Weekly Legislative Update - Friday, May 26, 2017

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Legislative Update

May 26, 2017      



The Week In Review

On Thursday of this week, the House released individual components of their version of the budget to specialized appropriations subcommittees such as the House Education Appropriations Committee.  It is anticipated that the House will release their full budget to the public shortly after Memorial Day, then vote and pass the measure in the following days.  From there, legislators from both chambers will be appointed to develop a compromise budget that can clear the General Assembly.  This part of the process can be lengthy and once a legislative compromise is reached, it will then be the Governor’s decision to sign it into law or send it back to lawmakers for further consideration.


Details about the House budget proposal that were presented to the House Education Appropriations Committee on Thursday are available on the committee’s website via this link.  The House budget funds North Carolina’s public schools at $8.7 billion for FY 2017-18 and $8.8 billion for FY 2018-19.  Any salary increases and benefit changes for school employees are not reflected in the current House budget but would instead be included when the House Appropriations Committee meets next week.


Details of the House’s education budget can be found via the links below:



Notable differences between the Senate and House budgets include:

  • Governor’s School:  The Senate retools Governor’s School into the Legislative School for Leadership and Public Service, while the House budget maintains Governor’s School in its current form.
  • Pre-K:  There is broad agreement among lawmakers as to the importance of reducing the current Pre-K waiting lists, as evidenced in the House, Senate, and Gubernatorial budget proposals.  The House adds enough additional Pre-K slots to eliminate the backlog, while the Senate budget aims to reduce it by half.  The Governor’s budget proposal is more aligned with the House position on this issue.
  • Textbooks & Digital Resources:  The House adds approximately $10.4 million for textbooks and digital resources, while the Senate adds $11.1 million.  The Governor’s budget adds $13 million for these purposes.
  • School Business System Modernization:  The House includes $31.7M for the biennium for modernizing school business systems including financial, human resources and information technology systems, as well as reporting and analysis tools.  The Senate proposal sets aside $29.3M for this purpose.
  • School Funding Task Force:  The House budget includes a new legislative task force to explore more efficient ways of funding public schools.  The Senate does not include this in their proposal.
  • Class Size Reporting:  The House budget would require LEAs to report to the State Superintendent on limitations that prevent them from adhering to class size requirements.  This report is not included under the Senate’s plan.
  • Central Offices:  Under both the Senate and House proposals, LEA central offices would see funding reductions.  The Senate sets reductions at $10M in 2017-18 and $15M in 2018-19, while the House reduces funding by $5M in 2017-18 and $10M in 2018-19.


Furthermore, the House budget plan includes special provisions that address the following:

  • School Calendar Flexibility:  The House’s budget includes a school calendar flexibility pilot program.
  • Low-Performing Schools:  Amends definition of “low-performing schools” so that schools that meet growth are not included.
  • Arts Education:  The House budget provisions include HB97 language requiring 1 credit of arts education to be completed by each student anytime between grades 6-12.
  • Innovative School District:  The Achievement School District is expanded and renamed to the Innovative School District, or ISD.
  • Suicide Prevention:  The House budget includes training for school personnel on suicide prevention, as reflected in HB 285.
  • B-3 Interagency Council:  The House education budget proposal creates the new B-3 Interagency Council, a collaborative effort between DPI and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  The Council shall “[establish] a vision and accountability for a birth through third grade system of early education” that addresses standards and assessment, data-driven improvement and outcomes, teacher and administrator preparation and effectiveness, and other aspects of early childhood education.  Furthermore, the proposal creates a new Associate Superintendent of Early Education at DPI to oversee the agency’s K-3 initiatives and co-lead the work of the B-3 Interagency Council.


Budget Process Review:

  • 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

DPI - FY 2017-18 Budget Information

DPI’s Financial and Business Services Division produces excellent comparison charts of legislative budget proposals.  We anticipate that they will add the House budget to their comparison chart by Tuesday.

  • Comparison of the 2017-18 Proposed Budgets - (xlsx, 113kb)    

Relevant Bills with Action

Though most legislators were heavily focused on budget work this week, the following education bills were acted upon:


HB 333 - Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility


HB 333 allows counties to establish a local sales and use tax of up to ½% to be used for public education, contingent on voter approval.  The House Finance Committee passed HB 333 on Tuesday.  It will be heard next by the House.

NC High School Classroom

SB 599 - Excellent Educators for Every Classroom


SB 599 was amended this week as follows:

  • SBE is authorized to continue issuing lateral entry licenses through 2018-19.
  • Preservice requirements for residency licensure are removed in favor of allowing the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission, also established in the bill, to determine what those requirements will be.

SB 599 was heard twice this week by the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee, once for discussion and once for a vote.  Having won that committee’s approval, it will now proceed to the Senate Finance Committee.


NC State Board of Education Seal

Upcoming State Board of Education Meeting


The State Board of Education will be meeting this week, starting with a planning and work session on Tuesday, followed by the June monthly meeting on Wednesday and Thursday.  The agendas for each of the meetings, as well as past meetings, can be accessed here.  You may also access live streaming audio of the meetings at this link.  Tuesday’s planning and work session will begin at 12:00 p.m., while the meetings on Wednesday and Thursday will commence at 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., respectively.


Every Student Succeeds Act Planning Session (ESSA)  


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law in 2015, is the federal replacement to No Child Left Behind.  As ESSA continues to be implemented across the country, the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction are working to make sure our state remains in compliance and is able to maximize its benefit from this sweeping legislation.  As such, SBE/DPI is conducting a planning session related to ESSA on Tuesday, May 30 from 12:00 PM – 4:30 PM in Room 150 of the Education Building.

This ESSA session includes:

  • Local school board members
  • Principals
  • Teachers
  • Charter School Officials
  • Business Leaders
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Higher Education/Community Colleges
  • Legislators

This group of education stakeholders will discuss and provide feedback on ESSA components.  Since ESSA became law in December 2015, these education professionals have been crucial to examining the law’s impact on North Carolina’s schools and planning how to best address its challenges and opportunities.

We thank them for their dedication to North Carolina’s success under ESSA.

DPI Logo

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

Legislative Calendar

Monday, May 29, 2017

  Memorial Day


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

  8:30 AM | 544 LOB  Finance (House)

          Appropriations Act of 2017. (S257)

10:00 AM Session Convenes (House)   House Audio       

  2:00 PM | 415 LOB  Pensions and Retirement (House)

  4:00 PM Session Convenes (SenateSenate Audio


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

  8:45 AM | 643 LOB  Appropriations (House)

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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