Today members of the Senate voted unanimously not to concur on a bill that would modify teacher licensure requirements, after House members voted unanimously in favor of approval just yesterday. Senate Bill 219, sponsored by Sen. Tom McInnis (R-Richmond), would provide much-needed help to counties that continue to struggle with teacher shortages by allowing proven educators to fill teacher vacancies while pursuing their continuing professional licenses (CPL). The bill would create a new “limited teaching license” for individuals who were issued an initial professional license (IPL), but do not meet the criteria for a continuing professional license (CPL), as well as a “transitional license” (TL), which can be issued to an out-of-state applicant while the applicant pursues his or her CPL. Both of these new licensure options would expire for applicants after three years and would not be renewable.
As budget negotiations between the House and Senate continue, House lawmakers focused this week on pushing forward certain time-sensitive bills, including a bill that would merge the Transforming Principal Preparation and Principals Fellows programs. As requested by the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA), the language concerning the merger of the two principal preparation programs replaced language originally contained in Senate Bill 227 regarding broadening charter school sibling priority. The goal of the merger of the two programs is to streamline oversight and administration of existing principal preparation programs, while generating more funds for applicants seeking forgivable loans to become effective principals.
Unbeknownst to most local education agencies (LEAs), the State Archives of North Carolina issued a new General Records Schedule for Local Government Agencies on March 1, 2019, creating new legal requirements for the retention and disposal of governmental records. The provisions in the new General Records Schedule supersedes the majority of regulations in the 1999 LEA retention schedule, except those under Standard 7, which covers Program Operational Records. While State Archives has not provided formal notice to school districts of the changes in the records retention schedule, LEA employees are expected to comply with all applicable regulations in the 106-page document. Further, until the local agency formally approves of the new General Records Schedule, employees are expected not to dispose of any public records, and violators could be found guilty of a Class 3 Misdemeanor, according to statute.
As House and Senate budget writers began negotiating differences in their spending plans this week, the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee met on Wednesday to debate and move forward several education policy bills, including two public school measures previously approved by the House.