This’ll just take a second….

This is a bit off the beaten path, but I am hoping you won’t mind my bringing a few noteworthy points to your attention before you delve into the 4 new posts below…

Firstly, if you have not yet noticed, the url of this site is slightly different.

Instead of the rather lengthy  http://www.nceducation.wordpress.com….

Our New Web Address is:

http://www.nceducationpolicy.com

******So, make sure you BOOK MARK our new URL now******

But no need worry…. The old address will still work just fine.  No one’s

Moved Your Cheese...”

More importantly, as we approach the new – and what will certainly be an extremely long – Long Legislative Session, our goal – the purpose of http://www.nceducationpolicy.com – has not changed .  We hope to provide a timely, accurate, no frills/no spin connection to whats going on in the world of North Carolina Education Policy.

But there’s a critical component missing. Input, feedback, and direction from our readers.  Any alternative would incomplete, one-sided, and stagnant; and well, that’s not how we roll.

We’re gonna keep blogging.  The previews and the summaries will keep coming.  But before we really get rolling again…

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Is this blog as useful to you as it could be?

What would you like to see more (or less) of?

Are there specific topics you would like to see highlighted?

Please, take a few minutes and give us a piece of your mind

We look forward to your comments and suggestions.

Thank you and KEEP READING.

Remember to Vote November 2nd,

Joel Maynard

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Summary of September State Board of Education Meeting

Wednesday & Thursday, September 1, 2, 2010

The State Board of Education met on Wednesday, September 1, 2010 in committees. They met as a State Board on Thursday, September 2, 2010 to vote on the Action issues.  Access to the SBE Executive Summaries and related documents are on the SBE website at the following link: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/stateboard/meetings/2010/09.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Globally Competitive Students Committee

Action and Discussion Agenda

Action on First Reading

  • GCS 1 Changes and Clarifications to Policy GCS-A-012: Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives for NCLB Title III APPROVED amendments to policy GCS-A-012. North Carolina has two years of data from ACCESS for ELLS© assessment used for determining Title III Annual Measurable Objectives criteria and targets. DPI has worked with individuals from Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center and The Wisconsin Center for Education Research. Staff has examined the scoring and ranking with the assistance of these two groups and is requesting State Board approval this month, to allow schools to meet the federal timeline of notifying parents for eligibility for services to LEP students. Students who attain proficiency will exit the LEP program.

Committee Meeting: No further discussion.

Discussion

  • GCS 2 Discussion of North Carolina’s Proposed New Accountability Model The SBE discussed the new accountability model. The ACRE Assessment and Accountability Committee drafted a proposal for a new accountability model to address both K-8 and high school accountability. Components of the proposed model include student performance, value-added performance for teachers, schools and districts, long-term longitudinal growth, graduation rate, Future Ready Core, and postsecondary readiness. This item will be on the SBE agenda for Action in October.

Committee Meeting: Angela Quick and Dr. Garland presented a chart on the Diagnostics recommendations for K-12. The pilot RFP was awarded to Wireless Generation 3D (August 31) to provide a reading diagnostic system for K-5. This software provides the best match with the NC Reading curriculum. Teachers in K-2 will be trained to use the device and software.  Then they will be able to assess individual students by having them read something and ask questions. If the student scores proficient they will only be tested three times annually. If they are not proficient they will require interventions, as recommended by the software, and be tested continuously, until they are successful in reaching a certain benchmark on the assessment. The diagnostic software will only be used with students in grades 4 and 5 who are not proficient on the Reading EOGs. Teacher Academy will provide the training for the electronic testing software and devices.  At this time, there is no diagnostic software that can be used for Math, because the curriculum does not match the software diagnostics reviewed so far.   Right now there is only one Math pilot in the State. Unfortunately, the Wireless 3D Math software assessment does not match the NC Math curriculum, so until a better match is found Reading will be area where the use of the new electronic devices will be used for elementary students. The State Board policy will allow other electronic diagnostic assessments to be used for Reading. The Reading pilots will be in approximately 66 identified low-performing elementary schools across the State. Staff is hoping to fund the pilot in average performing schools as well. This will allow a comparison to be made between the low-performing schools and average schools on the effectiveness of the diagnostic assessment. The legislature approved $10 million, this year, in recurring funding to purchase the electronic devices, software, and training to pilot the program. Some schools are already using computer diagnostic programs to assess student needs. LEAs will have the ability to determine the hardware they would like to use to implement the 3D software assessment. A question was raised on the cost to implement this electronic diagnostic Reading program statewide. The answer will be provided by DPI staff. Teachers will be conducting these assessments during the instructional day.

Dr. Garland presented the middle and high school assessment recommendations beginning with Explorer, which tests students in English, Reading, Math, and Science in 8th grade. Ninth and tenth graders will take “Plan,” which tests the same subjects. Then in 11th grade the ACT will be administered to students, during the school day. Those students who are not successful at this point will attend Summer Academic Boot Camp and take the “Compass” test in 12th grade to determine if they are Career or College Ready. The tests planned for use in Grades 8-12 are all part of the ACT suite of tests. It was reported that 76 percent of students who reach the ACT benchmarks are more likely to reach college readiness. Students will continue to take the EOGs and EOCs, but staff is reviewing these to determine if they can reduce the requirements based on adding these new assessments.  Specifically, they are reviewing US History. Staff will likely recommend keeping the 25% of grade based on EOGs and EOC’s test scores in Grades 6 through 12. The metric target for ACT and SAT will be used for school accountability. The ACT test is being recommended because it is more curriculum-based than the SAT. Students will still be allowed to take the SAT as they do now and if they reach a metric number set by the State the school will get credit for their success. Institutions of higher education use the ACT for college entrance so the move to the ACT does not create any known problems. In addition, ACT has a cut score for determining college-readiness and the State Board will likely adopt their score. ACT is also internationally benchmarked (Finland, Singapore). DPI has moved away from the recommendation to use the WORKEYS assessment, for several reasons. WORKEYS may be used by Career Technical students to gain credit for meeting career credentials. Staff discussed incentives for extra credit for schools including; Graduation Project, AP Tests, and IB program.

Leadership for Innovation Committee

Action and Discussion Agenda

New Business

  • NCVPS/LEO Director’s Report Dr. Setser provided an update of NCVPS program. Presently, NC is the second largest program serving students and courses online in the country. A press release announcing the formation of the Digital Learning Council was discussed. The Council is being chaired by Governor Jeb Bush and former Governor Bob Wise. Dr. Setser was appointed to serve on this new group. Finally, there continue to be some major issues with the new funding formula for NCVPS, and more work will be done to try and fix the inequities that are occurring with the largest and smallest districts in the formula, prior to the next legislative session.

21st Century Professionals Committee

Action and Discussion Agenda

Action

  • TCP 1 State Evaluation Committee Teacher Education Program Approval Recommendations APPROVED the recommendations for Montreat College and Peace College teacher education programs.
  • TCP 2 Rubric for Pre-Service Superintendent Programs APPROVED an updated program approval process with an annual review of evidence that candidates recommended for licensure meet the NC Superintendent Standards. McRel has developed an assessment instrument, which will be used to assess both the individuals and the superintendent preparation programs and is aligned with the new evaluation instrument for superintendents. A copy of the Rubric can be viewed online in the SBE meeting packet through the link at the beginning of this document.
  • TCP 3 Proposed Qualifying Score for Dual Licensure Health and Physical Education Praxis II Test APPROVED the requirement for dual licensure in health and physical education. The licensure provision expires on June 30, 2012. The qualifying scale score of 149 on the Praxis Health and Physical Education: Content Knowledge is recommended. This will become effective September 2012.

Action on First Reading

  • TCP 4 Approval Adoption of the School Executive: Principal Evaluation Process for Assistant Principals APPROVED the use of the School Executive Principal Evaluation process for assistant principals. The validation process for using the principal evaluation instrument for assistant principals is complete.
  • TCP 5 Recommendations from the Advisory Board on Requests for Exceptions from Teacher Licensing Requirements Closed Session recommendations of the panel. A panel reviews the requests for exception from teacher licensing requirements. Those requesting an exception include teachers who have not been able to satisfy licensing requirements and prospective teachers who have not met the Praxis I testing requirements.

Discussion: MOVED TO ACTION ON FIRST READING

  • TCP 6 Approval/Adoption of the NC Superintendent Evaluation Process APPROVED the North Carolina Superintendent Evaluation Process for evaluating superintendents by local boards of education. The validation process has been finalized. McRel developed and validated the process. The new evaluation instrument may be implemented statewide with the 2010-2011 school year.

Board Meeting: Dr. Harrison asked the Board member advisor to seek support from local boards to consider using this new instrument.

  • TCP 7 Approval/Adoption of the Superintendent Evaluation Instrument for Central Office Staff APPROVED the Superintendent Evaluation Instrument for Central Office staff. The instrument is ready for use by Central Office staff and may be implemented statewide with 2010-2011 school year.

Business/Finance and Advocacy Committee Meeting

Action and Discussion Agenda

Action

  • TCS 1 Membership for the State Advisory Council on Indian Education APPROVED the membership recommendations for the State Advisory Council on Indian Education. Angela Lynch is the new member who is replacing Claire Hunter Morrow and new members are recommended for reappointment; Audrey Hunt, Velina Ebert, and Teresa Jones.
    • TCS 2 Requests for Repayment Waivers of the National Board Certification Fee The appeals of 24 teachers who failed to complete the process were considered by the Appeals Panel. APPROVED (Nekita Avent) for a waiver of the $2,500 and all other waiver requests are recommended for denial.

Action on First Reading

  • TCS 3 Approval of Grants
    • K-2 Reading Diagnostic Assessment Funds for Current Reading Pilot Schools Expanding to Grades 2 and 3 APPROVED the allocation of the Reading First funds to be transferred to fund schools who missed the deadline for the August State Board meeting and to expand the current Reading Pilot Schools to Grades 2 and 3. The funding totals $422,350. This impacts 27 schools 5,900 students and 170 teachers. The list of the schools can be found on the State Board Executive Summaries link under TCS 3. New Hanover has the most schools with eight on the list followed by three in Brunswick, three in Onslow, and two in Sampson. All the other schools are scattered about the State.

Committee Meeting: Dr. Garland requested the State Board approve four recommendations 1) Approve the Reading First Funding expansion request by DPI to Grades 2 and 3, 2) Approve the request for additional schools to be included in the pilot, 3) Approve a new policy to manage the allotment of funds with additional budget codes required 4) Approve the delegation of authority to the State Board Chairman for designating additional schools as funds are available, and 5) Approve the use of Reading First Funds for training. The Governor has the list of schools to be added to the pilot and they are based on performance and geography and she will work with Dr. Harrison to decide which additional schools will be given an opportunity to be included in the pilot.

  • JOBS Commission Schools APPROVED $100,000 of the $200,000 allocation for one Early College High School in Wake and Cumberland effective September 1, 2010.

Committee Meeting: Cumberland is ready to receive the $100,000 to open a new school. Wake may not need the $100,000 remaining, so by next month the actual distribution of the remaining $100,000 will be made with a possible additional allocation to Cumberland and the balance going to Wake.

Discussion

  • TCS 4 2011-2013 Biennial Budget Request The State Board discussed future budget needs and specific budget requests to build the SBE Biennial Budget Request, which is set for approval at the November meeting.

Committee Meeting: Philip Price talked about the economy and what the State Board would need to do over the next two months in preparing their budget proposal for 2011-2012. The budget proposal would need to be voted on at the November meeting. At this time revenue collections appear to be on target (though they were lowered in last year’s budget). OSBM (Office of State Budget and Management) has requested DPI continue to hold one percent of their $136 million in funds to give back to the State this year. DPI’s operating budget is only $48 million, but there are funds in the total budget for other programs including “More At Four” and others, which could be used to reach the 1 percent holdback. In addition, the Federal Education Jobs bill, recently passed, will allow DPI to access 2 percent of the $300 million in funding for administration of the legislation. These Federal funds are designated for the 2010-2011 school year, but are available for carry-over through September 2012. Race to The Top funds won’t be finalized until September 16th. The hope is NC will get the full $400 million, which will come all at once to the State and will be available until 2014. Finance staff is still working on the budget proposal to USED for the various programs to be approved as part of the RTT grant proposal.

In addition, the Discretionary Reduction of $304.8 million, in the public school’s budget for this year, resulted in funds being returned from the LEAs for 3,211 teacher positions and $47.5 million for teacher assistants as well as other items.

Mr. Price also reviewed the nuts and bolts of the upcoming state budget problems for next year. He noted the $545 million needed to shore up the Health Plan in 2011-2012 as well as $600 million in non-recurring cuts in the public school’s budget that will need to be added back into the base budget. Student growth for next school year is projected to reach 20,000 new students. This will require $100 million to be added to the budget to cover these new students. There will be a great deal of pressure to move people up on the salary schedule since everyone has been frozen for two years. That would cost another $300 million. The NCVPS funding formula is a major problem for the low and high end users and a proposal will be coming forward to revise it to ensure a more equitable distribution of the costs. DPI is expected to take over responsibility for the Blind and Deaf schools being managed by DHHS now. DPI has seen cuts of 17 percent while the public schools have had 14 percent cuts and so it is going to take a serious infusion of dollars to begin to restore these cuts and manage the loss of the Federal funding. State Board members will need to begin deciding on a draft for the budget proposal.

Update on Contracts

Contracts over $25,000 – 12 contracts

Contracts under $25,000 – 10 contracts

Thursday, September 2, 2010

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

Call to Order

Pledge of Allegiance: Ms. Chris Greene

Approval of Minutes

Key Initiatives Reports and Discussion

  • ACRE Update- Ms. Angela Quick advised the Board that History, Health, PE, and Guidance essential standards are still under revision. The NC FALCON project is being implemented at the district level this year, with training for curriculum. This will support LEAs in developing formative assessments. Simulations are also being run on the Accountability Model.
  • Performance Navigator Update-Mr. Adam Levinson updated the Board on the release of the Performance Navigator 3. This will allow the SBE to see how students, schools, and districts are performing against the goals set by the SBE. More work will be done at the October Board retreat. There are three pages of targets. The Board set goals for graduation and the navigator showed these were exceed in the area of graduation targets (74.7 percent-5 years), though it was noted 25,000 still did not graduate last year. Staff will be updating the Navigator for RTT requirements and mapping the priorities of the divisions against the Board goals.

Information Agenda

Globally Competitive Students

  • GCS 3 Annual Report: State Advisory Council on Indian Education The Council serves as an important link in advising the State Board on issues pertinent to the education of American Indian students. The report contains data from the 2008-2009 academic year end-of-grade tests for American Indian students and compares them to statewide scores. The data continues to show disparities between American Indian students and other students. These disparities have persisted over the past five years and continue to be of great concern to the Council. The adoption of the Common Core Standards and revision of the state standards offer an opportunity to address those disparities through changes in the curriculum and more attention to the unique identifiers and status of the American Indian students in NC.
  • LFI 1 Plan for Statewide Assistance for Schools Upon adoption of the statewide ABCs test results the State Board receives information regarding resources needed to provide technical assistance to districts and schools who are struggling. In addition, to serving schools who are Low-Performing or in various levels of improvement based on No Child Left Behind, DPI is required to provide assistance to LEAs who are at the Corrective Action Level of District Improvement.  Judge Manning has also required assistance be provided to high schools with performance composites below 60. Beyond these schools and districts DPI provided specific assistance to Bertie, Richmond, Lexington City, Hertford, and Columbus in 2009-2010.  
  • Board Meeting: Dr. Ashley and Dr. Garland reviewed the status of the schools being served last year. Columbus has made such improvements they will not need any this coming school year unless they make specific requests to DPI. The High School performance composites of the lowest schools ranged from 20.6 percent-49.8 percent and with a great deal of hard work the high schools have raised this range to 38.5 percent 58.9 percent. RTT should help raise all schools but the bottom 5 percent will get the greatest attention. Sixty-six elementary schools will be served next year and 16 districts will get assistance. School Improvement Grants from federal funds were awarded earlier this year based on information prior to the availability of the test scores. A issue was raised about Alternative Schools and the Board was advised there will be a study across the state of these schools.

Consent Agenda

  • GCS 4 K-12 Arts Education and World Languages Essential Standards and Associated Policy Amendment  APPROVED by consent the Essential Standards for K-12 Arts Education and “World Languages” and are requested to update policy GCS-F-009 to change the wording “Second Languages” to “World Languages” in the policy.  These Standards can be found at: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards/phase2/.
  • GCS 5 Changes to the 2009-20010 ABCs/AYP Results APPROVED changes to the 2009-2010 ABC’s/AYP Report.
  • Board Meeting: The AYP status of the following four schools was changed: two in Randolph, one in Hertford, and one in Mitchell all now having met AYP status, and two schools one in Madison and one in Mecklenburg had changes to ABCs status. An updated chart of changes was provided at the meeting as well as a list of Title I schools in various stages of school improvement based on their test scores. There are approximately 330 traditional and charter schools are on the list of Title I schools in School Improvement.  The list is available upon request.

Board Meeting and Committee Chair Reports

Action and Discussion Agenda

Superintendent’s Report

  • Dr. June Atkinson: Dr. Atkinson announced The Federal government has funded the two consortia NC has been involved with for developing assessments based on Common Core Standards. DPI is also waiting to hear on a federal Dropout Grant. Webinars will occur for RTT on September 20/21. Next, regional meetings will be held and by November 22 the LEAs should have provided DPI with their grant request for the RTT funds. The RTT funds should then go out to the districts, based on their approved grant requests. RTT funds are intended to build capacity in the States and school systems to improve educational process for students and improve their success. Other issues of importance include: NC is being recognized for its healthier schools efforts, Superintendent Quarterly meeting will be held on teacher effectiveness (how to measure) and teacher compensation. New superintendent orientation will be held for 17 superintendents in NC.

Chairman’s Remarks

  • Dr. Bill Harrison, Chairman: Encourages local boards to use new Superintendent evaluation instruments approved by the SBE today.

New Business

The State Board voted unanimously to elect Bill Harrison Chairman and Wayne McDevitt Vice-Chairman for the next year.

Adjourn

Summary of 2010 Ratified Legislation: House Version


To view entire Bill click on Bill number or title.

HB 213 VSL Non-Family Sick Leave Donations (=S352) (Insko) Requires the adoption of rules and policies for the Voluntary Shared Leave Program that will permit the donation of sick leave to a non-family member recipient for state employees subject to the State Personnel Act and for public school employees, and requires the State Personnel Commission, the State Board of Education, and the State Board of Community Colleges to make an annual report on the Voluntary Shared Leave Program.  Effective January 1, 2011.

HB 357 School Absence for Religious Holidays (Bordsen) An act to direct the State Board of Education, the State Board of Community Colleges, and the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina to adopt rules or policies pertaining to religious holidays and the academic work missed because of the observance of those holidays and to direct public schools to instruct students on the significance of Memorial Day. Effective when it becomes law and applies to the 2010-2011 school year.

HB 593 Modify Good Cause Waivers (Luebke) An act to modify the school calendar law regarding waivers for good cause due to inclement weather or emergency conditions, and to limit the use of public funds by counties, municipalities, and local boards of education to endorse or oppose a referendum, election, or candidate for office. Effective when it becomes law and applies to the 2010-2011 school year.

HB 636 School Calendar Flexibility/Inclement Weather (Haire) Entitles certain local boards of education additional flexibility with regard to instructional time lost due to inclement weather. Effective when it becomes law and applies to 2009-2010 school year.

HB 901 Honors Courses in Healthful Living (Insko) Directs the State Board of Education to develop or identify academically rigorous honors-level courses in healthful living education that can be offered at the high school level. Effective June 28, 2010.

HB 961 Gov’t Ethics & Campaign Reform Act of 2010 (Glazier) An act that will in part strengthen transparency of government through increasing and clarifying accessibility to legislative records and other public records. Effective July 10, 2010.

HB 1292 Univ. Energy Savings/LEA Operational Leases (Harrison) Expand the use of operational leases by local boards of education. Effective July 1, 2010.

HB 1377 Safe Schools Act (Folwell) If a career employee has been recommended for dismissal under G.S. 115C-325(e)(1) and the employee chooses to resign without the written agreement of the superintendent, then: a. The superintendent shall report the matter to the State Board of Education, b. The employee shall be deemed to have consented to (i) the placement in the employee’s personnel file of the written notice of the superintendent’s intention to recommend dismissal and (ii) the release of the fact that the superintendent has reported this employee to the

State Board of Education to prospective employers, upon request. The provisions of G.S. 115C-321 shall not apply to the release of this particular information. c. The employee shall be deemed to have voluntarily surrendered his or her certificate pending an investigation by the State Board of Education in a determination whether or not to seek action against the employee’s certificate. This certificate surrender shall not exceed 45 days from the date of resignation. Provided further that the cessation of the certificate surrender shall not prevent the State Board of Education from taking any further action it deems appropriate. The State Board of Education shall initiate investigation within five working days of the written notice from the superintendent and shall make a final decision as to whether to revoke or suspend the employee’s certificate within 45 days from the date of resignation. Effective when it becomes law.

HB 1669 Require Use EVAAS in Schools (=S 1139) (McLawhorn) Requires school improvement teams to use EVAAS or a compatible and comparable system approved by the State Board of Education to collect diagnostic information on students and to use that information to improve student achievement. Effective when it becomes law.

HB 1676 Substitute Teacher Unemployment (=S 1143) (Fisher) Restores a balance to the law on unemployment compensation for substitute teachers as recommended by the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee.  Effective June 28, 2010.

HB 1682 Ban Corporal Punishment for Children with Disabilities (=S 1138) (Glazier) Prohibits the use of corporal punishment on a student with a disability as defined in G.S. 115C-106.3(1) or section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 whose parent or guardian has stated in writing that corporal punishment shall not be administered on that student, and to require local Boards of Education to report occurrences of corporal punishment to the State Board of Education. Effective when it becomes law and applies to 2010-2011 school year.

HB 1683 Amend Sunset/Children with Disabilities (=S 1140) (Glazier) Delays the sunset of an act pertaining to the discipline and homebound instruction of students with disabilities as recommended by the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee.  Effective June 28, 2010.

HB 1707 SHP/Age-Out Dependents; Tobacco Use Testing (Holliman) Allows a dependent child, enrolled in the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees (Plan) as of May 1, 2010, to remain on the Plan through the end of the month following the child’s 26th birthday, regardless of GS 135-45.2(d)(1) (requiring that the dependent child be a full-time student to qualify) provided that the child is not eligible for other employer-sponsored health benefit coverage; effective June 1, 2010, and repealed July 1, 2011. Directs the executive administrator of the Plan to consult with the Committee on Employee and Hospital Medical Benefits before implementing a plan to verify tobacco use by Plan members.  Session Law June 7, 2010.

HB 1726 Improve Child Care Nutrition/Activity Standards (Weiss) An act to require the Child Care Commission, in consultation with the Division of Child Development of the Department of Health and Human Services, to develop improved nutrition standards for child care facilities, to direct the Division of Child Development to study and recommend guidelines for increased levels of physical activity in child care facilities, and to direct the Division of Public Health to work with other entities to examine and make recommendations for improving nutrition standards in child care facilities. Effective when it becomes law.

HB 1757 Fitness Testing in Schools (=S 1296) (Insko) Directs the State Board of Education to develop guidelines for public schools to use evidence-based fitness testing for students statewide in grades kindergarten through eight, as recommended by the Legislative Task Force on Childhood Obesity.   Effective with the 2011-2012 school year.

HB 1829 Renewable Energy Incentives (Luebke) To provide a written allocation of the federal §179d tax deduction for energy efficient commercial buildings owned by a governmental entity. Effective when it becomes law.

HB 1864 No High School Graduation Project Required (=S 1253) (Cole) Removes the high school graduation project as a requirement for graduation. Amends GS 115C-81(b).  Effective July 1, 2010.

HB 1998 Reciprocity for ORP Service (Haire) Authorizes reciprocity for service in the Optional Retirement Program for members of the Teachers and State Employees Retirement System.   Effective July 1, 2010.

HB 1973 Various Economic Incentives (Owens) Encourage the use of multiple award schedule contracts by the Department of Administration, when issuing requests for proposals for state contracts. This is the final section of this bill. Effective when it becomes law.

HB 2054 Retirement Technical Corrections (Tucker) Makes technical corrections to the statutes governing the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System and the Local Government Employees’ Retirement System. The major changes address benefit options and who may be designated to receive them. Effective July 1, 2010.

HB 2066 Special Retirement Allowances (Bryant) At any time coincident with or following retirement, a member may make a one-time election to transfer any portion of the member’s eligible accumulated contributions, not including any Roth after-tax contributions and the earnings thereon, from the Supplemental Retirement Income Plan of North Carolina or the North Carolina Public Employee Deferred Compensation Plan to this Retirement System and receive, in addition to the member’s basic service, early or disability retirement allowance, a special retirement allowance, which shall be based upon the member’s transferred balance. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, a member may not transfer such amounts as will cause the member’s retirement allowance under the System to exceed the amount allowable under G.S. 135-18.7(b). The Board of Trustees may establish a minimum amount that must be transferred if a transfer is elected. In addition there are various other references to retirement benefits in this bill. The majority of the bill is effective January 1, 2011.

FINAL 2010 LEGISLATIVE SESSION MEMO

The House and Senate returned on Tuesday, July 6th after the long July 4th holiday weekend. Things began in a flurry as the Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate caucused at various times during the day. The Senate recessed at least twice to caucus on amendments to HB 1973, Economic Incentives. The General Statutes Technical (really technical) bill moved out of both chambers (the same) and as of Wednesday we were still waiting to see the budget technical bill, clarifying technical, appointments and the study bill. The House was in Session until 8:00PM on Tuesday, while the Senate adjourned around 6:00PM.

On Wednesday, the House and Senate convened their Sessions at 2:00 PM. The House spent more than 3 hours debating the video sweepstakes ban bill. There was intense lobbying on this issue and in the end the bill (banning video sweepstakes games), passed by a wide margin. They recessed to attend an event and returned at 8:15 PM to vote on the remainder of bills on their calendar. Meanwhile, the Senate met several times to vote on bills, caucus, and hold committee meetings before adjourning for the day at 6:00 PM.

On Thursday, they convened in the morning to try and finish more bills to wind up the Session by Friday/Saturday. The Senate spent much of the day working on just a few bills, including DNA testing of persons arrested, environmental laws, and economic incentives. Some of the bills still pending include technical corrections, budget technical corrections, study bill, government ethics bill, economic incentives bill, clarifying technical corrections, and renewable energy incentives. The House continued its quest through pages of bills and supplemental calendars. Again the day and evening was spent in and out of Session. After the House adjourned the clarifying technical corrections bill was rolled out of Judiciary I for approval. The Senate was the last to finish the day and adjourned around 6:00 PM.

On Friday, both chambers convened at 10:00 AM. They heard a few bills and once again both chambers recessed to go to Committee meetings. House Education met to approved two bills for concurrence. House bill 593 and Senate bill 1248, listed below. By 5:00 PM many of the bills yet to be resolved were being rolled out, while budget technical corrections, was still being negotiated between the House and Senate. The Senate approved SJR 1462, the Adjournment resolution and amended the Friday date to Saturday. They were trying to finish by 2:00AM. They recessed at until after 9:00 PM. The House Appropriations Committee was called to meet at 8:00 PM, one of the final bills, budget technical corrections (SB 1202) was approved and sent to the floor for a House vote and Senate concurrence. Representative Dollar amended the bill to require agencies faced with the possible additional one percent cut to make all savings possible before releasing employees. His amendment passed, but after some discussion, the House voted to reconsider the vote by which his amendment passed, and defeated the amendment the second time around. The amendment was requested by the State Employees Association to try and protect against further layoffs of State employees.

They worked until 5:30 AM when they adjourned Sine Die the 2009 Session of the General Assembly and will return January 26, 2011.

The Governor now has thirty days to sign bills that have passed within 10 days of adjournment, veto the bills, or the bills will become law.

Legislative Session final wrap-up documents will be completed and distributed in the next two to three weeks.

House Committees

Appropriations

SB 1202 Budget Technical Corrections (title changed) Favorable Report to Committee Substitute.

Education:

SB 593 Change Starting Date of School Calendar (title changed to Modify Good Cause Waivers) Concurred with Senate committee substitute and amendment.

SB 1248 Early Identification& Intervention for At-Risk Students Concurred.

Energy and Energy Efficiency:

HB 1292 University Energy Savings/LEA Operational Leases Concurred in Senate Committee Substitute.

Judiciary I:

HB 1740 General Statutes Comm. Technical Corrections Favorable Report. Referred to House Judiciary II.

SB 1165 General Statutes Comm. Technical Corrections Favorable Report Committee Substitute.

SB 1242 Clarifying Changes to the General Statutes Favorable Report Committee Substitute.

Pensions & Retirement

SB 1392 State Health Plan/Court–Ordered Guardianships Favorable Report.

Rules.

SB 900 Studies Act of 2010 Favorable Report Committee Substitute.

State and Local Government

HB 213 VSL Nonfamily Sick Leave Donations Favorable Report.

House Floor

SB 593 Modify Good Cause Waivers Concurred.

SB 716 2009 Omnibus Campaign Finance Law Changes Passed 3rd reading after four amendments tightening up various sections and by eliminating the provision requiring a one year time before legislators could enter the lobbying profession.

SB 900 Studies Act of 2010 Passed 2nd and 3rd reading with amendment. Ratified.

SB 1119 Early Education Certification & Consolidation Regulations (Title Changed Early Education Certification).  Passed 2nd and 3rd reading. Ratified.

SB 1152 Study Child Nutrition Program Passed 2nd and 3rd reading, Ratified.

SB 1165 General Statutes Comm. Technical Corrections Passed 2nd and 3rd reading as amended.

SB 1199 Establish Regional Planning School Commission (Title Changed) Passed 2nd and 3rd reading. Ratified.

SB 1202 Budget Technical Corrections Passed 2nd and 3rd reading. Ratified.

SB 1210 Increase Licensure Fees/Athletic Trainers Passed 2nd and 3rd reading, Ratified.

SB 1242 Clarifying Changes to the General Statutes Passed 2nd and 3rd reading, Ratified.

SB 1248 Early Identification& Intervention for At-Risk Students Concurred. Ratified.

SB 1251 State Health Plan/Treat Teachers Equitably Failed to Concur Conference Committee appointed. Concurred in Conference report. Ratified.

SB 1256 Brevard Academy Retirement Election Passed 2nd and 3rd reading. Ratified.

SB 1392 State Health Plan/Court–Ordered Guardianships Passed 2nd and 3rd reading. Ratified.

SJR 1462 Adjournment Resolution Concurred. Ratified.

HB 357 School Absence for Religious Holidays (Title Changed) Concurred. Ratified.

HB 213 VSL Nonfamily Sick Leave Donations Passed 2nd and 3rd reading, Ratified.

HB 961 Gov’t Ethics and Campaign Reform Act of 2010. Concurred in conference report.

HB 1292 University Energy Savings/LEA Operational Leases Passed 2nd and 3rd reading. Ratified.

HB 1377 Safe Schools Act Concurred. Ratified.

HB 1726 Improve Child Care Nutrition/Activity Standards Concurred. Ratified.

HB 1757 Fitness Testing in Schools Passed 2nd and 3rd reading, Ratified.

HB 2066 Special Retirement Allowances Concurred. Ratified.

Senate Committees

Education:

HB 593 Change School Starting Date (Title Changed) Favorable Report Proposed Committee Substitute.

HB 856 Modify Charter School Law Removed From Agenda.

HB 900 Nutrition Stds./All Foods Sold at School Discussed, no vote taken.

HB 1757 Fitness Testing in Schools Favorable Report.

Pensions & Retirement & Aging:

HB 2066 Special Retirement Allowances Concurred in Senate Amendment.

Judiciary II:

HB 1377 Taxpayer Optimization Act (Title Changed) Safe Schools Act Concurred in S/Committee Substitute.

Senate Floor

HB 357 School Absence for Religious Holidays (Title Changed) Concurred in PCS. Ratified.

HB 593 Change School Starting Date Passed 2nd and 3rd reading. Ratified.

HB 961 Gov’t Ethics and Campaign Reform Act of 2010 Passed 2nd and 3rd reading. Concurred in conference report.

HB 1377 Safe Schools Act Passed 2nd and 3rd reading in PCS.

HB 1726 Improve Child Care Nutrition/Activity Standards Passed 2nd and 3rd reading. Ratified.

HB 1757 Fitness Testing in Schools Ratified

HB 1778 Charter School/Retirement/SHP Election Failed to Concur in PCS.

HB 1973 Keep North Carolina Competitive Act Failed to Concur, Conference Committee appointed. Concurrence in conference report.

HB 2066 Special Retirement Allowances Concurred. Ratified.

SB 716 2010 Ethics and Government Reform Changes Withdrawn from Calendar Re-referred Rules.

SB 1119 Early Education Certification & Consolidation Regulations (Title Changed Early Education   Certification) Passed 2nd and 3rd reading, Ratified.

SB 1152 Study Child Nutrition Program Passed 2nd and 3rd reading, Ratified.

SB 1165 General Statutes Comm. Technical Corrections Concurred. Ratified.

SB 1199 Establish Regional Planning School Commission (Title Changed) Concurred. Ratified.

SB 1202 Budget Technical Corrections Concurred. Ratified.

SB 1246 Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate Concurred. Ratified.

SB 1248 Early Identification & Intervention for At-Risk Students Passed 2nd and 3rd reading. Ratified.

SB 1251 State Health Plan/Treat Teachers Equitably Failed Concurrence in House amendment, Conference Committee appointed. Concurred in conference report. Ratified.

SB 1256 Brevard Academy Retirement Election Passed 2nd and 3rd reading. Ratified.

SJR 1462 Adjournment Resolution Passed 2nd and 3rd reading.

2010 LEGISLATIVE SESSION MEMO #8

June 28th, 2010

The House and Senate returned on Monday and progress began again on the budget.

it gets where it’s going..

No Graduation Project required legislation was ratified and sent to the Governor. This issue had become a bone of contention with many LEAs who had to find local resources to implement and manage the project for all high school students.

House Committees

Education:

SB 1141 Task Force on Sports Injuries in Schools Favorable Report Re-ref to Com on Rules

SB 1151 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Favorable Report Re-ref Com on Health

SB 1152 Study Child Nutrition Program Not Heard

SB 1198 Education Cabinet Est. STEM Priority Favorable Report Placed on Cal 6/23/10

SB 1244 SBOE Members Ex Officio to Econ. Dev. Comm. Favorable Report Placed on Cal 6/23/10

SB 1246 Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate Not Heard

SB 1392 State Health Plans Court Ordered Guardianships Not Heard

HB 1682 Corp Punish for Children w/Disabilities Withdrawn from Com Re-ref Com on Education

HB 1726 Improve Child Care Nutrition/Activity Standards Favorable Report Placed on Cal for 6/24

Health:

SB 1151 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Favorable Report Re-ref to Com on Health

House Floor

SB 1141 Task Force on Sports Injuries in Schools Favorable Report Re-ref to Com on Rules

SB 1151 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Favorable Report Re-ref Com on Health

SB 1152 Study Child Nutrition Program Not Heard

SB 1198 Education Cabinet Est. STEM Priority Passed 2nd and 3rd Reading

SB 1244 State Board of Education Members Ex Officio to Economic Dev Comm. Passed 2nd Reading

SB 1246 Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate Not Heard

HB 961 Pay to Play Regulation Adopted (Changes title) Gov’t Ethics and Campaign Reform Act of 2010

HB 1683 Amend Sunset/Children with Disabilities Withdrawn Rules; Cal 6/24

HB 1726 Improve Child Care Nutrition/Activity Standards Favorable Report Placed on Cal for 6/24

HB 1921 Wake E-mail Address Lists/Electronic Access Passed 2nd and 3rd Reading

HB 1973 Keep North Carolina Competitive Act Passed

Senate Committees

Education:

HB 901 Honors Courses in Healthful Living Classes Favorable Report

HB 1676 Substitute Teacher Unemployment Favorable Report

HB 1753 School Bus Railroad Crossing Exception Favorable Report

SB 1115 Carteret Schools May Administer Oath Favorable Report Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS)

SB 1199 NC Biotechnology and Agriscience School Favorable Report Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS)

Health:

SB 1151 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Pensions & Retirement & Aging:

HB 1998 Reciprocity for ORP Service Favorable Report

HB 2054 Retirement Technical Corrections Favorable Report

SB 1392 State Health Plan/Court-Ordered Guardianships Favorable Report

Judiciary I:

HB 961 Gov’t Ethics and Campaign Reform Act of 2010 Re-ref Judiciary I

State and Local Government:

HB 1666 Davie School Board

HB 1772 Cherokee School Board Terms

Senate Floor

HB 901 Honors Courses in Healthful Living Classes Favorable Report

HB 961 Gov’t Ethics and Campaign Reform Act of 2010 Re-ref Judiciary I

HB 1669 Require Use of EVAAS in Schools Amendment adds language comparable and compatible. SBE is required to approve any other software programs.  Passed 2nd and 3rd Reading

HB 1676 Substitute Teacher Unemployment Favorable Report

HB 1683 Amend Sunset/Children with Disabilities Withdrawn Rules; Cal 6/24

HB 1753 School Bus Railroad Crossing Exception Passed 2nd and 3rd Reading

HB 1998 Reciprocity for ORP Service Favorable Report

SB 66 Comprehensive Arts Education Plan Passed 2nd and 3rd reading.

SB 1115 Carteret Schools May Administer Oath Favorable Report Re-ref to Com on Judiciary II

SB 1198 Education Cabinet Est. STEM Priority Passed 2nd and 3rd Reading

SB 1199 NC Biotechnology and Agriscience School Adopted (Changes Title) Est. Regional School Planning Comm.

SB 1244 SBOE Members Ex Officio to Econ. Dev. Comm. Passed 2nd Reading

SB 1264 Cherokee School Board Terms Withdrawn Cal; Cal 6/24

SB 1392 State Health Plan/Court-Ordered Guardianships Favorable Report

What’s Up Next Week

HB 1666 Davie School Board

HB 1772 Cherokee School Board Terms

JOINT EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE: MEETING SUMMARY

April 12, 2010

Chairman:

Senators Foriest and Stevens

Representatives Glazier, McLawhorn, and Rapp

Joint Meeting with Joint Transportation Appropriations SubCommittee

Representative Cole presiding:

Driver Education Presentation: Paula Collins presented the Continuation Review of the Drivers Education program that was prepared by DPI.  She reviewed the laws regarding the Driver Education program beginning with DOT’s duties as indicated in G.S. 20-11. Next it was NC SBE G.S. 20-88.1 with the SBE being the fiscal agent for the LEAs. G.S. 115C-216 sets out the law relative to LEAs who are to provide training and instruction in the use of state resources. NC DMV-DOT rules include 6 hours of driving experience and 30 hours of classroom instruction. Driver Education must be out of the school day and there is no course credit. Students may pass a proficiency test to waive classroom instruction, but few students take the test and fewer pass it. It is mainly given to out-of-state students coming in to NC. LEAs have the authority to set up their own program some using all internal teachers and other using a combination of contractors and internal resources. The LEAs are responsible for having someone oversee and monitor the program in the district. DPI had four recommendations as part of the review report: 1) Maintain the State Superintendent as the fiscal agent for the highway funds to pay for the program 2) Driver training should remain outside the school day’s instruction 3) Review the delivery process for the program 4) review the driver eligibility certificate program.

Paul Le Sieur, Director, School Business Services, DPI presented the funding portion of the Drivers Education Program told the members each LEA is allocated $238.04 per eligible ninth grade student. The eligible students include private, federal, and charter school students. In 2008-2009 the state budgeted $34.3 million and had $2.5 million in unexpended funds. These funds are transferred once a month to the LEAs. Senator Stevens provided a handout that gave the history of the driver education funds, which were first dedicated funds in 1957 with the addition of $1 to the vehicle license registrations. Through the years another $2 was added. Presently, there are somewhere between 8-9 million registered vehicles in NC, which equates to between $24 million and $27 million in the Highway fund.

Mark Bondo, Fiscal Research prepared the staff response to the Continuation review report completed by DPI. Students must complete a driver education program and have a driver eligibility certificate to get a permit in NC. The driver eligibility certificate (DEC) was a law that passed in the late 90’s to ensure students were making progress toward graduation to be eligible to drive. It was intended to be a carrot, but looks more like a stick. Program expenses across the LEAs range from $275.00/student -$500/students. More than half of the states (32) have no funding for driver education while about 18 are fully/partially funded. There are several problems with the program There are no standards, no class size restrictions, no statewide outcomes, the driver eligibility certificate is not being enforced using the same standard, the DMV computer system is limited in its support of the DEC and there is no lead state agency overseeing the program . Fiscal staff was very critical of driver education program noting there was no empirical data to indicate the driver education program prevented crashes. Four recommendations 1) full study by the program evaluation committee 2) Continue funding until this study is complete 3) Reviewed other funding options for the program 4) cut 2010-2011 funding $1.15 million. It was noted the actual per student cost had been decreased over the years from a high of more than $250.00 per student. Representative Cole wants these funds left in the Highway fund and insists Driver Education should be paid for in the Education appropriations.  The issue is it is getting late in the fiscal year to take the funding provided through the license registrations and eliminate it, and require Education appropriations to find the new resources. The plan appears to be to require a better study from the program evaluation division and based on their recommendations make some decisions for as early as 2011-2012.

Education Agencies’ Budget Reduction Options: Philip Price, Chief Financial Officer for DPI presented the public school’s budget options. The Governor’s office requested a recommendation for an additional three percent cut to the public schools budget. A three percent cut is $214,118,273, based on the 2010-2011 base budget for public schools. This cut does not include the continuation adjustment cut of $4,845,504 or the annual average salary adjustment (reversion 2009-2010) of $44,950,676. Based on the cuts in the 2010-2011 budget the only area in the budget with sufficient resources, that was agreed upon by the Office of State Budget and Management, was the teacher assistant’s allotment. If this allotment is cut by three percent, it would mean the loss of 7,389 TA positions (41.77 percent of total funding).  A three percent cut to More at Four would reduce their funding by $2,421,461. A three percent reduction to DPI would require $2,895,486 and this amount would require cuts to DPI, Teacher Academy, NCCAT, Dropout Grants and the Non-Profits.  Philip noted the reversions from the public school fund are expected to be $64 million this year, which is less than the 1 percent usually projected. Questions were raised about the higher than anticipated salary adjustment of $44,950,676, which usually amounts to about $30 million. Members pressed him on which grade level TAs should be cut and he indicated it was just a cut with no direction on the grade levels. If the teacher assistant allotment is reduced by $214 million, LEAs will still have the flexibility to move funds between allotments to hire Teacher Assistants.

Jeff Davies, UNC General Administration came and discussed the harm in making further cuts, but provided no specific information to the committee through a handout.

Scott Ralls, President of the Community College System presented his recommendation for a three percent cut as requested by the Governor. The reduction of $28.6 million was made by requesting a two percent management flexibility cut and allow each community college to determine the cuts from their area. He also requested a $3 per credit hour tuition increase with 25 percent of the funds going to need-based financial aid to make up the remaining cut.

There was very little discussion though the Chairman requested the University to provide their specific cut recommendation by Friday.

State Budget Calendar: Governor’s Budget April 21, Joint Subcommittees Report April 23

Senate Passes Budget May 28, House Passes Budget June 10,Adopt Conference Report Budget June 29

SUMMARY OF BLUE RIBBON TASK FORCE ON THE STATE HEALTH PLAN FOR TEACHERS AND STATE EMPLOYEES

March 25, 2010

Representative Hugh Holliman, Co-Chair

Senator Dan Blue-Co-Chair

Creating the Environment for Success Chris Shoffner, managing partner White Bear Group presented information on how to create an environment for success in health care in NC. He began by discussing the idea of value-based benefits. This is a strategy to minimize the cost for high value services, which are identified through evidence based analysis. The more beneficial and cost-effective the therapy is for a group, the smaller the out-of-pocket expenses to the insurers. The financial impact of best practices is shown in the way companies spend less on healthcare. Primarily, they are focusing on improving the health of their employees rather than on the administrative aspects of healthcare. There are several examples of how Cigna, Safeway and others including the Asheville Project have found a way to remove the barriers to care and lowered their costs. One example mentioned was a company that chose to offer $1,250 to employees in a special account if they would go through a health assessment. The employee could then use the funds to pay for doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, medical tests etc. This same company took this effort one step further by allowing employees to choose one area to improve in their health and if they were successful they would receive another $1,250 in their personal health fund account. This incentive attracted more than 90% participation in both of the opportunities. The effort to remove barriers is focused on those with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes.  Cigna has developed a huge list of prescription drugs that are free to those individuals with chronic illnesses. They have found a way to “Remove Barriers.” The last example is the Asheville Project where the city decided to find a way to manage its skyrocketing health care costs by implementing new strategies. The philosophy is based on getting patients to manage their own health. This can be done for diabetic patients by regulating their blood glucose better, the food they eat, and the medication they take for their illness. As a result of the Asheville Project medical costs for the City were lower over a five –year period than they were initially. Their sick leave had decreased, and their overall quality of life had improved. Pharmacists who participated have helped make a difference and physicians have seen a positive impact on their patients. This is about collaboration and innovation in reducing healthcare costs. The Asheville Project has been replicated in ten other cities with the assistance of Glaxo-Smith Kline. The Asheville Project focused on identifying those in need (analysis), engaging them in a value-based designed plan (population specific), educating patients with face to face coaching with measurable goals, communicating about the enrollment process, and a personal health record. The City of Fayetteville was another example used of a city that implemented the program (Asheville pilot) and has had great success in reducing their health care costs. This effort is basically directed toward employees with chronic health issues, but could be expanded to include all employees. The cost of this effort was projected for three areas: 30 cents per month/per employee for analysis, 85 cents per month/per employee for the personal health record and $250 per year/per employee for face to face coaching. These costs have resulted in a $1,200 annual savings per employee to the plan. The average age of patient in the pilot is 40 years old. Members questioned savings sustainability after the initial first year savings. A copy of this report is available upon request from my office.

“Know Your Number” A Way to Promote Healthier Lives and Save $millions for North Carolina, Mark Ruby, VP for Business Development, BioSigna presented on the patented assessment of employees health by finding their number. The assessment is a way of identifying the high risk individuals and helping them. NC clients include ECU, UNC, Duke, NCDOT, Dept. of Corrections, Highway Patrol, Kerr Drugs and others. The State Health Plan used the BioSigna assessment “Know your Number” to screen employees as part of a pilot project. Some facts presented include 40% of members do not have a primary physician. Twenty-four percent of employee members are diabetic or pre-diabetic ($249 million in new costs). Proactive Intervention is the answer. If you focus on modifying employee’s behavior you can tackle $400 million in avoidable costs. In order for the “Know your Number” assessment to be made available to the State Health Plan it would require a five-year program to focus on the 300,000 employees who have health risks.

Physical Education Teacher Representative, Victoria Simmons shared information on three different employees and the impact to them as members of the state health plan. The first employee is a teacher assistant and her health care expense for adding her husband to her plan is $603 per month for ten months. The second is a teacher who has a husband and three children on the health plan with her and her premium cost is $540.31 per month for ten months. The last person is a single mom teacher assistant who has a 13 year-old healthy son, but has him on Medicaid since she can’t afford the $196 per month for ten months to cover him on the State Health Plan. She also shared a briefing paper by NCAE. The issue of employees being asked to pay premiums was raised by members. She said the first time this issue was mentioned it was $10 per employee and now it’s up to $100 per employee per month. There was discussion about “the promise” made to employees to have health care plan without a premium. They did acknowledge the commitment to pay for the health care of retirees They also asked her opinion on asking employees in the plan if they were to pay, to pay an amount based on their income level. The increasing costs of health care to employees in the state health plan is a major problem and needs some answers.

Representative Folwell addressed the Commission members with his visual aids on the importance of moving the State Health Plan from a fiscal calendar to a calendar year plan. He has introduced this legislation for the past several years. The fiscal note is $25 million to handle the 6 month conversion time frame from fiscal to calendar year. Twenty-four states use the calendar year and with the multiple accounts in North Carolina and various calendars impacting deductibles, it would be much easier for employees and the state to change the health plan to a calendar year. He named at least three reasons and named the various supporters of the change, including SEANC and NCAE.

NEXT MEETING: Overview of the Impact of the national Health Reform law on the North Carolina State Health Plan. April 2010.

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