K-12 Education Office of Government and Community Affairs Update - Tuesday, February 23, 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. 

February 23, 2021



Welcome to the 2nd February Edition of the Office of Government and Community Affairs' Legislative Update 


We have entered high gear as the NC General Assembly continues its 2021 Long Session 2021-2023 Biennium Budget Process. Following the approval of the SBE/DPI Expanded Budget Requests, our team has been engaged in conversations and discussions highlighting the continued priorities of Superintended Truitt and the SBE's Strategic Plan. We are excited about the momentum and the collaboration that is taking place with the General Assembly and greatly appreciate the work that supports these meetings through our partnerships in the field and the dedication and commitment from our districts' leadership- at ALL levels- superintendents, principals, teachers, and the many staff members that collectively serve as the foundation of our schools. Sawubona, WE SEE YOU, we support you here at the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction, and thank you.


We look forward to our district visits as our team travels to "listen and learn" to the many stories of perseverance, resilience, and courage, as our educators continue to lift up their students and their communities in a myriad of ways. Grateful to Dr. Scott Elliott, and Watauga County Schools, for hosting our team, as well as Senator Ballard and Representative Ray Pickett, to witness the lengths of dedication our districts are achieving as we work to transcend the impact of COVID-19 on our schools. Thank you, to ALL our district partners, and we look forward to learning from you in the near future.


Off the Press . . .

** Starting February. 24th, pre-K-12 teachers, child care workers, administrators, and other support staff at public and private schools can start getting the vaccine. To find your nearest vaccine location, see this LINK.  


The Fiscal Research Division and the Office of State Budget and Management released a joint revenue forecast predicting tax collections will exceed previous estimates by $4.1 billion (17.6%) to support continued budget growth. 


The Fiscal Research Division presented to the NC House of Representatives Joint Committee on Appropriations, Education, on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021. This presentation, "Introduction to the Budget," provides a very informative and succinct explanation of the the budget process, budget terms, budget organization, and the role of the Fiscal Research Division. 


**NEW biweekly newsletter focused on educators: Educator Edition - Educator Culture Transformation 


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





The 2021 YLA is scheduled for May 1, 2021.


Youth Legislative Assembly (YLA) is a mock legislative session where high school students voice their opinions and vote on issues concerning local, state and national government.


The YLA conference allows high school students an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the workings of local, state, and national government. Active participation in YLA increases the students' confidence and ability to debate current issues. Any high school student in good standing at a public, private, charter, or home school in North Carolina is eligible to participate in YLA. Just complete the student application; you do not have to have a member of the NC General Assembly to sponsor you to participate in the Youth Legislative Assembly.


For more information contact Erica Gallion at (919) 301-1372


North Carolina’s Youth Legislative Assembly offers students a unique opportunity to learn first-hand about the legislative process and to develop leadership skills that will help them succeed in life,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore. “We are proud to continue this long tradition of helping prepare our state’s future leaders.”


YLA STUDENT APPLICATION - HERE   |   Application Deadline:  April 2, 2021


Meetings of interest:

North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA)


House Finance Meeting - met February 16

  • General Fund Consensus Forecast 

    • FY 2020-21 is expected to be $4.13 billion over the May 2020 forecast 
      • Total General Fund Revenue up 6.0%
      • FY 2021-22 adjusted growth of 3.1%

House / Senate Joint Appropriations Base Budget - met February 17 

  • 2020 Legislative Session K-12 and higher education Budget Actions
    Funds appropriated for…
    • K-12 and higher education enrollment growth ($242.9M)
    • Building/Operating reserves ($28.6M) for:
      • NCSSM-Morganton campus | 9 State parks | 11 UNC building projects
General Fund 20-21


Senate Education/Higher Education

House Education K-12

North Carolina Education Cabinet Meeting

NC Longitudinal Data System (NCLDS) study findings and recommendations

EdNC Article: Education Cabinet advances efforts to strengthen NC’s longitudinal data system


Education Bills with Action

*BOLDED Bills with summaries have become Session Law



Short Title


Action Text


ApSeed Pilot Project/Funds.


Ref to the Com on Appropriations,

if fav, House Rules



Report on K-12 Computer Science Data.


Ref to the Com on Education - K-12,

if fav, House Rules



Student Digital Learning Access.


Ref to the Com on Education - K-12,

if fav, House Rules


Summer Learning Choice for NC Families.



Ref to the Com on Education - K-12,

if fav, House Rules



(= S78)

A Safe Return for In-Person Learning.


Ref to House Rules


Students, Parents, Community Rights Act.



Ref to the Com on Education - K-12,

if fav, Local Government, if fav, House Rules



 (= S81)

Teacher Diversity/PED Study.


Ref to House Rules



(= H42)


2020 COVID Relief Bill Modifications.


Ch. SL 2021-1 |  Bill Summary


In-Person Learning Choice for Families.



Pres. To Gov. 2/17/2021



Sex Offender Residence Restriction/Clarify.



Re-ref Com On Senate Rules



Medicaid Recs./CWBTC.



Ref To Com On Senate Rules



Medicaid Reimbursement/Charter Schools.


Re-ref to Health Care.

If fav, re-ref to Senate Rules



Students, Parents, Community Rights Act.


Re-ref to Education/Higher Education. If fav, re-ref Senate Rules




Let Them Play and Let Us Watch.




Re-ref to Education/Higher Education. If fav, re-ref Senate Rules



Session Laws on K-12 Education

S36 (= H422020 COVID Relief Bill Modifications. Session Law 2021-1   - Bill Summary


"Rep. Dean Arp, R-Union, said the $1.6 billion for schools will include funding for student mental health and catching students up from months of virtual classes. In a rare floor speech, House Speaker Tim Moore said some of the funds should go toward a “robust summer program” to help students who fell behind. He said he’s particularly concerned about the long-term effects on kids if they can’t learn to read by third grade. “If we don’t get this right ... we’ll be paying for it for decades,” he said. House Democratic Leader Robert Reives, D-Chatham, called the bill a “fine show of bipartisanship” in which the House, Senate and governor’s office worked together. Cooper voiced support for the funding during a news conference last week."


Presented to the Governor -  2/17/2021

S37 In-Person Learning Choice for Families.  |  Conference Committee  


All local school administrative units shall provide the option of in-person instruction to students in grades kindergarten through enrolled in that unit in accordance with this act for the remainder of the scheduled 2020-2021 school year.

Superintendent Truitt Statement on SB 37


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

SBE Region Map


2021 NC Child Hunger Leaders Conference

The Future of School Nutrition Policy

Meet North Carolina’s new state superintendent and members of her team, and learn what their priorities are when it comes to the future of school nutrition. Also, hear what’s on the horizon for child nutrition at the federal level with a new administration incoming.



  • U.S. Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., NC’s 12th Congressional District; Vice Chair of the House Agriculture Committee


  • Moderated by Lynn Harvey, Director of School Nutrition and District Operations, DPI
  • Catherine Truitt, Superintendent, NC Department of Public Instruction
  • Robert Taylor, Deputy Superintendent of Student and School Advancement, DPI; Former Superintendent, Bladen County Schools
  • Julie Pittman, Special Advisor to the Superintendent: Educator Engagement, DPI; Former Educator Outreach Manager, No Kid Hungry NC
  • Freebird McKinney, Director of Legislative Affairs and Community Outreach, NC State Board of Education


LINK:  2021 NC Child Hunger Leaders Conference



No Kid Hungry

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

“We Strive and Rise, Together.”


Watauga County Schools 2021



The SBE/DPI Team visited Watauga County Schools. On our visit, we continue to learn more and more as to why WCS is “A Great Place to Work and Learn.


It begins with leadership at all levels, and Watauga County Schools has this at ALL levels! From Superintendent Scott Elliott, to Principals Norman, Brian Bettis, and Blanton (Hardin Park, Bethel, and Watauga High) and teachers like Carmen Scoggins and Keana Triplett, our team was continuously impressed with the levels of safety and health protocols followed, as well as the depth of learning that was taking place in the classrooms we visited.


Watauga has been providing in-person instruction to Pre-K, self-contained EC, and Day Treatment students since August 2020. All other students returned to in-person instruction on Plan B in October 2020. Students in Plan B attend school in cohorts on Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday with Wednesdays being used for student tutoring, professional development, instructional planning, and deep cleaning of facilities. From March to July the school system prepared and delivered 250,000 meals to children in the community. The district recently announced intentions to move to Plan A for grades K-5 and are working with local health officials to schedule vaccinations for staff, which will begin being provided this Wednesday, February 24th, 2021.


They hired additional substitutes to cover teachers when needed. They have multiple nurses, led by Shelly Klutz, who are demonstrating how to maneuver through a pandemic safely while contact tracing and data collection provide a foundational understanding of districts trends. They have school psychologists focused on the S/E needs of their students while prioritizing daily instruction both virtually/ remotely and in-person.


All in all, Watauga County Schools, like so many of our districts across North Carolina, provides a beautiful reflection of how local decisions reflect local needs and resources, local staffing challenges, and above all, local health situations. Each district is different and the more and more we are in NC Public Schools, listening and learning to our leaders, the better we gain understanding, insight, and perspective. It takes courage, commitment, and dedication, at all levels and all situations, and we are humbled by ALL efforts to serve our students and families.


Thank you Dr. Elliott for setting an example as a friend, a mentor, and thought partner, as we collectively navigate these unprecedented and daunting waters. We stand resolute to know there are captains like you guiding our ships, as “We Strive and Rise, Together.”


May the road rise to meet you until we meet again...


#NCLighthouseLeaders #educatordiplomats #TogetherWeRise


DPI Logo


      Information on bills impacting K-12 education 


Legislative Calendar

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


Monday, February 22, 2021 

  4:00 PM  Senate: Session Convenes                                                Senate Audio


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

  8:30 AM  House/Senate: Appropriations, Education (Joint)              1027/1128 LB  STREAM

10:00 AM  House: Health                                                                    643 LOB  STREAM

                 H72: Audiology Modifications.

  1:00 PM  House: Education - K-12                                                    643 LOB  STREAM

                  H78: Report on K-12 Computer Science Data.

                  H79: Student Digital Learning Access.

                  H82: Summer Learning Choice for NC Families.

  2:00 PM  House: Session Convenes                                                 House Audio | Live STREAM Video


Thursday, February 25, 2021

11:00 AM  House: Education - Universities                                         643 LOB | STREAM


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.

 The NC Department of Public instruction offers a number of topics for subscription.

  • To subscribe to other NC Department of Public Instruction topics, click here.