K-12 Education Legislative Update - Friday, May 4, 2018

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


K12 Education Legislation Update

Vision Statement:  Every public school student, through access to needed resources and rigor, will graduate ready for post-secondary education and work, prepared to be a globally engaged and productive citizen.

Mission Statement: The State Board of Education will use its constitutional authority to lead and uphold the system of public education in North Carolina that guarantees every student in this state an opportunity to receive a sound basic education.

May 4, 2018       

The Week In Review and Looking Forward into Next Week


The General Assembly will be convening for the 2018 short session on Wednesday, May 16.  With less than two weeks away, the interim committees are submitting their final reports and proposing legislation for consideration. On Tuesday, May 1, the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee approved their report to the General Assembly. The Student Physical Safety and Security Working Group of the Select Committee on School Safety met on Wednesday, May 2 to discuss seven potential recommendations to improve school security.


Next week, the full Select Committee on School Safety will come together to review recommendations and proposed legislation from the Safety Working Groups.  Recommendations supported by the Committee will then move forward for consideration during the short session..


Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee


The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee approved their report and proposed legislation which outlines the following findings, recommendations and legislative proposals:

  1. Extend Pilot/Virtual Charter Schools - The Committee recommended that the sunset on the virtual charter school pilot program be extended for four more years so that it sunsets with the 2022-2023 school year in order to reassess the student outcomes in virtual charter schools over a longer period of time.
  2. University of North Carolina (UNC) Laboratory Schools - The Committee found that these Laboratory Schools will provide parents with another choice in public education and will provide local school administrative units with clear and easy access to the best academic researchers and teachers in the educator preparation programs at the various constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina. 
  3. North Carolina Teaching Fellows - The Committee strongly supports the program and found that recruiting, preparing, and supporting individuals to become highly effective science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and special education teachers in the State’s public schools is an important policy goal that can be achieved through the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program (Program) which was reestablished by the General Assembly in 2017.   They also found that the Program will provide unique enrichment opportunities and experiences that focus on developing the leadership potential of Teaching Fellows and instill a greater sense of purpose, service, and professionalism.
  4. Cross-training Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Licensure Section Staff - The Committee strongly recommends DPI:

  • Prioritize making licensure policies and process clear and useful to applicants and their employers
  • Improve online information about the licensure process and keep applicants and their employers informed of licensure status and updates
  • Build and maintain a supportive and performance oriented culture in the Licensure Section with an emphasis on training and communication
  • Enhance the technology for the online licensure system and build a reporting functionality for the Licensure Section
  • Implement a cross-training program for all of the employees of the Section in order to improve timely processing of educator license applications

  1. Schools That Lead - The Committee found that high quality professional development for teachers is of utmost importance because teachers have the greatest in-school impact on student learning. They also found that STL's use of improvement science allows educators to state their theories and assumptions, determine the effectiveness of ideas for change, and measure the impact of the change on student outcomes.
  2. ENC STEM (Eastern North Carolina STEM program) - The Committee found that ENC STEM, a residential STEM enrichment program for underserved students, provides strong positive impacts for its participants.  
  3. Medical Education & Residency Study - The Committee proposed legislation to examine ways to support medical education and medical residency programs to address the short-term and long-term health care needs.
  4. Revise Cursive and Multiplication Report - The Committee supports legislation to require an annual report that includes the following information on the implementation of the cursive writing and multiplication tables requirements:

  • List and percentage of local school administrative units (LEAs) in compliance with the cursive writing requirement, as well as a list and percentage of LEAs not in compliance.
  • List and percentage of LEAs in compliance with the memorization of multiplication tables requirement, as well as a list and percentage of LEAs not in compliance.
  • List of instructional strategies used by each local school administrative unit (LEA) to implement the cursive writing requirement, broken down by LEA.
  • Percentage of LEAs using various cursive writing instructional strategies.
  • List and percentage of any LEAs that did not provide information for the report.  

School Safety

House Select Committee on School Safety - Student Physical Safety Working Group


The House Select Committee on School Safety is scheduled to meet on Thursday, May 10th.  During this meeting, they will consider recommendations brought forward by the two Working Groups that were formed by the Committee.


In addition to recommendations made by the Student Health Working Group, The Student Physical Safety Working Group endorsed the following recommendations and proposed legislation to be considered next week:


  1. Study Armed Security Options for Nonpublic Schools
  2. Study Expansion and Requirements of Volunteer SRO Program 
  3. Extend Mandatory Safety Plan and Drill Requirement to all Public Schools and Encourage Nonpublic School Participation
  4. Implement Training and Continuing Education Requirements for SROs
  5. Appropriate an Additional $1.8 Million to Fund Grants for SROs
  6. Require Facility Vulnerability Assessments for each School Building
  7. Require LEAs to Report Annually on SROs


Details on these recommendations can be read here.



State Board of Education approves report to General Assembly on operational review of the Department of Public Instruction


The State Board of Education approved a report to the General Assembly this week that outlines the results of an independent operational review of the Department of Public Instruction.  The final report includes 18 specific recommendations to help the department better support educators and students at North Carolina’s school districts and charter schools.


Under legislation passed in 2017, the State Superintendent initiated a third-party review of DPI’s organizational, functional, and business-process operations. Ernst and Young (EY) was selected to perform the work and spent several months at DPI, interviewing DPI employees and external stakeholders, including superintendents, principals and teachers.


The recommendations can be grouped into two broad themes for transforming the agency:

  • DPI can improve services to North Carolina public schools by reducing internal silos and by delivering a more consistent vision for how to support local schools and students

  • By improving internal business processes and consolidating information technology activities, DPI can focus resources on supporting schools, educators, and students


“I strongly believe implementing the recommendations in this third-party evaluation will significantly improve how this agency functions internally and how districts, schools, educators, and students are supported across the state,” said state Superintendent Mark Johnson. “With a strong commitment from leadership, these recommendations can be fully implemented.”


As a next step, the department will establish a transformation management office to develop an implementation plan with specific actions, detailed timeline, and milestones to use in leading change efforts in the agency. The SBE also voted Thursday to establish a special committee to oversee agency changes proceeding form the operational review.


To help ensure effective implementation of the EY recommendations, the SBE and the state superintendent have made two requests to the General Assembly:

  1. Delay of the $5.1 million management flexibility reduction scheduled to take effect on July 1. According to the report cover submitted by the agency, reductions of more than $5 million for next year will prevent the strategic implementation of thoughtful changes that will yield efficiencies over a multi-year period and improve DPI effectiveness on behalf of students.
  2. Inclusion of language in appropriations legislation this session permitting the department to restructure positions, operating budget, and related funding and fund-code structures on a recurring basis that may be necessary to implement the EY recommendations.


Supporting documentation for the operational review can be found here.

DPI Logo

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

Legislative Calendar

Thursday, May 10, 2018

  9:00 a.m.:  Select Committee on School Safety (House)                                                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.

     The NC Department of Public instruction offers a number of topics for subscription.

    • To subscribe to the Weekly Legislative Update, click here.
    • To subscribe to other NC Department of Public Instruction topics, click here.