NC Education State Budget Cuts Proposed to the Governor (Updated)

November 27, 2010

NC DPI has posted their budget cuts recommended to Governor Perdue and they are deep in some areas, while other areas are cut significantly less, and some are completely untouched. In an effort to reach the 5 percent cut requested, 17 funding allotments to the districts, were cut they are as follows in order of size:

Teachers ($238,935,844), Teacher Assistants ($201,870,219), Instructional Support ($29,700,530), Non-instructional Support ($39,700,530), Children with Special  needs ($23,694,707), AT-Risk ($23,587,331), CTE months of employment ($18,875,990), School Building Administration ($15,450,498), Staff  Development ($12,555,269), Textbooks ($11,541,004), School Technology ($10,000,000), Mentor Pay ($9,214,190), Classroom Materials/Supplies ($9,090,176), Limited English ($7,653,681), Central Office ($5,372,529), Academically Gifted ($3,520,675), CTE Program Support ($969,722).

The 10 percent recommended cut increases some of these 17 cuts and adds another 7 funding allotment areas to be cut.  Six areas not recommend to be cut at any level are the following: DSSF, Child and Family Support Teams, Small Specialty High Schools, ADM Contingency Reserve, School Breakfast, Finance Officer Staff Development. DPI has also added in the funding cut of $304 million, LEA adjustment, to restore this discretionary cuts funding to the districts. The DPI recommended cuts are based on continuation funding allotments for 2011-2012, where funding for non-recurring cuts in 2009-2011 will be added back in to the public school’s funding (i.e. Textbooks) and certain allotments have built-in increases as part of the law.

Other cuts in the chart are for non-profits and programs where funding flows through DPI to various programs and organizations (i.e. More at Four), with cuts totaling $19,451,173, as part of the 5 percent reduction recommendation. DPI is recommending a $136,766 cut to the agency (0.32 percent) under the 5 percent cut and $2,560,484 (5.96 percent) under the 10 percent cut request. Potential job losses for teachers (5,313) and teacher assistants (13,259) were the only personnel noted in the DPI recommendations. This information is included in the spreadsheets provided through the DPI link listed at the top of this document.

Please remember these are only suggestions to the Governor as requested to assist her in preparing her budget recommendations to the 2011 General Assembly. There is a great deal of work to be done and the new Republican majority has said they plan to look at every line item and to determine how much funding is needed or even if the program is needed at all.

This is the beginning of what is expected to be a long budget winter for the new leadership in the NC House and Senate as they struggle with a serious $3.5 billion HOLE in the State budget


Preview of December State Board of Education Meeting

Wednesday & Thursday, December 1, 2, 2010

The State Board of Education will meet on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 in committees.  They will begin with the Globally Competitive Students Committee, Healthy Responsible Students, 21st Century Professionals Committee, Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee, and finish with the Leadership for Innovation Committee. On Thursday, they will meet to take Action on issues. Access to the SBE Executive Summaries and related documents are on the SBE website at the following link:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Globally Competitive Students Committee (10:00 AM)

Action and Discussion Agenda


  • GCS 1 Credit Recovery The State Board is asked to approve the proposed amended policy on Credit Recovery. Credit Recovery has become an increasingly difficult issue due to the expansion of courses and delivery methods. Credit recovery may be for full course recovery or partial recovery courses. Policy changes will be implemented for 2011-2012 school year. The policy has eight new defining and clarifying sections, including the new social studies credit requirement for students entering ninth grade in 2012-2013: 1) Definition of the term “credit recovery,” refers to a block of instruction less than the entire Standard Course of Study which means  credit recovery delivers a subset of the actual course to address student deficiencies, 2) Define “repeating a course for credit” will be used to refer to a high school course repeated via any delivery method when the Standard Course of study for the course is being taught for a second time, 3) Define “repeating a course of credit” will allow students to receive a grade and take the associated End of Course (EOC). Students who have already made a Level III of IV may use the score as 25 percent of the final grade or retake the test. If the student retakes the test then the higher of the two scores will be used in calculating the final grade, 4) LEAs shall give a pass/fail for each credit recovery course and this will not impact a student’s GPA, 5) Students who wish to modify their GPA may repeat the course for credit and not seek a credit recovery solution, 6) Local boards may not limit the number of credit recovery courses taken by a student prior to graduation, 7) The EOC test associated with credit recovery shall be administered upon completion of the credit recovery course and no later than 30 calendar days. There is also a “Credit Recovery” briefing paper and a “Frequently Asked Questions” document. The documents are included in the Executive Summary link at the beginning of the preview.
  • GCS 2 Senate Bill 66 Arts Education Task Force Recommendations The State Board  is requested to accept the report from the Arts Education Task Force that was appointed this year to address several issues. The issues considered were as follows; 1) Policies to implement arts education in public schools including an art requirement in grades k-5, 2) Availability of all four arts disciplines in grades 6-8, with students required to take one arts course in each school year, and 3) Availability of electives in the arts at the high school level. The Task Force met in November and has included a series of recommendations in its report to JLEOC beginning with those associated with the Basic Education Plan (BEP): 1) Implement K-12 Arts Education as defined in the Basic Education Program-Required K-5-All four arts in grades 6-8 with students required to take at least one each year and available as electives at the high school level, 2) Establish The Basic Education Plan with designated additional categorical funding allotments for arts education positions at elementary, middle and high school, establish procedures and timeline for phased-in implementation, establish equitable staffing allocation to assist small and low-wealth schools systems, 3) Ensure appropriately licensed arts educators deliver all arts education classes, LEA), 4) Use art teachers as resources and consultants with schools and across LEAs, and 5) Establish arts education accountability incentives for schools under the accountability component of the Accountability and Curriculum Reform Effort (ACRE) for providing arts education and arts integration and the completion of concentrations in arts education. The next set of recommendations in the report is related to the high school graduation requirement: 1) Establish a high school graduation requirement in the arts beginning with entering freshmen during the 2013-2014 school year, 2) Require an arts unit for admission to the UNC system of colleges and universities, and 3) Restore the arts education requirement to the NC Scholars Program. The A+ School Program recommendations are as follows: 1) Expand the nationally recognized, research-based A+ Schools Program as a model for whole school reform with arts instruction central to student learning and integrated throughout the curriculum, and 2) Use A+ teachers as resources and consultants within schools and across LEAs. The Arts Integration recommendations are as follows: 1) Prioritize arts integration as a primary component of education reform, 2) Require arts integration as a component of teacher administrator preparation and licensure, 3) Use the NC Educator Evaluations System to assess teachers’ use of arts integration, and 4) Use art teachers as resources and consultants for arts integration within schools and across LEAs. The final recommendations are related to Arts Exposure and include: 1) Use state and local arts organizations, education programs, highly qualified teacher artists, and other resources to increase exposure to the arts for teachers and students both within and outside the classroom, and 2) Strengthen ties between school, parent, and school organizations, and community arts programs.  These recommendations, once approved, will be submitted to JLEOC by December 1, 2010.
  • GCS 3 K-12 Social Studies Essential Standards The State Board is requested to approve Version 2 of the Social Studies standards. They can be found at

November Committee Meeting: Staff presented an overview of the latest Social Studies curriculum draft. The National Council of Social Studies states: Social Studies is the “integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence.” Over the past eighteen months staff and others have prepared this latest draft for the curriculum. A draft released earlier this year had major changes and was met with very negative responses from the community including the legislature. Literacy standards are embedded in the social studies program as well as character education, NAEP standards, and financial components. Extensive feedback was received before completion of this latest version. The instruction will begin in K-3 with establishing the foundation for Social Studies, 4th grade will be a study of North Carolina, 5th grade US History, 6th grade World Geography, History and Culture, Beginnings of society through the first Global Age, 7th grade Modern Civilization, Global Convergence through the present, 8th grade is NC and US History, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade will have two US History courses (Part 1 and 2), Civics and Economics, and World History. The plan is to require four History courses for graduation (presently there are only 3 courses required). The intent is to include new electives related to History: Psychology, Sociology, 21st Century Geography, The Cold War, Turning Points in American History, 20th Century Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, World Humanities Seminar, and American Humanities Seminar. As part of the accountability for the new curriculum they plan to use an essay test rather than the standard multiple choice. They are recommending a “documents-based” exam to test the student’s knowledge of early founding documents (Federalist Papers). They could have these exams ready as soon as 2012, and they would use teachers from other districts to grade the papers. This would address the concern about the multiple choice bubble tests that do not require critical thinking.

Action on First Reading

  • GCS 4 K-12 Social Studies Essential Standards: Associated Policy Amendments The State Board is asked to approve amended changes to the Social Studies policies based on the new essential standards to be approved by the State Board in December. Policies GCS-N-004 and GCS-M-001 are updated to show an increase in the Social Studies graduation requirement from three credits to four credits. Approval of the increase will change the graduation requirements from 21 to 22 units. The policy is changed for the graduation requirement in Social Studies begins with the entering ninth grade class in 2012-2013. The policy is available at the link listed at the beginning of this preview.


  • GCS 5 North Carolina’s Proposed New Accountability Model – Possible Bonus Indicators The State Board will discuss and provide additional information to DPI on the incentives component of the new accountability model.  At the October SBE meeting the SBE approved the following five indicators: 1) student performance (EOC/End of Grade-EOG), 2) post-secondary readiness, 3) student growth, 5-year cohort graduation rate, and 5) mathematics course rigor (Algebra II or Integrated Mathematics III). Staff will share ideas regarding the incentive component of the model and provide a preview of the new reporting system that builds upon earlier work presented to the SBE in what was called the Quadrants Report at the LEA Level.

Old Business

  • Update on Adult High School Programs

Healthy Responsible Students Committee (11:35 AM)


  • HRS1 State Board of Education Study on Issues Related to Sports Injuries at Middle School and High School Levels The State Board will review the study report required by the General Assembly on Sports Injuries. The final report is due to the 2011 General Assembly upon convening. The report was not included in the State Board link listed above, but will be provided to SBE members just prior to the December meeting.

Old Business

  • Update on NASBE Grants


21st Century Professionals Committee (1:00 PM)

Action and Discussion Agenda


  • TCP 1 Approval of Two Alternative Principal Leadership Academies The State Board is asked to approve the Sandhills Leadership Academy and the Piedmont Triad Leadership Academy. The Sandhills Leadership Academy includes the following districts: Anson, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Richmond, Robeson and Scotland schools. The Piedmont Triad Academy includes the following districts: Alamance, Asheboro City, Guilford, and Winston-Salem Forsyth.  The RttT grant includes two principal leadership academies. The academies primary purpose will be to offer initial licensure to principals who will then serve in high-needs schools. Four requests for proposals were submitted for consideration and staff recommends approval of the two listed academies.


  • TCP 2 Approval if Re-Visioned Teacher Education Programs The State Board will discuss an updated list of teacher education programs for approval next month. A chart of the programs approved is included in the link listed at the beginning of this preview under TCP 2.
  • TCP 3 Proposed Qualifying Scores for Praxis II Physics (0265) and Regenerated Praxis II Exams in Elementary Education (0015) and Technology (0051) The State Board will discuss the qualifying scores being recommend for Physics, Elementary Education, and Technology Education. NC is recommending a Physics test cut score of 133 after completing an in-state study conducted by the DPI Licensure Section. ETS conducted a standard setting process and has set a cut score of 161 for Elementary Education and a cut score of 159 for Technology Education. The new tests are for those individuals seeking a NC license in the above areas.


Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee Meeting (1:45 PM)

Action and Discussion Agenda


  • TCS 1 Reappointment or Replacement of Compliance Commission Members, Appointment of a New Chairperson, and Amendments to Policy TCS-B-00 The State Board is requested to approve the recommendations for reappointments and for appointment of new members to the Compliance Commission as well amendments to policy TCS-B-00. David Jenkins, Martin County, reappointment, Cindy Goodman, Scotland County, reappointment, Heidi Von Dohlen, Buncombe County, reappointment, Wanda Bunch Business Representative, reappointment, replace Max Walser with Kelly Lynn Blain, Person County teacher, Ruberina McGee, teacher Graham County replacing Michael Hooks, Muriel Summers, Principal Wake County, replacing Kirk Denning, Pamela Jackson, EC Programs Harnett County, replacing Teresa Eason, Jefferey Peal, Associate Superintendent Alexander County, replacing David Burleson, and Stewart Hobbs Jr., Stokes Superintendent designated as Chairman. Policy changes include; 1) Removing authority for the Commission to deny appeals of schools that want a field testing exemption, for a specific school year, 2) Commission shall meet annually and notification of meetings for State Board is no longer required, and 3) Eliminate the absence rule, which notes three consecutive absences shall constitute resignation of commission member.
  • TCS 2 DHHS Transition Plan for Organizational Structure and Student Instructional Services at the Residential Schools The State Board is recommended to approve the final plan to submit to the various committees of the General Assembly in December. Effective June 30, 2011, DPI will have responsibility for the total services, staff, programming and facilities at the three NC residential schools. The plan envisions four staff members to serve as the central office for the three schools and to oversee all activities at the schools. The plan addresses a series of requirements set in Session Law 2010-31. The executive summary contains organizational charts and other documents detailing the plan to be considered by the State Board. Several options are presented for consideration and  for a final decision to complete the plan: Option 1) Establish a governing board for the three residential schools and determine if the board functions as an advisory board with the superintendent reporting to the board or if the board functions as a local board with the superintendent reporting to the local board for the three residential schools, and Option 2) Establish a small central office similar to an LEA wherein the Superintendent has three positions reporting to him/her. DPI is requesting a minimum of eight additional staff to carry out the responsibilities of managing these three schools. In an effort to improve student achievement each school will require a principal. The director has operational responsibilities and cannot assist with the academic aspects of the school. This is the position that was previously cut and will need to be reinstated to ensure the academic success of the students. Staff will review any changes that were shared with the State Board in November prior to seeking final approval.

Action on First Reading

  • TCS 3 Additional Schools Selected from Applications for the Reading Diagnostic Initiative The State Board is requested to approve Cohort I and Cohort III to participate in the Reading Diagnostic initiative. Cohort I was shared last month and includes 76 schools. After further review it was determined 67 additional schools (Cohort III) could be added to the list for approval. The Cohort I and III lists are included in the State Board documents under the TCS 3 section in the link listed in the Preview opening.


  • TCS 4 Race to the Top (RttT) – Incentives to Support Teacher Recruitment and Retention in the Lowest achieving Schools The State Board will discuss teacher recruitment and retention recommendations. In the RttT proposal, NC indicated they would provide every new teacher who choose to work in the lowest achieving schools, regardless of their entry into teaching, with a voucher that can be used for the following: 1) Forgiveness of student loans for each year of teaching, 2) Tuition for obtaining a Master’s degree in education, educational administration, or the content area in which they teach, and 3) Housing, or a combination of the three. The value of the voucher is equal to the cost of two semesters of coursework, two courses per semester at an in-state-degree granting program. This will be an Action item in January.
  • TCS 5 NCVPS Advisory Board: Membership Nominees The State Board will discuss the roster of individuals recommended for the NCVPS Advisory Board in 2011. Fifteen individuals are being nominated from the various districts and at-large slots. This will bring the total membership of the NCVPS Advisory Board to 27 members. This will be an Action item in January.

Update on Contracts

Contracts over $25,000 – 19 contracts

Contracts under $25,000 – 7 contracts


Leadership For Innovation Committee Meeting (3:10 PM)

New Business

  • NCVPS/LEO Director’s Report:
  • Update on Agri-Science/BioTechnology Commission Report
  • Update on Online Assessment and e-Textbooks

Thursday, December 2, 2010

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

Call to Order

Pledge of Allegiance:

Approval of Minutes


Special Recognition-2010 Irena Sendler Award “For Repairing the World”

  • Mr. Lee Holder, Social Studies Teacher, Lenoir County Schools

Special Recognition– Outgoing Local Board Advisor to the State Board of Education

  • Dr. George Litton


Key Initiatives Reports and Discussion

Ø  Career, college, Ready Set, Go/Race to the Top Update-Adam Levinson

  • ACRE Update-Ms. Angela Quick
  • District and School Transformation Update
  • CEDARS Update Mr. Adam Levinson


Special Reports to the State Board of Education

  • Global Schools Network Update- Mr. David Young, Chief Executive Officer, Visiting International Faculty International Education
  • Annual Report on the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) – Dr. Mary McDuffie, Executive Director

Board Meeting and Committee Chair Reports

Action and Discussion Agenda

Superintendent’s Report

  • Dr. June Atkinson.


Chairman’s Remarks

  • Dr. Bill Harrison, Chairman
  • Legislative Update





House Republicans pick Tillis as speaker

From Under the Dome:

RALEIGH — Republicans members picked Mecklenburg County lawmaker Thom Tillis as speaker of the N.C. House this afternoon.

Tillis beat out current minority Leader Paul “Skip” Stam, an Apex attorney. That means that not only will the leader’s gavel will pass from the Democrats to the Republicans, but also that it will leave the Triangle: Joe Hackney, a Chapel Hill Democrat, had held the post since 2007.

Tillis, a 50-year-old management consultant who has worked for Fortune 500 companies, is congenial and polished, and has the reputation for focusing on the big priorities. He was first elected just four years ago, but has moved quickly up the leadership ladder in his party. He is currently minority whip, and generated hefty goodwill among fellow GOP members during this year’s campaigning by raising more than $350,000 to help Republican candidates to Stam’s more than $240,000.

Tillis’ selection still has to be elected by a vote of the full House when it reconvenes in January, but that is expected to be no more than a formality, given the GOP’s new 68 – 52 edge over Democrats.

He’ll move into the top job in the chamber as the Republicans begin a history-making year. It will be the first time in more than a century that the GOP has held both the House and Senate, and they’re eager to start work on a priority list of legislation that got nowhere under Democrats, including a proposal for a constitutional amendment to limit eminent domain and legislation to limit the effects of the federal health care overhaul on North Carolinians.

Read more:


NC Department of Public Instruction Recommends Cuts to Public Schools

November 20, 2010

Governor Perdue requested a plans for 5% and 10% cuts from all state-funded agencies.

DPI provided their recommendations this week for cuts to the public schools budget. A 5% cut would result in a $369 million reduction in state funding, but the federal stimulus funding will also be gone, adding $304 million to this amount. A 10% cut would require $701 million and this coupled with the lost federal funds could mean as much as a $1.1 billion cut to the K-12 budget.

Information released today indicates part of the DPI recommendation includes raising class size one student, from 18 to 19, in K-3. Class increases are also being recommended for Grades 4-12. In addition, teacher assistants would be eliminated except for Kindergarten. This would eliminate 13,000 teacher assistant positions. Funding for teacher assistants were hit hard in the past few budget years and so this is not surprise, but how will teachers manage with more children and less help in Grades 1-3.Other areas recommended to be cut are professional development and technology, two areas heavily funded in the federal Race to the Top grant.

Remember, this is just the beginning of the 2011-2012 budget process. Governor Perdue is expected to release her plan for trimming state government soon, which may help to limit the cuts to public schools that were proposed by DPI.  The 2011General Assembly convenes in late January and the new Republican Senate and House majority members have already said they want to look at zero-based budgeting, and require justification for all state spending. School systems in NC will begin to understand soon what it will mean to them as the state faces a $3.2 billion deficit in preparing their 2011-2012 budget.

Hang on tight folks, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride for education funding next year.



The following is taken from a Press Release issued by North Carolina Public Schools and can be viewed HERE


North Carolina Public Schools and Microsoft Announce the Nation’s First Statewide Partnership to Provide IT Training in Every Public High School

The Microsoft IT Academy program will help prepare the next generation workforce

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Microsoft Corp. today announced that North Carolina will be the first state in the nation to offer the Microsoft IT Academy Program to all public high schools statewide. The Microsoft IT Academy provides students with real-world technology skills they need to be successful in college and a career. Under the agreement announced today by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson, State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison and Microsoft executives Siegfried Behrens, General Manager for U.S. Education and Lutz Ziob, General Manager for Microsoft Learning, teachers also will receive official Microsoft learning curricula as well as professional development support and resources to help them tailor their instruction. The announcement took place at Wake County’s Leesville Road High School, one of the 37 high schools currently piloting the IT Academy program.

“In today’s economy, providing the Microsoft IT Academy to high schools just makes sense,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson. “The ability to effectively use Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access are essential skills in most businesses and offices today. I am pleased that North Carolina can provide this opportunity for teachers to improve their skills and for students to be career-ready.”

Click Here to Read More

– or –

NC School Board Association this week


“Earlier this week I attended the NC School Board Association annual convention in Greensboro as a vendor. Gov. Perdue was the keynote speaker at lunch on Monday.

Not being a fan of the rubber chicken served at the Koury Convention Center, and really not particularly interested in what she had to say, I passed on the banquet. But I was attuned to the reactions of various school board members from across the state as they did the “trade show shuffle” past our booth.

Most are upset with the Governor’s absconding with construction funding from lottery proceeds last fall, and otherwise expressed general dissatisfaction with her fiscal moves. Many suggested that the Governor, members of the council of state, and other high executives take 20% pay cuts as a symbolic gesture to sympathize with teachers being laid off and other cuts at the classroom level. Others are also particularly upset with the slow pace of delivering stimulus money to school systems for facilities improvements, energy efficiency, and other projects that they believe are essential.

One other observation from the conference not specifically related to the Governor’s visit, but along the same theme. In September I attended (again as a vendor) the North Carolina Public School Maintenance Association annual conference at Atlantic Beach. This is a regular stop on my marketing circuit each year. Attendance at NCPSMA was down, as many school boards cut back or completely eliminated any travel money for employees for any purpose, no matter how noble. On the other hand, attendance at the School Board Association meeting was actually UP from last year.”


Read more:


Summary: November Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee

November 9, 2010

Co-Chairs Representative Yongue and Senator Foriest opened the meeting.

National Board Certification Program for Principals:

Joan Auchter, Chief Program Officer presented on the National Board Standards for Accomplished Principals. She reviewed the nine standards developed to become a National Board Principal. The standards are: Leadership for Results, Vision and Mission. Teaching and Learning, Knowledge of Students and Adults, Culture, Strategic Management, Advocacy, Ethics, and Reflection and Growth. More information can be found at the NBPTS website: NBPTS is working with the Southern Regional Education Board to pilot the test. Currently, 19 states and 660 principals are in the field test pool. North Carolina has 59 principals from 37 counties involved (more than any other state). The purpose of the field test is to get feedback on the assessment and to establish scoring materials and a passing standard. Principals involved in the test are submitting all work electronically. When asked about how many principals may be successful in getting their certification, Ms. Auchter noted, that 4 out of 10 teachers gain National Board certification, but it’s too early to know the success rate for principals until the field tests are completed.

Kris Nordstrom fiscal analyst presented on the fiscal impact of implementing this certification program at the state level. Certain assumptions are necessary. First certification is only for principals (not assistant principals). Next the model developed assumes 1.5 percent of all state-funded principals will earn certification, and once certified they would receive a 12 percent salary increase. For purposes of this cost estimate principals would assume the cost for the application fees.  The estimated cost is $320,000 per year in state funds to support the salary increase. After ten years the cost would require $3.6 million in state funds based on the assumptions in the model.

Committee Discussion: There were questions about the NC counties where principals were participating in the field test, salary increases for principals who have a PhD, and how does the PhD program differ from NBPTS certification.  Could institutions of higher education provide some of these standards as part of the principal’s education program? Can undergraduate degree programs be combined with certification? Can we quantify savings at the school with a certified principal directing the school program? What possible savings (reduced costs) can be gained for improved education at the school? Will a certified principal improve the graduation rate? Who will monitor the data? Several members are concerned about adding a program to the state education budget and the costs associated with the new program.

Race to the Top:

Bill Harrison presented an overview of the slightly less than $400 million 4-year grant that North Carolina was awarded this year. He advised members the funds are only for four years and they would not be coming back to the state to request those dollars be put into the education budget at the end of the grant. The purpose of the grant is “Building Capacity.” He mentioned reading a recent Education Week article, where it was reported 75 percent of US students in 4th grade were proficient in meeting state reading and math standards, when looking at the same results for these students on international standards the results are not as high. The Common Standards will help get most of the States on the same page for Reading and Math. Finally, he told members competent caring teacher and principals are critical to the success of the NC RttT plan.

Dr. June Atkinson spoke on the RttT grant as well. She noted NC is one of 11 states to receive that grant and the grant funding will be a “Game Changer” for NC.  It will provide NC with the funding to move faster and further in their reform efforts. The two key goals of the grant are 1) Increase the Graduation Rate from 74.2 percent statewide to 85 percent and 2) Strong student Achievement. All 115 LEAs and 44 charter schools have just submitted their scope of work plans to access their portion of the RttT grant funding. Not all of the charter schools were eligible to submit plans because the grant is tied to the Title I program and not all charter schools have a Title I program. Dr. Atkinson also noted that there are 111 low-performing schools in the state who will be assisted with the RttT grant funding. The RttT grant is like a contract and if NC wants to make changes to the contract they will be required to get approval from US Educcation. Department (USED).

Mr. Adam Levinson the director of the grant presented some key facts on the grant. The LEA funding portion is $165 million with $35 million being set aside for the Technology “Cloud” program. The remainder of the funding $199 million will be used by DPI to implement 15 additional strategies listed in the table below as well as funding from administration for the grant:


Coordinator Initiative Objectives Budget
Peter Asmar

Philip Price

Technology Infrastructures and Resources 1) Establish Technology “cloud.”

2) Digital tools and resources to support RttT.

3) Prepare educators to use online resources and tools.

$34,639,376 from LEA resources
Martez Hill Evaluation and Policy Analyses 1)  Ongoing evaluations to improve RttT initiatives.

2)  Summative analyses for future program, policy, and funding decisions.

3)  Conduct analyses of NC policies to consider removal of policy barriers and development of policy reforms.

Angela Quick Transition to new Standards and Assessments 1)  Gain stakeholder support for transition.

2)  Ensure teachers understand the new standards and assessments.

3)  Ensure Stakeholders understand and use summative assessments effectively.

Instructional Improvement and Professional development Budgets
Adam Levinson State Data Use 1)  Make NC data accessible to stakeholders.


2)  Ensure stakeholders are able to make use of the data.

3)  Data used to support decision-making and continuous improvement processes.

Professional Development Budget





Angela Quick Instructional Improvement System 1)  Increase the use of instructional improvement systems.

2)   Develop statewide instructional improvement system to support curriculum-embedded assessments, diagnostic assessments, curriculum monitoring, and summative assessments.

3)  Provide technology infrastructure to support instruction.

4)  Prepare teachers to make effective use of the instructional improvement.

5)  Improve student achievement outcomes.

Lynne Johnson/  Rebecca Garland Teacher and Principal Evaluation processes 1)  Fully implement the NC teacher and principal evaluation processes. $5,320,100
Pat Ashely Performance incentives for lowest achieving schools 1) Opportunities to earn incentives based on student performance.

2)  Transition to classroom-level incentives by 2012-2013.

Lynne Johnson/ Rebecca Garland Teacher effectiveness and evaluation planning 1)  Develop a state-level transparent system for integrating student achievement growth data into evaluations for all teachers and principals. $700,840
Lynne Johnson/

Bill Harrison

Regional Leadership Academies 1)  Increase the number of principals qualified to lead transformational change in low-performing schools and in rural and urban areas. $18,608,809
Lynne Johnson Expand Teacher recruitment and licensure programs 1)  Increase the number of Teach for America teachers in low-performing schools.

2)  NC Teacher Corps recruit college graduates to teach in low-performing schools.

3)  Induction support program for new teachers including, a 3-year support for teachers in low-achieving schools.

Lynne Johnson Strategic staffing initiatives 1)  Support development, implementation, and evaluation programs to strengthen staffing in low-performing schools. $250,000
Bryan Setser NC Virtual Public School Expansion 1)  Expand availability of virtual courses in Math and Science for low-performing schools and other schools where curriculum may be limited. $6,456,023
Lynne Johnson Research on effective of teachers and principals 1)  Use data and lessons to make decisions about program improvements, expansion and closures. N/A
Lynne Johnson Professional Development 1)  Create, train, and support teachers and principals as professional development leaders to establish professional development capacity.

2)  Develop resources to support effective professional activities.

3)  Align professional development with reform initiative in RttT plan.

4)  Expand online professional development infrastructures.

5)  Evaluate professional development activities to determine impact on teaching practices and student achievement.

Pat Ashley District and School Transformation System 1)    Improve performance of all low-performing schools to move all schools above 60 percent level. $41,980,147
June Atkinson Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics thematic schools and network 1)    Develop four coordinated STEM schools each focused on a major area relevant for NC economic development.

2)    Use anchor schools as centers for professional development, curriculum development, technology use, and innovation to impact networks of STEM schools throughout NC lowest-achieving schools.


*Please note in preparing this overview the external partners who may receive contracts or who have contracts pending for the grant funds were not listed to simplify the table. If you would like a list of the partners please submit a request for the information.


The plan is to raise statewide achievement standards. The SBE provided updated student achievement targets at their November meeting last week. Each LEA and charter school will set their own targets based on their present student achievement levels. NC is anticipating release of the federal funding by early December. Staff noted the entire sum will be sent once the State plan is approved by USED. The LEAs will then have full access to their funding. All of the money could be used immediately or through the next four years.

Committee Discussion: Members raised concerns about the assessment inconsistency footnote. As tests/assessments change to match the new Common Core Standards curriculum, how can you correlate data on student test scores against older test data. Another member addressed the issue of using the Common Core standards. Overall, there appeared to be concerns about how the one-time $400 million funding would be spent, and who would monitor, and oversee the use of funds to ensure the goals were being achieved.


The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee is scheduled to meet December 7th.


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