Weekly Legislative Update - Friday, June 16, 2017

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Legislative Update

June 16, 2017

The Week In Review - No Final Budget Yet

 Downtown Aerial

Last week, a conference committee made up of lawmakers from both the House and Senate was formed to develop a compromise budget by reconciling the House and Senate versions of the budget. The compromise budget will most likely be released next week. Depending on when it is released, a special update containing budget analysis and other information may be sent before next Friday’s update.  After the compromise budget is released, it will head to both chambers for an up-or-down vote, without the opportunity for amendments. If passed by both houses, the budget will head to the Governor. If vetoed, the budget will return to the General Assembly for revisions or an override vote.


While the budget is certainly the main topic of conversation around the General Assembly, other bills are moving at a rapid pace as the end of the 2017 Long Session nears. Several bills impacting education gained traction this week:

Relevant Bills with Action

HB 21: Driver Instruction/Law Enforcement Stops

HB 21 would include instruction on the proper procedures for drivers to follow when stopped by law enforcement officers. The bill passed the Senate Rules Committee this week, and will be voted on by the full Senate on Monday, June 19, 2017. If passed by the Senate, the bill will be sent to the Governor.

Drivers Education

HB 55: Apex/Cary Police Assistance on School Grounds

This bill allows the town of Apex to provide law enforcement assistance to the Cary Police Department on the grounds of the temporary Apex High School in Cary. This week, it passed the Senate, and will be sent to the Governor.


HB 135: Technical Changes to Course of Study Statutes

This bill is being described as having no material changes to current law. HB 135 passed the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee on Wednesday, and will be reviewed next by the Senate Rules Committee.

HB 149: Students with Dyslexia and Dyscalculia

This bill aims to provide teachers with extra resources to help students who have dyslexia and dyscalculia. The State Board of Education would be required to provide professional development to teachers, educating them on the signs of dyslexia and dyscalculia. Additionally, the State Board of Education would be required to provide electronic information to parents on the signs of dyslexia and dyscalculia and how to seek help for their child. On Wednesday, HB 149 passed the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee.  The Senate Rules Committee will be next to examine the bill.

NC Elementary Classroom

HB 482: Clarify County Commissioners Role in School Building Acquisition

HB 482 clarifies that the amount spent on the construction of local school facilities must be approved by the local county Board of Commissioners. This week, the bill passed the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee, and will next be considered by the Senate Rules Committee before being heard in the full Senate.

Digital Learning

HB 532: Modify UNC Laboratory Schools

This bill increases the number of UNC Laboratory Schools from eight to nine, and establishes a subcommittee under the UNC System Board of Governors to oversee the laboratory schools. The bill also identifies the chancellor of any UNC institution operating a laboratory school to serve as the administrative head of the school, and expands laboratory school advisory boards to include more members from the constituent institution. This bill was passed by the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee this week, and will be reviewed by the Senate Rules Committee before going to the full Senate and the Governor.

SB 253: Partisan Elections for Certain County School Boards

Beginning in 2018, SB 253 would change the Board of Education elections in Beaufort, Carteret, Cleveland, Dare, Haywood, Hyde, Madison, Onslow, Pender, and Yancey Counties to partisan elections, and changes the date at which newly elected board members take office to the first Monday in December of the year of their election, instead of July 1st of the following year. This week, SB 253 passed the House with additional counties, and will be voted on by the Senate on Monday, June 19 to concur with the House's changes.

SB 312: Surplus Computers for Low-Income Students

This bill directs and allows the State Surplus Property Agency to distribute surplus computer equipment to nonprofit organizations that distribute them to low-income schools and households. Under the bill, the State Surplus Property Agency would ensure that all geographic regions in the state benefit from the surplus equipment. The bill moved quickly this week-it passed the House State & Local Government II Committee on Wednesday, the full House on Thursday, and is now on its way to the Governor.

NC Elementary

SB 548: Strengthen Human Trafficking Laws/Studies

SB 548 makes several changes to state law to strengthen provisions relating to human trafficking, including imposing harsher penalties on human traffickers. The bill directs the State Board of Education to adopt a policy requiring Local Education Agencies and Charter Schools to give training at least once every three years on the human trafficking of minors, including identification, response, and preventative tools and methods. This week, the bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, and will next be reviewed by the Senate Rules Committee.

NC Elementary Classroom

SB 599: Excellent Educators for Every Classroom

This bill, summarized in a prior edition of this newsletter, would replace the state’s current lateral entry system with a residency model while allowing SBE to continue issuing lateral entry licenses through 2019, among other reforms.  Before passage, the Senate amended the bill to give more flexibility to the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission to determine the required GPA for candidates who wish to enroll in an educator preparation program, while exempting candidates in CTE areas with over five years of experience from the GPA requirement.  SB 599 now awaits action in the House Education K-12 Committee.

A One-Pager on How an Idea Becomes a Law

Want to know how an idea becomes a law in North Carolina? While you wait for the latest edition of the budget, check out this flowchart for a simple, one-page map of the state lawmaking process, from start to finish.

Senate Chamber

North Carolina Senate Chamber

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See this link for a complete list of bills impacting K-12 education.

Legislative Calendar

Monday, June 19, 2017

9:30 AM | Session Convenes (Senate)  Senate Audio

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

10:00 AM | 1228, 1327 LB House Rules Committee

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
    • Dylan Blackburn – Legislative Intern

    To view previous 2017 Weekly Legislative Updates click here.

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