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February 25, 2011: Legislative Update

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 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

February 25, 2011
 

Committee Meetings March 1 – March 3

Tuesday Committee Meetings
8:30 a.m.
Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, 421 LOB
 
10:00 a.m.
House Committee on Education, 643 LOB


Wednesday Committee Meetings
8:30 a.m.
Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, 421 LOB
 
10:00 a.m.
Senate Committee on Education/Higher Education, 544 LOB
       HB 48 No Standardized Testing Unless Req’d by Feds
       SB 83 Wilson School Board
       SB 114 No Standardized Testing Unless Req’d by Feds

1:00 p.m.
Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House, 1327 LB
       HB 25 Lymphedema Awareness Day
       HB 87 Sunshine Amendment (make public records a constitutional amendment)
       HB 146 Designate Kidney Month  
 
Thursday Committee Meetings
8:30 a.m.
Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, 421 LOB


Summary of Key Legislation and Additional Resources

 

The Republican leadership announced their budget targets this week.  Those targets are available at http://legislative.ncpublicschools.gov/resources-for-legislators.  These provide deeper cuts to education than the Governor’s proposed budget and includes as an item to consider the consolidation or elimination of Smart Start and the More at Four pre-kindergarten program.  The More at Four Pre-Kindergarten is part of the   NCDPI’s Office of Early Learning.  A brief overview of the program is available at the legislative program website.

Other resources accessible through the legislative program website include the newly released Highlights of the North Carolina Public School Budget - 2011 and a powerpoint overview of the Governor Perdue’s proposed budget prepared this week by Chief Financial Officer Philip Price. The budget, with line item detail is available at: http://www.osbm.state.nc.us/ncosbm/osbm_library/superpubs/budget1113.shtm.

The Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education is expected to continue to meet through March to work through budget issues.  Agendas for this coming week likely will be set at the beginning of the week.

 

HB 48 No Standardized Testing Unless Req'd by Feds (Holloway, Blackwell, Hilton, Cotham)
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.

  • Recent Action:
    2/21/2011 Passed 1st reading it the Senate, referred to the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee.
    Calendared for Senate Committee on Education on Wednesday, March 2.

This bill would eliminate all non-federally required tests.  Only four such tests remain in the accountability system:  Physical Science, Algebra II, United States History, Civics and Economics.  If these tests were removed, there would be no state-wide assessment of history in this State and assessment of mathematics would not go beyond Algebra I – a course taken primarily in the 8th grade.  These four tests also are part of the accountability system and are four of seven tests used in the performance composite for assessing high schools.  This composite is used to identify high schools across the state that needs assistance in improving student performance.  The State is constitutionally obligated to create a system wherein all children have an equal opportunity to a sound, basic education and the accountability program is the mechanism used to ensure that the core subjects are effectively taught across the state.  Judge Manning has issued a memorandum on the importance of these tests in meeting constitutional mandates.  This is available from the State Board’s legislative program website at http://legislative.ncpublicschools.gov/resources-for-legislators

Innovations in curriculum and testing are underway and current tests will be replaced over the next few years, including with assessments linked to the Common Core State Standards in Math and English that have been adopted by over 40 states.   (More information is available at:  http://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards/.)   It is the Board’s and State Superintendent’s position that the current tests must remain as a bridge until the new program is in place.  


SB 8 No Cap on the Number of Charter Schools (Stevens)
An Act to remove the cap on the number of charter schools.

  • Recent Action:
    2/22/2011 – Senate Finance Committee adopted amendment, reported favorable as amended
    2/23/2011 – Amendments adopted, passed 2rd reading in the Senate
    2/24/2011 – Passed 3rd reading in the Senate, engrossed.

In the Senate Finance Committee, bill sponsor Senator Stevens put forth an amendment to remove a real estate provision that required a fiscal note.  The fiscal note was the basis for referring the bill to the Finance Committee. The committee approved the amendment.  The committee rejected amendments by Senator Stein that addressed the transfer of local current expense funds to the charter school and by Senator McKissick on providing transportation funding only if the charter school provided transportation. The State Board has been on record for incremental growth of charter schools.  Of continued concern with the bill is the governance structure which now provides for a very limited role of the State Board of veto power with a ¾ vote as well as operational issues, especially related to planning and budgeting for enrollment growth.

 

Other significant actions:
Next Wednesday, March 3, the House Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations will address HB 87, Sunshine Amendment.  This seeks a constitutional amendment to incorporate public records and open meetings as constitutional requirements.  This would have far-reaching implications, especially for personnel records.  Among legislation filed this week are HB 185, which allows 1000 hours or 180 days of instruction in order to save money and HB 175, which restores local flexibility for the school calendar.

 

Listing of Bills with Impact on Students and Public Schools

(bills listed in BOLD had action the week of February 21 - 25)

HOUSE BILLS

HB 48 (SB 114)  No Standardized Testing Unless Req'd by Feds (Holloway, Blackwell, Hilton, Cotham)
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.

  • Recent Action:
    2/21/2011 Passed 1st reading it the Senate, referred to the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee.  Calendared for Senate Committee on Education on Wednesday, March 2.

 

HB 41 Tax Fairness in Education (Stam, Hager, Collins, Brawley)
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.

  • Recent Action:
    2/07/11 Referred to the House Committee on Education, if favorable, Finance.

 

HB 51 PTA Parental Involvement/Dropout Prev. Funds (Lucas, Glazier)
An Act to appropriate funds for the North Carolina PTA Parent Involvement/Dropout Prevention Initiative.

  • Recent Action:
    2/10/11 Re-referred to House Committee on Appropriations

 

HB 61 Speaker/Pro Tem Term Limits (Blust, Tillis)
An Act amending the North Carolina Constitution to limit the terms of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate to two General Assemblies.

  • Recent Action:
    2/10/11 Referred to House Committee on Judiciary.

 

HB 73 Eugenics Program-Support and Education (Womble, Parmon)
An Act to provide counseling benefits to eugenics survivors, to direct the Department Of Health and Human Services to establish a database of Eugenics Program participants and verify the status of persons contacting the state to determine their participation in the state program, to direct the State Board of Education to include information about the program in its k‑12 history curriculum, to direct the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina to direct appropriate faculty and students to conduct interviews with survivors, to recommend creation of an ethics training module for state, county, and local government employees, and to direct the Department of Cultural Resources to digitize existing records for preservation and study purposes.

  • Recent Action:
    2/14/2011 Referred to the Committee on Health and Human Services, if favorable, Appropriations.

 

HB 87 Sunshine Amendment (LaRoque, T. Moore)
An Act to provide for government in the sunshine by amending the North Carolina Constitution.

  • Recent Action:
    2/14/2011 Referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.

 

HB 94 Local Flexibility Re: School Calendar (Lucas, Bell)
An Act to permit local boards of education to set school calendars for their local school administrative units.

  • Recent Action:
    2/16/2011 Referred to the Committee on Commerce and Job Development, if favorable, Education.

 

HB 131 Funds/One School Superintendent per County (Parmon, Lucas)
An Act directing the State Board of Education to provide funds for only one local school superintendent per county.

  • Recent Action:
    2/21/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education, if favorable, Appropriations.

 

HB 132 Make Up Snow Days With Distance Learning (Lucas)
An Act to allow local school administrative units to make up snow days by requiring students to complete lessons posted online.

  • Recent Action:
    2/21/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education.


HB 145 Work/School Zones-Speed Camera Pilot Program (Glazier, Murray, Rapp, Jordan)
An Act to establish a pilot program to improve public safety by authorizing the use of electronic speed measuring systems by the Department of Transportation to detect speed limit violations in highway work and school zones, to establish standards for the approval, use, and calibration of electronic speed measuring systems, to establish a civil penalty for speed violations in work and school zones that are detected by those systems, to create a new special fund within the state civil penalty and forfeiture fund, to provide for the payment of the penalties into the designated special fund, and to decrease the amount of highway funds transferred to the Department of Public Instruction for drivers education.

  • Recent Action:
    2/21/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Transportation, if favorable, Judiciary Subcommittee A, if favorable, Finance.

 

HB 175 Putting Students First/Local Control (Burr, Folwell, Hager, Rapp)
An Act to amend the school calendar law to put students first and to restore local control.

  • Recent Action:
    2/21/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education, if favorable, Commerce and Job Development.

 

HB 181 (SB 124) Add Supt. to NC Econ. Dev. Bd. (Glazier)
An Act to add the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to the Economic Development Board, as recommended by the Joint Legislative Joining Our Businesses and Schools (Jobs) Study Commission.
Filed 2/24/2011

 

HB 185 School Calendar Flexibility (Randleman)
An Act to authorizing local boards of education to adopt consolidated calendars.
Filed 2/24/2011

SENATE BILLS

SB 8 No Cap on the Number of Charter Schools (Stevens)
An Act to remove the cap on the number of charter schools.

  • Recent Action:
    2/23/2011 – Amendments adopted, passed 2rd reading in the Senate
    2/24/2011 – Passed 3rd reading in the Senate, engrossed.

 

SB 13 Balanced Budget ACT of 2011 (Stevens, Brunstetter, Hunt)
An Act to enact the Balanced Budget Act of 2011.

  • Recent Action:
    2/22/2011 Vetoed by the Governor
    2/23/2011 Re-referred the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate.

 

SB 49 Increase Fine for Speeding/School Zones (Allran)
An Act to increase the fine for speeding in a school zone from twenty five dollars to two hundred fifty dollars.

  • Recent Action:
    2/09/11 Referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary II

 

SB 62 Make up Snow days with Distance Learning (Mansfield)
An Act to allow local school administrative units to make up snow days by requiring students to complete lessons posted online.

  • Recent Action:
    2/14/2011 Referred to the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate

 

SB 67 Sunshine Amendment (Clary, Tucker, Goolsby)
An Act to provide for government in the sunshine by amending the North Carolina Constitution.

Recent Action:
2/16/2011 Referred to the Senate Judiciary I Committee, Calendared for Rules, Calendar, Operations of the House on Wednesday, March 2.

 

SB 83 Wilson County School Board (Newton)
An Act to change the date that members of the Wilson County Board of Education take office and to fix an error in a 1987 local act relating to that board.

  • Recent Action:
    2/21/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Education/Higher Education.

 

SJR 90 State Board of Education Confirmations (Tillman, Preston, Souchek)
A Joint Resolution providing for confirmation of appointments by the Governor to the State Board of Education.

  • Recent Action:
    2/22/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Education/Higher Education.

 

SJR 92 State Board of Education Confirmations (Tillman, Preston, Souchek)
A Joint Resolution providing for a joint session of the General Assembly to act on A Joint Resolution providing for confirmation of the appointments by the Governor of new members to the State Board of Education.

  • Recent Action:
    2/22/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Education/Higher Education.

 

SB 115 Coverage of Treatment of Autism Disorders (Purcell, Garrou, Mansfield)
An Act to require health benefit plans, including the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees, to provide coverage for treatment of autism spectrum disorders.

  • Recent Action:
    2/21/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Insurance.

 

SB 124 Add Supt. to NC Econ. Dev. Bd. (Brown, Hartsell)
An Act to add the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to the Economic Development Board, as recommended by the Joint Legislative Joining Our Businesses and Schools (Jobs) Study Commission.
Filed 2/24/2011

 

SB 125 NC School of Biotechnology and Agriscience (Brown, Hartsell)
An Act to create the North Carolina school of Agriscience And Biotechnology, as recommended by the Joint Legislative Joining Our Businesses and Schools (Jobs) Study Commission upon the recommendations of the Agriscience and Biotechnology Regional School Planning Commission.
Filed 2/24/2011


SB 140 Leadership Limits/Gubernatorial Team Ticket (Apodaca, Brunstetter, Tucker)
An Act to amend the North Carolina Constitution to limit the speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate to three consecutive two year terms in those offices, and to provide that the Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall run together in the general election.
Filed 2/24/2011

 

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