March 13, 2019

Legislative Update

Legislative Updates

 

Late February Update

Though the 2019 session has started at a very slow pace, PENC is working hard on your legislative priority list.  Thus far, we have seen over thirty bills concerning calendar flexibility filed on the House side, and committees are beginning to meet slowly. 

PENC’s Executive Director, Bill Medlin, and Lobbyist, Bryan Holloway, have had numerous meetings with members thus far and will continue to meet with members in the coming weeks.  PENC also is planning a legislative day for board and staff members on March 20th, and we will be additionally meeting with legislative members to discuss priorities. 

Bill Medlin and Bryan Holloway met with NC House Education Appropriations and Policy Chairs, Representative Jeffrey Elmore and Representative Craig Horn.  In addition, they met with Democrat Graig Meyer, another strong education leader.  Prior to these meetings, Bryan Holloway had met with Senate Education Appropriations and Policy Chairs, Senator Jerry Tillman and Senator Deanna Ballard. He had also met with Education Policy Chair Senator Rick Horner, Full Appropriations Chair Representative Linda Johnson, and Education Appropriations Chair Representative John Sauls.  All of these meetings were positive, and we found much support for our ideas and legislative priorities.  Bill and Bryan have more meetings scheduled in the coming weeks before our March 20th Legislative Day. 


Early March Update

In the last week, things have picked up in state government.   Governor Cooper has released his version of the budget, which means legislators should ramp up activity to pass their versions soon.  The House will go first this time, and that budget will be followed by the Senate version.  Then, hopefully, the legislature and the governor can come to a compromise.  Also, education bills of interest were filed this week. Remember, filing a bill does not make it law, and we have provided some insight on each bill presented and the likelihood of its chances of passage below. 

 

The Governor’s Budget

  • Has a goal of raising teacher pay to the highest in the southeast over a four year period (Avg. 9.1% over two years)
  • Reinstates experience pay for principals
  • Provides $40 million for school safety and school mental health
  • Provides $15 million for school security improvements
  • Provides a $29 million increase in funding for textbooks and digital resources
  • Provides $9 million for teacher recruitment
  • Expands Teaching Fellows program by $5 million
  • Proposed at $3.9 billion dollar bond proposal, giving $2 billion to public schools

These are some of the major highlights.  The entire budget can be read by clicking here: The Governor’s Budget. 

House Bill 266: School Annual Report Card

  • This bill, filed by Representative Riddell, changes the school report card by giving two grades instead of one grade.  Schools would receive a performance grade and a growth grade.  This would change the current law that combines performance (80%) and growth at (20%) to derive one grade. 

House Bill 276: Modify Low Performing School Definition

  • This bill, filed by Representative Riddell, changes the definition of low performing schools so that a school that meets growth cannot be considered low performing.

House Bill 216: School Self Defense Act & Senate Bill 192: School Security Act

  • Though both bills are different, they are similar due to the fact they arm individuals in the school setting other than school resource officers.  PENC has heard the voice of our teachers, and we know that the majority of members oppose such measures.  From discussions with legislators in both parties, these bills have a slim chance of becoming law. However, PENC will keep a watchful eye on them and report if any of them begin to gain momentum. 

PENC continues to meet with legislators to advocate for your positions.  We have met with many legislators since the last report, but some of the notable ones are:

Rep. Jason Saine, Senior Appropriations Chair

Rep. Josh Dobson, Senior Appropriations Chair

Rep. Marvin Lucas, Former Education Chair for the Democrats

Our meeting with the Democrat Freshman caucus had to be rescheduled, but that will be coming up soon. We plan to meet with Senators in the coming weeks, but the focus is now on the House since they do their budget first.  Also, we have a strong advocacy day planned on March 20th, and we will be meeting with legislators from both chambers, and both sides of the aisle.  PENC will be reporting back soon with more details of legislation and activities in the legislature.  

 

Click here to view our 2019-2021 Legislative Priorities. 

For information about specific issues, please contact [email protected].

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