Preview of March State Board of Education Agenda

March 3 and 4, 2010

The State Board of Education March Meeting will be held in Halifax County beginning with a tour of Aurelian Springs Elementary School and continuing on to William R. Davie Middle School where the Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee, Leadership and Innovation Committee, Globally Competitive Student Committee, and Healthy, Responsible Students Committee will meet on Wednesday, March 3. On Thursday, March 4, members of the State Board will tour Southeast Halifax High School and then return to William R. Davie Middle School where the full State Board of Education will meet to complete the remainder of the Agenda. At this time, the Twenty-First Century Professionals Committee has only one item and it is on the Consent Agenda.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee Meeting (10:00 AM)

Action

2010-2011 Supplemental Budget the supplemental budget was approved by conference call on Thursday, February 18. Copies are available upon request from my office.

  • TCS 1 Science Safety Standards The State Board of Education is requested to approve the “Science Safety Standards” policy and commence the APA rule-making process.  Furthermore, staff recommends that DPI, School Planning Section, be authorized to review and approve middle and high school science facilities for safety. House Bill 42, An Act to Implement Science Safety Measures in the Public Schools” amends G.S. 115C-521 by the addition of the following language: (c1) No local board of education shall apply for a certificate of occupancy for any new middle or high school building until the plans for the science laboratory areas of the building have been reviewed and approved to meet accepted safety standards for school science laboratories and related preparation rooms and stockrooms. The review and approval of the plans may be done by the SBE or by any other entity that is licensed or authorized by the State Board to do so.

February Committee Meeting: Ben Matthews discussed the law change moving away from guidelines to required standards. These will become effective when the Board approves them and they may not have to go through the APA process, which will expedite implementation. School systems are aware of the law and the move to standards should not have a major impact on anyone building or renovating schools. If so they should be able to make the necessary changes to their drawings prior to completion of their building.

Action on First Reading

  • TCS 2 Request for Repayment Waivers of the National Board Certification The State Board is requested to approve the Appeals Panel recommendations. The State pays the participation fee for National Board Certification. If a teacher withdraws from the process or completes the process, but does not teach for at least one year after the process is finished they are required to repay the State the participation fee. The individuals requesting waivers are not included in this section. This is a Closed Session item.

Discussion

  • TCS 3 Council on Educational Services for Exceptional Children The State Board will discuss the Council on Educational Services for Exceptional Children vacancies and provide recommendations to fill the following positions: LEA representative, a parent of a child with disabilities, and Exceptional Children teacher, and a vocational/business/community representative. The appointment terms are from July 1, 2010 through June 30 2014. The approval process will take place at the April meeting of the SBE.
  • TCS 4 Proposed SBE Policy Regarding LEA Rules and Regulations Related to Charter Transportation for School Related Events and Activities The State Board will discuss a new policy to ensure the safety of students who travel on school activity trips by requiring LEAs to have on file in the Superintendent’s office rules, regulations, and policies to assure the safety of students when contracting for services to provide transportation for students and school groups attending school-related events. The policy requires the LEA to maintain a pre-approved list of contract motorcoach transportation providers. The Institute for Transportation Research and Education at NCSU has recommended this action in lieu of a statewide permit for motorcoach carriers. In view of the economic issues facing the LEAs it was determined and now agreed upon by the Motor-coach Association that the SBE policy is preferable to a statewide permit program. Notification was sent to all LEAs in May of 2009. This item is presented for discussion in March and will be presented for Action at the April SBE meeting. The policy is effective on September 1, 2010 and LEAs will need to comply by that time.
  • TCS 5 Proposed SBE Policy to Require School Bus Driver Certification for Activity Bus Drivers The State Board will discuss a new policy to improve student safety by ensuring new drivers of school activity buses have received required training prior to transporting any students on school activity trips. Fifty–five of the 110 LEAs responded they already require activity bus drivers to hold a school bus certificate. A school bus certificate requires six days of training, three behind the wheel and three days of classroom instruction. DMV provides this instruction. They will also be required to obtain their CDL license by taking an examination once they have completed training. This will be presented for Action in April. The policy only impacts NEW drivers and will be effective July 1, 2010. LEAs will have the flexibility to decide whether to make this effective with existing drivers. LEAs’ will also be required to keep records on those individuals who were initially licensed before and after July 1, 2010. In addition the policy states that beginning July 1, 2013, any driver of a school activity bus, upon renewal of his/her drivers’ license, shall also maintain a school bus driver’s certificate.
  • TCS 6 Proposed SBE Policy to Require Training for School Bus Inspectors The State Board will review a new policy intended to improve student safety by ensuring that the individuals inspecting school buses and activity buses have completed training to educate them on proper school bus and activity bus inspection criteria and procedures. This item will be presented for Action at the April meeting. The effective date of the requirement is August 1, 2011. Initial training for LEA staff will begin July 1, 2010. Many of the details of this inspection training were not included in the generic policy, but will be made available to LEA as they are finalized.
  • TCS 7 Appointment of Individuals to the State Evaluation Committee on Teacher Education The State Board is requested to discuss the reappointment of three members and the appointment of two new members to the State Evaluation Committee on Teacher Education. Members serve three year staggered terms. Nominations were requested from Board members. Dr. Vivian Covington, Director of Education, East Carolina University, Dr. Walter Hart, Assistant Superintendent for Administration, Rowan-Salisbury Schools, and Dr. Micha Jefferies, Assistant Professor, NCSU are recommended for reappointment. Dr. Tom Daly III, Superintendent Martin County Schools and Dr. Mariann Tillery, Dean, School of Education, High Point University are nominated for initial appointment. This will be on Action for April.
  • TCS 8 Tuition Fee for Non-public School Students in North Carolina Virtual Public School The State Board will review and discuss five options for tuition fees for non-public students to attend the North Carolina Virtual School. These include: Option1) $470 for year-long course, $420 for block and semester course, $270 for summer, $245 or $170 for SAT, Option 2) $750 for year-long course and $375 for semester, Option 3) $468 for year-long course, other courses equal to the teacher amount per student plus $50 (semester $400, summer $250, SAT $225 and $150), Option 4) The student cost paid to the teacher plus $100 ($500 for year-long, $450 for block and semester, $300 for summer, $275 or $200 for SAT) Option 5) The student cost paid to the teacher plus 17.1 percent, $468 for year-long, $410 for block and semester, $234 for summer, $205 or $118 for SAT. The average cost per student per course that DPI has paid to other states over the past few years is $544. The local board of education is required to charge tuition to non-public school students if they are requesting to take courses from NCVPS. The State Board of Education is required to establish the tuitions for courses offered in the summer and the following school year by March annually. The State Board shall also identify the portion of the tuition to be retained by the local board of education for managing the collection of the tuition. This will be an Action item for April.

Update on Contracts

Contracts over $25,000 – 16 Proposals

Contracts under $25,000 – 13 Proposals

Adjourn Lunch

Leadership for Innovation Committee (1:30 PM)

Action and Discussion Agenda

Action

  • LFI 1 Renewal Recommendations for Charter Schools with Charters Expiring June 2010 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.

February Board Meeting: Advocacy by legislators for Cape Lookout and concerns with student achievement at Academy of Moore prompted the Board to pull the items from the agenda for a month delay. They will be back in March for Action, when the Board is scheduled to meet in Halifax County.

Action on First Reading

  • LFI 2 Final Approval of New Charter Schools The SBE may authorize no more than 100 charter schools and at the time of the application review process, there were 97 active charters, leaving three openings for new charter applications. The Office of Charter Schools recommends the final approval of Henderson Collegiate, Lake Lure Classical Academy and Mountain Island Charter School.

Discussion

  • LFI 3 Grandfather Academy Charter Enrollment Issues The State Board will review the enrollment issues with Grandfather Academy. State law for charter schools clearly designates the number of students to be served, which shall be at least 65, and the minimum number of teachers to be employed at the school in statute. Grandfather Academy was given an exemption for minimum enrollment of 50 students in their charter. However, the enrollment at Grandfather has been consistently below their charter minimum. On January 26, 2010 they were requested by the Office of Charter Schools to present a plan for reaching or exceeding the 50 student minimum. In their response and request for an exemption, they indicated that the children who attend a school of the nature and purpose of Grandfather Academy must have individualized instruction and attention that cannot be fully realized in a larger setting. The Charter is effective until 2017. The Grandfather has not submitted a plan to reach their minimum enrollment requirement. DPI has not included a recommendation on this item.
  • LFI 4 School-Based Calendar Waivers for Educational Purposes The State Board is requested to review the calendar waiver requests for educational purposes and to make a determination as to whether the requests should be granted or denied.  The following LEAs have requested waivers, Durham Public Schools for the City of Medicine Academy, Hertford County Public Schools for C.S. Brown Student Development Center High School, Lee County Public Schools for Lee County High School and Southern Lee High School, and Wayne County Public Schools for Wayne School of Engineering. This item is presented for discussion in March and Action in April.
  • LFI 5 Program Approval Requests Under the Innovative Education Initiatives Act The recommendation is for the State Board of Education to approve the following programs under the Innovative Education Initiatives Act: Avery High School (Accelerated Learning- the average daily membership of Avery County High School will be divided among three academies-Leadership, STEM and Viking); Charlotte-Mecklenburg, e-Learning Academy, and Hawthorne High School (High school students at risk of dropping out of school before attaining a high school diploma); Bessemer City High School, Gaston County (Early College Program for high school at risk students); T. Wingate Andrews High School, Guilford County Schools (Aviation Academy- High school students at risk); Fair Bluff Academy, Columbus County Schools (Dropout Prevention-Vocational Drafting Technology, Biotechnology, Communications, Child Care, Cosmetology, Industrial Plant Maintenance, Criminal Justice, Food Service and Welding).

New Business

-NCVPS/LEO Director’s Report

Globally Competitive Students Committee (3:00 PM)

Action

  • GCS 1 Recommendations for Compliance with HB 88, the Healthy Youth Act The State Board of Education is requested to approve the recommendations to modify pages (6,42-44,54,59-60, 62-63,68-69 and 78-81 within the 2006 Healthful Living Standard Course of Study in order to meet the requirements of House Bill 88, 2009 Healthy Youth Act. This legislation modified G.S. 115C-81 as it relates to Abstinence Until Marriage Education, now referred to as Reproductive Health and Safety Education, within the health education curriculum. DPI staff is recommending changes to the course of study to comply with the new law. They have included many of the sections of the law in the course of study which expands the instruction for students beginning in 7th grade on reproductive health and safety. They are now titling this curriculum as Guidelines for Instruction Regarding Reproductive Health and Safety Education. It adds language to allow the local board of education to expand on the subject areas to be taught in the program and on the instructional objectives to be met. Another key piece of the curriculum includes language requiring each school board to adopt a policy and provide a way for a parent/guardian to withdraw his or her child from instruction required under this statute.  The link to the documents in the section is included: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/stateboard/meetings/2010/02/gcs/02gcs.pdf.

February Committee Meeting: David Gardner reviewed the changes, which included removing references to “Abstinence Until Marriage” language, age appropriate material, removal of public hearing option, approval to support LEAs and revisions to the Standard Course of Study.

Action on First Reading

  • GCS 2 Changes to Policy Delineating the Components of the ABC’s Accountability Program for the 2010-2011 School year The State Board is requested to approve this policy change. With the adoption of the new high school mathematics essential standards and the emphasis on an integrated approach to the teach of mathematics, LEAs are requesting that the current Geometry End-of-Course (EOC) assessment be removed from the statewide testing program starting with the 2010-2011 school year. The state will have new assessments in place for the new curriculum with Mathematics A assessment and Mathematics B/C assessment.  The Mathematics A assessment will be administered at the conclusion of either Algebra I or Integrated Mathematics I. The Mathematics B/C assessment will be administered at the conclusion of either the Geometry and Algebra II course sequence or the Integrated Mathematics II and Integrated Mathematics III sequence. Removing the Geometry EOC assessment will allow LEAs to do a better job of scheduling students and making adjustments to facilitate a smooth transition to the new curriculum.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tour of Southeast Halifax High School

State Board of Education Meeting, (11:00 AM) Dr. William Harrison, Chairman

Call to Order

Pledge of Allegiance:

Approval of Minutes

Key Initiatives Reports and Discussion

CEDARS Update- Mr. Adam Levinson

Information Agenda

Healthy, Responsible Students Committee

  • HRS 2 Consolidated Data Report: Crime and Violence, Suspension and Expulsion, and Dropout Rates and Count  The State Board of Education shall report annually to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee on the number of students who have dropped out of school, been suspended, been expelled, placed in an alternative program, and committee acts of violence. The full report will be discussed at the State Board meeting.

Board Meeting and Committee Chair Reports

Consent Agenda

21st Century Professionals Committee

  • TCP 1 Recommendations for Compliance with HB 88, the Healthy Youth Act Teacher Education Specialty Area Standards for Health Education Teacher Candidates The recommendations to modify pages 77-78 and 81-82 of the Teacher Education Specialty Area Standards, document to add reproductive health and safety education language, to meet the requirements of House Bill 88.

Action and Discussion Agenda

Superintendent’s Report

-Dr. June Atkinson:

Chairman’s Remarks

-Dr. Bill Harrison, Chairman.

Legislative Update:

Adjourn

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JOINT LEGISLATIVE EDUCATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE SUMMARY

February 16, 2010

Welcome and Introductions

Senator Foriest, Co-Chair-presiding

Representative Yongue, Co-Chair

Overview of Ed Oversight Website Dee Atkinson, Research Assistant, Education Team, NCGA Research Division, An overview of the Research Division’s website was presented to the members and information was provided regarding the material now available at the following location:

www.ncleg.net/RD/

National Board Certification Karen Garr, Regional Outreach Director, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards presented an overview and background of the NBPTS in North Carolina. North Carolina has more National Board teachers than any other state in the nation. Participation in the program gives teachers the time and the opportunity to analyze in a systematic way their professional development as teachers, successful teaching strategies, and the substantive area in which they teach. Students taught by teachers who are board certified make larger gains on achievement test scores than those taught by teachers who are not. Fifteen years ago our state saw its first group of teachers achieve certification. We continue to lead the nation with more than 15,695 teachers who have earned NBPTS certification. There are 12,175 NBPTS teachers still teaching in NC classrooms. Prior to July 1, 2010 the state paid the NBPTS participation fee and provided up to three days of approved paid leave to all teachers participating in the program. The change of the application fee from payment to a loan almost doubled the number of teachers who applied to become certified this year. The participation fee is now provided through a loan program. To receive certification a teacher must successfully complete the process of developing a portfolio of student work and videotapes of teaching and learning activities and participate in NBPTS assessment center simulation exercises, including performance based activities and content knowledge examination. The fiscal incentive to participate in the program includes placement on the salary schedule that is 12 percent higher than base teacher pay for the life of the certificate.  At the conclusion of the presentation each of the following speakers were given an opportunity to express their experience regarding the program and to urge legislators to repeal the loan requirement in the legislation and support teachers participating to become National Board certified.

Dr. Alvera Lesane, Senior Director, Professional Growth and Development, Durham Public Schools Sheila Evans, Principal and National Board Certified Teacher, DF Walker School, Edenton/Chowan Schools and Joan Celestino, National Board Certified Teacher, Mineral Springs Middle School, Winston-Salem/Forsyth Schools briefly addressed the committee on their experience going through the National Board process and being National Board Certified teachers.

Update of EVAAS Dr. June Rivers, SAS Institute presented some historical background information and highlighted some of the capabilities of the EVAAS system that are available to all school districts.  Currently 65,000 logons have accessed the system in 2009-2010. Student data from EOGs, EOCs, and SATs has been collected and stored in the system. The system now has the capability to track every student enrolled in a school in North Carolina.  This has been accomplished mainly through the efforts of the SAS Corporation in collaboration with the Department of Public Instruction. They can assist National Board Teachers with differentiated instruction based on EVAAS data. All districts have access to EVAAS, however not all districts, schools, principals, and teachers are using the system.

NC 1:1 Learning Collaborative Phil Emer, Director of Technology, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, NCSU and Dr. Jeni Corn, Senior Research Associate, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, NCSU presented. This new learning environment requires effective leadership and community support, prepares teachers to use technology to enhance teaching and learning, incorporates 21st century skills and content into the curriculum, provides a wireless, multimedia digital device for every student and teacher, and provides broadband connectivity and wireless access throughout the school. An updated summary of the evaluation of the NC1:1 Learning Collaborative was presented to the members.  There are 12 districts with 6,072 students and 365 teachers participating in this initiative. The findings on the Instructional Practices concluded that teachers increased the use of technology for both planning and instruction, teachers and students reported ready Internet access increased the frequency, reliability, and quality of communication across the school, and teachers moved from assigning independent work to collaborative, project-based lessons, and teachers shifted to technology-enhanced  modes of assessments.  In the area of student performance, attendance was above 92 percent in all 1:1 schools and remained unchanged over the three-year period, the dropout rate decreased one or two percent, student engagement increased, and their 21st century skills increased.  The findings in the NC evaluation of the program were consistent with other programs in Maine, Texas, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, Virginia, Australia, and Alberta.  The findings included an increase in student engagement, classroom activities were more active, reflective and collaborative. In addition, student achievement over time showed substantial increases in the writing scores, content areas related to teacher preparation, the use of classroom technology, and improved test scores for disadvantaged students. An overview of the projects across the state showed 8 LEAs in Phase one of the pilot, 4 LEAs in Expansion of the pilot, 14 LEAs in Strategic planning, 10 LEAs with One school in 1:1, 2 LEAs operating Independently and 5 LEAs in Impact Continuation schools. There are 43 LEAs in some level of planning or implementation of the 1:1 initiative.

Draft Social Studies Curriculum Dr. Rebecca Garland, Chief Academic Officer, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction addressed the members regarding the proposed revision to the Social Studies Curriculum. She explained the process for the Standards revision and commented on the volume of input and feedback received on the first draft document of the standards recently submitted. LEAs have until March 2 to comment on this first draft. The intent was to teach US History PreColonial to Age of Revolution in 5th grade and then to teach North Carolina and the United States and World in 7th grade leaving Reconstruction to Present, for 11th grade US History. This first Draft 1.0 has unleashed massive amounts of emails and some of them rather unkind. The University systems in NC do not require US History as a course and there is so much for students to learn in high school the thought was to put some of the US History curriculum in Elementary and Middle school. Three options were presented to members for consideration. The Options are as follows: 1) Leave sequence as drafted (5th and 7th early US History; 10th grade 1877 to present) which will be omitted 2) Draft Two, Required Courses (a) Pre-Columbian-Civil War and Reconstruction -up to 1877); (b) Reconstruction (1877) to the Present, 3) Draft Two, Two Courses: (a) Pre-Columbian-Civil War and Reconstruction up to 1877, the LEA chooses where to place the course and (b) Reconstruction  (1877) to the Present (required in High School). Draft 2.0 will be posted for feedback sometime in April. In the discussion if US History is divided between two required courses in high school Ms. Garland it would require additional teachers. Option 3 allows the LEAs to choose where to place the first course up to Reconstruction and it might be placed in middle school, 8th grade. Members asked if they could provide feedback.  

JOINT LEGISLATIVE EDUCATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE SUMMARY

February 17, 2010

Welcome and Introductions

Representative Yongue, Co-Chair-Presiding

Senator Foriest, Co-Chair

The Collaborative Project: The First Two Years Dr Charles Thompson, LW King Professor in Education East Carolina University reviewed the Collaborative project. It is a three-year pilot that began in 2007-2008 and will conclude June 30, 2010. The pilot worked primarily with elementary and middle schools. It appears the pilot could be implemented in other rural districts, but not necessarily with urban systems (larger scale). The purpose was to improve teacher recruitment and retention as well as student performance. Five LEAs were chosen to participate: Caswell, Greene, Mitchell, Warren, and Washington. The state funding provided in 2007-2008 was $4.4 million, 2008-2009, $7.2 million, and 2009-2010 $6.4 million. They focused their efforts and funding in three areas; professional development, performance incentives, and after school programs. In 2009 they issued two reports and two more reports are due in May and November of 2010. Members asked what the per pupil cost of the pilot was and if they could move it statewide. Can you determine who benefited from the program and which areas were most successful? An executive summary was provided for the pilot. An additional year of the pilot was mentioned in the executive summary. They need to make some further refinements to pilot and complete a valid assessment of the Project outcomes, which will both require more time.

Teacher Preparation in Other Countries John Dornan, Executive Director, Public School Forum of North Carolina presented information on lessons learned from traveling and observing other countries educational systems. Three major advantages in other countries are the salaries are more competitive, they can easily expand the number of instructional days and there is time for staff development training and planning. Less important advantages include teaching is viewed as full time profession and they are not having to work part –time with a summer job. In other countries rarely are new teachers assigned a full teaching load for the first few years. They typically have fewer contact hours of teaching during the school day. They generally have their own office. They have devised ways for teachers to have varied career pathways. Many countries invest heavily in continuous professional development of their teachers. Many high-performing countries have well-defined approaches to teaching that are commonly used by all teachers. Countries have succeeded in making teaching a respected profession and attract the best and brightest college students to teaching. In some countries teachers and principals rotate job assignments. After visiting many countries to observe education, Singapore appears to have the most complete and successful approach to retaining, recruiting and training teachers. One or two key points; teacher majors are among the top 25 percent of entering college students and the salary for beginning teachers is comparable to the salary for engineers. Singapore and other countries tend to have longer days, larger classes and in Singapore the textbooks and materials are the same wherever you attend school. In the end, countries that recognize the teaching profession as a respected profession, as well as providing competitive pay, year-round employment, preparation to teach and professional development are more successful in their education programs. These issues and more tend to result in higher student performance. Senator Dannelly noted teachers must be treated as professionals and that is something we don’t do well, if at all.

Center for International Understanding – Teacher Exchanges with China and Other Recent Initiatives Millie Ravenel, Executive Director, North Carolina Center for International Understanding shared information about the Center. Their vision is to have NC as one of the most globally engaged states in the nation. They work with state leaders to assist them in making decisions on issues with international implications. They help teachers with global awareness and competence in teaching. She noted some of their key initiatives. She emphasized the importance of working with China which is NC’s 2nd largest export market. One-third of world’s people speak Mandarin. The Confucius classroom initiative is located in 45 NC schools (over three years). It is an in-depth study of Chinese language and culture. Fifty-one percent of the Centers funding comes from grants, donations and fees and the other 40 percent is state appropriations. The Center has handled a 37 percent cut in their budget.

Visiting International Faculty Program David B. Young, CEO showed a map of VIF teachers who are located in almost every county in the State. VIF first began bringing internal teachers to NC in 1990 (ten-French and Spanish). By 2000 there were more than 2,000 international teachers teaching in NC schools. VIF is the largest teacher exchange program in the country. They work with The State Department who views the organization as an asset to diplomacy in the United States. By having teachers from other countries teach in our schools as Mr. Young said “Teachers are opinion leaders in all nations.”  International teachers who teach in our schools, will take their positive opinions of North Carolina back to their own countries. VIF has several components: Passport –Global Literacy, Splash-Language Immersion, International Educators and Professional Development. He reviewed each of these programs. There is only one Global Literacy school and that is located in Cumberland County. In the Global Literacy School the students learn about one continent in every grade level (Kindergarten is North America). They will add another school in Cumberland next year. The language immersion program, Splash, is being used in 15 LEAs across the State. Charlotte has the most programs with Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. Wake County Schools was not on the list of LEAs using Splash in NC. The International teacher program is providing 51 school systems with more than 506 teachers from 50 different countries teaching 16 different subjects during this school year.  Mr. Young concluded with a short video of a language immersion school (Splash). The members commented on the VIF program and were very impressed with their work.

Task Force on Childhood Obesity Summary

Monday, February 15, 2010

Children’s Physical Activity, BMI, and Fitness

Senator Purcell, Co-Chair

Representative Yongue, Co-Chair-Presiding

Paula Card-Higginson, Deputy Director, Center on Childhood Obesity, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Paula opened her presentation by referencing obesity trends, mainly in the south, where 20 percent of the children ages 10-17 are classified as obese. An in depth overview of the 2003 Arkansas Child and Adolescent Obesity Initiative was highlighted. This legislation created a Child Health Advisory Committee to coordinate statewide efforts to combat childhood obesity and related illnesses and to improve the health of the next generation of Arkansans. The bill included requirements that included changes to vending machine contents and access, added physical activity and education requirements, required professional education for all cafeteria workers, included public disclosure of contracts, established local parent advisory committees for all schools and provided a confidential child health report annually to parents with their child’s body mass index assessment (BMI). All students statewide would be included in the screening. Student data was collected for a six–year period on 201,669 students the first year and 216,871 in the final year. The 2008-2009 results indicated that while males ranked the highest in the obese category (20.4 percent), Hispanic males ranked highest in the overweight category (31.2 percent). In the evaluation of the legislation, it was noted that parent’s awareness of obesity-related health problems increased, students reported purchasing more healthy drinks, increased innovation in schools and communities regarding food and nutrition, and more support for improved nutrition standards in school cafeterias. The Arkansas Board of Education also took action by placing restrictions on the use and contents in vending machines, no competitive foods in cafeteria, provided cafeteria food service education, made nutrition and health changes in the curriculum and required 30-minutes per day physical activity in grades K-12, but amended to K-5 in 2007.  The remainder of the presentation was dedicated to an overview of the work of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Federal, State, and local strategies were presented for consideration for healthy eating (discourage consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and improve access to fresh drinking water), physical activity (joint use agreements and increase opportunities for physical activity in preschool, school, afterschool and child-care programs in a safe environment), and marketing (media campaigns to promote healthy eating and active living). Committee members’ questions included implementation costs, data collection, responsibilities for agencies other than the schools, and guidelines affecting collaboration with local farmers.

Philip Bors, MPH, Project Officer, Active Living by Design & Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities, NC Institute for Public Health The Active Living By Design program funded through Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities, supports local efforts to improve access to affordable healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity for children and families. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded multi-year grants across the country as part of a landmark national program located at Chapel Hill to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015. Currently there are 50 community sites in more than half of the states. Access to facilities like parks and time outdoors is associated with more activity for both children and adolescents and parental concerns about traffic and stranger danger are clearly linked to children’s activity levels, school concerns and liability.  Several recommendations were presented for sites in North Carolina:   1) Increase safe opportunities for active travel-(i.e. walking/bicycling) and 2) Increase safe opportunities for play and physical activity. A total of six goals included:  more walkable destinations, safer routes to/from school, safer routes in the community, create and maintain parks and open spaces, create and maintain trails and greenways, and shared use of schools after hours/weekends.

Dr. Kelly Evenson, PhD, Research Associate Professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina presented a series of charts highlighting the areas of the state that have Pedestrian Plans, Bicycle Plans or a combination of Pedestrian/Bike Plans. The summary of recommendations included: 1) Work with local planners to identify incentives and promising legislation for healthy land use practices, 2) Continued support of Safe Routes to School program within DOT ($15 million in federal funds), consider state funding in addition to federal funds, 3) Update school site selection guidelines and incentives to favor walkable/bikeable schools, 4) Continued support to Complete Streets policy at DOT, consider ways to assist localities with implementation/funding, and continued support DOT ped/bike plans (existing plans will need to stay current.)  Finally, 4) Funding for new parks and trails, park renovations, maintenance and preserving rail corridors for potential greenways, support parks/greenway master plans and implementation, encourage subdivision regulations to include parks, trails, and greenways, stronger incentives for schools and parks to share space, and schools to open to the public after hours, explore liability protection for schools and create mechanisms to help offset the added costs of extended use of school facilities were also part of the recommendations for  physical activity.

Dr. Elizabeth Tilson, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Community Care of Wake and Johnston Counties presented an overview of the Community Care program, which provides local clinical care coordination for Carolina Access Medicaid enrollees to improve the care of the Medicaid population, while controlling costs. There are 14 networks statewide with more than 3,500 primary care physicians to assist the 985,000 + Medicaid enrollees in the areas of chronic disease management initiatives, prevention and pharmacy initiatives, nurse and social worker care management, and physician engagement. She highlighted the efforts of the Childhood Obesity Initiative in Wake and Johnston Counties funded by the KB Reynolds grant, to provide clinical tools (blood pressure and BMI charts, diet and exercise questionnaire, etc.), nutritionist, community links and resources, and care management strategies. She emphasized the importance of recognizing that obesity is a social, environmental, and family issue. Members were interested in the cost of establishing a larger network of the Wake/Johnson program. Funding for each unit is approximately $40,000.

David Gardner, Section Chief, Healthy Schools, NC Department of Public Instruction briefly outlined the focus of the Healthy Schools section to improve the health of students and staff by coordinating school health components in health and physical education, Child Nutrition, Health, and Mental Health Services, school environment, and family and community involvement. The section provides support for the Healthful Living Standard Course of Study, Driver Education, Athletics and Sports Medicine, and administers the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, School Health Profiles and Healthy Active Children surveys. The scope and sequence of instruction for K-12 was reviewed and the requirements for health and physical education were highlighted in elementary, middle and high school grades. The Healthy Active Children Policy and the results of the report were discussed. In the 2009 report, 106 of 112 LEAs responded to the survey, 86 percent of the School Health Advisory Councils have representatives and 38 percent meet quarterly. The 150 minutes of PE per week requirement for elementary schools is not being followed statewide with fewer than 38 percent of the LEAs reporting their children see a certified PE teacher. Only 50 percent of the middle schools are providing the required 225 minutes per week of health and physical education with a certified teacher. A majority of the schools reported that the moderate to vigorous physical activity is done during recess in elementary schools.  Several factors contribute to the physical activity limitation including: time, inadequate facilities and equipment, other school priorities, and not enough qualified teachers. Options were discussed to increase the opportunities for more physical activity including an Assessment and Accountability Plan for Healthful Living Education, establish a health data management system, establish a Healthy Schools Coordinator, provide grants to establish obesity reduction and prevention initiatives, enact policies to encourage joint use agreements, and reinstitute the Physical Education Consultant at DPI.

Tim Hardison, Program Director, Moving Adolescents with Technology to Choose Health

(MATCH) Dr. Suzanne Lazorick, MD, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University

The factors influencing childhood obesity are complex and include environment, healthier food choices, and more physical activity. Tim said the answer is simple, education is the key and individuals must choose to modify their behavior.  The Motivating Adolescents with Technology to Choose Health (MATCH) is a 14 week cross curricular wellness course in 7th grade. Match was chosen as a middle school intervention pilot. At 18 months after the start of the program 42 percent of overweight students had decreased to a healthy weight. There is an 87 percent difference in the health costs between an overweight person and one who is normal weight. As part of an RTI study it was suggested, if MATCH were implemented statewide the estimated cost savings would be between $13 and $22 million per year.  Funding for this program was provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield. Lessons were coordinated with the NC standard course of study and all class subjects involved 30 minutes of physical activity daily.  The initiative also develops EOG Test Skills and works with NCWISE. It also used incentive-based rewards based on personal goals and teaches students life-skills to make healthy decisions. The five “ates” of MATCH are: Evaluate, Educate, Motivate, Participate, and Celebrate. Dr. Lazorick provided the results and explanation of the evaluation of the program. The possible policy implications included accountability for middle school Healthful Living curriculum, enforcement of existing 30 min. daily physical activity in middle school; optimizing PE class, enhancing school facilities for age-appropriate physical activity, and improving nutritional offerings to support healthy choices. The conclusion was that more study is needed, but MATCH appears to be effective for obesity prevention and for intervention for children already overweight. It may also have positive academic effects and can be implemented largely using existing resources.

Col. Kevin Shwedo, Deputy Commanding Officer, United States Army, Basic Combat Training Center presented information on the impact of obesity on our military recruits. The number of overweight and obese children and adults in the United States continues to rise at a rapidly growing rate and is a barrier to the military service, because it shrinks the pool of qualified individuals. By 2015, the available population for military service could decline significantly.  The implications of overweight/obesity include: reduction in ability to perform required tasks, increased health care costs, more injuries, and a higher risk of attaining a related disease (diabetes, cardiovascular diseases). Over half of 20-44 year olds are overweight or obese. The most concentrated areas of obesity are in the mid-west and south-central regions of the United States with North Carolina ranking 5th in the nation in the number of 13-17 year olds who are obese. The military is making significant changes in their meals served (types of food) and their physical exercise program to adjust to the changing population of recruits. A program 20/20 Lifestyles used by Microsoft in Washington State has shown a 48 percent success rate of participants keeping the weight off after three years compared to other obesity treatment programs. This program could be piloted in NC to determine if it would have the same success.  The presentation concluded with a review of several weight loss programs and strategies used by the military and emphasizing the importance of educating the community regarding the obesity issue.

Next Meeting: Tuesday, February 23, (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) Food Industry

Committee on Employee Hospital and Medical Benefits Summary

February 16, 2010

Senator Dan Blue, Co-Chair

Representative Hugh Holliman, Co-Chair

State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees

Financial Update, Mona Moon, Chief financial Officer The 2009-2011 Biennium forecast for the fiscal year 2009-2010 indicated a beginning cash balance of $146.8 million and a balance of $189.9 million as of January 20, 2010.  As of January, net claim payments amounted to $2.371 billion, administrative expenses $176.9 million with a net plan expense of $2,548 billion, negative net income amount ($49.2 million) resulting in an ending cash balance of $140.7 million or a $20.9 million shortfall for 2009-2010.  The Plan’s cash balance is projected to be $40.2 million less than budgeted by the end of the biennium and the $152 million ending balance equates to slightly less than three weeks of operating expenses. However, the Plan does not anticipate seeking additional State funding in the upcoming short session, beyond the planned, legislatively approved (SB 287) 8.9 percent increase effective July 1, 2010. The projected annual increase for the 2011-2013 Biennium is 9.3 percent and for 2013-2015 the annual increase is anticipated to be 8.4 percent. Co-Chair Holliman told committee members he was very concerned about how the Plan could continue with the 9 percent increases and still maintain its membership. The State covers individuals (the State will have to budget accordingly), but the 9 percent increases directly impact the family coverage costs and the members will have to consider these major annual increases as they might impact the membership.

Administrative Cost Audit, Mona Moon, Chief Financial Officer An overview of the Independent Accountants’ Report on the evaluation of the administrative expenses charged by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina for procedures performed for the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees for the period July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009 was presented.  The audit reviewed procedures and made recommendations aimed at clarifying and providing transparency to the types of overhead expenses that will be charged to the Group Health Plan. The accountants found Blue Cross sought payment for overhead costs such as Blue Cross trustee board retreats, food and retainers for board members, travel, “fringe benefits,” company marketing, data networking hardware, and the salary of the chief executive officer. The issue of overheard costs arose last year when the Legislature approved premium increases and reduced benefits as part of the $675 million plus bailout of the plan.  The health plan covers 661,000 state workers, teachers, retirees and their dependents.  A copy of the report is available upon request from this office.

Pharmacy Benefit Manager RFP, Tracy Stephenson, Director of Pharmacy Benefits shared a few point with members about the pharmacy benefits. She told the members they have determined 50 percent of members are not taking medication for their chronic illnesses due to cost issues. This has the potential to create long-term health problems which will cost the plan more in the long run.  Members can get a 90-day supply and decrease their co-pay with several retailers. They are working on an agreement with a major chain to participate in providing prescriptions at reduced costs to State employees. Thirty percent of prescriptions filled do not cost the plan anything. They are trying to provide updated information to members about changes to prescription access.

Medication Adherence Pilot Program Update, Tracy Stephenson, Director of Pharmacy

Benefits AON Consulting will provide an update and review of the pilot. The outcome of the study report is due soon.  

Utilization Management Update, Anne Rogers, Director of Integrated Health Management

Anne told the committee they are working to identify members (less than 100) with multiple scripts to determine support. They are also working with individuals to find out who can benefit from more medical support.

Comprehensive Audits of Major Vendors, Lacey Barnes, Deputy Executive Administrator

RFP Navigant Consulting is conducting the audit and the final report will be completed April 30, 2010.

Task Force on Childhood Obesity Summary

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Children’s Access to Nutritious Food:  PreK-12

Senator Purcell, Co-Chair

Representative Yongue, Co-Chair

Dr. Sara Benjamin, Assistant Professor, Department of Community and Family Medicine,

Duke University Medical Center addressed the issue of childhood obesity in preschool children or children in day care and home centers. Almost seventy-five percent of children ages 2-6 are in some form of child care. Does child care attendance contribute to childhood obesity? There are two ways to approach this issue and that is through policy and the other is intervention. North Carolina was given a Grade of C when it comes to state rankings for healthy eating and physical activity regulations. This grading system was done using ten standards for healthy eating and physical activity regulations state by state. Georgia and Nevada, even Mississippi had a B grade compared to NC. After making the assessments of the states it was concluded that most states lacked adequate healthy eating and physical activity policies for family child care homes and NC scored average for child care centers and low for family care homes. Delaware, Alaska, and Massachusetts have a required time for physical activity of 60 minutes for children in all day daycare. Dr. Benjamin shared information on the NAP SACC program (Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-assessment for Child Care Project). They have defined nutrition standards and physical activity areas. They work with child care providers to support their program. An intervention project, “Watch Me Grow” works with community partners to establish gardens for child care facilities to grow fruits and vegetables during the growing season. The NC Child Care Deputy informed members they are working on new rules to require 60 minutes of physical activity as well as limiting video or sedentary time. There were questions about what Massachusetts did and how they were able to implement new standards and she indicated that for the most part new requirements were accepted and they just need time to make the changes.

Jessica Donze Black, National Director, Healthy Schools Program, Alliance for a Healthier Generation Jessica spoke to the group by phone from Washington D.C. The alliance is a joint effort with the Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation. Forty states participate in this organization and more than 3,500 schools nationally. They have developed a best practices framework for schools to achieve. The Child Nutrition Act of 1960’s is reauthorized every five years and USDA is setting their priorities for renewing the law this Spring. Only six states had school nutrition policies in 2004, but that has increased to 27 in 2009. Good nutrition is linked to improved student behavior, lower absenteeism, and reduced tardiness. Eating breakfast at school is linked to greater improvement in standardized test scores and math grades. Physical fitness levels are linked to math performance and less stress. Severely overweight children miss 4 times as much school as normal weight children. Access to competitive foods (a la carte items, we call them extras) are a major problem, but limited access to these problem foods during the school day tends to lead to lesser calorie intake at home too.  Ms. Black provided data on schools and various aspects of their best practices, including policies, school meals, competitive food and drinks, health education, physical education etc. In reviewing the data on the percentage of secondary schools not selling poor nutrition foods, NC’s numbers were between 37 and 45 percent. Congratulations to Scotland Neck Primary and Inborden Elementary (both Halifax County Schools) for being silver award winners for their achievements in reaching the goals of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Dr. Lynn Hoggard Harvey, Section Chief-Child Nutrition Services, Division of School Support, NC Department of Public Instruction Dr. Harvey began her presentation with a question to members. What is the purpose of the Child Nutrition program? Is it a nutritional program promoting growth development and health of students as well as academics or is it a food enterprise program generating funds to support its operations and those of the school system? NC has the eighth largest breakfast and lunch program in the nation with more than 1.8 million meals served daily. Fifty percent of the students qualify for free and reduced lunch. DPI administers the programs for breakfast and lunch as well as the After School Snack Program, Summer Seamless Option, and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program. The school lunch program began with President Truman in 1946. Between 1946 and 1980 the philosophy was “this is the right thing to do for children,” but sometime after this the massive federal budget cuts of the eighties resulted in severe cuts and schools began using the a la carte service to keep from going in debt. In 1987 the federal funds were restored, but the a la carte sales did not go away as school systems saw it as a way to make money. In the 90s direct and indirect costs assessments began. The priorities for the Child Nutrition Program changed and they were replaced with “How much revenue can CNS generate?” NC has the fifth fattest student body in the nation. Meal costs have increased over the past five years (4-25 percent higher). The federal reimbursable programs are not the cause of the epidemic, but the school nutrition program can be a part of a solution. NC has piloted the nutrition standards with $25,000 and the standards have not been fully implemented, because the State has not had the funding to move forward.  The estimated cost of implementing the standards in just the elementary schools is estimated at $20 million statewide.  CNS programs are challenged to pay for food, supplies, equipment, technology, salaries and benefits for staff, state mandated pay raises and salary schedules, indirect costs, and any other costs assessed by each LEA. Operating costs have increased by 28 percent from 2005 to 2008, due largely to the high fuel and delivery costs. Funds to operate the CNS program are generated from federal reimbursements (60 percent), local funds (38 percent) and grants.  The major expense in the CNS budget is salaries and benefits ($32 million). The average cost to produce a school lunch is $3.20 however the federal reimbursement is only $2.68, leaving a shortage of $.52 per lunch, which is usually passed on by increasing the cost of school lunches for paying students. As a result the CNS programs have been required to increase the sale of high calorie foods and beverages, return to the sale of fried foods, cut labor, decrease the amount of fruits and vegetables and consider the elimination of the school breakfast program.  The success of the program now becomes a matter of healthy school foods vs. healthy school finances.  Several solutions were provided that included: the CNS program must become a nutrition program, adequate Federal, State, and local funding must be available, school meals must be nutritious, affordable, achievable, and appealing to students, students must have a reasonable amount of time for lunch, and nutrition education must be a part of the curriculum.

Philip Price, Chief Financial Officer, NC Department of Public Instruction provided an explanation of indirect costs, indirect cost rates and how the receipts are expended. NC DPI approves the LEA rates and the formula is federally approved. Rates vary by LEA based on expenditure patterns and they can charge up to the “approved rate”. The LEAs can collect these funds and use without restrictions to pay for anything from teacher’s salaries and benefits to computers. DPI can request that some of the indirect cost receipts be budgeted in the agency to support services. In 2008-2009 Indirect receipts (from the federal funds) totaled $4.6 million and DPI expended $3.6 million.  NC is only one of ten states nationally that does not support the school lunch program with State funding. In 1995-1996, CNS directors funding was collapsed into the state Central Office allotment provided to the LEAs. Fewer than half of the LEAs pay for CNS directors through this fund today most require the CNS enterprise to cover the cost of the director. Any shortage in operating the school lunch program between revenue and expenditures must be covered by local funds.  Over the last two years CNS has requested $20 million in State funding to support providing a nutritious lunch, at a reasonable cost to children. Statewide Indirect costs collected in 2008-2009 totaled $27.8 million. DPI spends federal child nutrition funds for administration and this amounted to $2.7 million in 2008-2009.  Can the indirect costs be tracked or do they simply go into the General Fund for LEAs? Currently, 67 LEAs are running at a deficit and 45 are working with a reduced fund balance.  A request was made to have additional information provided to include the names of the LEAs involved and a breakdown of the 25 percent of the students who were not eating lunch at school. Members are concerned that a portion of the 25 percent of students not eating the school lunch may not be eating anything for lunch. How many high school students leave campus to eat lunch? A complete list of LEAs Indirect cost rates was provided to the members. The restricted percentages ranged from a low of 0.064 percent in Swain County to a high of 7.835 percent in Jones County. Wake and Mecklenburg’s rates were 2.585 and 2.311 respectively. The unrestricted Indirect cost rates low was 9.754 percent in Alexander County and the high of 28.238 percent is in Graham County. Wake and Mecklenburg’s rates were 11.087 percent and 12.798 percent respectively. Finally, Mr. Price provided a list of the purposed codes for school expenditures and which areas the Indirect costs may be spent and the codes where direct costs are disallowed.

Alice Lenihan, Director, Nutrition Services, NC Department of Health and Human Services discussed the origins and influences on childhood obesity. Two scenarios were compared on the birth, feeding, and growth of a child from prenatal to six months and the impact breastfeeding and good nutrition had on the baby’s weight. Several Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs were highlighted including: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Child and Adult Care Program (CACFP), and National School Lunch Program (NSLP).  The presentation concluded with a brief review of school standards and wellness policy.  There were no questions after the presentation.

Margaret Samuels, Executive Director, Orange County Partnership for Young Children briefly outlined several programs in Orange County for children and the efforts provided by the community to establish nutrition and physical activity environments.  She emphasized the physical activity programs like the “Move It” program sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department and the “Play More, Move More” program funded by a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield.  “Preventing Obesity by Design” and the “Growing Healthy Children” were the other nutrition programs mentioned.

Cindy Marion, Director, Child Nutrition Services, Stokes County Co-Chair, Public Policy Committee, School Nutrition Association of NC provided historical legislative information on the school lunch program and addressed some of the challenges impacting Child Nutrition Services across the state. Over the past seven years more than ten bills were introduced at the request of CNS to try and help with some of the issues facing the school lunch program. The program receives 52 percent of their funds from Federal reimbursement, and 47 percent from revenues from meals including a la carte foods and beverages.  The kindergarten breakfast program provides 1 percent of the funding. They serve breakfast to 307,000 students and lunch to 810,000. Sixty-five of the 115 LEAs in the state ended in debt in 2008-2009 losing more than $5 million. Food costs have increased by 40 percent in the last seven years. In addition, the state has mandated salary increases for CNS employees by 19 percent and 31 percent for benefits, with no state funding to support these increased costs. Statewide the CNS programs across NC paid more than $18 million in Indirect costs to LEAs. The CNS programs employee 15,000 people in NC. Senator Purcell asked “What would happen to the program if they did not have to give any Indirect funds to the LEAs?” She responded by saying they do not mind paying the Indirect costs, but they are requesting they have a three months fund balance before they begin distributing those funds to the LEAs.

Cynthia Sevier, Director, Child Nutrition Services, Guilford County Co-Chair, Public Policy Committee, School Nutrition Association of NC presented three short-term goals for the program: 1) to invest the state match funding to Central Administration ($7.2 million) which would allow CNS to eliminate the reduced price category. This would result in an additional $5.2 million in federal reimbursement funds coming into NC, 2) allow Child Nutrition Programs to achieve and sustain a three month operating balance before indirect costs could be assessed, and 3) strengthen the competitive food regulations.  Additional goals, included reimbursement of state funds in quality nutrition programs, options to fund benefits and/or salaries for Child Nutrition employees, and strengthen nutrition education curriculum requirements in the standard course of study. A complete list of possible solutions was provided to the task force for their consideration (a copy is available upon request).

Deborah Carpenter, Director, Child Nutrition Services, Hoke County President, School Nutrition Association of NC provided the members with comments from Child Nutrition Directors statewide emphasizing the challenges, struggles, and accomplishments in providing nutritionally adequate food for their students. She read several quotes from CNS directors to try and help the task force understand some of the major issues. They worry about the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables. Equipment is old and outdated and in some instances falling apart. Lunch prices continue to rise and as they do, more children bring their lunch from home. The CNS programs across the state are having to depend on supplemental sales (a la carte) for money to pay the bills.

Future Meeting Dates:

Monday, February 15, (9:30 am – 3:00 pm) Children’s Physical Activity, BMI, and Fitness

Tuesday, February 23, (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) Food Industry

Joint Meeting of Senate and House Finance Committees Summary: February 3, 2010

Senate Finance Co-chairs: Senators Clodfelter, Hoyle and Jenkins

House Finance Co-chairs: Luebke, Gibson, Wainwright, and Weiss

Revenue and Budget Outlook

Barry Boardman, PhD, Economist, Fiscal Research Division, NCGA Collections for NC through December  are $30 million above the $9.4 billion and they are there because the Department of Revenue had additional one-time collections of $272 million otherwise the State would be $240 million below their target for revenue. Withholding taxes were down by 4.1 percent in December (a measure of the higher unemployment) from November’s 3.8 percent figure. Sale Tax collections are down 11.3 percent, while tax law collections are up 6.5 percent, but they are still below the target of an 11.5 percent increase. North Carolina has lost more than 283,000 jobs between December 2007 and December 2009 with the major decrease occurring from October 2008 to present. Employment is expected to improve in the second-half of 2010, while personal income growth does not appear to be improving, and wage and salary income fell 4.4 percent last year. Expectations for economic growth are now being pushed out into 2011 and 2012. Three areas to continue to watch: employment, wages and salaries, and consumer spending.

Actions Taken by States in Response to Fiscal Conditions

Rodney Bizzell, Fiscal Research Division, NCGA Thirty-six states reduced their 2009-2010 budgets, while 29 states enacted net tax increases and 9 enacted decreases. Nationally, there was a 3.5 percent tax increase based on the previous year’s budget. Net State tax changes were expected to garner more than $27 billion in new funds. Personal Income tax was $10.7 billion, sales tax was $6.1 billion, fees were $5.3 billion and corporate income tax resulted in a ($202 million) loss, cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol accounted for $962 million. A majority of the increased revenue stream is primarily a result of two states, California and New York.

Personal Income Tax

Roby Sawyers, CPA, PhD, Department of Accounting, College of Management, NCSU In 1970, forty years ago personal income tax revenue in NC accounted for 33 percent of the state’s revenue stream. In 2009, 56 percent of NCs state tax revenue came from personal income taxes. NC relies more on personal income tax than most other states. Twenty-nine states use federal adjusted gross income as a starting point for determining state taxable income, but NC is among 6 states that use federal taxable income as the starting point. Federal taxable income is income after the standard deduction or sum of itemized deductions. NC’s current law is confusing and complex. There needs to be some consideration of moving to adjusted gross income as a starting point. Even if NC changed its approach to personal income taxes there would still be a need for further adjustments, specifically in the area of required exemptions (Bailey case). A change for NC could also mean that social security benefits would be subject to NC income tax, the same as federal tax. Taxpayers would not receive deductions for mortgages, charitable contributions, or other itemized deductions. The taxing of social security benefits was reviewed as well as itemized deductions (only 37 percent of taxpayers nationally itemize). Other states and what they do: 29 states exempt social security from tax while 15 tax a portion. Thirty four states allow a standard deduction, while all states allow either a personal exemption or credit to adjust for family size, 34 states allow itemized deductions, while 7 states have a flat tax rate. A spreadsheet chart was provided that reviewed the tax options, deductions exemption and other nuances for all the states. Dr. Roby provided a complete spreadsheet with information on how all the other states handle personal income tax if they collect it. A copy is available upon request from this office.

Personal Income Tax Structure in North Carolina

Cindy Avrette, Principal Legislative Analyst, Research Division, NCGA North Carolina’s personal income tax is the largest single source of state revenue. There are numerous exemptions, numerous credits, five tax brackets and the rates range from 3-5 percent. The Tax Fairness Act of 1989 modernized personal income tax, simplified it and provided relief to 65 percent of taxpayers and reduced the brackets to 6 and 7 percent. Ms. Avrette reviewed all categories of state tax exemptions. To calculate state tax liability you must take the state taxable income and multiple it by the tax rate and that equals your tax liability. In 2009, NC added a two percent surtax for married filing jointly whose income exceeds $100,000 and three percent for those with an income exceeding $250,000. Tax credits include children, health care, energy, business, property, charity, and earned income. Recommendations include: broaden the base and lower the rates, use adjusted gross income as your starting point, eliminate exemptions, deductions and credits, lessen the state’s exposure to the volatility of the current personal income tax structure and ensure tax equity in tax structure overall.

Fiscal Trends in North Carolina’s Personal Income Tax Collections and Tax Incidence Analysis

Barry Boardman, PhD, Economist, Fiscal Research Division, NCGA In 1970 personal income accounted for 32.7 percent of state taxes, corporate 12.1 percent, sales 31 percent, and other 24 percent. In 2008, personal income tax accounted for 56.4 percent, corporate 5 percent, sales 27.9 percent, and other 10.7 percent.  In NC, 71.5 percent of taxes are paid by married filing jointing, while 20.4 percent are single with the remaining 8 percent married filing separate and Head of Household. Three percent of NC taxpayers pay 33 percent of personal income tax while 22 percent pay the other 63 percent. Reliance on non-withholding tax is increasing and this is a volatile source of revenue on which to rely.

Next Meeting: February 24, 2010


Summary of February State Board of Education Agenda: February 3 and 4, 2010

All of the State Board of Education Committees met on Wednesday, February 3: Healthy, Responsible Students Committee, Globally Competitive Students, the Leadership for Innovation Committee, the 21st Century Professionals Committee, and the Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee. On Thursday, February 4, the full State Board of Education met to complete the remainder of the Agenda.

Access to the Executive Summaries and back up documents are on the SBE website at:

http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/stateboard/meetings/2010/02

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Healthy, Responsible Students Committee (10:00 AM)

Discussion

  • HRS 1 Revisions to HRS-A-000; Acts of School Violence Reported to Law Enforcement and to the State Board of Education The SBE discussed the proposed revisions to HRS-A-000. The policy was presented in October 2009 and is being presented again. It is being revised to clarify incidents/acts required by law to be reported to Law Enforcement and to the State Board of Education by the principal. The policy lists the following incidents to be reported to law enforcement: 1) Assault resulting in serious personal injury as defined in G.S. 14-32.4; 2) Sexual Assault as defined in G.S.14-27.5A and 14-33(c )(2);  3) Sexual offense as defined in G.S. 14-27.4 through 14-27.5 and 14-27.7A; 4) Rape as defined in G.S. 14-27.3 and 14-27.7A; 5) Kidnapping as defined in G.S.14-37; 6) Indecent liberties with a minor as defined in G.S.14-202.1; 7) Assault involving the use of a weapon as defined in G.S.14-34 through 14-34.9; 8 – Possession of a firearm in violation of the law as defined in G.S. 14-269.2; 9) Possession of a weapon in violation of the law as defined in G. S. 14-269.2; and 10) Possession of a controlled substance in violation of the law as defined in the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act as defined in Article 5 of G. S. 90-86 through 90-113.8. Other incidents required to be reported to law enforcement by the principal in addition to those listed in G.S. 115C-288 (g) are: 1) Assault on school officials, employees, and volunteers as defined in  G.S. 14-33 ( c)(6); 2) Homicide as defined in G.S. 14-17; 3) Robbery with a dangerous weapon as defined in G.S. 14-87; 4) Unlawful, underage sales, purchase, provision, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages as defined in G. S. 18B-302; 5) Making bomb threats or engaging in bomb hoaxes as defined in G. S. 14-69.2; 6) Willfully burning a school building as defined in G. S. 14-60. In addition Section C has been added and states: The offenses listed in subpart (b) together with all offenses that are required to be reported to law enforcement pursuant to G. S. 115C-288(g), shall be reported annually to the State Board of Education pursuant to G.S. 115C-12(21). The report shall be submitted electronically via a Department of Public Instruction approved discipline report system that conforms to the State’s Uniform Education Reporting System.

Committee Meeting: Board member Willoughby chairs the Committee and she worked with Reginald King and Katie Cornetto to draft this change to the policy. Ms. Willoughby noted Leanne Winner with NCSBA has offered to provide documents to help LEAs and school administrators. The Committee agreed the definitions as stated in statute for each of the 16 offenses listed should be documented in the policy. Principals will be required to report all illegal activity to law enforcement to which they are aware or it will be a misdemeanor for not reporting to law enforcement. There is no requirement to report to the Superintendent. A suggestion was made to develop a companion document for administrators defining the statutes listed in the policy in order to provide additional support. Additional training may also be required for administrators. The target date for implementation of the policy is 2010-2011. Also included in the discussion was to suggest a process for a reporting line to law enforcement. A question was raised could principals report to SROs and it was agreed they are part of law enforcement and that would be acceptable.  The data collected for the 16 offenses will be included in the information collected by DPI for the School Violence Report. The Committee also indicated further clarification of the language “simple assault” may need to be expanded in the law.  There is concern about the lack of definitions and the simple assault could cause many more calls to law enforcement for what may be minor issues or behavior by an autistic or other special education child. Ms. Willoughby indicated it was not the responsibility of the SBE to interpret law in its policy and so the issue of simple assault would have to be handled in other ways. The Associations NCSBA, NCASA, and NCAE are not in support of the policy as it is being revised. This item will be presented for action in March.

Globally Competitive Students Committee

Discussion

  • GCS 1 Discussion of North Carolina’s Proposed New Accountability Model The Board discussed 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? The emerging points of consensus from the January meeting included in the topic of Academic Course Rigor (Future-Ready Core) are to include the number of students that score proficient on Algebra II EOC (eventually Math BC assessment) as a measure of the academic course rigor required by the Future-Ready Core.  Additional measures of academic rigor such as AP participation will likely be used in an updated reporting function and will not be used to reward and sanction in an effort to keep the model slim and as simple as possible. Also, with the implementation of the balanced assessment system that included formative, diagnostic and interim assessments, DPI recommends a revised Gateway Policy that requires remediation of students, not scoring proficient at current Gateway grades and exit standards courses without the retesting requirement.  DPI recommends retaining the 25 percent of the final grade policy for classes with End-of-Course tests.

Committee Meeting: Dr. Fabrizio reviewed the recommendations from the January meeting regarding academic rigor, the Gateway policy, and retaining the policy of 25 percent of the final grade policy for classes with End-of-Course tests. The discussion included National Assessments and measures, which are to be included in our accountability model. Staff is waiting for the release of requirements from USED in connection with weighting and classifications for ESEA reauthorization. At the Board work session, issues for consideration will include recommendations for national assessments, and the number of classifications to be included, with the possible elimination of the School of Excellence category, considerations of possible intended and unintended consequences on student performance and accountability on the decisions made, concentrating on moving toward a 5-year graduation rate rather than emphasis on dropout data. Members were asked to send recommendations on weighting of the various items included in the classifications. Rewards and sanctions were also discussed and that student growth and improvement should be used in determining awards and to exclude just performance for monetary reward.

Moved to Action

  • GCS 2 K-12 Science Essential Standards Approved the essential standards for K-12 Science. They will be presented by content area and grade level with clarifying objectives. The Science Essential Standards Version 4.0 may now be found at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards

The Board also Approved technical changes to policy GCS-F-008 in this section.

Committee Meeting: Mr. Howell asked to be recused himself from the discussion. Dr. Williamson addressed the Committee and reviewed the minor content changes in the standards in Version 4.0. She told the members after some questions that the Common Core Standards are 18-24 months away from completion. So it sounds like about the time SBE is set to implement the standards they may have to be changed so they may have to change these standards before they are implemented?  Work is continuing with professional development, Webinars, and the toolkits. Beverly Vance commented on the objectives, the scope of the physics course and the professional development being planned in each region of the state by coordinating with the regional leaders. There is still concern regarding the amount of the content at the elementary level because of the addition of physical science. Staff made assurances that professional development and the instructional tool kits will be designed to help teachers with the content knowledge.  Ms. Vance told members she was working with the teacher education programs at the Universities to ensure the standards would be understood by teacher education students. Ms. Harris argued the standards are an inch deep and a mile wide, which is exactly what DPI was trying to steer away from with the new standards. Some Board members had concerns that elementary teachers would not be prepared to teach the content, while board member Chris Greene guaranteed the teachers will adapt.  It was suggested this item be moved to the Action agenda since it has been before the Board the last few months.

Board Meeting: Ms. Harris asked a question about the new Science test and when the Science Essential Standards would be implemented. The response was 2012-2013. Staff said testing would begin with a new test in 2013-2014. A motion was made to move this item to Action on First Reading.  Dr. Garland indicated this item had been on the agenda several times and should be approved for Action. The Board agreed and voted.

  • GCS 3 Recommendations for Compliance with HB 88, the Healthy Youth Act The State Board of Education reviewed the recommendations to modify pages (6,42-44,54,59-60, 62-63,68-69 and 78-81 within the 2006 Healthful Living Standard Course of Study in order to meet the requirements of House Bill 88, 2009 Healthy Youth Act. This legislation modified G.S. 115C-81 as it relates to Abstinence Until Marriage Education, now referred to as Reproductive Health and Safety Education, within the health education curriculum. DPI staff is recommending changes to the course of study to comply with the new law. They have included many of the sections of the law in the course of study which expands the instruction for students beginning in 7th grade on reproductive health and safety. They are now titling this curriculum as Guidelines for Instruction Regarding Reproductive Health and Safety Education. It adds language to allow the local board of education to expand on the subject areas to be taught in the program and on the instructional objectives to be met. Another key piece of the curriculum includes language requiring each school board to adopt a policy and provide a way for a parent/guardian to withdraw his or her child from instruction required under this statute.  The link to the documents in the section is included: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/stateboard/meetings/2010/02/gcs/02gcs.pdf.

(GCS 3 begins on page 49)

Committee Meeting: David Gardner reviewed the changes, which included removing references to “Abstinence Until Marriage” language, age appropriate material, removal of public hearing option, approval to support LEAs and revisions to the Standard Course of Study.

Leadership for Innovation Committee (1:20 PM)

Action and Discussion Agenda

Action

This item was pulled from the agenda and will be delayed one month.

  • LFI 1 Renewal Recommendations for Charter Schools with Charters Expiring June 2010 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.

January Committee Meeting: The Committee discussed the low performance and financial issues affecting the renewal of Cape Lookout Marine Academy.  There were also issues about their revolving door of students, with as many as 50 new students again this year. A member of the charter school stood up and spoke out on the fact that they are accepting all students who are struggling and that they come to the school to give it a try and either leave school or return to their public school.

February Committee Meeting: Mr. Moyer gave a brief recap of the issues involving the renewal of Cape Lookout Marine Academy and Board members were still concerned over the non-compliance of the mission as stated in the original charter. Senator Preston was given permission to speak in support of renewal of this charter school. She spoke about the hard work of the school and commended them for their efforts with at-risk students. Senator Goodall was also present at the meeting and spoke to the Board on Thursday in support of keeping the Cape Lookout Marine Science charter school. The recommendation from the Committee was not to renew their charter.

Mr. Price presented additional information in support of the Academy of Moore County and recommended that a renewal of their charter for two or three years be approved.  Several Board members spoke in opposition of renewal due to the low performing student status at the school.  Ms. Taft also stated that staff should give consideration to revising the charter school application process for submission of the application to the Office of Charter Schools and to the Superintendent of the LEAs at the same time. She is trying to find a way to shorten the process for approvals.

Board Meeting: Advocacy by legislators for Cape Lookout and concerns with student achievement at Academy of Moore prompted the Board to pull the items from the agenda for a month delay. They will be back in March for Action, when the Board is scheduled to meet in Halifax County.

Action on First Reading

  • LFI 2 Approval of Charter Schools Technology Plans Approved the technology plans for Charter Day School (Brunswick County), Columbus Charter (Columbus County), Piedmont Community Charter (Gaston County), and Summit Charter (Jackson County).

Committee Meeting: A brief review of the item was presented.

New Business

-NCVPS/LEO Director’s Report Dr. Setser’s presentation included an overview of the recent retreat highlighting Google Wave, blended instruction and learning, legislation, and setting State Board priorities. The overall topic for the retreat focused on K-8 instruction. Idaho is the third top state in the country using virtual learning and they may be phasing out their program in favor of choosing a private provider to continue to develop and manage it. Dr. Setser warned that companies are lobbying legislators across the country to provide their services instead of having the state develop the program or run it. This is not a good sign for virtual learning. Tracy Weeks continued the presentation by highlighting and explaining the service options available. Presently they are teaching 108 courses in the Classic forma,t which is defined as the traditional on-line course.  The modular model is next which is intended to provide credit recovery by using on-line and direct teacher instruction on one part of the curriculum rather than the whole course.  Mobile instruction allows those students with mobile devices to access virtual learning as you might use flash cards, applets, quizzes etc. Finally, there is the Blended model where an on-line educator teams up with classroom teacher to participate in various parts of teaching course. One may create units of study while the other works on other sections. There are many options and one area they are going to spend more time on is the K-8 virtual learning. This is the direction many are headed and so it appears is NC.

21st Century Professionals Committee (1:50 PM or Immediate following LFI)

Action and Discussion Agenda

Discussion

  • TCP 1 Recommendations for Compliance with HB 88, the Healthy Youth Act

-Teacher Education Specialty Area Standards for Health Education Teacher Candidates The SBE discussed the recommendations to modify pages 77-78 and 81-82 of the Teacher Education Specialty Area Standards, document to add reproductive health and safety education language, to meet the requirements of House Bill 88.

Committee Meeting: Upon additional review of the requirements of HB 88 it was determined the new subject matter should be made available for the 2010-2011 teacher education programs.

Old Business

  • Removal of Barriers to Lateral Entry Into Teaching The State Board discussed 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.

Committee Meeting: Mr. Price explained after further review of the legislation, the report to the General Assembly in February was only to provide a timeline/schedule for the proposed changes. A detailed plan should be available for Action by the Board in July 2010. A Task Force of all interested parties will be brought together (Board member recommendations accepted) to collect information and review the 26 recommendations from the Lateral Entry Ad Hoc Committee (prepared several years ago).

Next Superintendent Hoke briefly presented on the statues of the Superintendent’s evaluation and details involving the Assistant Principal Evaluation pilot program. He is still looking for Superintendents to field test their new evaluation tool.

Carolyn McKinney addressed the Committee on the Teacher Working Conditions Survey to be made available for participants March 15 through April 16th. They are looking to increase their response rate from 87 percent (118,000) last year. If you go to the Teacher Working Conditions website you will be able to track the number of responses coming in by LEA and by school across the state. Ms. Willoughby wanted to commend her business partners for their support of the survey.

Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee Meeting (2.45 PM)

Action

This item was pulled from the Agenda for further discussion.

  • TCS 1 2010-2011 Supplemental Budget the supplemental budget requests for public schools for 2010-2011, allowable under Office of State Budget and Management’s instructions, was discussed. The supplemental budget request will be limited to continuation items that were not funded, ADM increase and average salary adjustments, and phase in of new programs started in a previous fiscal year. They also were requested to recommended cuts of 3, 5 and 7 percent to the public school budget. This information is due to the Governor by February 22, 2010.

Committee Meeting: Mr. Price responded first to the issue left on the table last month of the request for 3, 5, and 7 percent cuts for public schools, to be recommended by DPI. There were several meetings and cuts have yet to be proposed. At this point they will continue to meet to determine what will be done with respect to the Governor’s request for cuts from state agencies. Next he presented information to the Board on the supplemental budget request due to the Office of State Budget and Management February 22nd.  The supplemental request could be up to 3 percent and they can only request funds if there was a difference between the Governor’s budget and the final budget by the General Assembly. Mr. Price reviewed the reason for the $16 million request for General Support Service. Normally DPI has 1 percent reversion ($80 million) to manage some of the funding shortfalls. The reversions were not available in 2009 with all the budget cuts. The average daily membership is less than projected for 2009-2010 so it is possible there may be some funds from reversion this year, but it still may not be enough to cover the shortfall ($33 million) in funding needed in general support services (i.e. tort claims, short term disability etc.). There is also a deficit for National Board application fees of $13 million. After reviewing the items for public schools a recommendation was made to cut the request for central office funding ($4 million) and the transportation fuel request ($7 million) as well as the personnel request of DPI (reduced from $3.4 million to $800,000). Part of the reason items were being removed from the list was to try and balance the request which was $17 million more than was allowed ($220.8 million-total). The major funding requests in the supplemental budget document for public schools included the following: Discretionary Reduction (($152.4 million), Textbooks ($30 million), General Support Services ($16.8 million), School Buses ($10 million) and the remaining items totaled $11 million from various other programs (i.e. mentor teachers). The Department has made a request for the agency totaling approximately $1.7 million and for NCCAT $1 million. Mr. Price said he would prepare an updated document and a letter. The letter usually contains other information including support for salary increases.

Board Meeting: The State Board did not approve the recommendations by staff (no updated information was provided on Thursday) so it appears they will do it by Conference Call before the deadline in late February.

Discussion

  • TCS 2 Science Safety Standards The State Board of Education discussed the “Science Safety Standards” policy and commence the APA rule-making process.  Furthermore, staff recommends that DPI, School Planning Section, be authorized to review and approve middle and high school science facilities for safety. House Bill 42, An Act to Implement Science Safety Measures in the Public Schools” amends G.S. 115C-521 by the addition of the following language: (c1) No local board of education shall apply for a certificate of occupancy for any new middle or high school building until the plans for the science laboratory areas of the building have been reviewed and approved to meet accepted safety standards for school science laboratories and related preparation rooms and stockrooms. The review and approval of the plans may be done by the SBE or by any other entity that is licensed or authorized by the State Board to do so. This item is presented for discussion in February and will be presented for Action in March.

Committee Meeting: Ben Matthews discussed the law change moving away from guidelines to required standards. These will become effective when the Board approves them and they may not have to go through the APA process, which will expedite implementation. School systems are aware of the law and the move to standards should not have a major impact on anyone building or renovating schools. If so they should be able to make the necessary changes to their drawings prior to completion of their building.

Update on Contracts

Contracts over $25,000 –   11 Proposals

Contracts under $25,000 –   9 Proposals

Thursday, February 4, 2010

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

Call to Order

Pledge of Allegiance: Kathy Taft

Approval of Minutes

Special Report, Graduation Project: Ms. Brittney Del Pizzo, Junior Student Advisor to the State Board of Education, provided the Board with information on her Graduation Project from South View High School in Cumberland County. The principal stood with more than 30 students who came to support Brittney. He talked about how wonderful the Graduation Project is for the students, how excited they are doing it, and there is no cost. In March, the state auditors will present their findings on the cost for implementing the Graduation Project, which was put on two-year hold by the 2009 General Assembly waiting for cost projections to require the Project.

Key Initiatives Reports and Discussion

ACRE Update: Rebecca Garland discussed the formative assessments. The modules will be ready for the LEAs this Fall. Professional development will be provided on-line for teachers and school leaders. Teacher’s evaluation standards require the use of formative assessments. She requested Board members as did Dr. Fabrizio to weight the factors in the proposed NC Classification model discussed on Wednesday. Then she proceeded to advise the Board of a major backlash to the release of the Social Studies Standards Version 1.0. Apparently, most people received them to review and one individual was so unhappy that they sent them to FOX news, which has resulted in interviews and upheaval, and massive emails and threats to DPI staff for proposing the model. There were major changes being recommended for the Social Studies curriculum K-12, which Dr. Garland said were needed, since the way US History is being taught now is not working. Grade 5 is US History, Grade 7 is NC and US History, High School includes Civics and the Federal government and Constitution, Grade 11 is US History and the recommendation causing all the concern is that the course in Grade 10 will begin with Reconstruction and taught through present day.

District and School Transformation Update: Dr. Pat Ashley reviewed the technology initiatives with the Turnaround Schools. The new software being implemented allows for internal Communication at DPI, calendaring services at the district level, a record of all recommendations and actions being taken with respect to district and school transformation, and the data is being used across all sections of DPI to make decisions.

Performance Navigator: Adam Levinson talked about the technology changes relative to the performance navigator system.  It will provide transparency with the public on work being done at DPI. The plan is to post the navigator system on March 30, to allow outside entities to take a look into the agency. Every other month they will use this software to provide a focus on a specific division at DPI. Today they heard from Mary Watson in Special Education.

Board Meeting and Committee Chair Reports

Consent Agenda – No items

Superintendent’s Report

-Dr. June Atkinson: Provided a document updating her efforts since the January meeting.

-Dr. Jacqueline Jones, Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Early Learning, Office of the Secretary, U.S.   Department of Education (Invited) to address a grant NC will receive from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. This involves a partnership with DPI and the Frank Porter Graham School. It will be an opportunity to look at a demonstration education project for PreK through 3rd grade model. Often times Kindergartners are overlooked and so we need to think about early learning. How we are serving our pre-K children on school sites, everything from facilities to curriculum?  USED applauds our success at receiving this grant and is looking forward to gaining some knowledge from NC on early learning.

Chairman’s Remarks

-Dr. Bill Harrison, Chairman gave Phil Hodges a spokesperson for Bear Grass Charter School applicants a chance to speak to the Board again this month and address them on the need for the State Board to give them a charter since there is one remaining charter to be allocated. This school did not receive enough votes last year to be awarded a charter. This school is being closed by the Martin County School System in June of this year and the fear is if they don’t get permission to keep the school open as a charter they will not get another chance. The school will close and the Bear Grass Community will lose a valuable asset in their area, their school.

Legislative Update: Chris Minard provided a handout on meetings and data on the lottery.

Board member McDevitt requested staff review the ESEA letter for any possible updates prior to ESEA reauthorization, which may occur by the end of this calendar year.

Chairman Harrison reminded Board Members the March meeting is scheduled for Halifax County.

Adjourn

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