August 26, 2019

Legislative Update

The North Carolina General Assembly is still stuck in its budget stalemate with the governor, and neither side is indicating a willingness to compromise. Medicaid expansion continues to be the issue that is dividing both sides. Governor Cooper is insisting on Medicaid expansion whereas the Republican lead General Assembly sees it as a non-starter. At this point, there are still not enough Democrats to support the Republican override of the governor’s budget veto.

As a reminder to educators, pay raises, and enrollment growth will not happen until a new budget is passed. The state will continue to operate on the 2018/2019 budget until a replacement budget is agreed upon.

We are seeing frustration from members regarding the budget uncertainty and what it means to educators, but we are still hopeful this will be resolved by the Fall.

In other areas of K-12 interest, the Governor vetoed SB 428  Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019, commonly known as Read to Archive Part II. Citing poor student performance on the 3rd-grade reading assessment, the expense of the program, and the ongoing dispute over the appropriate vendor for the reading diagnostic tools, the Governor vetoed the bill. See Governor Cooper’s statement on the Veto Document.

Testing Reduction Act of 2019.

This bill is scheduled to see committee action this week. In its current compromise form, the North Carolina Final Exam (NCFEs) would be eliminated. In addition, this legislation would prohibit LEAs from adding certain testing requirements such as a Graduation Project. The legislature’s Education Oversight Committee would see an expanded role in the oversight of existing tests, such as the EOGs, and the consideration of any new testing programs.

As you know testing reduction was a big priority for PENC and we are glad to have gotten something passed.

The bill will be acted on when the General Assembly convenes on Monday.

For information about specific issues, please contact

For more information about the North Carolina General Assembly, click here.
To identify and contact your legislators, click here.