LEGISLATIVE & POLICY NEWS

  • 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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  • House Passes School Calendar, Child Nutrition Relief Bill As Legislators Prepare To Adjourn

    Legislators were busy at the NC General Assembly this week, as they rushed to advance their “must have” pieces of legislation before July 4th. While neither the House nor Senate have officially moved to adjourn before the upcoming holiday, legislative leadership have expressed their wishes to quickly wrap things up, with the understanding that further legislative action may be needed in late July, after the latest data on COVID-19 and its economic impact have been released. As a result of this expedited schedule, many bills advanced this week, including House Bill 1035, which would provide schools with additional support in developing their 2020-21 school calendars and utilizing federal emergency child nutrition funds.

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  • Lenker, Richardson Elected To NCASA Officer Roles For 2020-21; Jones Honored For Service As President For 2019-20

    The NC Association of School Administrators (NCASA) Board of Directors held its final meeting of 2019-20 on June 11 and elected a slate of new officers to lead the organization for the new year that begins July 1. Dr. Ethan Lenker, Superintendent of Pitt County Schools, will take the helm as President for 2020-21. Dr. Lenker has led Pitt County Schools as superintendent since 2013, after previously serving as superintendent in both Sampson County Schools and Jones County Schools. He has more than 30 years of service in public schools and represents the NC School Superintendents’ Association (NCSSA), one of NCASA’s two core affiliates, on the NCASA Board of Directors.

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  • State Rep. Jeffrey Elmore Named NCASA’s 2020 Champion for Children

    North Carolina Rep. Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes, was awarded the 2020 Champion for Children, June 12, 2020. The award was originally to be presented at the NCASA’s annual Conference on Educational Leadership, scheduled to take place in Wilmington, N.C., back in March.

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  • Governor Signs Student Mental Health Bill Into Law, Other Education Bills Move Forward

    Governor Roy Cooper signed into law Senate Bill 476 on Monday, creating new requirements for mental health training and suicide risk protocols in K-12 schools. S476 (S.L. 2020-7) directs the State Board of Education (SBE) to adopt a school-based mental health policy, and requires K-12 school units to adopt and implement a school-based mental health plan that includes mental health training and suicide risk referral protocol.

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  • Senate Introduces School Employee Pay Bill

    Members of the NC General Assembly continued to work on COVID-19 relief measures this week, while also advancing other policy and funding bills, including an educator pay package. Senate Bill 818, introduced on Wednesday, would implement teacher and principal salary schedules, create a hold-harmless for principal bonuses, and provide a $350 bonus to teachers and instructional support personnel.

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  • NC Governor Press Release: DHHS Shares Health Guidance to Re-Open Public Schools

    New health guidelines released Monday represent a first step to help North Carolina K-12 public schools find a safe way to open to in-person instruction for the 2020-21 academic year, health and education leaders announced Monday. The StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12) [click.icptrack.com] lays out a comprehensive set of baseline health practices that public schools should follow to minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19 for students, staff, and families. In addition to specific requirements, the Toolkit recommends practices that schools should implement to minimize spread of COVID-19 while allowing in-person teaching to resume.

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  • NCDPI; NC Board of Education And NC DHHS Release Public School Health Toolkit

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  • State Board of Education Summary: June 4, 2020

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  • House Proposes Enrollment Growth Funding, Limits Senior Numeric Grading Bill

    Members of the NC General Assembly met again this week and continued to tackle time-sensitive legislation affecting K-12 public schools. Because the bill filing deadline has passed, legislators focused most of their actions this week on making critical changes to existing bills, including those relating to ADM enrollment growth and numeric grading for seniors.

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  • State Lawmakers File Mini Budget Bills, Senior Grading Changes, As Bill Filing Deadline Expires

    State lawmakers returned to Raleigh this week, days after the State moved into Phase II of Governor Cooper’s three-phase reopening plan. Because the bill filing deadline was set to expire by the end of the day on Tuesday, numerous legislators filed last-minute bills covering items such as state employee retirement, tax changes, broadband expansion, and student health.

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  • Fiscal Analysts Predict $4.2B State Revenue Shortfall From 2019-2021

    The state should expect at least a $4.2B shortfall in General Fund revenue collections from 2019-2021, according to the latest Consensus Revenue Forecast shared with lawmakers on Tuesday. Nonpartisan fiscal research staff said the forecast had been revised this month to show an estimated $1.64B revenue shortfall in FY 2019-20 and an additional $2.57B revenue shortfall in 2020-21 due to COVID-19.

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  • Short Session Education Bills Update

    While many expected COVID-19 relief to be the biggest, if not only, topic to be tackled by legislators during this legislative short session, legislators have continued to file numerous education-related policy bills since reconvening on April 28. Legislators were given until last Thursday at 4PM to file most bills with a statewide impact; however, legislative leadership voted to extend the May 19th deadline for filing bills “affecting the State budget, including the budget of an occupational licensing board for FY 2020-21,” until Tuesday, May 26.

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