Weekly Legislative Update - Friday, May 12, 2017

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Legislative Update

May 12, 2017


The Week In Review

sb257 press conf 2017


Passing the Budget

On Tuesday, a group of state senators, led by Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, held a press conference to unveil their proposed 2017-2019 budget, a $22.9 billion spending plan that will have wide-ranging impacts on North Carolina’s public schools.  While the proposal includes a significant uptick in education spending, the senators’ stated goal, in addition to raising teacher and principal salaries, is to reduce taxes, increase the state’s savings reserve, and maintain the state’s current fiscal health.  The Governor’s budget, a slightly pricier proposal at $23.5 billion, shares many goals with the Senate’s plan.  It remains to be seen, however, if this alignment will result in a quicker passage for this budget than in years past, or how different the final product will be from what we have today.


The following summary offers a more concise rundown of the budget-passing process:

  • Step #1:  Governor Cooper introduces his budget proposal.  *Completed 3/01/17
  • Step #2:  The Senate passes its budget proposal.  *Completed 5/12/17
  • Step #3:  The House passes its budget proposal.
  • Step #4:  The House and Senate agree on a common budget. *This is likely to take the form of a “conference committee,” where the House and Senate appoint members to work out differences between the chambers.
  • Step #5:  The Governor signs the budget or vetoes it.  If he signs, it is law.
  • Step #6:  If the Governor vetoes, the House & Senate will likely try to override his veto.
  • Step #7:  If House & Senate override, the budget is law.  If not, the process starts over


Relevant Bills with Action

SB 257 Appropriations Act of 2017 

The Senate’s version of the budget includes items focused on teacher’s pay, principal’s pay and a statement of intent to fund a new allotment for kindergarten through fifth grade program enhancement teachers for local school administrative units beginning with the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

The full budget was voted on by the Senate on Thursday.


The links below outline specific parts of the 2017-2018 state budget: 


DPI Financial and Business Services Analysis of SB 257

Salaries and Benefits Comparison  DRAFT

(Comparison of the 2017-18 Proposed Budgets - Excel Spreadsheet - Tab 2)


2017-18 Salaries-Benefits

Senate Proposed Teacher and Instruction Support Compensation  DRAFT

(Comparison of the 2017-18 Proposed Budgets - Excel Spreadsheet - Tab 3)


2017 Senate Teacher Compensation

Senate Principal Schedule  DRAFT

(Comparison of the 2017-18 Proposed Budgets - Excel Spreadsheet - Tab 4)


2017 Senate Principal Pay

HB 13:  Class Size Requirement Changes




HB 13, “Class Size Requirement Changes,” is one of the earliest education bills to become law this session, and also one of the most prominent.  This bill comes in response to schools and LEAs concerned about their ability to implement class size reductions passed by the General Assembly in 2016.  HB 13 is now State Law 2017-9, and LEAs are digesting what this means for them.  We hope that the following detailed summary of the law will be of assistance:


Part I would phase in the class size requirements for grades kindergarten through third grade as follows:   

  • For the 2017-2018 school year, the average class size for kindergarten through third grade in a local school administrative unit could not exceed 20 students, and
  • The size of an individual class in kindergarten through third grade could not exceed 23 students.


The funded class size allotment ratios for kindergarten through third grade, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, are as follows:

  1. For kindergarten, one teacher per 18 students.
  2. For first grade, one teacher per 16 students.
  3. For second grade, one teacher per 17 students.
  4. For third grade, one teacher per 17 students.


Want to Help Your Students Save $50k on College Expenses?

The State of North Carolina offers opportunities for high school students to be dual enrolled at their high school and a community college, tuition-free.  This is done through the Career & College Promise program, which is housed within the North Carolina Community College system.  This is a great chance for high school students to get a jump on their post-secondary education without having to pay tuition.  We would encourage teachers and others to let your students know that these opportunities are available.  More information can be found here.

DPI Logo

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

Legislative Calendar

Monday, May 15, 2017

  4:00 PM Session Convenes (House)   House Audio 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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

          Public School Building Bond Act of 2017. (H866)

11:00 AM | 643 LOB  Transportation   (House)
          Charter School Transportation Grant Program. (H644)

  4:00 PM Session Convenes (SenateSenate Audio


North Carolina General Assembly 



    • Martez Hill  –  Executive Director  |  919-807-3404
    • Cecilia Holden  –  Director of Legislative Affairs and Special Initiatives  |  919-807-4035
    • Robb Jansen  –  Policy Development Analyst  |  919-807-3407
    • Anne Murtha  –  Legislative Specialist  |  919-807-3403

    To view previous 2017 Weekly Legislative Updates click here.

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