April 27, 2010

Senator Foreist, presiding

Senator Foreist, Co-Chair

Representative Yongue, Co-Chair

Report to the 2010 Regular Session of the 2009 General Assembly:

1 – School Calendar: The Committee recommends amending the current calendar law to provide LEAs the flexibility needed to make up the missed days. The amended law will apply only to the 2009-2010 school year.

2 – School Transition: The Committee recommends that the State Board of Education consider for implementation the following suggestions to better prepare students academically to make the transition from middle school to high school:

  • Develop and adopt a vision for the middle grades to prepare more students for challenging high school studies,
  • Consider having a team of professional within the DPI, whose job is to bring focus to the middle grades, including a plan for transition to high school,
  • Make adolescent reading an immediate and sustained priority,
  • Better prepare students for Algebra I by eighth or ninth grade,
  • Support professional development of teachers and school principals, and
  • Build student aspirations for college, advanced training and careers by engaging them in exploration and planning for future career and educational opportunities.

3 – College and Career Readiness: The Committee strongly supports the ongoing efforts of the University of North Carolina, the Independent Colleges and Universities, the North Carolina Community College System, and the Department of Public Instruction to ensure all students are college and career-ready, without needing remediation, and recommends they continue their work in this area. The Committee also recommends modification of existing State Board policy to assign every high school student a career coach or graduation mentor and require students to work with this person to develop a career plan.

4 – School Leadership: The Committee strongly recommends that the State of North Carolina closely examine this NBPTS (National Board for Professional Teaching Standards) program and consider supporting, when funds become available, principals who are interested in participating in this professional development program.

5 – Positive Behavior Support Initiative: The Committee recommends the General Assembly consider expanding the Positive Behavior Support Initiative at a level that allows for statewide implementation when funds are available.

6 – Education Value-Added Assessment System: The Committee strongly recommends that school improvement teams use the EVAAS or a compatible/similar system to collect diagnostic information on students and use the data to help raise student achievement. The Committee further recommends the enactment of legislation to require school improvement teams to use EVAA, or a system that is compatible with EVAAS to analyze student data to identify problems and determine action to address those problems. Proposed Bill Drafted.

7 – Broadband Access: The Committee strongly recommends that the General Assembly will continue to improve broadband access for all public schools.Students with Disabilities: The Committee recommends the enactment of legislation to ban the use of corporal punishment on students with disabilities. Proposed Bill Drafted. Delay the Sunset of an Act Pertaining to Discipline and Homebound Instruction of Students with Disabilities. Sunset extended to 2013 what was House Bill 12. Proposed Bill Drafted.

8 – Funding and Language for personnel in the School Support Services Division of DPI: 115C-546.2 (a) Provides $2 million in funding from the Public Schools Corporate Tax dedicated to school construction (reversions). The additional $500,000 will be used to hire an electrical engineer and environmental engineer to manage issues in the public schools with green construction as well as other environmental issues (mold and mildew etc.) Proposal Bill Drafted.

9 – House Bill 348 School Board Members Required Education Credits: Last year this bill passed the House and got stalled and changed in the Senate Education Committee. The bill seeks to add a $50.00 per credit hour fine to each and every school board member who does not complete the legally required 12 hours of professional development annually. Only 45 of the 115 school boards have fully complied and 72 percent of the total membership. Enforcement of the law is needed and Representative Glazier requests the committee to support the passage of House Bill 348, as it was approved by the House, without any of the changes made in the Senate.

10 – House Bill 536 Athletic Trainers Study Bill: This bill was part of the 2009 Studies Act, but a Task Force was not appointed. The Committee recommends creating a Task Force to address this issue. The Task Force shall study issues relating to sports injuries for all sports at the middle school and high school levels focusing on prevention and treatment of injuries and prepare a final report prior to the opening of the 2011 General Assembly. Proposed Bill Drafted.

11 – Substitute Teacher Unemployment: An act to restore a balance to the law on unemployment compensation for substitute teachers. “No substitute teacher or other substitute school personnel shall be considered unemployed for days or weeks when not called to work unless the individual is or was employed as a full-time substitute during the period of time for which the individual is requesting benefits. For the purposes of this subsection, full-time substitute is defined as a substitute employee who works more than thirty hours a week on a continual basis for a period of six months.” Effective when it becomes law. Proposed Bill Drafted.

The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee approved the final report after some discussion the increased funding in the #9 recommendation and required fine included in the #10 proposal. Representative Fisher also raised concerns that the #8(a) recommendation needed some further revisions to limit which special education students would not be subject to corporal punishment. The Chairs reassured members these bills had a long way to go in the legislative process and changes could be made in any of the Committees where they may be calendared for discussion. The JLEOC voted to approve the recommendations.



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