June 5, 2017 Legislative Update

House Budget Released

The House released its budget at the end of last week. Proposed House teacher salary schedules are at the end of this document. With both House and Senate budgets released, a Conference Committee will assemble with budget writers working on a compromise bill with hopes of a final budget by end of June.

Below is a summary of key provisions regarding K-12 Public Education:

Average Daily Membership

The House matches the Senate Budget for recurring funds for an ADM increase projected at 9,120 students in fiscal year 2017-2018 and 17,359 students in fiscal year 2018-2019.

Textbooks and Digital Materials  

The House budget includes an additional $10.4 million in nonrecurring funds designated for digital materials and textbooks and 1.1 million in nonrecurring funds for the same application.

Children with Disabilities

An increase from 12.5% to 13% is allocated for funding for children with disabilities. This means that a school district would receive up to 13% of ADM monies per child designated with a disability.

Digital Learning Plan

2.2 million in recurring funds is provided for the Digital Learning Plan (DLP) which supports leadership development in schools and districts, professional development for teachers, digital literacy skills evaluation, and the management of mobile devices.

Sixth and Seventh Grade Career and Technical Education Grant Program

Included in this grant program is $700,000 in recurring funds for competitive grants to be given to qualifying districts to innovate and expand CTE programs for 6th and 7th grades

Other budget items include:

  • $2 million in recurring funds to provide for the transfer of the Education and Workforce Innovation Program from the Office of Governor to NCDPI.
  • The Reading Improvement Commission is allocated $200,000 in non-recurring dollars for the purpose of reviewing student  literacy skills in grades 4-12 and to work toward establishing consistent best practices to work toward job ready and college ready literacy skills.
  • $450,000 in 2017 and 6 million in 2018-2019 is designated to be taken from the NC Education Endowment Fund to be used to re-establish the popular Teaching Fellows Program, offering forgivable loans to qualifying teacher candidates seeking licensure in STEM and special education.

The following items appear in the House Budget as policy changes or “special provisions.” This is not unusual as the General Assembly regularly attaches policy initiatives as additions to the larger proposed budget bill.

  • A school calendar flexibility pilot program for certain LEAs allowing flexible school start dates will be rolled out, but  chosen districts still cannot start school sooner than August 10th.
  • Students who participate in the Opportunity Scholarship Voucher Program in grades 3 or higher will be tested using the Iowa Assessment of Basic Skills. This will be used to measure and compare student performance.
  • The State Board of Education, with respect of the Read to Achieve initiative, will approve three formative and diagnostic reading assessment programs from which LEA’s will choose to implement.
  • A Joint Task Force on Education Finance Reform will be formed to consider new funding models for K-12 schools using a weighted student formula model.
  • Regarding the K-3 class requirements compromise that was reached earlier in the session, policy makers added a requirement that each LEA report any limitations on facility capacity that might make the new class size requirements unfeasible.
  • A provision regarding Arts Education was  added which includes a modification to graduation requirements that mandate at least one credit in arts education to be completed anytime in grades six through 12.
  • The State Board of Education and NCDPI will be required to follow measures taken by LEAs in the implementation of cursive writing and multiplication table memorization requirements.
  • LEAs will be required to report allotment transfers that increase or decrease initial allotment by more than 5%.

Other Items of Note

Senate Bill 599  Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission

This bill establishes a Professional Educator Preparation and Standards (PEPS) Commission which would set standards for an entity to become an approved Educator Preparation Program (EPP). In addition, this Commission would replace the old lateral entry model with a described residential model to transition teaching candidates into a second career.

House Bill 333 Sales Tax Flexibility

House Bill 333 would provide counties an optional sales tax levy of up to .5 percent if voters grant approval in a tax referendum. Restrictions apply limiting any levy to increments of .25 percent and not to exceed sales tax limits already in place for counties. Revenues generated through the optional levy would be designated for capital improvements or expenses, teacher salary supplements, and/or local support for community colleges.

Teacher and Instructional Support Salaries

The House budget included an average pay raise of 3.3 percent in 2017-2018 and a 9.5 percent increase in 2018-2019. The budget includes monies for step increases for teachers and assistant principals. (see salary schedule below)

Principal and Assistant Principal Salaries

Assistant Principal pay under the House Budget would tie their salaries to the Teacher Salary Schedule and add 22 percent. Principal salaries would be based on a formula which includes average daily membership, percentage of students on free or reduced lunch, and the Principal’s years of experience. 

Also included in the budget is a “Pay as you go” capital outlay plan that could help assist in public school construction.

TEACHER SALARY SCHEDULE 27 SECTION

8.1.(a) The following monthly teacher salary schedule shall apply for the 2017-2018 fiscal year to licensed personnel of the public schools who are classified as teachers. The salary schedule is based on years of teaching experience.

2017-2018 Monthly Teacher Salary Schedule 31

Years of Experience "A" Teachers

0 $3,530  

1-2 $3,630

3-4 $3,730

5-6 $3,830  

7-8 $3,930  

9-10 $4,055  

11-12 $4,205  

13-14 $4,355  

15 $4,555  

16 $4,630  

17-18 $4,730  

19-20 $4,830  

21-22 $4,930

23-24 $5,030

25+ $5,130

Licensed teachers who have NBPTS certification shall receive a salary  supplement each month of twelve percent (12%) of their monthly salary on  the "A" salary schedule.

Salary Schedule taken from  S257-PCS45440-LRxf-5 [v.3] Senate Bill 257 Page 87

Submitted by Bryan Holloway
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