Preview of January State Board of Education Agenda

January 6 and 7, 2010

All of the State Board of Education Committees will meet on Wednesday, January 6: Globally Competitive Students, the 21st Century Professionals Committee, the Leadership for Innovation Committee, and the Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee. On Thursday, January 7, the State Board of Education will meet at 9:00 AM.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Globally Competitive Students Committee (10:00 AM)

Action

  • GCS 1 Changes to NC’s NCLB Consolidated Application Accountability Workbook The State Board is requested to approve the amendments to the NC Accountability Workbook pending USED approval. The changes include: 1) First retest results on end-of-course assessments in the calculations of ABC s Performance Composites and for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) where appropriate, 2) References to “Intermediate High” on the state’s English language proficiency test changed to Level 4.0 expanding on the state’s English language placement test, 3) North Carolina’s checklist of Academic Standards (NCCLAS) removed from the testing program per decision of the USED and the peer review process, 4) Cohort Graduation Rate improvement indicators will be adjusted. The State Board has already agreed to a 5-year cohort graduation rate, but they need to provide additional information to USED prior to adoption of this change. The graduation rate language in the workbook is as follows: Progress will be defined as at least TBD ( to be determined) percentage point increase from one year to the next (up to a threshold of TBD) for the 4-year cohort graduation rate or at least TBD percentage point increase from one year to the next (up to a threshold of TBD) for the 5-year cohort graduation rate. The following changes listed above are incorporated into the accountability workbook, which is available: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/stateboard/meetings/2010/01/gcs/01gcs.pdf.
  • GCS 2 2009-2010 Title III Addendum to the NCLB Consolidated State Plan The State Board is recommended to approve the Title III addendum to the NCLB Consolidated State Plan. NC is required to submit revisions to their assessment and accountability systems based on final interpretations of Title III rules sent to Chief State School Officers in late October this year. Final amendments affecting Title III assessment are due no later than January 15, 2010. The addendum contains changes to the workbook in the following areas: Performance Goal #2, Standards, Assessments and Accountability by identifying the languages in the population and administering assessments, State Board adoption of WIDA (World Class Instructional Design and Assessment) Standards, status of the State’s efforts to establish standards and annual measurable objectives in developing English proficiency, Limited English Proficiency Program Activities for parent involvement, and Information on how the State will hold LEAs accountable for meeting annual measurable objectives for limited English proficient children. The English Language Proficiency targets for students making progress in at least one subtest (reading, writing, speaking or listening) are listed at 70 for 2009-2010. The addendum does not contain a percentage target for the number of limited English proficient students for the 2009-2010 year (the chart says TBD).

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/stateboard/meetings/2010/01/gcs/01gcs.pdf

Discussion

  • GCS 3 K-12 Science Essential Standards The State Board will discuss the essential standards for K-12 Science as presented by staff.  They will be presented by content area and grade level with clarifying objectives. The Science Essential Standards may be found at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards The presentation in January will include changes to Version 3.0, in what will be called Version 4.0. Version 4.0 will be posted in January, but is not in the SBE book for January nor on the website. Copies may be available when the Board meets next week and will be posted after the Board meeting.

December Committee Meeting: Dr. Cindy Williams presented an overview of the new standards and outlined some of the concepts developed for the PreK-12 curriculum that they have worked on over the past eighteen months. She talked about the input from the field in developing the standards. There were three main areas of concern from the stakeholders; Inquiry, Rigor, and Content Placement. Beverly Vance addressed each of these areas. She also told members they are moving Physical Science down into the lower grades as part of the new standards.

  • GCS 4 Discussion of North Carolina’s Proposed New Accountability Model The Board continues to discuss the new accountability model. Components of the proposed model include student performance, value-added performance for teachers, schools and districts, long-term growth, graduation rate, Future-Ready Core, and postsecondary readiness. A worksheet enumerates several issues for consideration: Exploration and planning for other widely used assessments, like ACT, SAT, WorkKeys or Accuplacer. The Committee has discussed the desire to use a national test(s) as a measure of post-secondary readiness. Included in this worksheet is a series of questions: 1) Will we continue to have and use the gateways? 2) Do we need a model that can make a single “up or down” decision for an LEA? 3) How should we balance the components in the model? 4) Are there other components in the model that should be added? 5) What set of additional incentives could be put in place to support school improvement and student achievement? 6) Extra points for increasing number of Level IV students? This item will be before the State Board for discussion through April 2010 with Action to be taken in May 2010.  Emerging Point; Consensus from October meeting included the use of assessments like ACT/SAT WorkKeys and Accuplacer for measuring postsecondary readiness.  There were no other points of consensus. Some of the issues to be discussed this month include: Review existing tests and determine if they are the right tests, Longitudinal growth model, Value-added models (EVAAS) Graduation Rate (5-year cohort), Future-Ready Core Participation, Postsecondary Readiness, Consequences (classification of schools), Incentives. Other questions to be answered include: Will we continue gateways? Do we need to develop a model that can make a single “up or down” decision? How should we balance the components of the model, primarily in high schools? Are there other components in the model to be added (i.e. attendance etc.)? What set of additional incentives could be put in place to support school improvement and student achievement? Extra points may be given for increasing the number of Level IV students?

New Business:

  • Update on Writing Instructional System
  • Impact of Student Mobility on Student Achievement in Urban Areas

Healthy Responsible Students Committee

New Business:

  • NC Institute of Medicine Task Force Recommendations Involving Education Entities
  • 21st Century Professionals Committee (12:45 PM)
  • Action and Discussion Agenda:

Action:

  • TCP 1 Mentor Standards and Training The State Board is requested to approve the Revised Standards for Mentor Programs, Revised Standards for Mentors, and a System of Accountability and Support to enhance induction quality for beginning teachers in NC.  A Mentor Task Force has been meeting and recommends these new standards and training for mentors. They will present 4 recommendations: 1) Revise Standards for Beginning Teacher Support Programs, 2) Develop Standards for Mentors that clearly articulate How they can assist Beginning Teachers in Meeting North Carolina’s Professional Teaching Standards, 3) Revise Mentor Program Accountability and Support Policies to include a Five-Year Formula Review and an Annual Peer Review Process, 4) Create and Coordinate Mentor Support Opportunities to ensure all LEAs and mentors are prepared to provide high quality support to all beginning teachers in North Carolina.

December Committee Meeting: Eric Hirsch presented on the work of his task force in developing the new standards. There was no indication of where the funds would come from to implement these new teacher mentor standards. The state budget had a $2 million cut from the teacher mentor program this year, which was already short of funding.

  • TCP 2 Accrual CEUs for Retired Teachers The State Board is asked to approve the CEU (Continuing Education Unit) credits to be given to retired teachers who have reached their maximum earning capacity as defined by the North Carolina Retirement System.  In an effort to improve conditions for retired teachers and encourage them to stay or go back into the classroom they will be able to earn 1 CEU credit for the year they taught or were employed as a retiree. The language is as follows: “When a retired teacher returns to active teaching or employment in North Carolina public schools and works up to his or her maximum earning capacity as defined by the North Carolina Retirement System for that school year, he or she will be granted 1 CEU of renewal credit for that year’s service.
  • TCP 3 Adding Teaching Areas Based on 24 Semester Hours of Coursework The State Board is asked to approve a policy that allows teachers to apply to the DPI Licensure Section to add teaching areas to their license upon completion of 24 semester hours of coursework earning a C or better in the subject area(s). This is providing a pathway for Exceptional Children’s teachers to gain licensure in the content areas where they may be teaching.

Action on First Reading:

  • TCP 4 Recommendations from the Advisory Board on Requests for Exception from Teacher Licensing Requirements The State Board will hear recommendations from the appeals panel reviewing requests for exceptions from the teacher licensing requirements, in closed session.
  • TCP 5 Final Decision in Contested Cases:
    • Sandra P. Chesser v. State Board of Education
    • Frederick P. Moore v. State Board of Education, Dept of Public Instruction

The administrative law judge upheld the agency’s action with respect to each of the above contested cases. The State Board is requested to issue a final decision in each of the above cases.

Discussion:

  • TCP 6 Crediting Experience for NCVPS Teachers Currently Ineligible for Experience Credit The State Board will discuss a policy change allowing teachers who teach in the virtual school program to earn teaching experience credit for their work. The new language is being added to SBE policy, TCP-A-006 to specify how experience credit is earned for NCVPS teachers who are not now eligible for such credit. Both NCVPS teachers and college teachers must teacher a minimum of six semester hours per term or semester to qualify for half-time credit and a minimum of twelve semester hours per term semester for full-time experience credit. The policy changes will be presented for Action in January and become effective with Board approval.
  • TCP 7 Removal of Barriers to Lateral Entry Into Teaching The State Board will discuss the recommendations of DPI staff to the legislative request in the 2009 budget, to review lateral entry policy and remove barriers to lateral entry. The DPI team is recommending that the pedagogy coursework be modified to align with the new Professional Teaching Standards, thereby reducing the current required pedagogy course work from nine courses to five courses. The five courses are listed: 1) Planning, 2) Diverse Learners, 3) Instructional Methods, 4) Classroom Management, 5) Ability to Impact Student Learning. In addition to these changes the DPI team recommends that DPI contract with an online vendor to create online courses for the Planning course, Meeting Special Learning needs; Exceptionalities; Diversity course and Instructional Methods course to offer lateral entry teachers more options. The classroom management/organizing the classroom to maximize learning requirement and the ability to Impact Student Learning would be signed off on by the respective LEAs. The proposal will be back for Action in February. It will become effective for lateral entry teachers hired beginning with 2010-2011 school year.

Leadership for Innovation Committee

Action on First Reading:

  • LFI 1 Enrollment Increase Requests Above 10% and Charter School Grade Expansion The State Board is recommended to approve requests for charter school grade and enrollment expansions. If a charter school wants to increase its enrollment more than 10 percent or change their grade span, they must request approval from the State Board. Franklin Academy in Wake County has requested an enrollment increase of 254 students (1625-total). Their current maximum enrollment is 1333. The staff is recommending approval of their request. Casa Esperanza in Wake County is requesting to increase their grades from K-6 to K-8 and staff is recommending approval. There are nine other schools requesting enrollment or grade expansion from other counties including Durham and Johnston. Staff is recommending approval of the 11 charter school requests.

Discussion:

  • LFI 2 Renewal Recommendations for Charter Schools with Charters Expiring June 2010 The State Board will discuss renewal of charter school charters for two schools. The following schools are requesting renewal of their charters; Cape Lookout Marine Science High School and The Academy of Moore County. The Office of Charter Schools provided Cape Lookout Marine Academy with a two-year renewal due to their low performance composite. Presently the school is out-of-compliance with their mission, which was marine science. They are serving low-performing students like an alternative school. In addition, they are continuously losing students (425-over the last five years-averaging 85 a year with an enrollment total of 124). The Office of charter Schools is not recommending renewal of the charter for Cape Lookout. The Academy of Moore County was given a three-year renewal in 2007. They have made improvements in academics and their facility. Based on the changes they have implemented the Office of Charter Schools is recommending a three-year renewal for The Academy of Moore County.

New Business:

  • NCVPS/LEO Director’s Update
  • Revision of the Charter School Renewal Policy/Process

Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee Meeting

Action:

  • TCS 1 Approval of Grants
  • Reading First Educational Grant to Lenoir County The State Board is requested to approve a DPI recommendation to provide $80,000 of Reading First funds to employ a K-3 reading coach for Northeast School in Lenoir County.

Discussion:

  • CS 2 2010-2011 Supplemental Budget Supplemental budget requests must be sent to the Governor’s office by February 2010. The Board will be given a list of budget reductions that were implemented this year and how they are impacting school districts. The Race To the Top guidelines will also be presented along with a traditional list of initiatives that the SBE has decided are underfunded or in need of more resources as well as any new budget requests.

Update on Contracts:

  • Contracts over $25,000 – 16 Proposals
  • Contracts under $25,000 – 9 Proposals

Issues Session (3:15 PM)

  • Review of the Race to the Top Proposal

Thursday, January 7, 2010

State Board of Education Meeting, (9:00 AM) Dr. William Harrison, Chairman

  • Call to Order
  • Pledge of Allegiance: Wayne McDevitt
  • Approval of Minutes

Special Recognition:

  • Dr. George Litton, Chairman, Cleveland County Board of Education Winner of the NCSBA ` 2009-2010 Raleigh Dingman Award

Key Initiatives Reports and Discussion

  • ACRE Update: Ms. Angela Quick
  • District and School Transformation Update: Dr. Pat Ashley
  • CEDARS Update: Mr. Adam Levinson

Board Meeting and Committee Chair Reports

Consent Agenda

Globally Competitive Students Committee

  • GCS 5 Report to Governor and JLEOC on Plan for Restructuring ABC’s Accountability System In 2009 the General Assembly authorized the SBE to develop a plan to restructure the ABC’s. The SBE will need authorization in 2010 by the General Assembly to implement a new plan. The report provides information on the current status of the ACRE project. It addresses the various indicators being reviewed including student performance, student growth, post-secondary readiness, graduation rates and academic course rigor. The use of these indicators will be determined for one or more of the following areas: reporting, rewards and sanctions, and targeting assistance. The issues to be decided include: incentive awards, sanctions for schools and LEAs, and the definition of low-performing schools.

Superintendent’s Report

-Dr. June Atkinson

Chairman’s Remarks

-Dr. Bill Harrison, Chairman

Legislative Update

New Business

Old Business

Adjourn

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JOINT LEGISLATIVE EDUCATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE SUMMARY

December 8, 2009

Senator Foriest, Co-Chair

Representative Yongue, Co-Chair

National Board Teacher Applications

Kris Nordstrom, Fiscal Analyst, NCGA Fiscal Research Division presented an overview of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Applications funding and expenditures. It is the goal of the State to provide opportunities and incentives for good teachers to become excellent teachers and to retain them in the teaching profession. The National Board certification is supported by two expenditures streams covering the teacher application costs (2,500 per teacher) and providing 12 percent salary increment to National Board Certified Teachers. North Carolina began paying for application costs in 1995-96 and the budgeted amount of $3.3 million has remained unchanged since 1998. Over the past few years there has been steady increase in the number of applications. There were 2,303 applicants in 2008 and the number has more than doubled for 2009 (5,885). The reason for this dramatic increase is probably a result of the change next year requiring the application fee to be a loan rather than the State paying the fee. The projected funding for this program for the 2009 Budget will require an additional $11.4 million to cover the increased cost of the application fees.  North Carolina has the most Board Certified Teachers in the nation totaling 14,186 and the total cost to cover applications and salary increments this year amounted to $68 million. The excess cost of the program is usually covered by reversions, but due to the recent budget shortfall the amount of reversions has declined dramatically.

Philip Price, Associate Superintendent/Chief Financial Officer, NC Department of Public Instruction, addressed the changes in the legislation noting in the final budget the application fees will be paid by the applicant through a loan program beginning in 2010-2011.  The loans are repayable over a three-year period and will be capped at $3.3 million. Committee members questioned if there would be interest charged on these loans. Since the SEA Administration sets the rules, these would likely be interest bearing loans with the interest going to the SEA for administrative costs (allowed for in the law).  Members were also interested in the results of research looking at the effectiveness of this program, and funding challenges. They agreed further discussion of this issue would be necessary before the next legislative session.

UNC Teacher Data System

Dr. Alisa Chapman, Associate Vice President for Academic Planning and University School Programs, UNC General Administration and Dr. Gary Henry, Professor and Director of the Carolina Institute for Public Policy, UNC-CH presented an overview of the analysis of the 2009 Teacher Preparation Programs in the North Carolina University system. The overall priority of this research is to prepare more and better teachers and school leaders for North Carolina public schools. There were three strategies to address their goal: recruitment, preparation and new teacher and school leader support. The research addressed the quality of preparation by the use of three models: Entry Model, Persistence Model and Impact Model. The discussion today focused on the Impact Model. Connecting UNC Teacher Preparation Programs to student achievement was the approach used in this study. Statistics show that in 1990 NC led the nation in advances in student achievement, but by 2007 only one-half of 3rd thru 8th graders scored proficient in both reading and mathematics and far fewer of the poor students (one-third) passed, about two-thirds of the high school students passed their End-of-Course exams and only 70 percent of high school students graduated in four years. Increasing student achievement requires improving the quality of the teacher workforce and the UNC teacher preparation programs must be a part of the solution. The research team consisted of staff from UNCGA, UNC Chapel Hill and ECU. UNC institutions prepare approximately one-third of the 86,434 classroom teachers teaching in NC public schools in 2007-08. A chart showing the breakdown of teachers who were UNC undergraduate prepared (27,386), had a UNC graduate degree (2,351), were Lateral Entry (12,164), or out-of-state undergrad prepared (20,250). Another chart indicated the number of undergraduate teachers from each of the universities who were represented in the 27,386 number. An overview of the data used and the control variables were also presented. Some of the preliminary findings indicated that students do worse when instruction is delivered by out-of-field teachers and first year teachers. Student gains are slightly more when they attend classes with high ability classmates, students do neither better nor worse when they attended classes with classmates of mixed abilities and teachers with Masters degrees had no positive effect on high school student achievement. They looked at which programs in the universities produce teachers who better prepare students for success in certain courses. For example NC State prepares teachers in high school science. The students taught by science teacher who were prepared by NC State did better academically than other students taught by teachers from other science preparation programs.  The next steps will include the use of this research to drive teacher preparation program improvements, identify promising practices at the different institutions and assess the impacts of different courses and preparation practices. Staff will also assess the impacts of principals prepared by the UNC Masters in School Administration programs on achievement and will compare the effectiveness of the UNC teacher preparation programs with other routes of preparation (i.e. lateral entry). Members asked if any of the variables included identification of the professors teaching at the university level, comparisons results from other states, comparisons or impacts of volunteers and teacher assistants. A report regarding the impact of lateral entry teachers will be available for review by January or February.

Teacher Vacancies

Alexis Schauss, Assistant Director, School Business Administration, NC Department of Public Instruction, since 1999, LEAs have annually reported the number of vacant certified positions they have on October 20.  As of October, 2009, 559 teacher vacancies were reported statewide. This represents a 49 percent (536) decrease from the number reported in 2007. The report contained information by LEA, Region, License area and license area by Region. Wake County reported 15 vacancies during this time period, while Charlotte had 109 vacancies. There were no questions and no further discussion was necessary.

The Practice of School Social Work

Nadine Ejire, Assistant Section Chief, Licensure Section, NC Department of Public Instruction and Teresa Smith, Consultant, K-12 Student Support Services, NC Department of Public Instruction, presented an overview of the social worker’s licensure requirements, and the NC Professional School Social Work Standards. In order for an individual to obtain a Provisional License, the following is required: must be employed with a NC school system, must have earned a bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree in social work from a regionally accredited Institution of Higher Education (IHE) in Social Work, must earn a minimum of six semester hours each school year until all requirements have been completed and upon completion of all requirements, an IHE or Regional Alternative Licensing Center will submit a recommendation for a clear license (Standard Professional II License). A brief outline of the hiring practices was also presented. Staff shared concerns with committee members regarding the Social Worker-to Student Ratio of 1:1,719. The School Social Work Association of America recommends one master’s degree level school social workers for every 400 students, while NCLB recommends one master’s level school social worker for 800 students.  Based on these two recommendations, a range between 400-800 students was used to review the 2009-2010 LEA school social worker ratios. The results indicate that 14 out of 115 NC school districts had a school social worker to student ratio between 400 and 800. In response to a question from the Committee, staff reviewed the duties and responsibilities of the school social worker. New Hanover was the only urban school systems listed in the chart with a desirable social worker to student ratio. The other 13 LEAs had student ADMs of 12,000 (Chapel Hill/Carboro) or less.  In these challenging economic times, social workers are continuing to meet the both physical and psychological needs of their students. A request was made for the Committee to review the ratio legislation during the next session.

School Board Member Training

Leanne Winner, Director, Governmental Relations, NC School Boards Association presented an overview of the history of the NC School Boards Association from its inception in 1937 through the current year. Existing law requires school board members to receive 12 hours annually of training. During the 2009 Session of the General Assembly, legislation was passed requiring board members to receive 2 hours of ethics education within 12 months of election/appointment and reelection/reappointment. The ethics training may count towards completion of the annual 12 hours of general board training. Forty-nine states have school boards, Hawaii has only a State Board of Education since it only has one school district. Twenty states have mandated school board training and 13 have enforcement provisions. There is an issue of compliance on the part of school board members regarding training. In 2008, 111 school board members did not receive any training. The percentage of members who have received training in 2008-2009 has increased to 72 percent up from the previous year’s 61 percent. NCSBA provides training at conferences, board meetings and recently by webinars. House Bill 348 introduced during the last session addresses this issue of noncompliance. The legislation initially required a $100 fine per hour of missed training. The House balked at the high cost and reduced it to $50 per hour, passed the bill and sent it to the Senate. The Senate heard the bill but could not agree on the fine. Senator Hartsell did suggested removal of a board member who fails to comply with the 12 hours of annual training, but the bill did not get out the Senate education committee. It is eligible in short session. The NCSBA association wants to either see some sanctions (fines or removal) placed in the law for those who do not comply or they want the statute requiring 12 hours repealed, since they have no way to enforce it.  Committee members spoke in support of sanctions for those board members not in compliance although there was some opposition to the removal of a school board member who had been voted into office by the citizens of the community. School Board members are trained in various areas: personnel, disciplinary hearings, financial matters, legislative issues, and legal issues. Members agreed to bring this item back for further discussion.

Wendell Hall, President, NC School Boards Association and Member, Hertford County Board of Education spoke on behalf of the organization and provided some examples of his experiences as a Board member and the absolute need for training. The complexity of the decisions required to be a board member demands training. There are so many more education requirements and knowledge beyond simple math and reading curriculum it is more critical than ever to participate in the 12 hours of training.

Summary of Joint Meeting of Senate and House Finance Committees

December 1, 2009

Opening Remarks by Finance Chairs-Senator Hoyle-Chaired the meeting.

Expanding Sales Taxation of Services: Options and Issues

Michael Mazerov, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Senior Fellow, Center’s State Fiscal Project noted that North Carolina is not alone in taxing few services. Twenty-four of 45 states enacted sales taxes during the 1930’s-1940’s, to offset plunging property taxes during the Depression. States did not include services because services were a much smaller share of the economy, and the tax on services was viewed as a tax on labor and jobs. Most states could improve their sales taxes and their tax systems in general with some expansion of the tax base to include services. Some of the reasons states should expand their taxation of services is to improve horizontal equity (equal tax treatment of similarly situated people), to raise additional revenue, to mitigate long-term erosion of sales tax, to reduce sales tax revenue volatility, to eliminate administrative problems and to improve economic efficiency. There are also drawbacks to expanding the sales tax on services, which may include bringing many new retailers into the system. These new retailers would have to be registered, educated and returns processed and audited. Also, this would increase the possibility of substantial noncompliance by individual sellers of some services (i.e., “off-the-books” by individuals, such as child care, house cleaning, home repair). However, the benefit of taxing services outweighs the drawbacks, since sales tax, primarily based on durable goods, will fall farther and farther behind the growing cost of providing public services. Taxing services will have a significant short-term revenue-raising potential. The services that could be taxed by states include business to business, services to households or both. The recommendation is that taxing services on businesses should be avoided as this often leads to pyramiding (multiple taxing of one item) with possible negative economic, political and distributional effects. A list of household services that could be taxed includes lawn and garden, financial and insurance, personal property rentals, medical and admissions, recreation and travel. North Carolina taxes 30 services out of a possible 168 and is well below the national average. The two approaches for expanding sales tax on services include Comprehensive (all services unless specifically exempt) and Incremental (enumeration of services) and examples of the pros and cons for each were presented. Members were interested in knowing if any comparisons had been done for those states that have used the comprehensive approach during this last recession and how these states were impacted financially.

Taxation of Services:  A Case Study of Other States

Presented by Cindy Avrette, Research Division, and Sandra Johnson, Fiscal Research Division, Prepared by the Finance Team began with a slide presentation that  included information requested by the members from previous meetings. The Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA) has listed over 100 services, divided into 16 categories, with business services, personal services and utilities ranking among the highest. In North Carolina 63 percent of the general revenue is acquired from taxation on utilities. Several slides were presented showing comparisons of selected states charting the state sales tax rate, the combined rate, number of FTA services taxed, and if there was any impact to the rate. Comparisons were also provided for those states that taxed over 100 services, states that taxed between 60-100 and states that have taken recent action such as Maryland, Michigan, and Maine regarding tax reform.  North Carolina and Virginia were among the states receiving a large portion of their revenues from Corporate and Individual taxes.  In conclusion, many states tax more services than North Carolina. Repairs, installation, warranties, amusements and automotive cleaning and maintenance were among those services currently not taxed in our state that are being taxed by other states. States that tax more services tend to have more sales tax stability. It was also noted that North Carolina’s combined tax rate was high for a state that also taxes income, since some of the states with comparable sales tax do not have an income tax or it is smaller in generating revenue than ours.

Senator Phil Berger and Representative Paul Stam requested an opportunity to present a document outlining work they (House and Senate Republican members) had been doing on the tax reform issue. They stated they supported the concept of broadening the tax base, while lowering the rate, but they wanted assurances that tax reform won’t be used to raise additional taxes and that it would create job growth. They suggested two possibilities to prevent tax reform from turning into tax hikes; an amendment to the state constitution limiting the state sales tax to 3 percent and local sales taxes at the same rate, or a requirement that tax hikes can only be passed separately from the budget or other legislation with a two-thirds vote. There were several other conditions outlined in the document provided by the Republican Leadership including proportional representation for the two parties on budget conference committees, zero-based budgeting and a requirement that “off-budget” agency revenue be appropriated by the legislature. Also included was the condition that the Governor’s proposed budget be based on previous year’s tax collections, rather than projected revenues. Also discussed by the members were the amount of lost revenue due to Internet sales ($7-$12 billion by 2011) and the hope for Congressional intervention/legislation to address this issue.

Sales Tax Administration

Eric Wayne, Director, Sales Tax Division, Department of Revenue reviewed the Department of Revenue’s processes and procedure related to sales tax collections. In considering a tax rate increase or taxable base expansion several issues were presented that would have significant impact on the Sales and Use Tax Division of the North Carolina Department of Revenue. The list included taxpayer education, employee education, technology system changes, form redesign, worksheet, affidavits, Streamline Sales Tax Project, budgetary concerns and departmental resources. Mr. Wayne provided information for each category and the affect any changes would have on the 180,000 taxpayers. He requested members consider the time element, cost implications, and personnel for the Department of Revenue, when adopting new legislation regarding tax reform.

Next Meeting: January 14, 2010

December State Board of Education Agenda: Preview

December 2-3, 2009

All of the State Board of Education Committees will meet on Wednesday, December 2: Globally Competitive Students, the 21st Century Professionals Committee, the Leadership for Innovation Committee, and the Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee. On Thursday, December 3, the State Board of Education will meet at 9:00 AM.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Globally Competitive Students (10:00 AM)

Action

  • GCS 1 Changes to Policy Delineating End-of-Grade and End-of Course Retests and Review Procedures The State Board is requested to approve changes the policy on Retest #2. DPI presented the option to the SBE to eliminate the third administration (Retest 2) of the end-of-grade and end-of-course test effective with 2010-2011. Retest 2 will not be provided by the State and scores are not included in ABCs or AYP. Local boards shall determine review procedures to make promotion decisions. The policy has been modified to eliminate the testing windows references, implementation date is 2010-2011, and edits to LEP student references.

November Committee Meeting: After lengthy discussion members agreed there were two separate issues to be decided with this item, the testing window and the elimination of Retest 2.  Some committee members were supportive of the elimination of the Retest 2, but others were not. Give LEAs flexibility and if they want to provide the 2nd retest they should be allowed to do so.

Discussion

  • GCS 2 Changes to NC’S NCLB Consolidated Application Accountability Workbook The State Board will discuss amendments to the NC Accountability Workbook pending USED approval. The changes include: 1) First retest results on end-of-course assessments in the calculations of ABC s Performance Composites and for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) where appropriate, 2) References to “Intermediate High” on the state’s English language proficiency test changed to Level 4.0 expanding on the state’s English language placement test, 3) North Carolina’s checklist of Academic Standards (NCCLAS) removed from the testing program per decision of the USED and the peer review process, 4) Cohort Graduation Rate improvement indicators will be adjusted. Adoption of the standards is requested for January 2010.
  • GCS 3 Discussion of North Carolina’s Proposed New Accountability Model The Board will continue to discuss the new accountability model. Components of the proposed model include student performance, value-added performance for teachers, schools and districts, long-term growth, graduation rate, Future Ready Core, and postsecondary readiness. A worksheet enumerates several issues for consideration: Exploration and planning for other widely used assessments, like ACT, SAT, WorkKeys or Accuplacer. The Committee has discussed the desire to use a national test(s) as a measure of post-secondary readiness. Included in this worksheet is a series of questions: 1) Will we continue to have and use the gateways? 2) Do we need a model than can make a single “up or down” decision for an LEA? 3) How should we balance the components in the model? 4) Are there other components in the model that should be added? 5) What set of additional incentives could be put in place to support school improvement and student achievement? 6) Extra points for increasing number of Level IV students? This item will be before the State Board for discussion through April 2010 with Action to be taken in May 2010.  Emerging Point; Consensus from October meeting included the use of assessments like ACT/SAT WorkKeys and Accuplacer for measuring postsecondary readiness.  There were no other points of consensus due to time constraints from the EVAAS presentation in November. Some of the issues to be discussed this month include: Review existing tests and determine if they are the right tests, Longitudinal growth model, Value-added models (EVAAS) Graduation Rate (5-year cohort), Future-Ready Core Participation, Postsecondary Readiness, Consequences (classification of schools), Incentives. Other questions to be answered include: Will we continue gateways? Do we need to develop a model that can make a single “up or down” decision? How should we balance the components of the model, primarily in high schools? Are there other components in the model to be added (i.e. attendance etc.)? What set of additional incentives could be put in place to support school improvement and student achievement? Extra points may be given for increasing the number of Level IV students? A copy of the worksheet is available upon request from my office.
  • GCS 4 K-12 Science Essential Standards The State Board will discuss the essential standards for K-12 Science as presented by staff.  They will be presented by content area and grade level with clarifying objectives. The Science Essential Standards may be found at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards.
  • Old Business
  • Graduation Project University Collaboration

21st Century Professionals Committee (12:30 PM)

Action and Discussion Agenda

Action

  • TCP 1 State Evaluation Committee Teacher Education Program Approval Recommendations The State Board is requested to approve the SEC’s recommendation’s related to the Brevard College Teacher Education Program based on the Spring 2009 follow-up visit. Also attached for approval are the revised programs based on the standards for teachers adopted by the Board in June 2007 and the redesigned program approval process agreed upon by the Board in January 2008. Over 700 programs were submitted in June 2009 and reviewed.

Action on First Reading

  • TCP 2 Teacher and Principal Evaluation Data Collection Policy The State Board is requested to approve the new policy. The Race to the Top guidelines and other federal reports require NC to submit principal and teacher summative ratings. The State Board is required to collect this data to meet these requirements. The policy authorizes such collection from the local school districts by June 30 annually.

Discussion

  • TCP 3 Revised Mentor Standards and Training The State Board will discuss Revised Standards for Mentor Programs, Revised Standards for Mentors, and a System of Accountability and Support to enhance induction quality for beginning teachers in NC.  A Mentor Task Force has been meeting and recommends these new standards and training for mentors. They will present 4 recommendations: 1) Revise Standards for Beginning Teacher Support Programs, 2) Develop Standards for Mentors that clearly articulate How they can assist Beginning Teachers in Meeting North Carolina’s Professional Teaching Standards, 3) Revise Mentor Program Accountability and Support Policies to include a Five-Year Formula Review and an Annual Peer Review Process, 4) Create and Coordinate Mentor Support Opportunities to ensure all LEAs and mentors are prepared to provide high quality support to all beginning teachers in North Carolina. These standards and training changes will come back to the Board for adoption in January.
  • TCP 4 Awarding CEUs for Retired Teachers The State Board will discuss CEU (Continuing Education Unit) credits to be given to retired teachers who have reached their maximum earning capacity as defined by the North Carolina Retirement System.  In an effort to improve conditions for retired teachers and encourage them to stay or go back into the classroom they will be able to earn a year of CEU credit for the time they taught or were employed as a retiree. This item will be presented for approval in January 2010.
  • TCP 5 Adding Teaching Areas Based on 24 Semester Hours of Coursework The State Board will discuss a policy that allows teachers to apply to the DPI Licensure Section to add teaching areas to their license upon completion of 24 semester hours of coursework earning a C or better in the subject area(s).

New Business

Update on Field Test of Superintendent’s Evaluation Instrument

Leadership for Innovation Committee

Action on First Reading

  • LFI 1 Charter School Task Force Policy Changes The State Board is requested to approve changes to two policies; TCS-U-001 Charter School Accountability requirements, TCS-U-010 Revocation of Charter for Lack of Academic Performance, delete TCS-U-011 Process for a charter school to be designated as an alternative school, and implement a new policy TCS-U-012 Charter School Application and Review Process. These policy changes are a result of an Ad Hoc Charter School Committee that has met since August of 2009. SBE adoption in December of these policies will enable the Governor to move forward in support of NC’s efforts to pursue federal grants, including Race to the Top. Copies of these policies are available upon request from my office.

Discussion

  • LFI 2 Enrollment Increase Requests Above 10% and Charter School Grade Expansion The State Board will discuss requests for charter school grade and enrollment expansions. If a charter school wants to increase its enrollment more than 10 percent or grade span, they must make that request to the State Board for approval. Franklin Academy in Wake County has requested an enrollment increase of 254 students (1625-total). Their current maximum enrollment is 1333. The staff is recommending approval of their request. Casa Esperanza in Wake County is requesting to increase their grades from K-6 to K-8 and staff is recommending approval. There are nine other schools requesting enrollment or grade expansion from other counties including Durham and Johnston. Staff is recommending approval of the 11 charter school’s requests.

New Business

  • NCVPS/LEO Director’s Update

Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee Meeting

Action

  • TCS 1 North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) Funding Formula The State Board is requested to approve the funding formula that adjusts ADM for NCVPS participation after discounting the adjustment for continuous funding. The NC legislature, in the 2009 Budget Act, required the SBE to report a formula for NCVPS by December 15, 2009. Originally the legislature had adopted a provision requiring an NCVPS formula be effective with the 2009-2010 school year and at no cost to students. A formula was never adopted in 2008/2009 and thus the new provision (2009 budget) stating the continued funding of the State Board was dependent on the adoption of the new formula by December 15, 2009.  In November, three options were presented for discussion: 1) Develop a formula where NCVPS is treated like an LEA with its own ADM (LEAs could capture a 25 percent savings by delivering a course via NCVPS), 2) Charge a fee per course allow LEAs flexibility to convert teacher positions to dollars to cover the cost of courses, and 3) Develop a formula based on the formula used to support Florida’s Virtual School. This is similar to ADM formula outlined in #1. The “per pupil” funding is based upon one FTE equals 6 credits of courses per year. The dollar value of the FTE varies from district to district within the state. Funding is based on projected course participation.

November Committee Meeting: Mr. Price presented three options for a funding formula for NCVPS. A recommendation is to be submitted to the General Assembly by December 15. The Committee suggested that only one option be recommended. The members were focused in on the ADM option and the FTE option.

  • TCS 2 Access for Non-Public School Children in North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) and Learn and Earn On-Line The State Board is asked to approve changes to current SBE policy on private and home school students. The Legislature requested a report on the SBE policy on access for non-public school children to the North Carolina Virtual Public School Program and Learn and Earn Online as well as the funding sources it authorizes, including tuition for non-public school students in the programs.  The policy has been changed to add language allowing local boards of education to register students for NCVPS upon verification that such enrollment will not exclude a public school student from registering for the class. The local board shall charge tuition, as established by the State Board of Education in March of each year, for all courses offered during the summer and the next school year. The State Board will identify the portion of the tuition to be retained by the local board of education. NC Learn and Earn Online language added to the policy prohibits non-public school students from registering for a Learn and Earn on-line course through public schools. Non-public school students can register through an established community college or university on-line course registration process. The current average cost for an NCVPS course is $350.00. Several issues remain to be answered. Should students living outside of NC be allowed to take NCVPS courses and if so, how do they enroll and pay for the course(s). Should students outside of NC be allowed to enroll on terms more favorable than those applicable to NC students? NCVPS can sell their courses to other States, but students in other states cannot presently enroll in NC NCVPS courses.

 

Update on Contracts

Contracts over $25,000 – 16 Proposals

Contracts under $25,000 – 9 Proposals

  • New Business

Communications Update

2010-2011 Supplemental Budget

Automated Data Systems Associated with Uniform Education Reporting System (UERS)

 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

State Board of Education Meeting, (9:00 AM) Wayne McDevitt, Vice Chairman

Call to Order

Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Minutes

Key Initiatives Reports and Discussion

ACRE Update:

District and School Transformation Update:

Information Agenda

  • LFI 3 NC WISE Parent Assist Module The State Board will receive a presentation the NC Wise Parent Assist module and show value added steps to make this component available along with the next release of NC WISE upgrade. Staff is indicating this will help build a better parent/school relationship and keep parents informed about student progress. To implement this module it will require additional resources such as hardware, operational staff, NC WISE staff. No funding requirements were provided.

Board Meeting and Committee Chair Reports

Superintendent’s Report

-Dr. June Atkinson

Chairman’s Remarks

-Wayne McDevitt, Vice Chairman

-Halifax County Update

-Legislative Update

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