Weekly Legislative Update - Friday, February 24, 2017

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Legislative Update

February 24, 2017      

The Week In Review

On Tuesday morning, the Joint Education/Higher Education Appropriations Committee heard presentations from State Board Chairman Bill Cobey and State Superintendent Mark Johnson.  Chairman Cobey presented the Board’s vision, highlighting the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model, which focuses its attention on the child, emphasizes a school-wide approach, and acknowledges learning, health, and the school as being a part and reflection of the local community.  Superintendent Johnson spoke about the importance of strengthening public schools through innovative technology and training graduates to be ready for 21st century jobs. As education committees proceed with their work, we look forward to collaborating with legislators about strategies to improve public education.


The pace of the 2017 Long Session is quickening as bill filing and committee meetings gain momentum. Recently-filed proposals include: lowering the age of compulsory attendance from 7 to 6, training school athletic personnel on how to handle a medical emergency involving student athletes, and allowing schools to hire retired educators to serve as interim principals. On Thursday, a bill passed the House establishing a task force that will examine school funding procedures.


Buses and Buses

Relevant Bills with Action

HB 6:  Ed. Finance Reform Task Force/PED Report

This bill is in response to a report issued by the General Assembly’s nonpartisan Program Evaluation Division that determined the current allotment system of education funding favors wealthy counties and contains inefficiencies.  HB 6 would establish a task force to research and develop an improved system for school funding.  The bill passed the House amid concerns about the task force’s potential lack of diversity.  Two amendments seeking to address those concerns failed, and the bill passed the House 106-5.  The Senate committee process is the next step for this bill.


HB 136:  Lower Compulsory Attendance Age from 7 to 6

Recently referred to the House Education K-12 Committee, this bill would lower the age a child must begin school from 7 to 6.  HB 136 will be a bill to watch because it is sponsored by four Representatives of both parties, including a chair of the House Education K-12 Committee. 


SB 55: School Bus Cameras/Civil Penalties

SB55 was filed in response to the consistently high number of drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses in North Carolina each day.The bill would allow counties to voluntarily establish their own civil penalties for passing a stopped school bus and allow images from school bus cameras to be used as evidence. These civil penalties would be in addition to current criminal penalties.  Due to concerns raised about SB 55 during the Senate Judiciary Committee, a subcommittee will examine the bill before bringing it back before the full committee.


See this link for a complete list of bills affecting education.

North Carolina General Assembly 



  • Martez Hill  –  Executive Director, State Board of Education  |  919-807-3404

  • Robb Jansen  –  Policy Analyst & Legislative Liaison, State Board of Education  |  919-807-3407

  • Anne Murtha  –  Legislative Specialist, State Board of Education  |  919-807-3403

  • Sarah Sturdivant  –  Legislative Intern, State Board of Education