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.
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.
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