NC Legislature Plans First Extra Session For Hurricane Recovery
Elizabeth Yelverton | NCASA
Legislative leaders in North Carolina will convene October 2 for a special legislative session to initiate several state-relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. The extra session will address waiving missed instructional days for students and ensuring school personnel do not lose pay for missed work, among other issues, according to a draft bill released in a press conference held Monday by Senator Michael Lee (R-New Hanover), Representative Craig Horn (R-Union), and State Superintendent Mark Johnson. New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Tim Markley also participated in the press conference that was livestreamed from Wilmington.
The draft bill proposes waiving make-up requirements for all school days missed as a result of Hurricane Florence in counties that are part of the federal declaration as disaster areas. In counties not part of the federal disaster declaration but still impacted by Florence, the draft bill proposes waiving make-up days for any time missed in excess of two days. The draft bill also would ensure teachers and certain other school personnel are compensated “as if they had worked the scheduled instructional days missed due to Hurricane Florence.” NCASA is working with lawmakers in an effort to expand the classification of employees qualifying for compensation under the draft bill to ensure that all school personnel are covered.
Governor Roy Cooper initially signed a proclamation announcing the extra session would be held on October 9, but Republican legislative leaders requested the Governor to amend this proclamation in order to hold the session on September 28. In a compromise, they all agreed to hold the session on October 2. As stated by Senator Lee in Monday’s press conference, the impending session is only the “first step forward,” and legislators are already making plans to hold additional special sessions for Hurricane Florence recovery efforts. House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) plan to address policy issues during Tuesday’s session, and then adjourn until October 9 “to give the Cooper administration time to put together a funding request for storm recovery,” according to an article by WRAL.
NCASA will attend the special session on Tuesday and provide a voice for impacted schools and their administrators. Members can stay informed on legislative updates by checking our Daily Discussion page, as well as our Twitter page, @NCASAtweets.