April 27, 2015 Legislative Update
In This Issue…
The N.C. House of Representatives’ Committee on Education/K-12approved H 662, Elevating Educators Act, on April 23. The bill sponsor, Rep. Craig Horn (R-Union) believes this bill enables pilot programs to allow differentiated pay for educators and promotes desirable career paths for educators. PENC does not support this bill for many reasons, among them:
PENC Executive Director Carol Vandenbergh wrote to the committee members and bill sponsors conveying these concerns. You can see her message here. PENC’s position on educator pay plans and salary schedule reforms has been consistent – raise all educators’ as quickly as possible – with Cost of Living Increases or other measures – to where they ought to be. Elevate all educators with meaningful base pay increases.
PENC encourages members to communicate concerns about the bill with their House members. Please click here to do so TODAY!
H238, Duty Free Time/Lunch for Teachers, was introduced at PENC’s request by Representatives Jeffrey Elmore (R-Wilkes), Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland) and Bryan Holloway (R-Stokes) and is slated to be heard during the House Education K-12 Committee on April 28. The NC School Boards Association and the NC Association of School Administrators raised concerns about the original version of the bill and PENC representatives worked with them to address these concerns. The version which will emerge this week – and to which NCSBA and NCASA agreed – will still codify educators’ right to a duty-free lunch; but adds flexibility needed to address the volatile school environment. Instead of a set amount of time each day, the bill would require schools to provide duty-free lunch time for every teacher on a daily basis, with the goal of providing at least 75 minutes per week.
H 248, Eliminate NC Final Exams, is also scheduled to be heard on April 28. The current version of the bill requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to eliminate the use of the NC Final Exam to assess teachers’ performance in relation to Standard 6 of the North Carolina Teacher Evaluation System. Each LEA would be required to use school‑wide growth values to determine Standard 6 ratings. PENC understand that an amendment will be offered to include Analysis of Student Work (ASWs) along with the end to NC Final Exams. The End‑of‑Grade assessments and End‑of‑Course assessments would be used for determining student growth values for teachers administering those assessments. The SBE would be required to apply to the U.S. Department of Education for a waiver for this change.
Other bills slated to be heard at the April 28 House Education K-12 Meeting include:
The House approved H380, Statewide School Safety Management, on April 22. Sponsored by Rep. Bryan Holloway (R-Stokes) and Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland), the bill is a follow-up to the school safety improvements approved in 2013 on the heels of the school shootings in Sandy Hook, Connecticut in 2012. Incorporating many recommendations of the Department of Public Safety, the bill would make a number of changes, including:
The bill was approved by a vote of 114 to 1 and awaits consideration by the Senate.
The Senate Education Committee approved S480, Uniform Political Activity/Employees, on April 22. In an effort to mirror state laws covering other state employees, the bill would prohibit school employees from using public property or supplies for partisan political purposes. The restrictions would extend to employees of charter and regional schools. The bill would allow certain types of political speech under certain condition, such as if a school employee were invited to speak on a matter by local, state or federal officials. Questions emerged during the discussion in the Senate Education Committee about political issues that arise on school property during meeting held by other groups, such as PTAs and PTOs. The bill awaits consideration by the Senate JII Committee.
Click here for a list of PENC-tracked bills that progressed through the legislative process last week or are scheduled for action during the upcoming week. Crossover day – April 30 – is the date by which bills must be approved by the chamber of origin in order to be eligible for consideration throughout the rest of the two year session. Bills that are excluded from the crossover deadline are bills that are considered “money bills” or bills that are subject to consideration by the Appropriations Committee, the Finance Committee or both. Many PENC-tracked bills are considered money bills.
What do you think?
If you have questions or concerns, please share your thoughts and ideas with us.
Submitted by Evelyn Hawthorne
For information about specific issues, please contact PENC government relations consultant Evelyn Hawthorne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 27, 2015 Legislative Updatepenc-admin2019-04-10T04:45:59+00:00