December 20, 2016 Legislative Update

 

In This Issue...

  1. Special Session
  2. Moving Forward

Special Session

Last week, the North Carolina General Assembly convened for a special session to consider legislation (Disaster Recovery Act, HB 2) for disaster relief across the state from Hurricane Matthew and wildfires in western North Carolina. The bill appropriated dollars to assist with cleanup efforts and also declared that schools would not have to make up more than two days as result of the devastation.

After passing the disaster relief legislation, the House chamber filed a flurry of bills, but only two major actions occurred from this point. The first (SB 4) made the NC state supreme court and court of appeals elections partisan. The second bill (HB 17) transferred administrative power from the state board of education to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. HB 17 can be viewed in its entirety HERE.

Other notable bills that were filed, but not passed into law, were HB 12 (School Calendar Flexibility) and HB 13 (Class Size Requirement Changes). House Bill 12 provided additional flexibility to local school systems by allowing them to align their calendars with the calendars of local community colleges. The bill was withdrawn from the legislative calendar and referred to the Rules Committee. Calendar flexibility faces an uphill battle this legislative session just as it has for more than a decade. Traditionally, the NC House has been receptive to calendar flexibility, but its passage still faces uncertainty in both chambers.

House Bill 13 (Class Size Requirement Changes) passed the House, but the bill was not heard by the Senate. The bill changed the maximum and individual class size requirements for grades kindergarten through third grade. This bill began to address a problem faced by school districts. Discussions with education leaders in the NC Senate have indicated this issue is on their radar, leading them to address it in the early days of session beginning in January 2017.


Moving Forward

Moving forward, we are preparing for the 2017 General Assembly. Pay and compensation for our state’s educators is high on the priority list of legislators as indicated through discussions in interim committee meetings. This legislative session will likely be fast paced with redistricting, educator pay, and many other issues on the docket.

What do you think?

If you have questions or concerns, please share your thoughts and ideas with us.
Contact us at [email protected].

Submitted by Bryan Holloway


 For more information about the North Carolina General Assembly, click here.
To identify and contact your legislators, click here.

For information about specific issues, please contact PENC government relations consultant Bryan Holloway at [email protected].