K-12 Education Legislative Update - Friday, March 22, 2019

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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.

March 22, 2019

The Week In Review and Looking Forward into Next Week



Bills, Bills, Bills...


This week, NCGA education committees and leadership continued to dive into the Governor's budget proposal. Various education entities have been presenting information to the committees, as members continue to dissect necessary details to help inform decisions throughout the session. Bills continue to be filed and heard in committees, with a total of 178 bills impacting K-12 education filed this session. March 27th is the House deadline to request non-Appropriations or Finance public bills. The NCGA Republican leaders announced their agreed upon General Fund budget cap of slightly over $24 billion for 2019-20 which represents a 3.45% increase over last year’s budget total. House and Senate budget writers will now fill in details in the coming weeks. The $24 billion figure would not include payments for the state’s debt service. 


This week also celebrated the Governor Morehead School (GMS) for the visually impaired.  As part of the recognition, SBE Intern Greear Webb, Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-45), Sen. Rick Horner (R-11), and NCGA staffers visited the school on Monday, March 18thThe Senators and staff received a guided tour by the GMS Director and spent time with middle and high school students to hear about life at GMS. GMS students visited with members downtown on Tuesday, toured the Legislative Building, and led the Senate in the Pledge of Allegiance during the session. They were recognized by Senator Horner in a Senatorial Statement and were recognized in Senate Gallery by Senator Ballard. On Wednesday, GMS students and Director Barbria Bacon presented to the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee regarding programs such as athletics, CTE curriculum, braille, music, and STEM. Later that day, the North Carolina School for the Deaf was recognized in the House chamber and were greeted by House members. These students also spoke with House Speaker Tim Moore about their education and the ways they have had to adapt to life around them.


Next week, budget presentations from DPI's Dr. Thomas Tomberlin (Director of Educator Recruitment and Support) and others will be given to the Joint Appropriations, Education Committee regarding key aspects of education including Advanced Teaching Roles. Other legislative committee meetings scheduled for next week are outlined below. 

Relevant Bills with Action



Bills Heard in the Senate/House Chamber or in a Committee This Week:  


    House Bills (Excluding School Calendar Flexibility Bills)


  1. HB 56: Arts Education Requirement – Passed the House – Referred to Senate Rules 3/21/19
  2. HB 125: GSC Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act - Passed the House – Referred to Senate Rules  3/21/19
  3. HB 182: Guilford Co. Bd. Of Ed/Nonpartisan Election - Re-referred to House Elections and Ethics Law 3/20/19
  4. HB 200: Education Report Changes.-AB - Referred to House Rules 3/19/19
  5. HB 263: Fill Vacancies/Modify 2018 Appointments
  6. HB 266: School Annual Report Card - Referred to House Rules 3/19/19
  7. HB 276: Modify Low-Performing School Definition - Referred to House Rules 3/19/19
  8. HB 295: Prohibit Corporal Punishment in Public Schs - Referred to House Rules 3/19/19
  9. HB 354: Modify Weighting/School Performance Grades -Referred to House Rules 3/19/19
  10. HB 362: 15-Point Scale For School Performance Grades -Referred to House Rules 3/19/19


Senate Bills (Excluding School Calendar Flexibility Bills)


  1. SB 230: Excused Absences for Military Children


See the 2019 Long Session link for bills impacting K-12 education for a list of all the legislation impacting K-12 public education and where they are in the legislative process.

Bills Filed/Assigned to Committees This Week: Week of March 18


House Bills (Excluding School Calendar Flexibility Bills)

  1. HB 241: Education Bond Act of 2019
  2. HB 375: Authorize Teacher-Gov't Emp'ee Housing/Bertie
  3. HB 377: Reduce Testing
  4. HB 381: School Construction & Broadband Investm’t Act
  5. HB 386: Ensure Safety of School Drinking Water
  6. HB 408: Expand Teaching Fellows Program
  7. HB 411: Modify School Qual./Student Success Indicator
  8. HB 428(Companion Bill is SB 329): K-3 Reading and Literacy Improvement Act
  9. HB 430: School Ethics Training & Finance Officers
  10. HB 433: Economics & Financial Literacy Act
  11. HB 434: Suicide Risk Ref./Mental Health/Teen Violence
  12. HB 436: Expand Local Option Sales Tax for Education
  13. HB 437: Education on the Holocaust and Genocide


Senate Bills (Excluding School Calendar Flexibility Bills)

  1. SB 170: Expand Principal Bonus Multiplier Eligibility.-AB
  2. SB 189  (Companion Bill is HB 275) CTE Pilot for Guilford Co. Schools
  3. SB 230: Excused Absences for Military Children
  4. SB 271: Durham Speed Device Pilot/School Zones
  5. SB 279: School Calendar 3-Year Flex/Certain Systems
  6. SB 295: NC HS Graduation as Evidence of Residency
  7. SB 299: Funds for Tyson Family Learning Ctr./SPCC
  8. SB 301: Regional School Transportation
  9. SB 303: State Emps./No Payroll Dues Deduction
  10. SB 318: Parents' Right to Know
  11. SB 319  (Companion Bill is HB313): Modify Weighting/School Performance Grades
  12. SB 329  (Companion Bill is HB 428): K-3 Reading and Literacy Improvement Act
  13. SB 333: Sudden Cardiac Arrest Task Force
  14. SB 336  (Companion Bill is HB 124) Smart Start Funds
  15. SB 340: NC Skills-Gap Study
  16. SB 341  (Companion Bill is HB 135) Government Immigration Compliance
  17. SB 343: Changes to Education Reports

Budget - Education Highlights



Where Are We In the Process?

On Tuesday, March 12 during a Joint House and Senate: Appropriations, Education Committee meeting, the Governor’s budget for Fiscal Year 2019-21 was presented by the Office of State Budget and Management (View presentation here).  


On March 13, 2019, agency responses to the Governor's Budget were given during the Joint House and Senate: Appropriations, Education Committee by the NC Community College System, the University of North Carolina System (UNC), and NC Independent Colleges and Universities.


During Thursday, March 14th's meeting of the Joint House and Senate: Appropriations, Education Committee, SBE (Chair Eric Davis) gave the Board’s response to the Governor's Budget and Superintendent Johnson presented budget items tied to his 2030 vision.


On Wednesday, March 13 during the House Committee on Appropriations, Capital, Rep. John Hardister presided over a discussion relating to "An Overview of the State's Debt and Capital."  The total ending balance for Public School Capital Outlays was broken out by LEAs and outlined in the chart here.


Important Budget Resources:

  • Education Items in the Governor's budget here
  • Highlights of the NC Public School Budget 2019 here.


Corporal Punishment in Schools

A bill introduced in the House this week by Rep. Susan Fisher (D-Buncombe) would ban corporal punishment in NC public schools, making North Carolina the 32nd state to do so. HB 295 would remove corporal punishment, such as paddling and hitting, from state law and specify permissible forms of discipline in public and charter schools. HB 295 unanimously passed House K-12 Education Committee on Tuesday.


Arts Education

HB 56, an arts education bill sponsored by Rep. Jeffrey Elmore (R-Alexander, Wilkes), passed the House and first reading in the Senate and has now been referred to Senate Rules and Operations. The bill would require students to take at least one arts-education class anytime between the sixth and twelfth grade prior to graduation. 

SBE would be required to establish the criteria for meeting the arts education graduation requirement. Classes would fall into one of three categories: arts education, arts integration, or arts exposure


This now marks the fifth time a bill requiring an arts education class requirement has been submitted in the legislature. Previous bills have not been able to advance past the Senate.


School Performance Grades

This week, the House K-12 Education Committee discussed the state’s school performance grades. The two main bills focusing on school performance grades received a favorable vote from committee members and will now go to the House Rules Committee. The bills are HB 354, which would change the weighting of the school performance grade indicators, and HB 266 which would modify the school performance grades so that each school gets a separate grade for academic achievement and academic growth. Some lawmakers have long advocated for academic growth playing a bigger part in the grades because they say it is a more effective indicator of how well teachers are doing their jobs. Many argue that growth is essential to how much a student learns in a year, whereas academic performance measures how well students do on standardized tests.


House School Safety Committee Reauthorized

On Thursday, House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) announced that the House Select Committee on School Safety would be reauthorized with Reps. David Lewis (R-Harnett) and John Torbett (R-Gaston) reappointed as co-chairs. The committee will continue to collect input from experts in the subjects of education, law enforcement, mental health, etc. to study best practices and the security of educational communities.

lead in school

Cleaning Up Lead in NC Schools

Rep. Harry Warren (R-Rowan), proposed a bill this week that would require NC to begin testing school districts for lead in their water. HB 386 would provide $8 million in grants to help pay for the tests. The test outcomes would then be ordered to be shared with the state and public.


School Calendar Flexibility


Overview:  This week, lawmakers filed 1 more school calendar flexibility bill, bringing the total number of SCF bills to 57 for this session. 


Under current state law, North Carolina school districts are prohibited from starting the school year earlier than the Monday closest to August 26 and ending it later than the Friday closest to June 11.


School Calendar Flexibility bill filed this week:


HB 405: School Calendar Flexibility/Robeson County

Sponsor: Graham

County: Robeson 

Bills to be Heard in Committee Next Week (Week of March 25): 


House: Rules on Monday, March 25                       Room  1228/1327 LB | Audio

  • H79: Academic Alignment/Boards of Education & CC.
  • H200: Various Education Changes.
  • H266: School Annual Report Card.
  • H276: Modify Low-Performing School Definition.
  • H295: Prohibit Corporal Punishment in Public Schs.
  • H354: Modify Weighting/School Performance Grades.
  • H362: 15-Point Scale For School Performance Grades.

House: Education - K-12 on Tuesday, March 19            Room 643 LOB | Audio

  • H107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes.

  • H275: CTE Pilot for Guilford Co. Schools.

  • H315: Instructional Material Selection.
  • H340: Amend Appt For Compact on Education/Military.
  • H377: Reduce Testing.


Senate: Education/Higher Education                               1027/1128 LB  Audio

  • S134: Economics & Financial Literacy Act.
  • S189: CTE Pilot for Guilford Co. Schools.
  • S293: Military Dependents/Need-Based Private School.


*The NCGA Calendar is at the bottom of the update. 

NC Elementary Students Reading

Wolfpack WORKS

On Wednesday, March 27, presentations will be given to members of the Joint Committee on Appropriations, Education. Topics will include NCCCS Career Coaches, College Advising Corp, and Wolfpack WORKS.


N.C. State’s College of Education announced Monday that its Wolfpack WORKS reading initiative had received a three-year, $12.3 million grant from DPI. The money will allow N.C. State to expand upon the work that it began last year- training beginning K-2 teachers in multiple North Carolina school districts.

DPI Logo

2019 Long Session link for bills impacting K-12 education.

Legislative Calendar


Monday, March 25, 2019 

     2:00 p.m.: Session Convenes (Senate)                                                                            Senate | Audio

     3:00 p.m.: House: Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House | 1228/1327 LB | Audio                

                      H79: Academic Alignment/Boards of Education & CC.

                      H200: Various Education Changes.

                      H266: School Annual Report Card.

                      H276: Modify Low-Performing School Definition.

                      H295: Prohibit Corporal Punishment in Public Schs.

                      H354: Modify Weighting/School Performance Grades.

                      H362:15-Point Scale For School Performance Grades.

     7:00 p.m.: Session Convenes (House)                                                                              House | Audio


Tuesday, March 26, 2019 

     8:30 a.m.: Senate: Joint Appropriations on Education/Higher Education | 423 LOB

                      Presentations: Advanced Teaching Roles, Muddy Sneakers            

     1:00 p.m.: House: Education - K-12 | 643 LOB | Audio                                                                                                                             

                      H107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes.

                      H275: CTE Pilot for Guilford Co. Schools.

                      H315: Instructional Material Selection.

                      H340: Amend Appt For Compact on Education/Military.

                      H377: Reduce Testing.


Wednesday, March 27, 2019 

      8:30 a.m.: Senate: Joint Appropriations on Education/Higher Education | 423 LOB

                      Presentations: NCCCS Career Coaches, College Advising Corp, Wolfpack WORKS

   11:00 a.m.: Senate: Education/Higher Education | 1027/1128 LB  Audio

                      S134: Economics & Financial Literacy Act.

                      S189: CTE Pilot for Guilford Co. Schools.

                      S293: Military Dependents/Need-Based Private School.


Thursday, March 28, 2019 

     8:30 a.m.: House and Senate: Appropriations, Education (Joint) | 423 LOB

                      Presentations: UNC Lab Schools, Communities in Schools

North Carolina General Assembly 


Legislative Info and Acronyms 

This section includes details pertaining to acronyms and bill information referenced throughout the K-12 Education Legislative Update newsletters.


Biennium- A two-year term of legislative activity

Public Bill- Legislation enacted into law that applies to the public at large

Local Bill- Legislation put into law that has limited application (How many counties)- Local bills do not have to be signed by the governor

Sponsor- The legislator who presents a bill or resolution for consideration

Resolution- A document that expresses the sentiment or intent of the legislature or a chamber. Resolutions, when finalized, go to the Secretary of State


Glossary of Legislative Terms- LINK


DPI = NC Department of Public Instruction

LEA = Local Education Agency

NCGA North Carolina General Assembly

LB/LOB = Legislative Building/Legislative Office Building 

SBE = North Carolina State Board of Education


AB = Agency Bill

HB/SB = House Bill/Senate Bill

JR = Joint Resolution

SL = Session Law

GS = General Statute 

PCS = Proposed Committee Substitute 

FY = Fiscal Year


To view previous 2019 Weekly Legislative Updates click here.

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