Legislative Update - Friday, December 14, 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.

December 14, 2018

The Week In Review and Looking Forward

Winter-Halifax Mall

Last week the General Assembly considered and passed several bills affecting education. Due to the wintery weather, the Sessions planned for Monday, December 10, 2018 became skeletal sessions, delaying actions by the General Assembly to wrap-up outstanding bills and any vetoes from the Governor. Given these delays, members will still be in Raleigh the week before the holidays to finalize all of their business prior to adjourning Sine Die. Both Chambers in the General Assembly will lose super-majority status in January. Without it, they may be unable to override certain Governor vetoes, thus the time sensitivity to completing much of their work prior to end of 2018. 

The State Board of Education met last week, addressing a number of topics. The meeting agendas can be viewed here: December 5, 2018 and December 6, 2018. On Thursday, the Board approved the selection of Carver Heights Elementary in Wayne County to join the Innovative School District (ISD). One General Assembly bill of particular interest on this is SB 469. This legislation allows the State Board of Education to approve Wayne County as a Restart School, in lieu of Wayne County School Board having to opt into the ISD or close down the school. At the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year, if the school still meets the definition of a qualifying school under G.S. 115C-75.5(5), notwithstanding the provision in that definition that the school had not adopted one of the models established in G.S. 115C-105.37B for the immediately prior school year, the school would then be transferred into the ISD. The bill has passed both Chambers and has been presented to the Governor for signature.


Looking forward into next week and next year:

  • The House and Senate are scheduled to convene on Monday, December 17, 2018. Check here for the House calendar and here for the Senate calendar. 
  • The next State Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 9, 2019 and Thursday, January 10, 2019. See this link to State Board of Education meetings.



Wishing you and your families the best of the holiday season and a happy 2019!

State Board of Education:  Innovative School District

The Innovative School District is a new, limited program created by statute that the General Assembly passed in 2016. The statute sets out an aggressive timeline for the evaluation and selection of low-performing schools for ISD intervention. The General Assembly has also dictated the ISD’s schedule to grow. According to the Session Law for the 2017 Budget, the State Board of Education “may select up to five qualifying schools to transfer to the Innovative School District beginning with the 2018-2019 school year but shall select at least two qualifying schools to transfer to the ISD no later than the 2019-2020 school year and shall have selected five qualifying schools for transfer to the ISD no later than the 2020-2021 school year.”.    The Public Schools of Robeson County voted unanimously on January 9, 2018 to approve Southside Ashpole Elementary School for the transfer to the ISD for this school year.  Therefore, the State Board was required by law to select one additional school for the ISD for 2019-2020 year. 


ISD logo

The Innovative School District selection process moves quickly. After school performance grades are released near the beginning of the school year, the ISD conducts an evaluation to determine what struggling schools to recommend for remediation by the ISD. With a mandatory deadline by state statute, the Board of Education was required to select a school this month to transfer to the ISD. State board members said their hands were tied by a state law that required them to pick a school for the district by Dec. 15. “This board does agree that by statute we have to select a school,” said state board member Amy White. “That’s something that in summary we have all expressed regret. The timeline is not a timeline that we would have planned.”  To uphold their legal responsibilities, the State Board voted last Thursday to accept the recommendation from the ISD to select Carver Heights Elementary in Goldsboro, Wayne County Public Schools.  In its motion, the Board unanimously agreed to direct the ISD to "respect, uphold, and maintain" the positive changes already being implemented at Carver Heights Elementary during this fall semester.   

Under existing legislation, the school district is required to approve the transfer to the ISD by February 1, 2019 or close the school; however, if S469 becomes law, the State Board of Education will be able to consider Carver Heights for the Restart Model instead  This bill passed both Chambers of the General Assembly and is being sent to the Governor for signature. See additional details below.


For more information on the Innovative School District, visit http://www.innovativeschooldistrict.org

Relevant Bills with Action


SB 469: Technical Corrections

SB 469 Technical Corrections went to a Joint House and Senate Conference after the Senate failed to concur with changes made by the House to the bill.  The Conference Report for SB 469 resolved differences with joint solutions to make clarifications or corrections to legislation or statutes. The report passed both the House and the Senate and will be sent to the Governor.  He can either sign the bill into law or veto the bill.  If vetoed, the General Assembly can override the veto with a super-majority of votes or can take no action and the bill will not become law. 


K-12 public education items included in the bill are bulleted below:

    • Allows Wayne County to apply to the SBE for Restart by 2/1/2019 in lieu of adopting a resolution to close Carver Heights or transfer the school to the ISD.
    • Carver Heights can still be transferred to the ISD if the SBE doesn’t authorize them as a Restart school OR if Carver Heights still meets the definition of ISD, at the conclusion of the 2020-21 school year OR if Wayne County BofE hasn’t applied to be a Restart by 2/1/2019.
    • Waives requirement for SBE to select another school for the ISD this year but still requires a total of 5 to be selected by the 2020-2021 school year.
    • Holds hurricane Florence principals harmless for those that missed 10 school days.  Original bill stated 15 days.
    • Modifies and clarifies language pertaining to eligibility of students for disabilities scholarship grants
    • Transfers the principal preparation program from the current non-profit to NCSU
    • Clarifies that a school bus may travel outside of NC when the Superintendent determines travel outside of the state is the most direct route to and from the school
    • Allows municipal charter schools to participate in TSERS (retirement system) and state health plan
    •  Clarifying language regarding carry forward of the 5 additional days of vacation awarded on July 1, 2018

Voter ID

SB 824:  Implementation of Voter ID Const. Amendment  

This legislation outlines details pertaining to the recently passed constitutional amendment requiring identification of voters. The language states that one of the acceptable forms of photo identification for someone to vote in person includes “An employee identification card issued by a state or local government entity, including a charter school, provided that card is issued in accordance with G.S. 163A-1145.3.”


This was passed by both Chambers of the General Assembly and sent to the Governor for signature on 12/6/2018.

HB 1025:  GSC Technical Corrections 2018

This clarifies the definition of a Public School as referred to in G.S. 115C-296.2(b) National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification.  The technical correction states this statute reads as rewritten: "(b) Definitions. – As used in this subsection: (1) A "North Carolina public school" is a school operated by a local board of education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety, the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety or The University of North Carolina; a school affiliated with The University of North Carolina; or a charter school approved by the State Board of Education.


This was passed by both Chambers of the General Assembly and sent to the Governor for signature on 12/6/2018.

School Bond

House Speaker Tim Moore to File $1.9 Billion Public Education Bond in 2019

Speaker Moore pledges to file a public education bond to fund school capital investment. He also plans to promote this education referendum across North Carolina to enlighten people of the merits of the bond as well as foster support for voters to pass it . The bond would appear on the 2020 ballot for consideration by voters if approved by the 2019 General Assembly and signed by the Governor.


“Education is what matters most to families and businesses – to the private and public sectors alike – and North Carolina is poised to build on historic commitments to our schools with another long-term investment in capital construction for our rapidly growing student populationRemaining the best state for business requires that we continue to offer cutting-edge education opportunities for everyone in North Carolina."  Tim Moore


Breakdown of the $1.9 billion bond:

  • $1.3 billion provided for K-12 school construction needs
  • $300 million for capital funding to UNC system institutions
  • $300 million for facility needs in North Carolina’s community colleges

School Safety

House Select Committee on School Safety



The House School Safety Committee, co-chaired by Rep. John Torbett, Gaston County, and Rep. David Lewis, Harnett County met last Thursday. The agenda included a presentation from the Superintendent of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Dr. Clayton Wilcox, who explained in detail how Charlotte Mecklenburg is managing safety and security using the "Circle of Safety". Following the presentation, he answered questions from the committee members about ways to improve school safety, especially after the school shooting at Butler High School. Dr. Wilcox stressed his top priority is more counselors, social workers, and psychologists to address the social and emotional challenges students encounter.  Matthews Police Chief Clark Pennington then further discussed the shooting at Butler High School and addressed inquires from the committee.


A final report that recommends more money for school safety grants, expands civic education and adds one amendment for first aid training for students was unanimously adopted and will be used to craft school safety legislation in the 2019 long session. The draft bill would also require schools to educate students about responsibility for school safety and service to others.


 Additional recommendations by the committee include:

  • Study developing a statewide system for mental health screening to identify those at risk of harming themselves or others
  • Continue the $30 million in school safety grants provided this year and increase the funding to $53 million in 2019
  • Reintroduce legislation on school safety that did not pass this session regarding threat assessment teams and peer-to-peer support programs 
  • Form a House study committee on school safety in 2019 to continue study ways to improve school safety 

Boards and Commissions

HB 1111:  Additions & Corrections to 2018 Appointments 

HB 1111 made the following changes to appointments on boards or commissions affecting education:

  • Bruce B. Friend of Wake County is appointed to the North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board for a term expiring on June 30, 2021, to fill the unexpired term of Joseph Maimone who is now the State Superintendent’s Chief of Staff.
  • Senator Deanna Ballard of Watauga County is appointed to the Education Commission of the States for a term expiring on December 31, 2019.
  • Steve Griffin of Durham County is appointed to the North Carolina Education and Workforce Innovation Commission for a term expiring on June 30, 2019, to fill the unexpired term of Sajjan Agarwal.

Governor Appointments:  North Carolina Internship Council:

  • Dr. Susan McCracken of Boone as a UNC System representative and chair.
  • Paul Worley of Murphy as a community colleges representative.
  • Cha'ssem S. Anderson of Durham as a UNC System representative.
  • Dr. Monty K. Hickman of Raleigh as a community colleges representative.
  • Alan D. Briggs of West Jefferson as a former intern.
  • Dr. Patrick O. Madsen of Charlotte as a UNC System representative.
  • Dr. Bryle H. Hatch of Greensboro as a former intern.
  • Timothy H. Ozment of Rocky Mount as a representative from a college or university with less than 5,000 students.
  • Cynthia Frost of Mars Hill as a representative from a college or university with less than 5,000 students.
  • E. Belton Moore of Red Springs as a former intern.
  • M. Elizabeth Goodwin of Charlotte as a private college or university representative.

NC Students in a Digital Learning Environment

State Board of Education Adds Computer Science to Digital Learning Committee

State Board of Education Chairman Eric Davis announced Thursday that beginning January 2019, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will be chairing the new Special Committee of Digital Learning and Computer Science. This committee will still oversee the implementation of the overall Digital Learning Plan. In addition, it will direct the plan for delivering high quality computer science education to public schools. The Lt. Governor was instrumental in the work ensuring all of North Carolina's K-12 public and charter school classrooms are now connected to high-speed broadband, making North Carolina the first state in the country to accomplish this cutting-edge achievement. 

NC Teaching Fellows

Deadline Approaching - Teaching Fellows Application


Help spread the word. The deadline to submit an application for the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program is Monday, January 7, 2019.


Session Law 2017-57 authorized this merit-based, competitive, forgivable loans for service scholarship program. Eligible students must commit to teaching in a STEM or special education licensure area in a North Carolina district or charter schools.

Please notify students of this opportunity for scholarship and career. Don't Delay!


For questions about the program, application, or selection process, please contact: ncteachingfellows@northcarolina.edu.


Link to the online application.  Deadline: Monday, January 7, 2019

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


Monday, December 17, 2018 

10:30 a.m.:  Session Convenes (Senate)                                                                           Senate | Audio


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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