• Legislative News from Jones Street
    May 28, 2010

     
    Greetings from the Office of the North Carolina State Board of Education.
     
     
    The third week of the 2010 General Assembly was consumed primarily with the House Subcommittee on Education budget hearings. Their budget proposal was released on Thursday (May 27) and was very favorable to public schools. The final version eliminated cuts in the following line items: Assistant Principals, Instructional Personnel, Non-instructional Personnel, At-Risk Students, and Disadvantaged Student Supplemental Funding, and reduced the cut to Central Office services. During the afternoon session of the House Appropriations Education Subcommittee, 15 amendments were offered. An amendment passed that transferred the $5 million dollar appropriation from the Student Diagnostic and Intervention Initiative to a Textbook Emergency Fund. In addition, the House included in their special provisions a proposal to establish a Diversity Commission linked to DSSF. This provision would require the North Carolina State Board of Education to review the extent to which LEA policies or expenditures contribute to increased segregation of schools on the basis of race or socioeconomic status, prior to releasing the DSSF funds to the LEA (Please see Attachment).

     

    Another measure that passed the full Senate, Senate Bill 704, Reform Low-Performing Schools, will give local school districts new tools to reform the lowest-performing schools in the state. Under the legislation, local districts would be given additional flexibility for turning around these failing schools. The options include both staff and curriculum changes and, as a last resort, school closure, followed by a “restart” similar to a charter school. However, the school would remain under the jurisdiction of the LEA. The bill does not raise the state’s 100-school cap on charters.

     

    Senate Bill 1022, School Calendar Flexibility/Inclement Weather, passed the full House. Modeled after the 1999 Hurricane Floyd Bill, which allowed flexibility to affected schools for missed days, this bill provides flexibility to make up instructional days missed due to inclement weather during the 2009-10 school year to local school administrative units or charter schools located in Ashe, Avery, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Swain, Transylvania and Watauga counties.

     

    The following bills were filed this week:

     

    House Bills

     

    HB 1948 Ed Oversight Study School Enrollment Age (Rep. Fisher)

    An Act directing the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee to study the issue of lowering the maximum age of initial enrollment in the public schools from age seven to age six.

     

    HB 1951 Increase Child Care Expenses Tax Credit (Rep. Heagarty)

    An Act to increase the child care expenses tax credit.

     

    HB 1952 Enact Children with Disabilities Tax Credit (Rep. Heagarty)

    An Act to allow a tax credit for children with disabilities.

     

    HB 1955 Funds for Job & Career-Oriented Youth Orgs. (Reps. McLawhorn, Bell, Haire, Yongue)

    An Act to appropriate funds for expanding job and career-oriented youth organizations in the North Carolina Public Schools.

     

    HB 1962 Credit Education Programs/Funds (Reps. Crawford, Howard, Brubaker, Holliman)

    An Act to appropriate funds to implement and evaluate credit education programs in the public schools.

     

    HB 1968 State Health Plan/Repeal BMI Penalty (Reps. Dollar, Blackwell, Folwell, Hurley) An Act to repeal the body mass index (BMI) penalty from the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees.

     

    HB 1969 Authorizing Making Public/SHP Contracts (Reps. Dollar, Blackwell)

    An Act authorizing the 2009 General Assembly to consider a bill to be entitled an act to make public record the contracts between the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees and its third-party administrator or its pharmacy benefit manager.

     

    HB 1971 No Standardized Testing Unless Reg’d By Feds (Rep. Holloway)

    An Act to reduce spending by eliminating statewide standardized testing in the public schools, except as required by federal law or as a condition of a federal grant.

     

    HB 1974 (SB 1363) Professional Leave for School Employees (Rep. Wainwright)

    An Act regarding professional leave policies for public school employees.

     

    HB 1986 Children’s Online Predator Education Funds (Rep. Heagarty)

    An Act to appropriate funds for educational programs to protect children from online predators.

     

    HB 1988 Tax Fairness in Education (Rep. Stam)

    An act to allow an individual income tax credit for part of the expense of avoided public education and to authorize counties to appropriate funds for children educated other than in public schools.

     

    HB 1991 (SB 1392) State Health Plan/Court-Ordered Guardianships (Reps. Farmer-Butterfield, Bryant, Goodwin)

    An Act to allow state employees to enroll children for which they are court-appointed guardians as dependents in the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees.

     

    HB 1998 Reciprocity for ORP Service (Rep. Haire)

    An Act to authorize reciprocity for service in the optional retirement program for members of the Teachers and State Employees Retirement System.

     

    HB 2016 Open Enrollment/Contributory Death Benefit (Rep. Insko)  

    An Act to provide for an open enrollment period in the contributory death benefit for retired members of the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System, the Local Governmental Employees' Retirement System, the Consolidated Judicial Retirement System, and the Legislative Retirement System.

     

    HB 2018 (SB1410 ) Funds for Access to High School Sports (Rep. Cleveland)

    An Act to permit home school, charter school, and private school students to participate in interscholastic athletics and to appropriate funds for that purpose.

     

    HB 2019 Eliminate Golden Parachutes (Rep. Blackwell)

    An Act to limit the amount of transition packages or golden parachutes for state employees.

     

    HB 2025 Uniform Salary Adjustment Criteria/State Govt. (Rep. Blackwell)

    An Act to apply the same criteria throughout state government regarding salary increase actions so that the salary freeze within state government is applied in a more equitable manner.

     

    HB 2029 Amend Tenure Law Re: Teacher RIFS (Reps. Cotham, Glazier)

    An Act to amend the law regarding probationary teachers who are subject to a reduction in force.

     

    HB 2035 Deaf Students’ Bill of Rights (Rep. Blackwell)

    An Act to establish the Deaf and Hearing Impaired Child's Bill of Rights, and to provide that all residential schools under the Office of Education Services shall restore their schedules as they existed on February 1, 2010, and that this restoration be funded from the Office of Education Services Central Operations.

     

    HB 2037 State Health Plan/Transfer to Dept. of Insurance (Reps. Blackwell, Hurley)

    An Act to transfer the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees to the Department of Insurance.

     

    HB 2044 (SB 1359) Amend Highlands Scholarship Fund (Rep. West)

    An Act to amend the law that authorized the governing body of the town of Highlands to establish and administer a scholarship program for graduates of Highlands High School to provide that the governing body has more discretion with regard to the administration of the scholarship program.

     

    HB 2054 Retirement Technical Corrections (Rep. Tucker)

    An Act to make technical corrections to the statutes governing the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System and the Local Government Employees' Retirement System.

     
    HB 2055 (SB 1423) State Health Plan/Local Govt. Retiree Contrib. (Rep. England

    An Act to provide that a local government that has been submitting premium payments for its employees to the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees is not liable for contributions owed to the State Retirement System for a specified period.

     

    HB 2066 Special Retirement Allowances (Rep. Bryant)

    An Act to authorize the creation of special retirement allowances for retirees of the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System and the Local Governmental Employees' Retirement System.

     

    HB 2068 Repeal Exec Order 45/Employee Reps. (Rep. Cleveland)

    An Act authorizing the 2009 General Assembly to consider a bill entitled an act repealing Executive Order No. 45 concerning relations between employee organization access to state facilities and state agency leaders.

     

    SB 1359 (HB 2044) Amend Highlands Scholarship Fund (Rep. Snow)

    An Act to amend the law that authorized the governing body of the town of Highlands to establish and administer a scholarship program for graduates of Highlands High School to provide that the governing body has more discretion with regard to the administration of the scholarship program.

     

    SB 1363 Professional Leave for School Employees (Rep. Foriest)

    An Act regarding professional leave policies for public school employees.

     

    SB 1364 (HB 1833) Teacher Assistant Salary Schedule (Rep. Foriest)

    An Act to establish a new salary schedule for noncertified personnel of the North Carolina Public Schools.

     

    SB 1370 School Calendar Flexibility/Inclement Weather (Rep. Goss)

    An Act to give certain local boards of education additional flexibility with regard to instructional time lost due to inclement weather.

     

    SB 1375 (HB 1924) Kids Voting Funds (Rep. Nesbitt)

    An Act to appropriate funds for the Kids Voting of North Carolina Program.

     

    SB 1377 (HB 1753) School Bus Railroad Crossing Exception (Rep. Preston)

    An Act to allow school buses and activity buses to cross certain railroad grade crossings without first stopping.

     

    SB 1386 Government Employees Port Benefits (Rep. East)

    An Act to allow employees moving between state, city, and county government to port their sick and annual leave.


    SB 1392 (HB 1991) State Health Plan/Court-Ordered Guardianships (Rep. McKissick

    An Act to allow state employees to enroll children for which they are court-appointed guardians as dependents in the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees.

     

    SB 1396 Funds for Low-Cost Green Tech. Education (Rep. Garrou)

    An Act to promote low-cost green education through the establishment of a North Carolina high school-based renewable fuels go-kart competition.

     

    SB 1410 (HB 2018) Funds for Access to High School Sports (Rep. Jacumin)

    An Act to permit home school, charter school, and private school students to participate in interscholastic athletics and to appropriate funds for that purpose.

     

    SB 1417 Study Graduation Disparity (Rep. Graham)

    An Act to establish a Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Disparity.

     

    SB 1423 State Health Plan/ Local Govt. Retiree Contrib. (Rep. Clary)

    An Act to provide that a local government that has been submitting premium payments for its employees to the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees is not liable for contributions owed to the State Retirement System for a specified period.

     

    SB 1427 LRC Study Consolidate/State Agencies (Rep. Brock)

    An Act authorizing the Legislative Research Commission to study issues relating to whether to consolidate some state agencies and departments to achieve increased efficiencies and cost savings.

    .

    SB 1422 Open State Employee Personnel Files (Rep. Berger)

    An Act providing for open records by requiring the release of letters of recommendation, disciplinary actions, and other career information pertaining to state employees and giving state employees the right to inspect their own personnel file in its entirety.

     

    SB 1450 State Retirement Age and Service Change (Rep. Garrou)

    An Act to establish a normal retirement age for members of the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System who begin service on or after January 1, 2011, to eliminate longevity pay for state employees and officers who begin service on or after January 1, 2011, to make changes in the State Health Plan for new employees, and to change the definition of “law enforcement officer” for purposes of benefits for new employees.

     


    The following bills have been scheduled in committees next week:

     

    SB 66 Require Arts Education Credit for Graduation

    SB 1286  Screen and Reduce BMI

    HB 1669  Require Use of EVAAS in Schools

    HB 1676  Substitute Teacher Unemployment

    HB 1725  School Support Division Changes

    HB 1777 Study Child Nutrition Program

    HB 1781 Study/Early Childhood Education and Care

    HB 1864  No High School Graduation Project Required

     

     
    The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote on all components (including the proposed Education budget) of the House proposed budget on Wednesday, June 2.  The full House is expected to debate its budget and pass it by the end of the week. This will be followed by two weeks of conferences for reconciliation of the differences with a final compromise budget presented to Governor Perdue before July 1.

     

    We appreciate your comments and are happy to respond to your questions and concerns. Thank you.

     
     
    Chris Minard
     
    Chris Minard Legislative Liaison
    North Carolina State Board of Education
    cminard@dpi.state.nc.us
    919-807-4035
     
     
    Attachment: