K-12 Education Legislative Update - Sunday, March 17, 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 17, 2019

The Week In Review and Looking Forward into Next Week


Joint House and Senate Appropriations - Education Committee

Delving Into the Education Budget 


This week, the Joint House and Senate: Appropriations, Education Committee did a deep dive into every aspect of the Governor's education budget for the 2019-2021 biennium. The committee listened to and discussed the reports from the State Board of Education Chair Eric Davis and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Other invested education organizations also responded, including NC Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU), the UNC System, and the NC Community College System (NCCS). The main focus of the committee was assesing how these entities requests aligned with the Governor's budget.

Budget - Education Highlights



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

-NCCS response 

-UNC System response

-NCICU response


During Thursday'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 Resources:

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


A Life of Service- Congressman Walter B. Jones, Jr.

Late Congressman Walter Jones Jr. Remembered in N.C. SJR 216

State lawmakers passed Senate Joint Resolution 216 passed this week honoring the life and service of former N.C. House member Walter B. Jones, Jr. Jones passed away on February 10th, leaving an inspiring legacy as a public servant. Jones served in the N.C. House for ten terms before going on to serve 12 terms in Congress. Jones was a fierce advocate for both his constituents and the military and will be remembered as a kind and thoughtful leader.

Relevant Bills with Action



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

  1. HB 56: Arts Education Requirement - Referred to House Rules 3/12/19
  2. HB 79: Academic Alignment/Boards of Education & CC - Re-referred to House Rules
  3. HB 117: School Calendar Flexibility Pilot Program - Referred to House Rules 3/12/19
  4. HB 125: GSC Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act - Referred to House Rules 3/13/19
  5. HB 128: High Achieving Tuition Scholarships - Referred to House Rules 3/12/19
  6. HB 241: Education Bond Act of 2019 - Passed the House - Sent to the Senate
  7. HB 263: Fill Vacancies/Modify 2018 Appointments - Passed the House - Referred to Senate Rules 3/14/19

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: March 11-15


House Bills (Excluding School Calendar Flexibility Bills)

  1. HB 315Instructional Material Selection
  2. HB 340Amend Appt For Compact on Education/Military
  3. HB 354 (Companion Bill is HB 313): Modify Weighting/School Performance Grades

  4. HB 359: $15/Hour Min. Pay for Noncert. Sch. Employees
  5. HB 362 (Companion Bill is HB 145): 15-Point Scale For School Performance Grades

  6. HB 367ApSeed Pilot Project/Funds 


Senate Bills  (Excluding School Calendar Flexibility Bills)

  1. SB 219Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements
  2. SB 224Treat Finance Officers Like Assist. Superintendents
  3. SB 227: Broaden Charter School Sibling Priority
  4. SB 230: Excused Absences for Military Children
  5. SB 238 (Companion Bill is HB 56): Arts Education Requirement
  6. SB 239: Children of Wartime Vets/Scholarships 
  7. SB 243Give Retirees 5% COLA/Funds
  8. SB 244: Restore Master's Pay for Teachers
  9. SB 247: Charter School Study/Moratorium on Growth

School Bond

HB 241- Education Bond Act of 2019

House Education Bond Passes Unanimously


HB 241, entitled the Education Bond Act of 2019, is sponsored by House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), as well as leaders in NC education including Reps. Craig Horn(R-Union), Jeffrey Elmore (R-Wilkes), and Linda Johnson (R-Cabarrus). The House bond also has the backing of Governor Roy Cooper.


The proposed bond (if approved by voters) would provide $1.5 billion to K-12 school systems, $200 million for the University of North Carolina system, and $200 million for the North Carolina Community College System. 


Arts Education


The House is working to add an arts education credit to NC's high school graduation requirements. The House education committee voted Tuesday in favor of HB 56 (Entitled "Arts Education Requirement."), which would add the one-credit requirement for  students who enter sixth grade in 2022.

The State Board of Education would develop the specific criteria for the arts requirement, but Rep. Becky Carney (D-Mecklenburg) said the board can make it flexible so that arts camps and other programs outside of school hours could count. The bill's co-sponsor, Rep. Jeffrey Elmore (R-Wilkes) and an art teacher, said the arts teach "soft skills" that employers need, for example teamwork and communication.


The proposed arts requirement outlined in HB 56 has historically been pushed through the House, but has not been heard the Senate. 


School Calendar Flexibility


Overview:  This week, lawmakers filed 4 school calendar flexibility bills, bringing total number of SCF bills to 56 this session. These bills continue to be heard in committee and will continue to be addressed into next week. The majority of North Carolina school districts support these bills that return school calendar control back to local school boards. 


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 bills filed this week:


HB 361: School Calendar Flexibility/Halifax

Sponsor: Wray

County: Halifax


SB 233School Calendar Two-Year Flex/Certain Systems

Sponsor: Burgin

Counties: Harnett, Johnston, Lee


SB 279: School Calendar 3-Year Flex/Certain Systems

Sponsor: D. Davis

Counties: Greene, Pitt


SB 281School Calendar Flex/Certain School Systems

Sponsor: Ballard

Counties: Alleghany, Ashe, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes

Bills to be Heard in Committee Next Week (Week of March 18): 


House: Rules on Monday, March 18 at 3:00 p.m. Room  1228/1327 LB | Audio

  • HB 56: Arts Education Requirement
  • HB 125: GSC Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act

House: Education - K-12 on Tuesday, March 19 at 1:00 p.m. Room 643 LOB | Audio

  • HB 266: School Annual Report Card

  • HB 276: Modify Low-Performing School Definition
  • HB 354: Modify Weighting/School Performance Grades
  • HB 200: Education Report Changes.-AB
  • HB 295: Prohibit Corporal Punishment in Public Schs


The NCGA Calendar is at the bottom of the update. 

DPI Logo

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

Legislative Calendar

Monday, March 18, 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

                      H56: Arts Education Requirement

                      H125: GSC Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act

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


Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

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

     8:30 a.m.: House and Senate: Appropriations, Gen. Gov. & IT (Joint)                          425 LOB

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

                      H266: School Annual Report Card

                      H276: Modify Low-Performing School Definition

                      H354: Modify Weighting/School Performance Grades

                      H200: Education Report Changes.-AB

                      H295: Prohibit Corporal Punishment in Public Schs


Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

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

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


Thursday, March 21, 2019 

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

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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