June 24, 2019

Legislative Update

The following report is an overview of recent North Carolina General Assembly activity of interest to stakeholders of public education in North Carolina.

Budget Update:

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). PENC hears good things about the Early College (CIHS) provision. PENC has been working on this and feels that there is a good chance that will not happen, leaving the Early College program protected.

Also, PENC is fighting to assist all non-certified local school employees. Some budget proposals have treated them differently from the other state employees. PENC is working hard to try to ensure that non-certified personnel gets the significant raise that has been proposed for state employees.

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 always, we are advocating for the best possible pay package for teachers and administrators.

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 Schools & 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. Also, the bill required progress updates, effective September 2020.

For information about specific issues, please contact lobbyist@pencweb.org.

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