Legislative News from Jones Street
April 23, 2010
Greetings from the Office of the North Carolina State Board of Education.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010, was a historic day in North Carolina. It was the earliest that any Governor in North Carolina had released his or her proposed budget. Governor Perdue held a press conference on Tuesday, released her proposed budget at 9:30 a.m., and responded to questions in the pressroom at the Administration Building. In addition, the Governor’s staff presented the proposed budget at a full Joint Appropriations Committee meeting on Wednesday, April 21, at the General Assembly. During the Joint House and Senate Appropriations Committee meeting, Senator Linda Garrou, Co-Chair, announced the Senate would release their budget on May 13, and approve and send it to the House on May 20.
Attached is the K-12 portion of the Governor’s proposed budget and a summary of the Governor’s budget proposals. Additional information prepared by the Department of Public Instruction’s Division of Financial Services is posted on the NCDPI’s website for your information.
The economic outlook continues to be of concern to the fiscal forecasters. Though there have been some signs of improvement, both the income and sales tax revenues remain below budget expectations. The budget writers are predicting a modest 2.7 percent baseline growth for 2010-11, down 3.2 percent from what was included in the 2010-2011 budget prepared last year. The long-range prediction is that North Carolina’s recovery from the current recession will be slower and more gradual than anticipated. Another concern on the horizon will be the loss of the Federal ARRA money in the 2011-12 budget.
During some committee meetings at the General Assembly in the latter part of 2009, there had been discussion that due to the dire financial situation of the State Health Plan, there was a possibility that a premium would be charged to state employees for their state health insurance or that the State Health Plan would need an influx of funds to keep it afloat. During the Joint Appropriations Committee meeting on Wednesday, April 21, the staff from the State Health Plan stated to the Committee that the fiscal situation of the State Health Plan has stabilized and that neither of the options previously discussed will be needed at this time.
The following concepts will guide our efforts during the upcoming legislative session beginning on May 12:
• Limit the impact of budget cuts to the local school districts and to the Department of Public Instruction. It is important to protect vital services that will impact the quality of K-12 education.
• Protect our efforts to improve low-performing schools.
• Encourage the continued development of the new standards and assessment model for North Carolina.
• Foster the utilization of technology systems that provide feedback for student learning and early diagnostic intervention, such as EVAAS and NCWISE.
• Increase resources to raise the graduation rate and close the achievement gap.
This is the first edition of Legislative News from Jones Street for the 2010 Legislative Session. We will send the update weekly or as legislative developments occur.
Please contact me if you need additional information or if you need assistance regarding legislative proposals.
Chris Minard Legislative Liaison
North Carolina State Board of Education