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  • Aidan McInnis

Legislative Update: May 13th, 2024


Education Updates Spring 2024

 

The North Carolina General Assembly has reconvened for the 2024 short session. They may make budget adjustments which is why the Governor has already submitted his proposal. Legislative leaders have yet to commit to any pay raises, but we will know more over the next few weeks. In this report, you will find the governor’s proposed pay increase, legislative interim committee recommendations, and notable bills filed within the first two weeks of the session.  


The Governor’s Budget Proposal for Pay Raises:

 

Gov. Cooper has proposed 8.5 percent raises for teachers during the short session, among other notable education-related expenditures. All total Gov. Cooper has proposed around an additional 1 billion in education funding. However, the 8.5 percent average increase proposal would include the already approved increase of around 3 percent for 2024-25 which was part of the 2023 budget.

 

Also included in the Governor’s proposal:

  • Funding should include a 6% total increase for current principals.

  • A $1,000 bonus to all state employees and an extra $500 bonus for employees making less than $75,000 annually.

  • Money toward restoration of masters pay for those currently holding advanced degrees but who were not previously eligible.

  • Funding for starting salary teacher pay to increase to $47,500.

  • 5% percent pay raise for non-certified school employees.

  • A non-recurring 3% retiree bonus for 2024-25. The 2023 budget provided a 4% non-recurring bump.

  • $8.2 million for investment into the North Carolina Principal Fellows Program 

  • $1.8 million to expand the Advanced Teaching Roles program.

  • $900,000 to reduce National Board certification fees for qualifying teachers.

Allotments to expand the NCDPI budget to include the addition of several permanent positions in roles of educational support, including an equity office at DPI and a Career and Postsecondary Planning Director among other wish list items from DPI.


Interim Legislative Committees:

 

The House Select Committee on Education Reform – met 6 times after the 2023 Regular Session ended. In these meetings, the committee heard from a variety of education stakeholders on a myriad of current and relevant public education-related topics. Below are the recommendations for the committee moving forward:


  1. Teacher Compensation in North Carolina The Committee recommends that the General Assembly continue to support North Carolina teachers and further assess compensation for teachers, as well as find ways to attract and retain teachers in hard-to-staff positions.  

  2. Advanced Teaching Roles (ATR) Program - The Committee recommends that the General Assembly continue to support the ATR Program, monitor the Program, and consider how best to further implement the Program.   

  3. Technology & Devices - The Committee recommends that the General Assembly continue to support student access to technology. The Committee recommends a plan be developed to identify various funding streams for refreshing the devices currently in schools.

  4. Learning Loss Recovery - The Committee recommends that the General Assembly support the Department of Public Instruction in continuing this recovery by investing in the following: (i) building on early grade literacy and math progress, (ii) providing targeted and evidence-based reading and House Select Committee on Education Reform Page 17 math interventions in middle grades, (iii) exploring STEM initiatives aligned to workforce priorities, and (iv) renewing a commitment to the Department's research in studying and identifying effective interventions  

  5. Comprehensive Mathematics Reform - The Committee recommends that the General Assembly support the Department of Public Instruction in efforts to ensure that all students are prepared for Math 1.   

  6. School Performance Grades - The Committee recommends that the General Assembly modify the current A-F school performance grades by adopting a model that would create a summative grade based on an average of individual school performance grades in four areas: academics (proficiency), progress (growth), readiness (post-secondary preparation), and opportunity (chronic absenteeism, school climate, intra/extracurricular activities)  

  7. Charter School Funding - The Committee recognizes that charter schools receive State funds based on the average per pupil allocation for their average daily membership (ADM), with an additional amount for children with disabilities and children with limited English proficiency. The Committee also recognizes that charter schools must receive a per pupil share of the local current House Select Committee on Education Reform Page 18 expense fund of the local school administrative unit in which it is located. The Committee understands that Fund 8 is not shared with charter schools and includes funds for the local school administrative unit such as fees for actual costs, tuition, federal appropriations made directly to the local school administrative unit, and funds received for prekindergarten programs. The Committee finds that local school administrative units fund several beneficial programs out of Fund 8.  (No recommendation made)

  8. School Counselors - The Committee recommends that the General Assembly continue working to ensure that students have access to the necessary professionals in school and study the impact that funding at the recommended student-to-professional ratios may have on student outcomes.   

  9. Principal Pay -The Committee recommends that the General Assembly continue working to ensure that all schools have effective principals and study the impact that a new salary schedule may have on principal recruitment and retention.    


Education Oversight Committee – This committee will continue to meet after the short session ends. Thus far, we have not seen any recommendations. However, we should expect some recommendations later for the 2025-long session. 


Notable Education Bills Filed Thus Far: 

 

House Bill 1032: Academic Transparency – This legislation is like what we have seen in the past that requires teachers in our public schools to post all lesson plans online. This is NOT supported by PENC and will be cumbersome. We will be lobbying against this legislation.  The bill failed to become a law last time, and hopefully, it will again. 


PENC Legislative Day:

 

On May 8th, we convened for our annual Legislative Day at the state capital. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who engaged with us, lending their ears to our concerns and aspirations. Rest assured, we remain steadfast in our commitment to amplify the voices of educators across North Carolina.


Picture 1: Sen. Jay Chaudhuri

Picture 2: Rep. Ashton Clemmons

Picture 3: Sen. Sydeny Batch

Picture 4: Sen. Dan Blue

Picture 5: RA. Laura Elmore

Picture 6: Sen Graig Meyer


PENC Advocacy Team:

Tammy Beach

Bryan Holloway

Robert Mitchell


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