LEGISLATIVE & POLICY NEWS

  • Dr. Patrick Miller Awarded 2020 Raymond Sarbaugh Leadership Award

    Greene County Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Miller was awarded the 2020 Raymond Sarbaugh Leadership Award on Monday during the NC Association of School Administrators’ (NCASA) 2020 School Law & Policy Symposium, a virtual event. The Sarbaugh Leadership Award, named after NCASA’s first full-time Executive Director, is given annually to an NCASA member who serves as a leader amongst school leaders. Dr. Miller was presented the award in recognition of his leadership in numerous statewide efforts focused on ensuring quality learning experiences throughout North Carolina public schools.

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  • Governor Allows Full In-Person Instruction For Elementary Students

    Governor Roy Cooper announced today school districts will be given the option to bring Kindergarten — Grade 5 students back for full in-person instruction under school reopening Plan A, effective October 5th. Most school districts chose to begin the school year under Plan C, or virtual instruction, but many districts had begun transitioning into Plan B, which requires moderate social distancing. The Governor stated in a press release that Plan A will now be available to districts due to improvements in safety and prevention measures, as well as more promising COVID-19 trends and data.

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  • Governor Announces $40 Million In Funding To Expand Student Internet Connectivity

    Governor Roy Cooper announced Wednesday nearly $40 million in funding will be provided to expand internet connectivity options for students participating in remote learning. The new funding will be given to NC Student Connect, a new partnership formed across various areas of state government, such as the Department of Information Technology (DIT) and the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR), to close remote learning barriers for NC students.

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  • NC State Board of Education Monthly Review - Sept. 3, 2020

    The State Board of Education (SBE) held its monthly meeting in-person and remotely on September 2-3. The pages that follow summarize highlights from the meeting and the Board’s actions for this month.

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  • NCGA Passes “Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0” Providing Additional COVID-19 Funding and Policy Relief For K-12 Schools

    This afternoon, state legislators gave final approval to House Bill 1105: Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0, a $1.1 billon relief package that spends approximately $900 million in federal funding left over from the $4 billion previously provided to the State by the federal CARES Act. House Bill 1105 invests $115.9 million in education projects statewide, with $50.9 million allocated specifically for K-12 coronavirus relief items. Based on feedback from members, NCASA worked with lawmakers to use some of these remaining funds for critical investments in areas such as internet connectivity and personal protective equipment (PPE).

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  • House Select COVID-19 Education Committee Discusses Challenges For 2020-21 School Year

    Education Working Group members of the House Select Committee on COVID-19 met on Tuesday to discuss ongoing needs and challenges for public schools during the 2020-2021 school year, as well as the availability of remaining federal coronavirus relief funds. Representatives from the State Board of Education (SBE) and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) shared their legislative requests and priorities in response to COVID-19, which mirrors many of the recommendations proposed by the NC Association of School Administrators (NCASA). Both groups have urged lawmakers to use a portion of the estimated $552.4M remaining in non-contingent federal coronavirus relief funds to make critical investments in statewide internet access, transportation needs, and personal protective equipment.

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  • NCASA Shares 9/2 Session Priorities With General Assembly’s Education Leaders

    In preparation for next Wednesday’s legislative session, the NC Association of School Administrators (NCASA) has compiled a list of legislative requests for ongoing public school support during COVID-19, based on feedback received from our members across the State. The NCASA Advocacy team has been sharing these legislative requests with key education leaders in the General Assembly over the past few days and working with legislative staff to draft legislative proposals addressing these specific concerns. While the General Assembly is currently limited with the topics they may address on September 2, NCASA remains hopeful that legislative leadership will alter session rules, as they have done in the past, to address greatly-needed policy changes, such as holding districts harmless to their allotted average daily membership (ADM) for the 2020-2021 school year.

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  • Legislative Requests for Ongoing Public School Support During COVID-19

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  • State Facing ‘Significant Economic Uncertainty’ As General Assembly Prepares To Reconvene

    The State is still facing “significant economic uncertainty” as legislators prepare to return for a limited session on September 2, according to a legislative email obtained and published by The Insider Government News Service in Raleigh. The email, sent by directors of the General Assembly’s non-partisan Fiscal Research Division, notes fiscal staff now expects to issue a revised line-item economic forecast in late September, after receiving the latest state and federal data.

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  • State Board of Education Monthly Review -August 6, 2020

    The State Board of Education (SBE) held its monthly meeting in-person and remotely on August 5-6. The pages that follow summarize highlights from the meeting and the Board’s actions for this month. For complete SBE information, visit their website: http://stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov/.

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  • USDA Unlikely To Approve NC’s Child Nutrition Waiver

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is unlikely to approve NC’s request to continue to provide students with free meals regardless of meal eligibility status in the new school year, according to information shared by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Dr. Lynn Harvey, Director of School Nutrition Services at DPI, shared the disappointing news she received from the USDA Southeast Regional Director with superintendents on Wednesday.

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  • National Board Certification Is Key Component Of Expanded Advanced Teaching Roles Program

    Last month, Senate Bill 681 became law, extending the 2016 Advanced Teaching Roles (ATRs) pilot program. The NC Department of Public Instruction will be issuing an RFP allowing local school districts to apply by October 15th to participate in the program.

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  • NC Governor Signs Executive Order No. 153 Limiting the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages After 11 pm

    With actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 beginning to have impact, Governor Roy Cooper is doubling down on prevention measures with Executive Order 153 stopping the sale of alcoholic drinks in restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries at 11 pm. North Carolina bars that are currently closed will remain closed. This order will take effect Friday, July 31. “Slowing the spread of this virus requires targeted strategies that help lower the risk of transmission,” said Governor Cooper. “This will be particularly important as colleges and universities are scheduled to start, bringing people all over the country to our state. We have seen case numbers increase among younger people, and prevention is critical to slowing the spread of the virus.”

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  • NC Governor Sets Plan B As Baseline For School Reopening, Extends ‘Safer At Home Phase 2’

    Governor Cooper announced on Tuesday his plan for reopening schools this fall, stating, “schools will be open for in-person and remote learning with key safety precautions.” Cooper noted this hybrid approach, referred to as “Plan B,” would be the most expensive option for schools, but also the most beneficial to students. “Our schools provide more than academics; they are vital to our children’s health, safety and emotional development,” stated Cooper. The Governor’s announcement takes Plan A, or full school reopening with minimal social distancing, off the table, but allows schools to take an even more cautious approach by utilizing Plan C, or remote learning only, if needed for student and staff safety.

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  • NC Governor Press Release: North Carolina K-12 Public Schools to Require Key Safety Measures to Allow In-person Instruction

    Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen were joined today by education and health leaders to announce health and safety plans for K-12 public schools for the new school year. Schools will open for in-person instruction under an updated Plan B that requires face coverings for all K-12 students, fewer children in the classroom, measures to ensure social distancing for everyone in the building, and other safety protocols.

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  • State Board of Education Monthly Review - July 9, 2020

    The State Board of Education (SBE) held its monthly meeting remotely on July 8-9. The pages that follow summarize highlights from the meeting and the Board’s actions for this month.

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  • NC Senate Fails To Clarify LEA Flexibility In Scheduling Remote Instruction

    Lawmakers returned to Raleigh this week mainly to attempt overriding vetoes on several bills related to reopening businesses closed by Executive Orders due to COVID-19. At the request of NCASA, the State Board of Education and some other public school advocates, the N.C. House also took quick action to push forward legislation to clarify LEA flexibility to schedule remote learning during the first week of the 2020-21 school year.

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  • NCASA Provides Law Summaries Covering Recent Education Changes

    The General Assembly was much slower-paced this week, as many legislators awaited Governor Cooper’s action regarding numerous bills approved during last week’s legislative marathon. The Governor signed into law several education-related bills yesterday, including Senate Bill 681 (=S.L. 2020-78), a 45-page policy omnibus bill that was quickly passed by legislators around 1 a.m. last Friday without much discussion.

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  • School Calendar & Funding Changes Approved During Legislative Marathon

    A long week at the General Assembly ended early this morning with legislators pushing to address numerous outstanding issues, including many public school relief items requested by the NC Association of School Administrators (NCASA), before lawmakers take a summer break.

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  • Legislature To Adjourn By July 11th With Plans To Return In September

    While state legislative leadership previously expressed their hopes to adjourn sine die this week—meaning legislators would not return until next year’s legislative session in January—the General Assembly approved early this morning an adjournment resolution that would provide legislators with a break from Saturday, July 11, until reconvening on Wednesday, September 2.

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