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

Elizabeth Yelverton | NCASA Legal Affairs & Policy Manager

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.


Another bill which NCASA has been extensively involved with, Senate Bill 227, is expected to be signed into law by the Governor before the end of the week. This bill will merge the Transforming Principal Preparation Program (TP3) with the Principal Fellows Program, while maintaining the current administration of TP3 for current grant recipients. NCASA would like to thank the bill sponsor, Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph), for working with NCASA and outside education groups to generate the final version of the bill, which will expand and improve principal preparation opportunities across our State.


Action/Expected Action by Governor

S219: Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements

  • This bill makes various changes related to testing to the initial professional teacher (IPL) licensure statutes; creates a one-year IPL extension for certain teachers; creates a new limited teaching license for individuals who do not meet the criteria for a continuing professional license and for out-of-state teacher licensees; authorizes local boards of education to determine experience credit for newly employed teachers to pay them at the commensurate level on the State salary schedule during the first year of employment; and reduces the service requirement for a lifetime teaching license from 50 years to 30 years.
  • STATUS: Passed Senate 6/24, Presented to Governor 6/26

S227: TP3/Principal Fellows Consolidation

  • This bill would maintain the existing administration of the Transforming Principal Preparation Program (TP3) for current grant recipients until 2021 and expand the Principal Fellows Commission to include the TP3.
  • STATUS: Passed Senate 6/25, Presented to Governor 6/27


S556: GSC People First Language 2019

  • This bill updates current statutes to replace the phrase “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability” or “intellectual or other developmental disability.”
  • STATUS: Passed Senate 6/25, Presented to Governor 6/27


H57: Create Term For Public Schools & Codify NCVPS

  • This law creates a new definition for the education chapter of the General Statutes for the term "public school unit" to refer collectively to multiple types of public schools in the State; codifies the North Carolina Virtual Public School Program (NCVPS).
  • STATUS: Signed by Governor 6/26


H411: Modify School Qual./Student Success Indicator

  • This bill combines career and college readiness indicators for both school performance grades required under State law as well as for federal reporting purposes under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); requires the State Board of Education to include additional career and college readiness information on annual school report cards.
  • STATUS: Passed Senate 6/27, to be sent to Governor


H664: myFutureNC/Postsecondary Attainment Goal

  • This law establishes a postsecondary educational attainment goal for the State
  • STATUS: Passed House 6/19, Signed by Governor 6/26


H886: Study Participation of Operators in NC Pre-K

  • This bill studies the challenges of child care facility operators participating in the North Carolina Prekindergarten (NC Pre-K) Program.
  • STATUS: Passed Senate 6/26, to be sent to Governor 6/28



Session Votes/Action

S366: 10th Grade/ College Transfer Pathways

  • This bill does all of the following: (i) expands the career and technical education pathway to high school freshman and sophomores to include construction and business technologies courses; (ii) expands the college transfer pathway to certain high school sophomores; (iii) requires that those sophomores receive academic advising on entering college early and get parental consent before participating in the pathway; and (iv) makes changes to adjunct CTE instructor hiring.
  • STATUS: Conference committee appointed 6/26


S399: Rehire High-Need Teachers

  • This bill allows retired teachers to return to work in certain high-needs schools without adversely impacting their retirement benefits.
  • STATUS: Passed House 6/25, sent to Senate for concurrence


S500: Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment

  • This bill clarifies requirements for advanced math course enrollment and requires reporting on advance math course enrollment. Additionally, for the 2019-2020 school year only, it exempts certain schools from the requirement that 7th grade students who score at the highest level be enrolled in a high school math course in 8th grade. Additionally, the Conference Committee Substitute (CCS) would expressly authorize local boards of education to provide supplemental content enrichment to students enrolled in a high school level math course, if needed. Additionally, it would clarify that schools that are exempted from the 8th grade math placement requirement in 2019-2020 may still offer high school math in 8th grade if they choose.
  • STATUS: Placed on Senate Calendar for 7/1


H924: Teacher Contract Changes

  • This bill clarifies how much time a teacher must have already worked for a local board of education in order to be eligible for an extended employment contract. It also requires a new course in economics and personal finance (EPF) as a graduation requirement for students and requires professional development for teachers of that course. Finally, it would also clarify the requirements for the existing high school civics course, and require the State Board of Education to revise the standards for the social studies standard course of study.
  • STATUS: Scheduled for 6/27 House Calendar



House K-12 Education (6/25)

S230: Excused Absences for Military Children

  • This bill provides for a minimum of 2 days per academic year for excused absences related to a parent or legal guardian's service in a combat zone.
  • STATUS: Approved, sent to House Rules


S343: Changes to Education Reports

  • This bill makes changes to various education reports including date changes, repeals of certain reports, and modifications of information to be reported. The bill as revised in the committee would also (i) clarify the Education Workforce Innovation Commission's membership; (ii) stagger the appointments to the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission; and (iii) exempt the State Board's charter actions from contested case provisions.
  • STATUS: Approved, sent to House Rules


S354: Sam’s Law

  • The committee’s revised and approved version of Senate Bill 354 deletes all the contents of the original bill (Student Notice/Charter School Closure/Restr.) and replaces it with the contents of House Bill 955, Sam's Law. This latest version would require seizure action plans for students who have seizure disorders and training for school employees on how to assist and provide medication to these students.
  • STATUS: Approved, sent to House Rules


S621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019

  • Senate Bill 621 would make the following changes to testing:
    • Eliminate the North Carolina Final Exams (NCFEs).
    • Replace end-of-grade assessments (EOGs) with a "through-grade assessment model" similar to the NC Check-Ins.
    • Replace end-of-course assessments (EOCs) with a nationally recognized assessment of high school achievement, such as the ACT or SAT.
    • Require reporting on and reductions in local testing.
    • Prohibit graduation projects as a condition of graduation.
    • Require a review of the third-grade reading end-of-grade test to ensure alignment with the Read to Achieve alternative assessment.
  • STATUS: Approved, sent to House Rules


Senate Education/Higher Education (6/26)

H107(=S101): PED Oversight/EPP Changes

  • The bill was amended in committee to require the State Board to annually review the accountability status of each educator preparation program (EPP) and develop rules based on the assignment of warned, probation, or revoked statuses.
  • STATUS: Approved, sent to Senate Rules


H362: 15-Point Scale For School Performance Grades

  • The bill would permanently extent the 15-point scale for calculating school performance grades. It was amended in committee to require the State Board and State Superintendent to study and make recommendations on the school performance grading model by February 15, 2020.
  • STATUS: Approved, sent to Senate Rules


H668: Various Higher Education Changes

  • The bill was amended in committee to: (1) authorize community colleges to use adequate insurance coverage in place of bonds for employees handling institutional funds and property; (2) rename the University Of North Carolina Center For Public Television as The University Of North Carolina Center For Public Media; (3) authorize the Board of Governors to establish policies that allow certain lease purchase agreements; and (4) allow evidence of North Carolina high school graduation for students to rebut the presumption that the student's residence is the parent's residence for in state tuition purposes.
  • STATUS: Approved, sent to Senate Rules




Elizabeth Yelverton