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March 4, 2011: Legislative Update

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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

March 4, 2011
 

Committee Meetings March 7 – March 10

Monday Committee Meetings 
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Joint Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Education Public Hearing, 544 LOB
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Tuesday Committee Meetings
8:45 a.m.
Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, 421 LOB
         Discussion of Augenblick, “Recommendations to Strengthen North Carolina’s School Funding
         System”
         Public School System Budget 
10:00 a.m.
House Committee on Education, 643 LOB
         SB 8 No Cap on Charter Schools

12:00 p.m.
House Committee on Transportation, 643 LOB
         HB 145 Work/School Zones/Camera Pilot Program

4:00 p.m. or 15 minutes after session (whichever is later)
Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, 421 LOB
         Public School System Budget 

Wednesday Committee Meetings
8:30 a.m.
Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, 421 LOB
        (Continue with Public School System if needed or proceed to higher education) 

10:00 a.m.
Senate Committee on Education/Higher Education, 544 LOB
        SB 137 Establish Forgivable Loan Program
        SB 154 Abolish Higher Education Bond Oversight
        SB 166 No Adult Left Behind
        SB 169 Study Innovations/Incentives on Education

4:00 p.m. or 15 minutes after session (whichever is later)
Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, 421 LOB
       (Continue with Public School System if needed or proceed to higher education)

Thursday Committee Meetings
8:30 a.m.
Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, 421 LOB
       (Continue with Public School System if needed or proceed to higher education) 

 


Summary of Key Legislation and Additional Resources


First – the budget.
This week, the Joint Subcommittee on Education Appropriations continued receiving information from Fiscal Research staff, including responses to questions raised the prior week.  Rebecca Garland and Adam Levinson from the Department of Public Instruction presented information to the subcommittee on Race to the Top.  The budget-related documents distributed at the meeting, as well as the RttT presentation, are available on our website, http://legislative.ncpublicschools.gov/resources-for-legislators.  (The budget documents are all listed under “Budget”; the RttT presentation is under “Department of Public Instruction/Budget”.) We will continue to post budget-related documents as they become available and will share with you resources we receive.  For example, you will find posted on our website the YouTube video produced by students at Kings Mountain Intermediate School.  Please also see the resources available at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/budget/ as well as the Subcommittee’s website, http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/documentsites/browsedocsite.asp?nid=127 .

Next week, the Joint Subcommittee will begin its focus on preparing the education budgets, including the public school budget.  The week will begin with a public hearing at 4:00 PM.  You can sign up to speak online at http://www.ncleg.net/Applications/RTS/JASE.aspx. Speakers will be given 3 minutes.  We encourage supporters of public education to share what is important to them.  The Joint Subcommittee will begin meeting twice a day next week.  They will begin Tuesday morning’s meeting with a discussion of the funding formula study produced by Augenblick, Palaich and Associates (September 2010).  This report is available on our website. Here is a link to the report. Fiscal Research staff will then assist the Joint Subcommittee in discussions of possible cuts to the Public School budget.  The guidance so far from Republican leadership is in the spending targets issued last week which are available on our website at http://legislative.ncpublicschools.gov/resources-for-legislators. (The spending targets are under “Budget” entitled “Budget Spending Targets”).  These discussions will continue to the other scheduled meetings until completed, and the Joint Subcommittee will then discuss higher education budget cuts.  We encourage you to follow these discussions closely. 

Next – review of substantive legislation.

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:
    3/3/2011 Favorable report in the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee.
    3/4/2011 Passed 2nd and 3rd Reading in the Senate.

This legislation eliminates all of the end of course assessments in Physical Science, Algebra II, United States History, Civics and Economics; and it prohibits the State Board from requiring public schools to administer any standardized test not required by federal law or as a “condition” of a federal grant.  The legislation now goes to the Governor who has the option to sign it, allow it to go into law without her signature, or veto it.   The State Board has maintained that the tests are a critical part of the high school accountability model and that it violates the Constitution as interpreted by the North Carolina Supreme Court to eliminate these tests.  By the terms of the legislation, the State Board has the opportunity prior to June 1 to alternative assessment strategies.  We provided copies of a brief overview of the overall plan for standards, assessment, and accountability at the Senate Education Committee.  This is available on our website (under “Education Reform”).

 

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:
    3/1/2011 Passed 1st Reading
    3/1/2011 Referred to the Committee on Education, if favorable, Finance; Calendared for Tuesday, March 8 in House Committee on Education.

The House will take up Senate Bill 8 on Tuesday when it is heard in the Education Committee.  Prior to this, the House Democrats are holding a press conference in the Legislative Building at 3:00 PM on Monday to share their ideas of how to provide for quality charter schools.  The State Board has been on record for incremental growth of charter schools.  Of continued concern with the bill is the governance structure that now provides for a very limited role of the State Board of veto power with a ¾ vote as well as the lack of standards for growth in the number of charter schools and enrollment in the schools.  The legislature has not yet addressed the fiscal impact of this legislation, including on local school districts. 

Other significant actions:

Listing of Bills with Impact on Students and Public Schools

(bills listed in BOLD had action the week of February 28 - March 3)

 Note:  “Passed first reading” is the language used on the General Assembly website to describe when the bill has been introduced; it does not reflect a vote on the bill.

HOUSE BILLS

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:
    3/3/2011 Favorable report in the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee.
    3/4/2011 Passed 2nd and 3rd reading in the Senate.

 

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:
    2/24/2011 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.

  • Recent Action:
    2/28/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Commerce and Job Development.

 

HB 185 School Calendar Flexibility (Randleman)
An Act to authorizing local boards of education to adopt consolidated calendars.
Recent Action:

  • 2/28/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education.

 

HB 197 School Calendar Flexibility/Inclement Weather (Frye, Jordan, Rapp, West)
An Act to give certain local boards of education additional flexibility with regard to instructional time lost due to inclement weather.

  • Recent Action:
    3/03/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education.

 

HB 200 Appropriations Act of 2011 (Brubaker)
An Act to make base budget appropriations for current operations of state departments, institutions, and agencies, and for other purposes.

  • Recent Action:
    3/02/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

 

HB 210 (SB 184) Building Code/School Animal Husbandry Bldgs. (Brisson, Glazier, Lucas, Parfitt)
An Act to exempt from building rules structures that are associated with an animal husbandry program operated by a local school administrative unit and located on school property.

  • Recent Action:
    3/03/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education.

 

HB 218 Legislative Task Force on Childhood Obesity (Insko, L. Brown, Johnson, and Weiss)
An Act to establish the Legislative Task Force on Childhood Obesity.

  • Recent Action:
    3/03/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.

 

HB 238 State Health Plan/Repeal Penalties (Dollar, Blackwell, Harrison, and Hurley)
An Act to repeal the body mass index (BMI) and tobacco use penalties from the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees.
Filed 3/3/2011

 

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:
    3/1/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House.
    3/1/2011 Referred to the House Committee on Education, if favorable, Finance.

 

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:
    3/1/2011 Passed 2nd and 3rd reading in the Senate, Engrossed.
    3/3/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Judiciary, if favorable, Finance.

 

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, and Operations of the House on Wednesday, March 4.

 

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:
    3/2/2011 Favorable report in the Committee on Education/Higher Education.
    3/3/2011 Passed 2nd and 3rd reading in the Senate.

 

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.

  • Recent Action:
    2/28/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred Committee on State and Local Government.

 

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.

  • Action:
    2/28/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred Committee on Commerce.

 

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.

  • Action:
    2/28/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations of the Senate.

 

SB 169 Study Innovations/Incentives in Education (Hartsell)
An Act creating The Innovations in Education Legislative Study Commission to study the feasibility of offering financial incentives to students for quality academic performance.

  • Action:
    3/3/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to Education/Higher Education. If favorable, re-referred to Appropriations/Base Budget.

 

SB 172 Classroom Experience for School Personnel (Hartsell)
An Act to give classroom experience to professional public school employees who are not classroom teachers.

  • Action:
    3/3/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to Education/Higher Education.

 

SB 184 (HB 210) Building Code/School Animal Husbandry Bldgs. (Brisson, Glazier, Lucas, Parfitt)
An Act to exempt from building rules structures that are associated with an animal husbandry program operated by a local school administrative unit and located on school property.

  • Recent Action:
    3/03/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education.

 

 

 

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