Weekly Legislative Update - Friday, September 7, 2018

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K12 Education Legislation Update

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

September 7, 2018 

The Week In Review

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

The State Board of Education: Dedicated Public Servants


The State Board of Education met in Raleigh this week to examine a multitude of topics and to elect a new Board Chair and Vice Chair. State Board of Education members unanimously selected Eric Davis as the Chairman and Alan Duncan as the Vice Chairman. Mr. Davis is replacing Chairman Bill Cobey who has served as a Governor McCrory appointee since 2013. Mr. Davis has been serving as the Vice Chair, a role previously filled by former Board member Buddy Collins who resigned in April, 2018 to pursue a seat for County Commission in his Forsyth County district. The new Chair and Vice Chair bios can be found here. The Board’s agenda this week covered items ranging from testing, to school accountability scores, to the Advanced Teaching Roles Pilots, to the announcement of schools that could potentially join the Innovative School District. Agendas for the September State Board of Education meeting are available here (9/5/18) and here (9/6/18). 


BeckyT aylor

Governor Cooper addressed the Board on Thursday where he thanked Board members Chairman Bill Cobey, Becky Taylor and Greg Alcorn for their dedicated service to the children of North Carolina, and for their work to ensure every student has an opportunity to receive a sound basic education. He will soon announce appointments to replace these outgoing members and because their terms had not yet expired, the interim appointees will not require confirmation from the General Assembly. Governor Cooper may also choose to nominate these same individuals to the General Assembly for them to be assigned the seat for the upcoming term as well.



SBE Meeting - Gregory Alcorn

Thursday’s Board meeting was described as an emotional day for many because of the departure of Chairman Cobey, Mrs. Taylor and Mr. Alcorn. Each of these Members leave behind their special mark on our public school children and for this, we are forever grateful for their service. See this previous newsletter for bios of outgoing Board members. The Governor stressed that the Board has an important leadership role supporting and advancing education from Pre-K through post secondary education.


The commitment of State Board members is significant and one that demonstrates a true passion for the children of our great state.  These members are unpaid public servants who leave their families and personal obligations monthly, to travel from all over the state to engage in presentations and conversations, all striving to ensure every public school student will graduate ready for post-secondary education and work. Education policy and legislation is very detailed and complex, requiring extensive knowledge and experience to fully grasp the variety of topics that go into a sound basic education for our K-12 students. As a result, the tenure of State Board members is lengthier that that of many boards. A full term for a State Board member is eight years, during which they commit to attending the two days of monthly meetings and any special meetings scheduled in the interim. In addition, members are assigned to various committees that meet between monthly Board meetings to fully prepare for upcoming meetings and to gain a deeper insight to the various topics going before the Board. The average Board member spends 6-8 full-time work weeks focused solely on their Board responsibilities. For many, this is in addition to their own professional full-time careers. 

School Safety

General Assembly House Safety Committee Meetings


The House Select Committee on School Safety met August 30th in Charlotte and in Boone today. Committee members are hearing from a variety of individuals across the state, including law enforcement officers and students, while they study the most effective ways to improve school safety. They are focusing on security and mental-health support, utilizing $35 million in funding for various school safety-related programs as outlined below. The funding includes $30 million non-recurring for grants, of which $22 million has already been awarded. 


Anonymous Tip Line and App – If you see something, say something. The General Assembly allocated $5 million in recurring funds this fiscal year to develop an anonymous tip line and mobile application. The app allows students, parents, educators and community members to report tips to school administrators and law enforcement where appropriate, all without embarrassment or fear of reprisal. By July 1, 2019, the Department of Public Instruction shall implement a statewide anonymous safety tip line application available to all schools serving grades six or higher in local school administrative units, charter schools, regional schools, and schools under the control of the State Board of Education or The University of North Carolina, as required under G.S. 115C-105.51. The governing body of each public secondary school may use the anonymous safety tip line application developed by the state, or another application that meets standards and guidelines developed by the Department of Public Instruction, to achieve the purposes identified on page 33 of the legislation.


School Safety Grants

  • School Resource Officers – $12 million in non-recurring funds for grants to be awarded to districts and schools to fund School Resource Officers for elementary and middle schools 
  • Community Partners – Students in Crisis and Training to Increase School Safety – $2 million in non-recurring funds will be dispersed for the Students in Crisis Grant Program, and $3 million in non-recurring funding for Training to Increase School Safety grants.
  • School Safety Equipment – The $3 million in non-recurring funds will be awarded through a competitive grant with the purpose to inform state policymakers and lawmakers about specific needs for school safety equipment across the state.
  • School Mental Health Support Personnel – $10 million in non-recurring funds will be awarded for this Grant Program to cover all or a portion of the salary and benefits needed for additional school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists and school social workers.


Testing and Accountability Results Released 


The accountability results were released this week to the State Board of Education. Also released were the four-year Cohort Graduation Rate for the class of 2018.  4-year graduation rate declined slightly from 86.5% to 86.3%, while the 5-year graduation rate increased from 87.5% to 88%.  See this link for the news release and here to see the full report. 


2018 School Performance Grades

U.S. Senate Youth Scholarship


North Carolina applications and entry materials for the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) became available August 1. The United States Senate Youth Program is a scholarship program that provides an educational opportunity for juniors and seniors interested in pursuing college coursework in history or political science. Student delegates winning the $10,000 scholarship and attending the week-long event in Washington, D.C. in March 2019 will hear major policy addresses by Senators, cabinet members and directors from other federal agencies.  


Deadline for submission in N.C. is October 7, 2018.  

DPI Logo

2018 Short Session link for bills impacting K-12 education. 

2017 Long Session link for a complete list of bills impacting K-12 education including budget items.

Legislative Calendar

Friday, September 07, 2018 

10:00 a.m.: Select Committee on School Safety (House)                                           Watauga High School


Monday, September 10, 2018 

10:00 a.m.: Child Fatality Task Force / Unintentional Death Prevention Committee  1027/1128 LB 

North Carolina General Assembly 



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

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