Legislative Update from Bryan Holloway: June 18, 2019
The following is an overview of recent North Carolina General Assembly activity of interest to stakeholders of public education in North Carolina.
June 24th, 2019
Budget negotiations continue at the state legislature to finalize the state budget. The larger ticket items include teacher salaries, state employee salaries, and the school bond proposal.
Many educators have also expressed concerns about the negative language in the Senate proposal concerning the Early College program (CIHS). NCATA is hearing good things about the Early College (CIHS) provision. NCATA has been working on this and feels that there is a good chance that will not happen, leaving the Early College program protected.
Finally, we continue to expect a veto by the Governor, and possibly a long summer of negotiations between the Governor and the Legislature. However, we could see the Legislature’s final proposal by the week’s end.
As a reminder, the coordinator positions at NC State University are finalized because they are in both versions of the budget. We continue to work to finalize the money for the camp at White Lake.
Update on the 15-point scale
H362 15 Point Scale for School Performance Grades
This bill has seen limited action this session but is important in how LEAs and Charter Schools measure school performance. Under previous legislative language, school reporting measurements would revert to the 10-point scale beginning in the Fall of the 2019-2020 school year. This bill, which will be heard by the Senate this week, would extend the 15-point scale for school grades, therefore continuing the current format.
Items seeing recent action
SB 399 Rehire High-Needs teachers
SB 399 will be heard by the House Rules Committee this week. As stated in the last Update, this bill would address critical teacher shortages in high needs schools in some districts by allowing limited flexibility to LEAs to re-hire recently retired teachers in certain areas (with specific rules regarding salary and without impact on retirement payments).
SB 227 Principal Fellows Consolidation
This bill moves to the Senate for concurrence. If approved, this measure would recommission the Principal Fellows program by establishing a competitive grant process to improve Principal preparation by offering loan forgiveness for successful completion of the program.
SB 366 10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways
SB 366 heads to the Senate for concurrence after receiving unanimous approval. As reported in the last update, this piece of legislation makes available the Career and Technical pathway to Sophomores and Freshman. In addition, this bill would offer further flexibility to LEAs and community colleges regarding those pathways for sophomore students who would be eligible to earn college credit for trades and work-related fields, thus expanding the current relationship between high schools and community colleges.
SB 219 Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements
If approved, SB219 would give LEAs more flexibility in recommending provisional licensure to certain candidates and current employees. This bill would continue to modify and expand licensure opportunities by seeking flexibility for LEAs at the local level and codifying the terms of a provisional license and the attainment process.
Items sent to the Governor
HB 57 Create Term for Public Schs. & Codify NCVPS
This bill has passed both chambers and now heads to the Governor for his signature. As referenced in our last edition, HB 57 concerns language specific to the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS). Some of our member’s contract with NCVPS and most schools offers NCVPS courses. HB 57 sets additional parameters for how NCVPS operates, offers staff development and develops teacher pay rates and criteria.
HB 664 myFutureNC / Postsecondary Attainment Goal
HB 664 moves on the Governor for his signature. This bill sets goals for NC residents to attain post-secondary degrees with the ambition of having 2,000,000 North Carolinians having completed quality programs by 2030. In addition, the bill required progress updates, effective September 2020.