K-12 Education Legislative Update - Sunday, April 7, 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.

April 7, 2019

The Week In Review and Looking Forward into Next Week



The State Board of Education held their April meeting this week, during which they adopted a number of policy amendments including the elimination of 4th grade Science and Social Studies NC Final Exams and a licensure policy regarding out-of-state teacher licenses.  Board Members heard from two high school seniors, Greear Webb and Myles Cyrus, who served as outstanding reminders of the impact of the work by the SBE and state decision-makers on the students of North Carolina.


On Monday, Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) held a press conference to announce SB 438, Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019.   This bill proposes changes to the Read to Achieve Program to further ensure that every third grader is proficient and reading at grade level.  On Wednesday, state lawmakers announced SB 580, legislation designed to send classroom supply funds directly to teachers. 


Wednesday, April 3rd marked the Senate’s bill filing deadline for Public Bills and Resolutions.  The Senate has filed a total of 676 bills this session, of which 112 affect K-12 public education.  The House has filed a total of 626 bills, with 124 impacting K-12 public education.  The House has a deadline of Tuesday, April 16th to file bills that do not involve financing and a deadline of Tuesday, April 23rd to file bills with any financial impact. The total K-12 public education impacting bills for the 2017 long-session was 292 and with more than two weeks remaining for the House, it is anticipated that the current total of 236 K-12 public education bills will continue to increase. 


The House Appropriations Committee on Education issued its Target and Budget Guidance this week for the K-12, Community Colleges and UNC budgets.  Next week, the House will continue work on the biennium budget and the House budget chairs will meet to discuss specific education items to include in the budget. 

g and m

State Board of Education April Meeting

During the Thursday State Board meeting, SBE Members were inspired by high school seniors Greear Webb, SBE Office Legislative Intern, and Myles Cyrus, a fellow public school student.  These young men presented to the Board and focused on the value of public education, the powerful role teachers and parents play in student's lives, the need for equitable education, and the necessity of the student voice in decisions impacting their education.

Miles attends Fike High School in Wilson, NC and Greear attends Sanderson High School in Raleigh, NC. Myles will be attending Wake Forest University as a Joseph Gordon Scholar, and Greear will be attending UNC Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholarship recipient. Greear was also offered the full scholarship to attend Wake Forest University.  Their parents joined the SBE and audience in standing ovations to congratulate the outstanding academic career accomplishments of these young leaders.

The Board also focused on teacher hiring, including modifications to existing policy to make it easier for out-of-state teachers to get a NC teaching license, without lowering the standards of North Carolina’s high quality teaching license requirements. The Board also voted on Thursday to eliminate the NC Final Exams ("NCFEs") for science in fourth grade and for social studies in fourth and fifth grades.

  • Video of Greear's presentation here.
  • Text of Greear's speech here.
  • Text of Myles' presentation here.
  • SBE Agenda for April 3 here
  • SBE Agenda for April 4 here
  • SBE April Meeting Photos: April 2019 Photos

Berger R2A Press Conference

Excellent Public Schools Press Conference

On Monday, Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) held a press conference at the General Assembly to announce the filing of SB 438, entitled the "Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019." State education leaders standing alongside Senator Berger included State Board of Education member, J.B. BuxtonState Superintendent Johnson and Brock Womble, Executive Director for the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching.  This bill proposes changes to the Read to Achieve Program to further ensure that every third grader is proficient and reading at grade level.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) makes a push to help students across the stateincrease their reading comprehension. During the press conference, changes to the Read to Achieve program were announced as the bill, would make changes as to how reading is taught and how teachers are trained. Under the bill, DPI would be tasked with developing a Digital Children's Reading Initiative as well as developing a model curriculum to be used statewide. The bill also focuses on improving the quality of the teachers who work at the camps by offering $2,000 to retired educators to come back to work over the summer. 


SB 580 Press Conference

On Wednesday, state lawmakers announced legislation designed to send classroom supply funds directly to teachers. Sen. Andy Wells (R-Catawba), alongside Supt. Mark Johnson and others announced SB 580, a bill that would provide classroom supply funds directly to teachers. The bill would give teachers $400 a year to spend on classroom supplies and would create the Teacher Classroom Supply Program. The supplies would be purchased through vendor ClassWallet App to obtain classroom supplies directly or to get reimbursed for local supply purchases. Without additional funding for instructional supplies, the money would be taken from the roughly $47 million that is typically budgeted for classroom supplies. That money historically goes to districts, who decide from there how the money is best spent. Budget discussions are underway which could ultimately result in expansion funds for this bill.

Budget Process

Last week, it was announced that the House’s budget proposal should be ready by the end of April. This means that the NCGA would start budget season a week or two ahead of previous long sessions. The House Appropriations Committee on Education issued its Target and Budget Guidance this week for the K-12, Community Colleges and UNC budgets.  The target appropriation for FY 2019-20 is $13.94 billion ($94.6 million above the base budget) and the FY 2020-21 target appropriation is $14.13 billion ($208.8 million above the base budget). This target includes fully funding enrollment growth, Opportunity Scholarships annual statutory increases, and Program Enhancement/class size positions. The Committee has $45 million in FY 2019-20 and $75 million in FY 2020-21 to spend on expansion requests, after the mandatory expenses are deducted; however, larger expenses for salaries and benefits, school safety, capital, lottery and IT will be handled by the Appropriations Committee Full Chairs.  Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), Rep. Linda Johnson (R-Cabarrus) and Rep. Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth) are heading up the writing of the budget in the House. Appropriations subcommittees have been meeting repeatedly in recent weeks, and budget chairs have requested that lawmakers file bills with their budget requests.




Important Budget Resources:

  • Education Items in the Governor's budget here
  • Public School Capital Outlays Chart here.
  • Highlights of the NC Public School Budget 2019 here.
  • NC State Board of Education Budget Response here.
  • NC Department of Public Instruction #NC2030 vision here.

Relevant Bills with Action



K-12 Public Education Bills that have become Session Law


HB 263: Fill Vacancies/Modify 2018 Appointments is now Session Law 2019-11 


Effective July 1, 2019, Jeannette Butterworth of Henderson County is appointed to the North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board for a term expiring on June 30, 2021.


Education Bill Crossover 

To date this session, 20 education bills have made crossover which is the long session date by which legislation without a financial component must pass from the originating chamber into the other chamber, in order for that legislation to be considered during the short session.  The 2019 Crossover Deadline is Thursday, May 9.


The bills that made crossover this week are listed below:


     1. HB 107   

PED Oversight/EPP Changes.

     2. HB 184

Study State Health Plan Design.

     3. HB 315

Instructional Material Selection.

     4. HB 377

Reduce Testing.

     5. SB 230

Excused Absences for Military Children.

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


House Bills (Excluding School Calendar Flexibility Bills)  *Week of April 1-5

  1. HB 90: DPI/EC Div. Feedback/DIT Study/PED report
  2. HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes
  3. HB 298: Restore Lottery Revenue Distrib. Structure
  4. HB 315: Instructional Material Selection
  5. HB 377: Reduce Testing
  6. HB 411: Modify School Qual./Student Success Indicator

  7. HB 433: Economics & Financial Literacy Act

  8. HB 434: Suicide Risk Ref./Mental Health/Teen Violence

  9. HB 437: Education on the Holocaust and Genocide


Senate Bills (Excluding School Calendar Flexibility Bills)

  1. SB 134: Economics & Financial Literacy Act         
  2. SB 227: Broaden Charter School Sibling Priority

  3. SB 301: Regional School Transportation

  4. SB 343: Changes to Education Reports

DPI Logo

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

Bills Filed/Assigned to Committees This Week: 


House Bills (Excluding School Calendar Flexibility Bills)

  1. HB 535: Funds/Reach Out and Read Carolinas
  2. HB 541Change Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems
  3. HB 552After-School Robotics Grants/Athletics
  4. HB 56330 Min. Duty-Free Lunch for Teachers
  5. HB 571: (SB 670 is companion bill): Changes to Advanced Teaching Roles Program

  6. HB 588: (SB 452 is companion bill): 2019 Governor's Budget

  7. HB 591Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment
  8. HB 626Realistic Evaluation of Actuarial Liabilities


Senate Bills (Excluding School Calendar Flexibility Bills)

  1. SB 437NC Completes College/Competitive Workforce
  2. SB 438Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019
  3. SB 448 (Companion bill is HB 340): Amend Appt For Compact on Education/Military

  4. SB 449SHRA/Certain Agencies/Flexibility
  5. SB 4522019 Governor's Budget
  6. SB 460Performance/Professors as K-12 Teachers
  7. SB 461Certification of Auto CTE/State Bd. Policy
  8. SB 468Insurance Coverage/Public Buildings
  9. SB 474Clean Up Obsolete Boards
  10. SB 475Study School Accountability Measures
  11. SB 476Reaffirm Local Control of Discipline Policies
  12. SB 477School Lease Payments-Use of Lottery Funds
  13. SB 478Removal Power/Modify Reporting
  14. SB 487Student Meal Debt Policy
  15. SB 488Realistic Evaluation of Actuarial Liabilities
  16. SB 500Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment
  17. SB 520School Ethics Training & Finance Officers
  18. SB 521Changes/Transform. Principal Prep. Program
  19. SB 522Various Changes to Charter School Laws
  20. SB 524Tuition Grants for NCSSM Graduates
  21. SB 533Patriotic Society Presentations in Schools
  22. SB 540Tuition Grants for NCSSM Graduates
  23. SB 541Access to Sports/Extracurr. for All Students
  24. SB 552Modify 1/4 Cent Sales Tax Ballot Question
  25. SB 556GSC People First Language 2019
  26. SB 580Classroom Supplies to Teachers
  27. SB 582NC Comprehensive School Accountability
  28. SB 583Reduce Opp. Schol. Funds/Public Schools Funds
  29. SB 601School-Based Mental Health
  30. SB 602NC Hope Tuition Program
  31. SB 609K-12 Scholarship Changes
  32. SB 612HS Credit/Dual Enrollment Workforce Training
  33. SB 621Testing Reduction Act of 2019
  34. SB 635B-3 Interagency Council Changes.-AB
  35. SB 639Education Funding Transparency
  36. SB 654Charter Schools Provide Transp. & Food
  37. SB 659Regional School Enrollment Requirements
  38. SB 666Cybersecurity and Robotics Funds
  39. SB 669Study Innovative School District Modification
  40. SB 670Changes to Advanced Teaching Roles Program
  41. SB 672Military Liaison Counselors/Funds


Student Testing Reduction Bill 

HB 377, sponsored by Rep. Jeffrey Elmore (R-Wilkes) along with Reps. Hall (R-Surry), Conrad (R-Forsyth), and Bell (R-Wayne) would eliminate end-of-grade (EOG) testing for students in the 3rd through the 8th grades and replace them with shorter assessments throughout the school year. This bill would also replace high school end-of-course (EOC) exams, as well as NC Final Exams (NCFEs), with nationally recognized assessments. The bill has passed the House and is currently in the Senate Rules Committee


testing chart


Return of NC's Retired Teachers 

State lawmakers introduced legislation to encourage retired North Carolina teachers to return and teach in high-need public schools. SB 399, filed last Thursday, is now in the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Education/Higher Education. The bill would allow retired teachers to work at Title I schools or schools that receive a D or F grade under the state’s school performance system without it negatively affecting their retirement benefits. Teachers could earn $35,000 to $40,000 a year while collecting their current pensions. This bill has bi-partisan sponsorship.


School Calendar Flexibility

Overview:  This week, lawmakers filed two more school calendar flexibility bills, pushing the total number of SCF bills to 59 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.


HB 79, one of several bills focused on allowing systems to start school earlier, passed the House last week and has been assigned to the Senate Rules Committee. This bill would let school systems across NC tie their start dates to local community college schedules. The Senate has traditionally not favored earlier start dates for K-12 schools.


SB 450Study Statewide Year-Round School Calendar

Sponsor: Burgin

Counties: ALL/Public


SB 613School Calendar Accommodation/Statewide

Sponsor: Ballard

Counties: ALL/Public


Digital Legislative Day

Students and teachers from across North Carolina took part in Digital Legislative Day on April 3, hosted by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.


The goal of the day was to highlight how state education leaders are incorporating technology into classroom teaching. Speakers at the event included Supt. Mark JohnsonLt. Gov. Dan Forest and Rep. Craig Horn (R-Union).  Members of the NCGA attended, as well as students and teachers.  Nearly 20 district schools and Charters from across the state were represented at this event.

greear scholar

Greear Webb, Now Official Morehead-Cain Scholar

Morehead-Cain Scholarship Acceptance

It is with great pleasure that we recognize our intern Greear Webb, a recent recipient of the Morehead-Cain Scholarship to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Greear accepted this scholarship in mid-March. Greear is a founding student of the Sanderson High School Student Equity Team, serves as a member of his school's student government association, and recently co-founded two non-profits, both with a goal of elevating the student voice into conversations about topics that affect them. Greear also enjoys playing basketball and tennis in any spare time that he has. Greear will move into UNC Chapel Hill in the fall with the intent to focus on public policy.

Next Week's Education-Related Legislative Calendar


Monday, April 8, 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

  • HB 90: DPI/EC Div. Feedback/DIT Study/PED report
  • HB 340: Amend Appt For Compact on Education/Military

  • HB 411: Modify School Qual./Student Success Indicator

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


Tuesday, April 9, 2019 

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

    2:00 p.m.: Senate: State and Local Government                                                  423 LOB


Wednesday, April 10, 2019 

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

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.

 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.