K-12 Education Office of Government and Community Affairs Update - Monday, February 8, 2021

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K12 Education Legislation Update

State Board of Education Vision: Every public school student in North Carolina will be empowered to accept academic challenges, prepared to pursue their chosen path after graduating high school, and encouraged to become lifelong learners with the capacity to engage in a globally-collaborative society.
State Board of Education Mission: The mission of the North Carolina State Board of Education is to use its constitutional authority to guard and maintain the right of a sound, basic education for every child in North Carolina Public Schools. 

Monday, February 8, 2021



Welcome to the 2021 Long Session of the North Carolina General Assembly


We are excited to start this new year and new legislative biennium as "OneTeam - OneVoice" with our new Superintendent, Catherine Truitt. The NC State Board of Education and Superintendent Truitt are unified as a team centered on students - ensuring that all students have an opportunity to receive the best education possible, with an excellent, highly qualified teacher in every classroom, and an empowering, transformational principal in every school.


We are thrilled to announce the formation of our new team, the Office of Government and Community Affairs, joined by Co-Director Jamey Falkenbury, Legislative Liaison, Karson Nelson, and Legislative Specialist, Anne Murtha, as we embark on this journey of collaboration, alignment, and partnership. Over the last month, we have worked collectively to synthesize the Strategic Plan of the State Board of Education and Superintendent Truitt's Educational Priorities, to best uphold our Constitutional authority to guard and maintain the right of a sound and basic education for each and every student in NC. We hope that our readership will see the long-term priorities presented in our "COVID-19 Transition and Recovery Strategies- Budget Requests" as support to our state, regional, and district transformation goals of increased literacy commitment, human capital development in teacher and principal recruitment and retention, student support staffing and pipeline development, programs to address student mental health and well-being, reform models for assessment and accountability, connecting our students to post-secondary and career opportunities, and overhauling our school business systems modernization.


Thank you for your continued support and as "We Strive and Rise, Together."

Join US as #OneTeamOneVoice 


Freebird McKinney and Jamey Falkenbury

Co-Directors of the Office of Government and Community Affairs

Public Schools of North Carolina

North Carolina State Board of Education

Department of Public Instruction


Follow Catherine Truitt on Social Media: Facebook | Twitter



NCGA 2020

The 2021 Long Session of the North Carolina General Assembly


EducationNC Articles:


NC State Board of Education Seal

NC State Board of Education

State Board 2025 Strategic Plan


The agendas, COVID-19 Response and Legislative Updates can be found through the links below:





Special Called Session - Wednesday, January 27 | AGENDA 


February 2021 Meeting


Live Audio Streaming of SBE meetings are available at this link.


Link to SBE Meetings here.


Next monthly meeting: 

SBE March meeting - Wednesday, March 3rd and Thursday, March 4th, 2021.


Superintendent and State Board of Education's Joint Budget Priorities:

Press Release: Truitt Presents Vision and Priorities to State Board of Education



Budget Priorities Aligning with Principles Literacy

  • Science of Reading Professional Development and Training
  • Competency-Based Diagnostic and Learning Platform & Professional Development
  • Limited English Proficiency and ESL Allotment and Services Expansion
  • Student Information System Modernization
  • Educator Preparedness Project
  • Broadband/Internet Connectivity


Human Capital

  • Advocating for #1 in Southeast Teacher Pay
  • Advanced Teaching Roles
  • District Assistance and Turnaround Support Staff
  • Specialized Instructional Support Personnel FTEs
  • Investing in School Psychologists Pipeline
  • New Teacher Support Program
  • Alternative Pathways for Teacher and Principal Recruitment
  • Residential Schools Support Positions
  • Licensure, Teacher Recruitment, Applicant Tracking, & Grants Management Systems



  • Bonuses for non-Certified Support Staff (TA’s, bus drivers, cafeteria workers etc.)


Testing and Accountability

  • Competency-based Education Tool and Professional Development
  • Statewide Uniform Education Reporting System Expansion
  • Financial and HR Systems Modernization
  • Data Transparency Dashboards
  • Common Education Data Analysis and Reporting System (CEDARS) Expansion
  • NC Virtual Observation Tool
  • Turnaround Principal Training Program
  • Charter School Data Management System
  • Panorama Statewide Student Survey Pilot


COVID Resources:


Press Conference - Opening Schools

Governor Cooper, State Education Leaders Say it's Time for In-Person Instruction in K-12 Schools Statewide

Research continues to show mitigation measures allow safe in-person learning, low transmission among students and teachers

LINK: WRAL Broadcast / Article

Press Release:  Office of Governor Cooper


“Learning loss resulting from COVID has the potential to be a generational hurdle, but the data we have seen shows us that schools can reopen safely if they adhere to COVID prevention policies,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt. “For many schools, the logistics of returning to in-person instruction five days per week will be a challenge, but this is absolutely a challenge we must face head on so that all students have a chance to fulfill their potential. With strong prevention measures in place, and the scientific research to back them, now is the time to act. North Carolina’s students cannot lose any more time.” 


Press Conference - Opening Schools 2

“We know that to equitably and fully address the needs of the whole child in every student, it is imperative that schools reopen for in-person instruction,” said State Board Chairman Eric Davis. “Since August, public school leaders have proven the merits of the safety protocols that have kept our schools safe for students and staff.”




Healthful Resources related to COVID-19:




Relevant Education Bills with Action

The education bills listed below have been introduced

*BOLDED Bills with summaries have been heard in committee



Short Title


$15/Hour Min. Pay for Noncert. Sch. Employees.


Address Pandemic Learning Loss/Alamance Cnty.


SEA-Tech CIHS/Funds.


Local School Admin. Unit Cash Management.



Equity in Opportunity Act.



(= S36)  





2020 COVID Relief Bill Modifications.

- Bill Summary  (Same as S36 below)

Educ. Changes for Military-Connected Students.


Educ. Changes for Military-Connected Students.



Study Noncertified School Employee Salaries.


(= H42)








2020 COVID Relief Bill Modifications.

Pres. To Gov. 2/4/2021

- Bill Summary

$75M for DPI for the National School Lunch Program. $10M for DPI for the Instructional Support Allotment. $70M for DPI for the supplemental summer learning program. $5M for DPI for the Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports Competitive Grant Program.

$27M to DPI for PPE.

Deadline for the $22M for DPI for increasing ADM.








In-Person Learning Choice for Families.

Placed On Senate Calendar For Tuesday 02/09/2021

- Bill Summary Would require all local school administrative units to offer in-person instruction to students in grades kindergarten through 12 for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.



Highlights of the North Carolina Public School Budget - May 2020
Information Analysis - Division of School Business
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction


NC Public Schools Budget 2020

Public School Forum of North Carolina

Education Matters ep 165

Education Matters

Looking ahead to the 2021 NCGA Long Session for Education

LINK - Episode 165


Host: Mary-Ann Wolf, President & Executive Director 



  • Rep. Ashton Wheeler Clemmons, (D) District 57, Guilford
  • Sen. Kevin Corbin, (R) District 50
  • Catherine Truitt, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Eric Davis, Chair, NC State Board of Education


Ed Matters ep 165


Key focus on all of our students — to:

  • Communicate with and listen to local school, teacher, and district leaders;
  • Address the issues that are critical in this time of COVID-19 and in the longer-term;
  • Follow through on the agreed upon steps outlined in the Leandro short-term action plan;
  • Work together to support the academic, social, and emotional needs of all of our students.

EdNC Article: 


7th Annual Eggs & Issues 2021

Top Education Issue & Key Priorities

2021 Eggs and Issues

YouTube LINK:  Public School Forum of North Carolina - 7th Annual Eggs & Issues Event


“In education and beyond, COVID-19 illuminated and exacerbated the inequities that exist in our society, and the pandemic’s impact will undoubtedly be felt for many years to come,” said president and executive director of the Forum, Mary Ann Wolf, in a press release. “However, central to the Public School Forum of North Carolina’s mission is to identify policy recommendations that ensure all of our students in North Carolina have equitable access to a meaningful, high-quality education through a strong system of public schools, and we believe this year’s Top Education Issues address the current pandemic while also working toward that end.”


Top Education Issues 2020 - Full Report

EdNC Article:  Public School Forum’s top 10 education issues of 2021


National School Counseling Week 2021

National School Counseling Week

National School Counseling Week 2021 (#NSCW21), "School Counselors: All In for All Students," is Feb. 1-5, 2021, to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. National School Counseling Week is always celebrated the first full week in February. 


American School Counselor Association Website


LINK to 2021 Activities and Events for National School Counseling Week


Vanessa Barnes

National School Counselor of the Year - Top Five Finalist:  Vanessa Barnes


Congratulations, Ms. Vanessa Barnes, of Millbrook Magnet High School, on being named a National Top Five Finalist for the National School Counselor of the Year award.

Once again a #NCLighthouseLeader who is lifting up the need to focus on Student Mental Health and Well-Being and Whole Child as we serve each and every NC Public School student.


Thank you for your dedication and commitment, we honor you!!!! #educatordiplomats


North Carolina State Board of Education
State of the Shire”—Community Affairs Update

SBE Region Map


North Carolina Education Corps

N.C. Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service

We're thrilled to celebrate the NC Education Corps Kickoff Celebration with over 120 corps members who have already started their service and are helping North Carolina students have the support they need to thrive. Be on the lookout for more exciting updates, and some familiar faces, in your inbox in the coming weeks!



Be a mentor, tutor, or counselor's aide. Earn a living wage supporting students and the schools that serve them.  LINK to EdCorps


  • NC Education Corps Inaugural Cohort Update - here


On the Road with the Office of Government and Community Affairs - Building Bridges and Expanding the Shire

“We Strive and Rise, Together.”

Edenton-Chowan County Schools with Superintendent Michael Sasscer


Representative Ed Goodwin Visiting Edenton-Chowan Schools

It has been over a week since our visit to Edenton-Chowan Public Schools and I still sit in awe contemplating all that we witnessed. We watched "crisis leadership" and a group of committed and dedicated "home grown" community members leading a school system that is collectively transcending the impact of this pandemic on our schools and our students.


We watched educators who are teaching students simultaneously face-to-face and remotely moving them from simple proficiency to a depth of knowledge that is developing a true framework for understanding and a multitude of workforce development skills.


We learned from an exemplary model of how student data inventory management can be transformational in driving small group communication with parents, co-developing strategies through MTSS framework, universal screening driving intervention, and trauma informed intention that is moving a data transition to student centered and student owned.


We listened and learned... a great deal.


Thank you 🙏 Superintendent Sasscer for your team’s devotion and for sharing your collective vision for serving our students, a plan made together, with stakeholders voice and consideration. Thank you to your fellow district leaders, like Dr. Jana Rawls, Kerry Mebane, and Sheila Evans. Thank you to your school leaders like Chowan Middle’s, Michelle White, White Oak Elementary’s, Michelle Newsome, DF Walker Elementary’s Dr. Linda White, and John A. Holmes High School’s, Steve Wood, William Ledford, and Sonya Rinehart. And thank you, to each and every educator who has answered the call and stands resolute in the face of this storm.


Representative Ed Goodwin


Leadership Matters! At all levels...

From Dr. Michael Sasscer, Superintendent of Edenton-Chowan Public Schools-

“Teachers have chosen- ‘this is what we have to do! It is our commitment of care for our students, F2F or remote, does not matter.’


When you see this as a leader, you simply ask, ‘how can we support you?’ You have to create a plan, where teachers feel safe, and follow it with fidelity. We have tried to do this from the beginning, for our students, but also, for everyone involved.”


Teacher Leaders WE SEE YOU! Thank you! NC Thanks you!

#NCLighthouseLeaders #educatordiplomats #TogetherWeRise #OneTeamOneVoice


Visit to Edenton-Chowan

Josh McGee

We are excited to welcome back Josh McGee to the SBE/DPI’s Office of Government and Community Affairs! A former Teacher Cadet from Richmond County, Josh has been a great asset in working with us as we continue to serve NC Public Schools!

DPI Logo


      Information on bills impacting K-12 education 


Legislative Calendar

*Link to the current NCGA calendar of committee meetings and sessions

Monday, February 1, 2021

12:00 PM  House: Session Convenes                                                 House Audio | Live STREAM Video

  3:00 PM  Senate: Session Convenes                                                Senate Audio


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

  8:30 AM  Senate: Committee on Appropriations/Base Budget          544 LOB

                 Modifications for 2020 COVID Relief bill will be heard.     

  1:00 PM  Senate: Committee on Education/Higher Education          544 LOB

12:00 PM  House: Session Convenes                                                 House Audio | Live STREAM Video

  1:00 PM  Senate: Education/Higher Education                                 544 LOB


Wednesday, February 3, 2021 

  9:00 AM  Senate: Rules and Operations of the Senate                    544 LOB                 

                  S37: In-Person Learning Choice for Families.

  9:30 AM  Senate: Session Convenes                                               Senate Audio 

11:00 AM  Senate: Committee on Education/Higher Education         544 LOB 

                 Presentations on: COVID-19 2020 Education Policy Legislation

                 COVID-19 2020 Education Appropriations

12:00 PM  House: Session Convenes                                                House Audio | Live STREAM Video

  2:00 PM  House:  Committee on Appropriations                              643 LOB


Thursday, February 4, 2021

  9:00 AM  House: Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House   1228/1327 LB

                  S36: 2020 COVID Relief Bill Modifications

11:00 AM  House: Session Convenes                                               House Audio | Live STREAM Video

11:00 AM  Senate: Session Convenes                                              SenateAudio


Monday, February 8, 2021

12:00 PM House: Session Convenes                                               House Audio | Live STREAM Video     

  4:00 PM Senate: Session Convenes                                              Senate Audio


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

11:00 AM  Senate: Education/Higher Education                               544 LOB  STREAM

                 Presentations: UNC System 2021 Legislative Priorities

                 N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities 2021 Legislative Priorities


Thursday, February 11, 2021

11:00 AM House: Education - Community Colleges                         643 LOB  STREAM

                H38: Bd. of Trustees/Isothermal CC.


North Carolina General Assembly 






  • Freebird McKinney - Co-Director of Government and Community Affairs
  • Jamey Falkenbury -  Co-Director of Government and Community Affairs    
  • Karson Nelson - Legislative Liaison
  • Anne Murtha - Legislative Specialist  


To view previous Weekly Legislative Updates click here.

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