Weekly Legislative Update - Friday, May 19, 2017

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Legislative Update

May 19, 2017      



Principal of the Year Named

Jason Griffin, principal of Hertford Grammar School in Perquimans County, received the distinct recognition of being named the 2017 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year.  He was honored by State Superintendent Mark Johnson and Wells Fargo leaders at a recent ceremony in Cary for his school’s dramatic improvement under his leadership.  Hertford Grammar School is located near Elizabeth City and under Jason’s leadership, the school achieved a “B” rating for the first time last year -- one of only six elementary schools in the region to achieve at least a “B” while also surpassing their growth targets.  As the 2017 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year, the East Carolina University graduate and former second grade teacher will serve as a member of the State Superintendent’s Principals’ Advisory Committee, an advisor to the State Board of Education and a member of the NC Public School Forum’s board of directors.  We congratulate Mr. Griffin on his award, and thank him for his excellent work.

Jason Griffin

The Week In Review



Now that the Senate has released, debated, and passed its budget, House members are busy composing their own budget proposal.  It remains to be seen how differently House budget writers approach the education budget as compared to their Senate counterparts.  An education leader in the House has stated publicly to expect their budget to retain some Senate provisions but amend or delete others.  The House budget proposal is anticipated to be released in the next week or shortly thereafter.  Our legislative team, alongside educational leaders within our agency, are continuing to work with lawmakers to provide input as they proceed with their negotiations.

Relevant Bills with Action

HB 644:  Charter School Transportation Grant Program

This legislation, passed by the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday, would direct the NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to create the Charter School Transportation Grant Program.  This program would allow charter schools to apply for a reimbursement grant through DPI to cover 65% of their transportation expenses.  HB 644 will next be debated by the House Committee on Appropriations.

NC School Bus

School Construction

HB 866:  Public School Building Bond Act of 2017

On Tuesday, the House Education K-12 Committee approved HB 866, the first statewide public school bond initiative since 1996.  Having passed the House Education K-12 Committee, the bill will be heard next by the House Finance Committee.  This bill would give voters the opportunity to provide North Carolina public schools with $1.9 billion to fund badly-needed maintenance and construction projects for public school facilities.  North Carolina’s school construction needs are significant, with many projects backlogged for years.  This bond would inject much-needed life into projects that will increase the safety, efficiency, and productivity of our schools.  If HB 866 becomes law, the bond will be on the November 2018 ballot.

NC Elementary Classroom

SB 599:  Excellent Educators for Every Classroom

SB 599 was discussed in the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee this week, but no vote was taken.  This bill would create a new, ramped-up version of the lateral entry process that legislators have dubbed “residency licensure,” which includes more stringent criteria for prospective teachers to fulfill. Residency licensure would replace lateral entry under this legislation.  The measure also creates a new Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission to “make rule recommendations regarding all aspects of preparation, licensure, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators.”  The Commission would include educators, administrators, education preparation program leaders, and superintendents appointed by the Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro Tempore.  The Department has submitted input and questions to key legislative staff and members for their consideration and review.  It is anticipated that the Senate Education/Higher Education will vote on SB 599 next week.  Assuming passage, the bill will then proceed to the Senate Committee on Finance

DPI Logo

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

Legislative Calendar

Monday, May 22, 2017

  4:00 PM Session Convenes (House)   House Audio 

  7:00 PM Session Convenes (SenateSenate Audio


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

  8:30 AM | 544 LOB  Finance (House)

          Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility. (H333)         


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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