: Representatives Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; Ashton Clemmons, D-Guilford; Jefferey Elmore, R-Wilkes; Pat Hurley, R-Randolph)

SB 81: Teacher Diversity/PED Study (primary sponsors: Senators Don Davis, D-Pitt; Kirk deViere, D-Cumberland)

SB 86: Medicaid Recs./CWBTC (primary sponsors: Senators Joyce Krawiec, R-Davie; Jim Burgin, R-Harnett; Jim Perry, R-Lenoir)

SB 87: Medicaid Reimbursement/Charter Schools (primary sponsors: Senators Joyce Krawiec, R-Davie; Jim Burgin, R-Harnett; Jim Perry, R-Lenoir)

 

Local Bill Filing Deadline

The local bill filing deadline is quickly approaching for both the House and the Senate. If a local bill is needed this legislative session, the proposed bill must be submitted to legislative staff for drafting by:

  • Thursday, February 25 in the Senate
  • Wednesday, March 3 in the House

A legislator must file a local bill by:

  • Thursday, March 11 in the Senate
  • Thursday, March 25 in the House

 

Bill Chart

Click here for a chart of all education-related bills filed so far during the 2021 legislative session, including NCSBA’s stance on each bill.

 

State revenues have weathered the COVID-19 pandemic better than anticipated. The Governor’s Office of State Budget and Management released a Consensus General Fund Revenue Forecast yesterday that shows revenue for this fiscal year (2020-2021) will be $4.1 billion greater than was forecast in May 2020. This surplus can be attributed to several factors:

  1. $1.08 billion was shifted from last fiscal year to this fiscal year due to a delay in tax filings
  2. Federal stimulus funds underpinned the State economy with consumer spending from unemployment funds, business loans/grants, and checks to families
  3. Many businesses adapted to working under COVID-19 restrictions

The good news is that the recurring revenue forecast for the next biennium is greater than the current year budget of $24.48 billion. Revenues are projected to be $27.35 billion in FY 2021-2022 and $28.46 billion in FY 2022-2023. This forecast assumes that new COVID-19 cases decline as the population gets vaccinated and that Congress will provide additional stimulus funding.

Click here to access the State revenue forecast.

 

North Carolina’s Education Cabinet met on Wednesday to discuss findings and recommendations of a NC Longitudinal Data System (NCLDS) study, as well as a report from the DRIVE Task Force on diversifying the State’s teacher workforce. The NCLDS links student data from early childhood through the workforce, which aids the creation of policy and improvement tactics regarding student outcomes. The Education Cabinet is chaired by the Governor and is comprised of numerous State education leaders with the goal to “resolve issues between existing providers of education and developing and maintaining a strategic design for a continuum of education programs, from early childhood into the workforce.”

Click here to access the Education Cabinet’s meeting agenda and materials.

Click here to access an article summarizing the Education Cabinet’s meeting.

 

NCSBA has been maintaining a chart containing each LEA’s reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year. We know that many school districts’ plans are constantly changing, so please let us know if our chart does not reflect your district’s most updated reopening plan information. Click here to access the chart.

 

Tuesday, February 16

11:00 am – Senate Judiciary Committee – Legislative Offices Building, rm 544 (live stream)

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

Wednesday, February 17

8:30 am – House and Senate Appropriations Committees – Legislative Offices Building, rm 643 (live stream)

 

 

 

Bruce Mildwurf
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
bmildwurf@ncsba.org
(919) 747-6692

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
rbostic@ncsba.org
(919) 747-6677

Rebekah Howard
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association
rhoward@ncsba.org
(919) 747-6688

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – February 12, 2021
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