April 3, 2020

Legislative Update

As you have likely heard from your LEA, the State Board of Education met on March 30th and were presented a list of recommendations regarding distance learning, graduation, and student grades.

The Internal Workgroup tasked with the response in dealing with the pressing needs brought on by school closures issued guidance in their published summary of their meeting: LEA/Charter School Guidance for Remote Learning, Evaluation of Student Progress and Graduating Seniors

Given the challenges ahead, the workgroup encouraged LEAs and charters to meet the diverse needs of students during these unprecedented times by employing a variety of distance learning tools that are consistent, accessible to students, and meets curricular standards.

Above all it was noted that students, especially seniors, be held harmless due to the unfortunate circumstances. Should schools re-open after May 15th?   Additional guidance from the State Board will be issued.

Specifically, regarding seniors, the recommendation was to still use fall semester grades. However, for spring semester students will receive a Pass “PC19” or Withdrawal “WC19” based on their status as of March. For students who held a grade of F going into March 13, LEAs are encouraged to present alternative and accommodating credit options.

In addition, NCDPI’s goals for the Senior Class of 2020 (to graduate high school seniors by meeting minimum SBE graduation requirements of 22 credits on the originally scheduled graduation date) remains unchanged.

In addition, on Thursday April 2, 2020 the House Education Workgroup Select Committee on Covid 19 held its second meeting. At this meeting, the focus was mostly higher education with presentations from the independent colleges and universities, the UNC system, and the North Carolina Community College system. There were common concerns among the three presenters, such as policy changes and financial challenges.

College and University leaders asked that the state consider legislative waivers concerning college seniors in school counseling programs and education programs who were student teachers. In addition, the presenters mentioned concerns surrounding the PRAXIS II Core, given the closure of testing centers.

At this stage, legislative leaders are still hearing suggestions, weighing options, and considering their legislative approach. From the perspective of the college education leaders who presented to the committee, a sense of urgency is needed to address these concerns.

We will continue to keep you posted as we hear news from NCDPI, the State Board of Education, the governor and legislative leaders.

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

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