LEGISLATIVE NEWS

  • What LEAs Need to Know About New Law On Rehiring High-Need Teachers

    Last Thursday, Governor Roy Cooper signed into law Senate Bill 399: Rehire High-Need Teachers, allowing school districts to rehire certain retired teachers to work at high-need schools while still retaining their retirement benefits. These rehired teachers would be eligible to work full-time on one-year renewable contracts and be paid at either the first step of the teacher’s salary scale, or the sixth step if teaching in approved STEM or special education areas. The law creates two new definitions that school districts must meet in order to utilize the program — “high-need retired teacher” and “high-need school.”

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  • Teacher Licensure Changes Signed Into Law

    Just ahead of Independence Day celebrations, Governor Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill 219 into law on July 1, making it easier for school districts to recruit and retain more of the licensed teachers they now are trying to place in classrooms for next school year. The bill was shepherded through the General Assembly by its primary sponsor, Sen. Tom McInnis (R-Richmond), and gained almost unanimous support in the N.C. House on June 20 and N.C. Senate on June 24 before moving to the Governor’s desk.

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  • Lawmakers Approve Extending 15-Point Scale For Calculating School Performance Grades

    House Bill 362, which would permanently extend the 15-point scale for calculating A-F school performance grades, is on its way to the Governor after clearing both the Senate and House this week. The Senate unanimously approved the measure 49-0 Tuesday, and the House voted 112-4 on Wednesday to accept the Senate’s changes. The bill was then sent to Governor Roy Cooper for further consideration and approval.

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  • House Education Committee Approves Read to Achieve Changes, Modified Education Bills

    Members of the House Education Committee approved several modified Senate bills Wednesday, which replaced the original bills’ contents with House proposals regarding the Innovative School District (ISD), school safety protocols, competency-based assessment models, and teen mental health. Committee members also unanimously approved a bill sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) to improve the NC Read to Achieve Program, as well as a separate bill creating a statutory withdrawal process for regional schools. Further details on the bills heard in Tuesday’s committee are as follows:

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  • Lawmakers, Governor At Impasse Over State Budget; General Assembly Making Plans For Long Recess

    N.C. House efforts to override Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of the $24 billion state budget languished this week as the bill remained on the chamber’s floor calendar without action. Meanwhile, the Governor on Tuesday rolled out a compromise package showing his movement on some key areas of contention, except for his full Medicaid expansion proposal. However, GOP legislative leaders quickly discarded the proposal, saying any budget package with Medicaid expansion as an ultimatum is not a compromise. Lawmakers then took two main steps indicating they are preparing for an indefinite standoff on the state budget.

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  • Principal Preparation Changes Signed Into Law

    Governor Roy Cooper signed into law last Friday a bill which will expand principal preparation opportunities across the State by merging the existing Transforming Principal Preparation Program (TP3) with the Principal Fellows Program. The North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA) was extensively involved in producing the final version of Senate Bill 227, and we would like to thank the Governor and his team for their efforts and cooperation in quickly signing this important bill into law. This week brought a change in pace from last week’s packed schedule at the legislature, with both the House and Senate taking some time off to observe Independence Day. While there was little new discussion and debate, a few education bills moved forward in the Senate Rules Committee, and a couple of others were sent to the Governor for approval.

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  • Lawmakers Schedule Vote to Override Governor’s Budget Veto

    North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper officially vetoed the state budget proposal on Friday, sending lawmakers back to the negotiation table after weeks of budget talks. Governor Cooper noted in a statement, “I am vetoing this budget because it prioritizes the wrong things. It values corporate tax breaks over classrooms, gimmicks over guaranteed school construction, and political ideology over people.” The $24 billion budget proposal sent to the Governor for approval on Thursday was seen as a compromise between House and Senate plans, but lacked several items seen as crucial to the Governor, including Medicaid expansion and a school facility bond referendum. The Governor’s proposed $25.2 billion budget would fully expand Medicaid and provide $2 billion from a statewide bond for K-12 school facility needs, among other investments. Lawmakers in the House have scheduled a vote on Monday to attempt to override the Governor’s veto, but it is still unclear whether Republicans will have enough support from Democrats to successfully override the veto.

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  • Scotland County Schools’ Superintendent Selected as the 2019 NCASLD/NCSSA Dr. Brad Sneeden Leadership Award Winner

    The North Carolina Alliance for School Leadership Development (NCASLD) and the North Carolina School Superintendents' Association (NCSSA) has announced the selection of Dr. Ron Hargrave, Superintendent of Scotland County Schools, as the recipient of the Dr. Brad Sneeden Leadership Award. The award was presented on Sunday, June 23 at the NCSSA Superintendents' Summer Leadership Retreat in Asheville and is awarded in honor and recognition of a superintendent who has demonstrated a strong commitment to life-long learning, unwavering integrity in leadership and transformation of vision into action.

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  • Senate Education Committee Approves 15-Point Scale; Principal Preparation Changes Sent to Governor

    In addition to releasing a compromise budget proposal this week, House and Senate members also approved several important education policy bills and sent several education bills to the Governor for final approval. Members of the Senate Education Committee approved a bill on Wednesday which would make permanent the 15-point school performance grading scale, as well as direct the State Board of Education and State Superintendent to study and make recommendations to improve our school performance grading system. The North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA) would like to thank Rep. Craig Horn (R-Union) and Sen. Rick Horner (R-Nash) for working with NCASA to maintain the current 15-point scale, which is one of NCASA’s Top 5 Legislative Priorities this session.

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  • Lawmakers Approve Compromise On State Budget; Governor Cooper Expected To Veto

    Legislative leaders unveiled their compromise on a $24 billion state budget Tuesday, reflected in this bill text and money report, and the House and Senate both gave preliminary approval Wednesday, despite concerns Governor Roy Cooper has raised about key priorities he says are missing from the deal. The Governor’s opposition to lawmakers not including Medicaid expansion, a K-12 school bond referendum and what he has referred to as “significant” pay increases for teachers, make it likely the budget will face his veto after it clears its final vote in both chambers later today as expected.

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  • State Budget Negotiations Progressing; Compromise Deal May Emerge Soon

    House and Senate budget writers worked late nights this week and also opened talks with Governor Roy Cooper in an effort to compromise on key differences in the 3 proposed state spending plans pushed forward this session. The major sticking point from the Governor’s perspective, based on social media reports from his staff, continues to be reluctance from lawmakers to include Medicaid expansion in the final state budget. Late this week he suggested that budget negotiations be split into two tracks, with one focusing on Medicaid and other health care issues and the other focusing on all other issues tied to the state budget framework.

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  • House Approves Time-Sensitive Compromise On Teacher Licensure Changes In Revised SB 219

    House and Senate negotiators today reached an agreement on what changes to teacher licensure should be included in Senate Bill 219, and the full House voted 107-1 to approve the compromise legislation. If the full Senate follows suit in its floor session Monday night 6/24 as hoped, the time-sensitive measure could soon be on its way to Governor Roy Cooper. The new SB 219, sponsored by Sen. Tom McInnis (R-Richmond), would provide much-needed help to districts to recruit and retain needed teachers by allowing proven educators to fill teacher vacancies while pursuing their continuing professional licenses (CPL).

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  • 2 Education Bills Sent To Governor; Others Move Forward This Week

    Although state budget negotiations have been the major focus this week, several policy bills affecting public education also garnered General Assembly action, including two bills that have cleared both the House and Senate and are now on their way to the Governor’s desk. The House on Wednesday concurred with Senate changes to the following two bills and then sent them on for Governor Roy Cooper’s consideration: HB 57, Create Term for Public Schools & Codify NCVPS – Defines "public school unit" to refer collectively to multiple types of public schools, including those operated by LEAs, charters, regional schools, innovative schools, the residential schools for the deaf and blind, laboratory schools, and the residential School of the Arts high school, and the residential School of Science and Mathematics. Also codifies the NC Virtual Public School into law, rather than only as an ongoing state budget provision. HB 664, myFutureNC/Postsecondary Attainment Goal – Establishes a state goal to make significant efforts to increase access to learning so that by 2030, 2,000,000 residents between the ages of 25 and 44 will have completed a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree. Also requires annual reporting on this effort, beginning in September 2020.

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  • NCASA Working To Extend 15-Point Scale In Calculating School Performance Grades

    A House measure addressing one of the Top 5 Legislative Priorities for the NC Association of School Administrators (NCASA) has remained stalled in the Senate Rules Committee since March 28 until the NCASA advocacy team this week helped convince Senate lawmakers to schedule the bill for a hearing next Wednesday, 6/26, in the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee. House Bill 362, sponsored by Rep. Craig Horn (R-Union), would permanently extend the 15-point scale used for calculating school performance grades. This legislation is among NCASA’s top priorities for 2019 because of the significant consequences it holds for public schools operated by LEAs and charters statewide, as outlined in our issue brief shared with lawmakers earlier this legislative session.

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  • Senate Fails to Concur On Teacher Licensure Bill, Conference Committee Appointed

    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.

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  • Principal Preparation Program Changes Make Headway in N.C. House

    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.

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  • State Archives of N.C. Creates New Records Retention Requirements for LEAs

    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.

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  • Senate Committee Approves House-Passed Measures Defining ‘Public School,’ Adjusting Teacher Contracts, Adding Personal Finance As Graduation Requirement

    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.

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  • House Education Committee Approves Teacher Licensure Changes

    The House Committee on K-12 Education discussed and approved three bills on Wednesday, including a bill which would modify teacher licensure requirements. Senate Bill 219, sponsored by Sen. Tom McInnis (R-Richmond), creates 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). This three-year, nonrenewable license could be requested by the local board of education currently employing the individual, with an affidavit stating the teacher’s effectiveness, signed by both the principal and superintendent for the school in which the teacher is currently assigned. Notably, and upon a request from the N.C. Association of School Administrators (NCASA), the latest version of S219 removes a problematic requirement found in previous versions of the bill that would have made school districts located in a Tier 3 Area with a population of more than 100,000 ineligible to use the new limited license for retaining some teachers.

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  • 2019 State Budget Resources

    NCASA has compiled the following links to resources for the 2019 state budget:

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