House Passes Bills on School Performance, Local Calendar Flexibility
Elizabeth Yelverton | NCASA Legal Affairs & Policy Manager
On Wednesday, legislators in the NC House of Representatives passed several bills identified by NCASA as legislative priorities, including increasing the weight of student growth and extending the 15-point scale for school performance grades, as well as approving academic alignment for schools and community colleges.
House Bill 354 increases the weight of academic growth in calculating school performance grades from the current 20 percent to 50 percent, making academic growth and performance have equal weight. House lawmakers also passed House Bill 266, which modifies school performance grades by creating two separate grades for growth and performance. While these bills seemingly conflict with one another, House legislators have expressed the need to push both options forward for Senate lawmakers to consider and ultimately choose between.
Legislators in the House also passed a bill relating to another one of NCASA’s legislative priorities—extending the 15-point scale for school performance grades. The current 15-point scale is set to change to a 10-point scale at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, which would lower the grades for numerous schools across the State. HB 362 directly addresses this issue, which many school administrators have noted is a top priority for their schools this legislative session.
House lawmakers also tackled local calendar flexibility, another NCASA legislative priority, by passing House Bill 79, which would permit local school districts to align their school calendars with those of nearby community colleges. This would allow more high school students to take advantage of community college courses, among other benefits. The current school calendar law states schools cannot start earlier than the Monday closest to August 26, and cannot end later than the Friday closest to June 11.
Lastly, the House also passed House Bill 295, which would prohibit corporal punishment in public schools. Every local education agency in North Carolina has already come out against corporal punishment in their respective districts, and this bill is seen by many as a final step in codifying this prohibition.
NCASA would like to thank House lawmakers for their leadership in tackling these important issues, and we look forward to working with members of the Senate to continue to make progress on these legislative priorities.