September 4, 2020
The legislature resumed business briefly this week for two days to spend the remainder of the COVID-19 relief money by passing House Bill 1105. They also passed House Bill 807 to bring a sports championship employer to the state. Unfortunately, there was no consideration of giving teachers and support staff any additional compensation. Again, we remain the only group that received essentially nothing from this biennium session. We were the subject of debate multiple times, and we received a veto of an average of 3.9% from the governor, a small bonus from the legislature totaling $350, and most recently a proposal from the governor to give bonuses that the legislature did not consider. The legislature ended the week by adjourning sine die, which means they do not plan to return to Raleigh until January of 2021. As always, there are political tools in place that could bring them back. These include signatures from the body, or the governor could call them back to take action on any political measure. PENC will be aggressively pursuing compensation for our educators, and we will not let them forget we were the only group (teachers and support staff) left behind. Below is a summary of House Bill 1105:
Hold Harmless provision for schools with declining ADM
20 million for COVID treatment for the uninsured
38 million for behavioral health services
Expand Opportunity Scholarship eligibility. PENC does not support this expansion; however the legislature continues to expand this program that essentially has no oversight on student success or performance. If the legislature is going to continue to invest in this program, they should also monitor its performance just as they do with our public schools.
50 million for lost wages assistance program
17 million in grants for exceptional children services
5 million to local election boards
44.5 million designated for hurricane recovery
$335 one time payment to families with children.