Weekly Legislative Update - Friday, March 24, 2017

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Legislative Update

March 24, 2017

The Week In Review

gov school

Governor's School Selections Announced 

North Carolina Public Schools extends its congratulations to the students chosen for the 2017 Session of Governor’s School.  These students -- some of North Carolina’s most gifted -- will participate in the month-and-a-half long program, where they will stay on college campuses and learn about a variety of subjects. The students receive instruction from distinguished teachers, professors, and professionals from across the country. The list of the selected students can be found here.

Relevant Bills with Action

HB 90:  Eliminate NC Final Exam

HB 90 directs the State Board of Education to eliminate the use of the NC Final Exam and the analysis of student work process to assess teacher performance and professional growth as part of the NC Teacher Evaluation System. Currently, teachers' performance and professional growth is determined using the following criteria:  End-of-Course and End-of-Grade assessments, Career and Technical Education Post-Assessments, NC Final Exams, K-3 Checkpoints, and analysis of student work. The bill sponsor indicated that this proposal is meant to answer concerns from parents about the amount of standardized testing conducted in schools.  HB 90 passed the House Wednesday, and will now undergo the Senate’s process.

NC Elementary Student taking a test


HB 116:  Student Safety in Athletics

HB 116 moved to the House Committee on Education K-12 this week. This bill focuses on student-athlete safety and requires that either a head coach or athletic director who is properly trained and certified in CPR be present at every athletic event. Parents of athletes would be provided with materials discussing the symptoms of cardiac arrest and heat-related illnesses and must sign the documents before their child is allowed to participate in the athletic activity. The State Board of Education would draft these materials to be distributed to LEAs. In turn, each LEA must have an emergency protocol to address these health concerns.

HB 155:  Modify Educator Licensure Requirements

This bill seeks to allow schools more flexibility in hiring individuals to interim positions.  Under this legislation, retired educators with 30+ years of experience may qualify for a retirement license if they have held certain part-time employment in education since retiring.  Furthermore, this bill allows school boards to hire retired principals and assistant principals to interim school administrator positions.  Lastly, the bill exempts teachers who serve as members of the General Assembly from continuing licensure requirements during the time they are in the legislature.  The House approved HB 155 with a unanimous 115-0 vote.  It will now head to the Senate.

HB 159:  Charter School TSERS Election

HB 159 proposes that charter schools who wish to participate in the NC Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS) may do so within two years of opening. Current statute only allows for one year. If the school has completed its first year of operation but not its second, the school may undergo an actuarial and financial review prior to entry into the Retirement System. However, if the school has completed two years of operation, the actuarial and financial review is mandatory for admission into TSERS. The charter school’s provisional entry may be revoked by the Board of Trustees if the school does not meet the contributions required to stay in the Retirement System within a year of its entry into the System. The House Pensions & Retirement Committee gave its approval to HB 159 on Wednesday.

NC High School Teacher and Students

HB 302:  DoDEA/Clinical Educators for Student Teaching

Under HB 302, educators that are employed at Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools in North Carolina would be eligible to serve as clinical educators for student teachers. These educators would have to meet all of the professional standards set by DoDEA to be eligible. The bill moved to the House Committee on Homeland Security, Military, and Veterans Affairs on Tuesday.  

SB 55:  School Bus Cameras/Civil Penalties

This bill, designed to address the ongoing problem of drivers passing stopped school buses, has been approved by the Senate.  SB 55 allows LEAs to use photos taken from school bus cameras to be used as evidence in cases of drivers passing stopped school buses. Counties are also given the option of establishing civil penalties to apply in cases where there is not injury or death resulting from the violation; however, the General Assembly encourages criminal prosecution.  House committee(s) will be next to hear the bill. 

NC School Bus


SB 64:  Veterans’ History Awareness Month

November would be designated as Veterans’ History Awareness Month in North Carolina public schools if SB 64 becomes law.  This bill directs the State Board of Education to collaborate with veterans to develop programs for North Carolina students to “gain a better understanding of the meaning and importance of the contributions of American veterans and, in particular, veterans from North Carolina.”  The Senate gave its approval to SB 64 on Tuesday and sent it to the House.

SB 169:  Teaching Excellence Bonus Expansion

Last year, the General Assembly created two pilot programs to award bonuses to 3rd grade reading teachers and AP/IB teachers who qualify.  However, those programs required teachers to remain teaching in the same grade levels and courses in the following school year to receive their bonuses.  This resulted in some teachers being denied their bonus, even though they changed positions within their school due to no fault or choice of their own.  SB 169 allows these teachers to collect their bonuses, and reimburses LEAs that elected to pay these bonuses out of their own funds.  Having passed the Senate 49-0, the bill proceeds to the House.


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

Legislative Calendar

Monday, March 27, 2017

7:00 PM Session Convenes (Senate Calendar) Senate Audio

7:00 PM Session Convenes (House Calendar) House Audio

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

10:00 AM | 643 LOB Education - K-12 (House)

School Cal. Flex./CC. (H375)

School Calendar Flexibility Pilot Program (H389)

Future Ready Student Act of 2017 (H450)

11:00 AM | 643 LOB Transportation (House)

Ltd. License/Drive to School Event Past 9:00. (H336)

1:00 PM | 1228/1327 LB Education - Universities (House)

North Carolina Teaching Fellows (H339)


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

    To view previous 2017 Weekly Legislative Updates click here.