LEGISLATIVE NEWS

  • Senate Fails to Concur On Teacher Licensure Bill, Conference Committee Appointed

    Today members of the Senate voted unanimously not to concur on a bill that would modify teacher licensure requirements, after House members voted unanimously in favor of approval just yesterday. Senate Bill 219, sponsored by Sen. Tom McInnis (R-Richmond), would provide much-needed help to counties that continue to struggle with teacher shortages by allowing proven educators to fill teacher vacancies while pursuing their continuing professional licenses (CPL). The bill would create a new “limited teaching license” for individuals who were issued an initial professional license (IPL), but do not meet the criteria for a continuing professional license (CPL), as well as a “transitional license” (TL), which can be issued to an out-of-state applicant while the applicant pursues his or her CPL. Both of these new licensure options would expire for applicants after three years and would not be renewable.

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  • Principal Preparation Program Changes Make Headway in N.C. House

    As budget negotiations between the House and Senate continue, House lawmakers focused this week on pushing forward certain time-sensitive bills, including a bill that would merge the Transforming Principal Preparation and Principals Fellows programs. As requested by the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA), the language concerning the merger of the two principal preparation programs replaced language originally contained in Senate Bill 227 regarding broadening charter school sibling priority. The goal of the merger of the two programs is to streamline oversight and administration of existing principal preparation programs, while generating more funds for applicants seeking forgivable loans to become effective principals.

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  • State Archives of N.C. Creates New Records Retention Requirements for LEAs

    Unbeknownst to most local education agencies (LEAs), the State Archives of North Carolina issued a new General Records Schedule for Local Government Agencies on March 1, 2019, creating new legal requirements for the retention and disposal of governmental records. The provisions in the new General Records Schedule supersedes the majority of regulations in the 1999 LEA retention schedule, except those under Standard 7, which covers Program Operational Records. While State Archives has not provided formal notice to school districts of the changes in the records retention schedule, LEA employees are expected to comply with all applicable regulations in the 106-page document. Further, until the local agency formally approves of the new General Records Schedule, employees are expected not to dispose of any public records, and violators could be found guilty of a Class 3 Misdemeanor, according to statute.

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  • Senate Committee Approves House-Passed Measures Defining ‘Public School,’ Adjusting Teacher Contracts, Adding Personal Finance As Graduation Requirement

    As House and Senate budget writers began negotiating differences in their spending plans this week, the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee met on Wednesday to debate and move forward several education policy bills, including two public school measures previously approved by the House.

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  • House Education Committee Approves Teacher Licensure Changes

    The House Committee on K-12 Education discussed and approved three bills on Wednesday, including a bill which would modify teacher licensure requirements. Senate Bill 219, sponsored by Sen. Tom McInnis (R-Richmond), creates a new “limited teaching license” for individuals who were issued an initial professional license (IPL), but do not meet the criteria for a continuing professional license (CPL). This three-year, nonrenewable license could be requested by the local board of education currently employing the individual, with an affidavit stating the teacher’s effectiveness, signed by both the principal and superintendent for the school in which the teacher is currently assigned. Notably, and upon a request from the N.C. Association of School Administrators (NCASA), the latest version of S219 removes a problematic requirement found in previous versions of the bill that would have made school districts located in a Tier 3 Area with a population of more than 100,000 ineligible to use the new limited license for retaining some teachers.

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  • 2019 State Budget Resources

    NCASA has compiled the following links to resources for the 2019 state budget:

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  • Senate Finalizing Budget That Differs Greatly From House Plan

    As of this In the Know publication, the N.C. Senate is expected to give approval to its 2019-2021 proposed budget, after further discussion and amendments on the Senate floor later today and tomorrow. The Senate budget differs greatly from the House budget proposal, with some of the most notable differences found in the education-related provisions. The Senate budget proposal provides less money for teacher and school personnel raises, while focusing more on state employees, who will receive an average 5% salary increase over the next two years. Among items requested by NCASA and addressed in the House budget, the Senate budget proposal does not connect the principal pay scale to the teacher salary scale, nor does it adjust the school performance grading scale. These and other differences are expected to set the stage for House and Senate budget writers to begin crafting a compromise state spending plan as the fiscal year’s end quickly approaches.

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  • Senate Principal Pay Proposal Differs From House Plan; NCASA Continues Advocacy On Bonus Fix For High-Performing Principals

    The N.C. Senate’s budget proposal includes a pay increase and bonus package for principals that differs significantly from the proposal approved earlier by the N.C. House, which had followed recommendations for salary structural changes championed by the N.C. Association of School Administrators (NCASA). The Senate plan adds $16.3 million in both years for principal pay, with $15 million going to the base salary of principals, which NCASA has encouraged and appreciates. This would provide an average increase of $4,650 or 6.2%, effective July 1, 2019.

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  • PRESS RELEASE: Senate Budget Prioritizes Education, Tax Relief, and Health Care Reform

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  • NCGA Recommends Greater Focus On Early Childhood Learning For Predominantly Disadvantaged School Districts

    Legislative staff from the State Program Evaluation Division (PED) released a report on Monday recommending the State focus more on early childhood learning in order to raise achievement in predominantly disadvantaged school districts. The report was created and shared with members of the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee (JLEOC) as a result of a 2018 Work Plan directing PED to identify at least 10 high-performing school districts with predominantly economically disadvantaged student populations and explore the reasons for their success. In its findings, PED recognized that it was “highly uncommon” for students in poorer school districts to demonstrate average or better performance on standardized tests; however, out of those districts that are demonstrating higher performance, most are already performing well by the third grade. As a result, PED found that students in poorer school districts were likely to be more academically successful when they were provided with more early childhood education opportunities.

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  • State Treasurer Promotes Health Plan Changes, Despite Member and Legislative Opposition

    The Department of the State Treasurer is moving forward on its proposal to change the NC State Health Plan Network of providers, despite numerous concerns raised by members about the proposal’s potential to limit their access to medical services. The Treasurer’s office sent a newsletter to members on Tuesday stating, “The State Health Plan is changing how it pays providers like doctors and hospitals for the medical services you receive as a Plan member. These changes will take place beginning January 1, 2020, and will only affect members on the 80/20 Plan, the 70/30 Plan and the High Deductible Health Plan.” While the State Treasurer has promoted his “Clear Pricing Project” extensively over past months, implementation of the Project may be delayed if a current, bipartisan House bill is approved in the Senate. House Bill 184, sponsored by Rep. Josh Dobson (R-McDowell), would create a committee to study and report on redesigning the State Health Plan, while also preventing the Treasurer’s office from moving forward on its Clear Pricing Project until December 31, 2020. The Treasurer’s newsletter directly addressed H184, stating, “Until any legislation to the contrary is actually passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor, the State Health Plan is moving forward with the Clear Pricing Project as announced.”

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  • Changes To ‘Rehiring Retired Teachers’ Bill May Create Challenges For School Districts

    The N.C. Senate this week approved a revised version of Senate Bill 399 intended to help school districts address staffing shortages by allowing them to rehire retired teachers under a new option. As revised, however, the bill could create some legal and financial liabilities for LEAs that choose to rehire retirees under the law if ultimately enacted. Senate Bill 399 would allow certain retired teachers to return to work in high-need schools and still receive their full retirement benefits.

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  • Senate Approves Several School Choice Expansions; Charter School Facility Funding Proposal Dropped

    Senate lawmakers approved several bills attempting to expand options for school choice and charter schools on Wednesday, after members of the Senate Rules and Operations Committee approved the bills earlier Tuesday morning. Legislators expressed the most concern about Senate Bill 609, which would expand eligibility for opportunity scholarships, as well as Senate Bill 522, which would have authorized counties to provide capital funds to charter schools; however, the provision making charter schools eligible for facilities funding was ultimately removed from the bill before passage. Some of the less controversial bills would require the State Board to adopt rules allowing the transfer of sick leave between a charter school and local school administrative unit (LEA), while another bill would create notice requirements for charter schools that are attempting to close or materially revise their charters.

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  • House Lawmakers Approve Proposed Budget, Expand Bonus Leave To School Personnel

    Members of the North Carolina House of Representatives voted to approve their overall House Budget proposal last Friday afternoon, after hours of discussion and voting on various budget amendments. The North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA) worked with lawmakers to introduce a successful amendment expanding a special bonus leave provision to non-certified school personnel and central office workers, who were previously excluded in prior versions of the proposed budget.

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  • House Budget Proposes Relinking Principal Base Pay To Teachers’ Salary Schedule Per NCASA’s Request

    As of this In the Know publication, the N.C. House is scheduled to give approval to its 2019-2021 biennial spending plan in two floor votes later this evening and sometime Friday. The House budget, with special provisions contained in House Bill 966 and its accompanying money report, proposes spending $23.9 billion in 2019-2020, a 3 percent increase from the current fiscal year’s total budget. Public school funding for 2019-20 is proposed at $9.70 billion, a 3% increase, with $9.84 billion in 2020-21.

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  • Teacher Licensure Bill Revised Again, Approved By Senate Education Committee

    The Senate Education/Higher Education Committee on Wednesday amended and approved a bill making several changes to teacher licensure options in an effort to help NC school districts address an ongoing teacher shortage.

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  • House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education Money Report Budget Summary

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  • 2019-2020 Key Education Funding & Policy Bills

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  • Lawmakers Debate Removing Retirement Options

    On Tuesday, lawmakers in the Senate Rules Committee debated Senate Bill 374: Repeal Risky Retirement Payments which would eliminate Option 4 (Social Security Leveling) and Option 6 (Modified Joint & Survivor) retirement allowances under the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System (TSERS) and the Local Governmental Employees' Retirement System (LGERS). Option 4 has been particularly popular with some members, as it allows a retired member to receive larger monthly payments until he or she qualifies for Social Security, at which point monthly payments are reduced and supplemented by social security payments. Option 6 allows a retiree to receive reduced monthly payments for life so that his or her designated beneficiary may receive some or all the amount of the monthly payment upon the member’s death. In the case the beneficiary predeceases the member, Option 6 allows members to revert or “pop up” to the maximum monthly allowance.

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  • Which House Bills Should NCASA Members Watch?

    Last week, the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA) featured an article on Senate bills for NCASA members to watch. Based on positive member feedback, NCASA has prepared a similar summary for notable bills in the N.C. House. While bill introductions will continue in the House through April 27, the following provides a current listing of selected House bills affecting K-12 education that NCASA deems as either favorable, neutral, or needing revisions.

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