August 6, 2019

Legislative Update

The North Carolina General Assembly has still not scheduled a vote for an attempt to override the governor’s veto of the legislature’s budget. More than a month has passed, and there are no significant efforts to reconcile the current budget impasse. The governor is staking his ground on Medicaid Expansion and his support of a more robust budget for education, while legislators view the Governor’s Medicaid Expansion as a non-starter and claim their budget is good for education while being fiscally responsible. Without a new budget in place, last year’s budget numbers will continue. For education stakeholders, that means no enrollment growth for LEAs and no salary increases for teachers or administrators. The legislature is in session, but House and Senate leadership have not indicated the next steps to resolve this budget stalemate.

Several members have asked about Senate Bill 374, Repeal Risky Retirement Payments., which would impact retirees by removing certain pop-up benefits. This bill did pass the Senate but remains in the House Rules Committee. PENC does not expect this bill to move in the House but will keep you posted if there are any updates on this legislation.

Recently, there has been little activity in the legislature and few votes scheduled. However, the following education-related bill did see action in committee last week. Also, the governor vetoed a bill to raise the virtual charter school enrollment cap by 20 percent.

Senate Bill 295 CS: PCS15399-BE-34 An Act to Make Various Changes to Local Standards of Student Conduct

This Senate bill was heard last week by the House Education Committee and was received favorably and now moves on from the Rules Committee to the House floor for consideration. This bill allows local boards of education to consult with community stakeholders to establish procedures for disciplining students. Any disciplinary changes and policies still must be in accordance with State and Federal statutes. Codes of student conduct will be clearly written with the intent of having students understand the consequences of violations.

Senate Bill 392 Various Charter School Changes.

This bill, which passed both chambers, was vetoed by the governor. The bill would raise the virtual charter school’s enrollment cap by 20 percent. Citing concerns over performance by the state’s two online charter schools, the governor struck down this bill.  This bill would apply only to the North Carolina Virtual Academy since the other virtual charter school, N.C Cyber Academy, is under monitoring status. The legislature would need a majority of two-thirds to override the governor’s veto.

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