K-12 Education Legislative Update - Friday, March 9, 2018

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K12 Education Legislation Update

March 9, 2018       



The Week In Review and Looking Forward into Next Week

State Seal

This has been an eventful week at the General Assembly in Raleigh, with numerous committees meeting to discuss high profile topics. The Joint Legislative Education Oversight CommitteeThe Select Committee on School Safety and the Child Fatality Task Force met this week, addressing topics ranging from suicide prevention to Career and College Promise programs. These meetings are covered in detail below. In the coming week, the Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform is scheduled to meet, as well as the Joint Legislative Study Committee on the Division of Local School Administrative Units which will examine potential impacts of dividing school districts.


Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee 


The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee met on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The first presenter was Dr. Eric Hall, NC Innovative School District (ISD) Superintendent, who began his presentation with an overview of the ISD initiative and its role in partnering with communities to bring innovation and reform to low-performing schools to improve outcomes. He highlighted the urgency of improving NC's 505 low-performing schools that collectively serve over 250,000 students. Dr. Hall provided a handout with his data points and outlined the process for selecting schools to enter into the ISD, as well as the application and selection process for independent entities to run the ISD schools. In closing, Dr. Hall discussed a path forward that includes providing a continuum of innovative and accountable interventions to improve student achievement at low-performing schools.


Other presentations centered around data sharing and data security of education systems.  John Correllus, Chief Data Officer and Government Data Analytics Center (GDAC) Director, informed the committee of the vital role NC DIT plays to secure and manage North Carolina’s Information Technology by integrating and sharing data assets.  Here is the link to his presentation. Phil Emer, Director of Technology Planning and Policy at The Friday Institute, gave an in-depth report on cybersecurity threats and the next steps to protect NC public schools from cybersecurity attacks. He explained that continuous monitoring of vulnerabilities and risks, as well as training staff about common attacks are crucial steps required to protect essential information technology systems. His presentation link is here.  DPI’s Karl Pond, Enterprise Data Manager, and KC Elander, Enterprise Data Manager, conveyed the history and importance of the North Carolina SchoolWorks System, a longitudinal data system centered around data sharing and research involving Pre-K to workforce data.


The final presentation was focused on the Career and College Promise (CCP) and Cooperative Innovative High School (CIHS) Study Report.  An update was delivered by Sneha Shah Coltrane, Director of the Division of Advanced Learning and Gifted Education at DPI and Dr. Lisa Eads, Program Coordinator of Early Childhood, Public Service Technologies and Career and College Promise for the NC Community College System. They stressed the value of the CCP program, which offers structured opportunities for high school students to simultaneously enroll in community college courses.  This dual-enrollment provides career pathways for students through a certificate, diploma, degree, or state and industry credentials, as well as provides entry-level job skills tuition-free for these students. 

Safety First

Select Committee on School Safety 


The Select Committee on School Safety which was formed in the wake of a tragic attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is scheduled to convene its first meeting on Wednesday, March 21st. This meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will continue throughout the day. The two co-chairs of the committee, Reps. David Lewis and John Torbett, have stated that the focus of this committee is to interact and consult with experts and review data before making policy recommendations. The ultimate goal is to ensure our schools are safe places for our students to go to learn.

Professional Development

Child Fatality Task Force


On Wednesday, March 7, the Child Fatality Task Force (CFTF) held a meeting, during which progress was made on several key issues.  Michelle Hughes, a member of the CFTF and Executive Director of NC Child, presented recommendations around suicide prevention.  Members supported proposals made for the CFTF 2018 Action Agenda, including legislation that would require suicide prevention training for school personnel, as well as a risk referral protocol in schools.  Hughes noted that there are currently two bills that have passed the House that address these requirements, HB 285 and HB 894, that are still eligible for consideration in the short session. Both of these bills direct the Department of Health and Human Services and the State Board of Education to create a brief suicide prevention and awareness training that can be used to meet this requirement.  Such training would be required for school personnel who work directly with students in grades 6-12, and may be offered in various formats, including electronic. Task Force members also expressed support for adding a full-time suicide prevention coordinator position, adding a full-time school social worker consultant position at DPI and increasing the number of school nurses in K-12 schools by 100.

An Update on HB 90 Changes to Education and Election Laws

NC Elementary Classroom

HB 90 Changes to Education and Election Laws passed both the House and the Senate and remains on the Governor’s desk where it will likely become law without his signature. This bill is extensively summarized in a former newsletter that is linked here.

Bills Eligible for the General Assembly to Consider During Short Session


The General Assembly will reconvene on May 16 for the 2018 Short Session. During this session, the General Assembly will only be able to consider certain types of bills.  A full list of those types of bills is linked here. Some of the categories permitted that have the potential to impact education include: budget bills; study committee bills (bills recommended by committees of the General Assembly); appointment bills; gubernatorial actions (bills of action on gubernatorial nominations or appointments); bills authorized by a joint resolution of more than two-thirds vote; and pension or retirement bills.

NCGA Senate

Senate and House Page Programs


The House and Senate Page Programs will be accepting applications until March 16th for the Summer 2018 program. This opportunity is open to current high school students, and is a wonderful chance for students to spend a week in our state's capital city examining some of the inner workings of government. Students may apply directly to their representatives in the House and/or Senate. More information about the House Page Program can be found here and the Senate Page Program can be found here.

Legislative Calendar

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

  9:00 a.m.:  Jt. Leg. Study Cmte on the Division of Local School Admin Units (2017)     544 LOB | Audio 


Thursday, March 15, 2018

  9:00 a.m.:  Joint Legislative Emergency Management Oversight Committee                 544 LOB | Audio

  1:00 p.m.:  Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform (2017)              544 LOB | Audio   

DPI Logo

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

North Carolina General Assembly 



    • Cecilia Holden  –  Director of Legislative Affairs and Special Initiatives  |  919-807-3406
    • Anne Murtha  –  Legislative Specialist  |  919-807-3403
    • David Smith –  Legislative Intern  |  919-807-3407

    To view previous 2018 Weekly Legislative Updates click here.

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