K-12 Education Legislative Update - Friday, March 16, 2018

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K12 Education Legislation Update

March 16, 2018   

The Week In Review and Looking Forward into Next Week

N.C. Legislative Building

The General Assembly pre-session committee meetings are occurring at a very fast pace with a continued interest centered around education.  On Tuesday, the Joint Legislative Study Committee on the Division of Local School Administrative Units examined the many possible implications of dividing some LEAs into smaller school districts. The Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform met on Thursday for perspectives and recommendations on charter school state financing.  Next week, the first meeting of the Select Committee on School Safety will be held on Wednesday, March 21.

Joint Legislative Study Committee on the Division of Local School Administrative Units


The Joint Legislative Study Committee on the Division of Local School Administrative Units met on Tuesday, March 13. Chairman Rep. Bill Brawley made clear the committee’s goal is to define the problems that may arise from breaking large school districts into smaller ones. He has reiterated again that any legislation would come after the study committee has finished researching the subject. Here is the agenda to the meeting. Audio for the meeting can be heard here.


Kara McCraw, General Assembly (GA) Legislative Analysis staff attorney, covered the following crucial decision points to consider in this endeavor: timeline for implementation; governance; transition of specialty schools; possible litigation issues; local budgeting; bonds and existing debt; school capital; transportation and food services; and other central administration and legal issues.

Her presentation is linked here. Kara also compared Clark County Nevada legislation on dividing school districts - see Technical Report and Nevada Bill 469 to provide insight on how this issue was handled in a state with a similar request for restructuring school systems. Fellow GA staff attorney, Brian Gwyn, explained the constitutional issues in school district division, as well as examples of court cases involving this matter. Budgeting in Counties with Multiple School Units was thoroughly spelled out by Kara Millonzi, Professor of Public Law and Government, UNC School of Government.  Seven officials from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) highlighted the considerations that would need to factor into dividing LEAs, including topics centered on: school facilities, specialized programs, insurance, transportation, school nutrition, information technology, contracts and legal issues, as well as implementation oversight procedures. Here is the link to the DPI presentations. 


Region Map

School Construction

Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform


The Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform met on Thursday, March 15 of this week, with the focus on charter school funding. Seven leaders from six charter schools gave their perspectives on existing state financing models and provided recommendations to improve the funding stream. Much attention was given to the need for access to capital funding for facilities and increased flexibility on eligibility for the Charter School Transportation Grant. Several charter school leaders discussed allowing the local county commissioners to provide money for capital expenses. The distribution of supplemental tax revenue that would follow the student was also discussed. All charter school leaders expressed their appreciation to the members of the task force for being given the opportunity to speak to them. Links to the committee presentations can be viewed here.



Birth-3rd Grade Interagency Council


The B-3 Interagency Council had its second meeting March 15 to discuss prioritization of work, committee structure and membership. The Council is a joint council between the Department of Health and Human Services (Co-chair, Deputy Secretary Susan Perry-Manning) and the Department of Public Instruction (Co-chair, Associate Superintendent for Early Education Dr. Pamela Shue) and consists of 12 voting members and four nonvoting advisory members. The Council’s charge is establishing a vision and accountability for a birth-through-grade-three system of early education.


After a discussion of where the council should focus its efforts, first it was determined that the DPI and DHHS co-chairs will return with the following information the council members requested: understanding of the funding and groups who deliver services, what children need to enter fourth grade successfully, update on the pre-k to kindergarten transition system, number of children in the pre-k and kindergarten system.


The next meetings will be scheduled for May and August. A joint website is being developed to provide information about the B-3rd Grade Interagency Council and future meetings dates.

School Safety

Select Committee on School Safety


The first meeting of the House Select Committee on School Safety is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21, in room 643 of the Legislative Office Building.  Audio of this meeting is available here. North Carolina General Assembly House Speaker Tim Moore formed this bi-partisan committee made up of 41 lawmakers with backgrounds in education, mental health and law enforcement with a goal to examine how to identify threats, improve facilities, and provide training and resources to ensure the ultimate in school safety and security for North Carolina schools. 


Relevant Bills with Action

NC Elementary Classroom

HB 90 Changes to Education and Election Laws is now Session Law 2018-2


HB 90, also known as the “fix” for the “Class Size Requirements” bill, is now law.  This new law provides a transition into class size requirements that were outlined in HB 13 and provides funding for enhancement teachers.  A link to the previous newsletter that provides a more detailed overview can be found here.  


The North Carolina Constitution allows the Governor 30 days after adjournment of the General Assembly to act on a bill by signing it into law, vetoing the bill, or allowing it to become law without his signature.  On March 16, HB 90 became law without the Governor's signature. 

SBE Meeting - Chairman William Cobey & A.L. Collins

State Board of Education Vice Chair Buddy Collins Resigns


A.L. “Buddy” Collins, vice chair of the State Board of Education, has submitted his resignation from the Board to run for election to the Forsyth Board of County Commissioners. He stated in his resignation letter that he cannot do both at the same time. “Serving the State of North Carolina as a member of the State Board of Education has been an honor and privilege; and I am grateful for the opportunity to help improve education in our state,” Collins wrote. His resignation is effective when the Governor appoints his replacement or April 14 - whichever comes first.  Bill Cobey, Chair of the State Board, said, “It’ll be a big loss to the Board, and a big loss to me personally, because Buddy brought extensive experience in public education to the Board".  This sentiment is being echoed by education stakeholders around the state.  Buddy has been a valuable asset to the State of North Carolina and his talents and contributions will be missed.

DPI Logo

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

Legislative Calendar


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

  9:00a.m.:  Select Committee on School Safety                                                                643 LOB | Audio

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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