June 6, 2016 Legislative Update

In This Issue…

  1. Senate Releases Budget
  2. Achievement School Districts
  3. Protect Students in Schools
  4. Math Standard Course of Study Revisions

Senate Releases Budget

The main focus last week on Jones Street was the Senate’s budget. Shortly before midnight last Tuesday, the Senate’s version of a state spending plan was released. Committees reviewed the budget bill throughout the day on June 1, with floor votes occurring on June 2 and after midnight the morning of June 3. Legislative leaders now hope to resolve the differences between the two chambers’ budget bills, consider the remaining priority legislation, and adjourn by July 4th.

Senate Budget Highlights:

  • Increases the average educator pay from $47,783 to $54,224 over the next two years, an average six and a half percent increase. It also phases out the payment tiers system.

Monthly Salary Schedule

FY 2015-16

FY 2016-17

FY 2017-18

0

$3,500

$3,500

$3,500

1

$3,500

$3,550

$3,600

2

$3,500

$3,600

$3,700

3

$3,500

$3,650

$3,800

4

$3,500

$3,700

$3,900

5

$3,650

$3,825

$4,000

6

$3,650

$3,875

$4,100

7

$3,650

$3,925

$4,200

8

$3,650

$3,975

$4,300

9

$3,650

$4,025

$4,400

10

$4,000

$4,250

$4,500

11

$4,000

$4,300

$4,600

12

$4,000

$4,350

$4,700

13

$4,000

$4,400

$4,800

14

$4,000

$4,450

$4,900

15-19

$4,350

$4,675

$5,000

20-24

$4,650

$4,825

$5,000

25+

$5,000

$5,000

$5,000

  • Includes experienced-based step increases for teachers, principals, and assistant principals.
  • Provides a one-time $2,000 bonus for school principals and a one-time $500 bonus for assistant principals.
  • Creates a Joint Legislative Study Committee on School-Based Administrator Pay. The committee will study the feasibility of revising the school-based administrator salary schedule, including principal and assistant principal pay and the process of recruiting and retaining the most qualified principals in NC.
  • Allocates $10 million for a pilot program to provide performance-based bonuses of up to $6,800 for third-grade reading teachers. The bonuses would be awarded to teachers based on EVAAS growth scores.
  • Fully funds teacher assistant positions at the 2014-2015 level.
  • Creates a teacher assistant tuition reimbursement pilot program which will provide tuition reimbursement of up to $4,500 annually for 25 local teaching assistants to pursue their teaching license.
  • Provides funds to hire close to 1,000 additional first and second grade teachers, decreasing second grade classes to sixteen students per teacher.

Grade

Number of Students per Teacher

Kindergarten

18

First

16

Second

16

Third

17

  • Fully funds enrollment growth.
  • Establishes an opportunity scholarship grant fund reserve of $34.8 million to award more need-based scholarships to children from working families and provides forward funding to add 20,000 children to the program over the next ten years.
  • Does not include funding for drivers education.
  • Decreases the Department of Public Instructions Budget by nearly $2 million.
  • Prevents the Read to Achieve, School Connectivity, Teach for America, and Communities in Schools programs from being cut by the Department of Public Instruction.
  • Provides $50 million from the lottery reserve to fund future local school building needs.

Click Here to Read the Senate Budget – House Bill 1030

Click Here for a Comparison of the Governor, House and Senate Budgets


Achievement School Districts

With a vote of 60-49 the House gave final approval to a bill that would create an Achievement School District (ASD), a State-level and statewide school administrative unit for low-performing schools from across the State. The legislation would create pilot projects aimed at turning around schools where students consistently show little academic improvement and post low scores on state tests.  The bill would also allow the creation of innovation zones for local school administrative units that transfer a qualifying school into the ASD. The legislation now heads to the Senate.

Click Here to Read House Bill 1080


Protect Students in Schools

A bill that would authorize the State Board of Education, local boards of education, regional school boards of directors, and charter school boards of directors to require an applicant for teacher licensure or personnel position to be checked for a criminal history was given final approval by the Senate on Thursday. According to the legislation the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction would be permitted to charge a fee that cannot exceed the actual cost of the service. Unless the fee is covered by the local board of education, it will have to be paid for by the applicant. The purpose of the legislation is to create a more cohesive, statewide background check policy for educators. All of the background checks will be compared against the State and National Repositories of Criminal Histories. The bill will now head to the House.

Click Here to Read Senate Bill 867


Math Standard Course of Study Revisions

Last Wednesday the Senate Committee on Education discussed a bill that would phase out the common core approach to mathematics and return the courses to a traditional sequence. If the legislation passes, LEAs would begin implementing this plan for the 2016-17 school year.  The State Board of Education would also be directed to revise the NC Mathematics Standard Course of Study for implementation in the 2017-18 school year. The bill was only up for discussion on Wednesday but is expected to be voted on by the committee in the near future.

Ironically, State Board of Education members unanimously approved revisions to the three high school math courses – Math I, II and III – to go into effect in the 2016-17 school year renamed NC Math 1, NC Math 2 and NC Math 3.

The changes modify the sequence of standards covered in these three integrated mathematics courses and improve the clarity of standards where recommended by teachers. Staff will follow the same process in the fall and engage mathematic teachers in reviewing K-8 math standards and fourth-level math courses Advanced Functions and Modeling, Discrete Mathematics and Pre-Calculus.

What do you think?

If you have questions or concerns, please share your thoughts and ideas with us.
Contact us at penc@pencweb.org.

Submitted by Rick Zechini


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