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General Assembly Passes Budget Technical Corrections Bill

State lawmakers this week quickly passed a 60-page bill that includes various “technical corrections” to the 2023 state budget passed in October, including several changes related to public education. While many of these provisions are limited to certain districts, a few of the changes will affect all public school districts, including a clarification that allows for parental opt-out of student participation in the North Carolina Youth Tobacco Survey, a requirement that high school students complete the required Career Development Plan within 90 days of enrollment (beginning with the 2024-2025 school year), and more.

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Advocacy

Governor Cooper Prioritizes Public Education In State Budget Proposal

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) shared his recommendations for the 2024-2025 state budget on Wednesday, as lawmakers returned to Raleigh for the start of the 2024 legislative short session. Governor Cooper, who previously declared 2024 to be “The Year of Public Schools,” proposed investing over $1 billion in public schools while placing a moratorium on the Opportunity Scholarship Program, or private school vouchers.

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Advocacy

Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee Focuses On SparkNC

The Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee (JLEOC) held its second meeting of the year on Tuesday, March 26, with most of the meeting focused on SparkNC, a new state-supported pilot program that exposes high school students to high-tech learning experiences and careers. The NC General Assembly previously provided $3 million for the program in the 2023 state budget to help 17 initial school districts create “SparkLabs” in which students can explore growing fields like artificial intelligence, software development, cybersecurity, and robotics.

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NC Legislative Building
Advocacy

Education Reform Committee Calls For Study On Principal Pay

The House Select Committee on Education Reform acknowledged on Monday the need for changes to the state’s current principal pay plan and recommended a study be conducted on “the impact that a new salary schedule may have on principal recruitment and retention.” The draft findings and recommendations were approved by committee members and ultimately included in the interim committee’s final report to the General Assembly for consideration and potential legislative action during the 2024 short session beginning next month.

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Advocacy

NCASA, NCPAPA Propose Principal Pay Changes To Education Reform Committee

Two 2023 regional principals of the year presented to lawmakers on Monday a proposal to refine the current principal pay plan, as part of the 2024 legislative priorities developed by the NC Association of School Administrators (NCASA) and one of its core affiliates, the NC Principals and Assistant Principals Association (NCPAPA). Dr. John Lassiter, Principal at Hertford Grammar School in Perquimans County Schools, and Ashley Faulkenberry, Principal at Trent Park Elementary School in Craven County Schools, outlined for members of the House Select Committee on Education Reform the need to modify the current pay plan, which has led to wide, often unpredictable swings in yearly pay for many principals across the state due to factors outside of their control.

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Advocacy

State Budget Clarifies Parents’ Bill of Rights

The recently enacted 2023 state budget includes several provisions adjusting or clarifying requirements for public schools under the Parents’ Bill of Rights, which became law in mid-August following the state legislature’s successful override of Governor Cooper’s earlier veto of the bill. Because much of the bill became effective only days before most traditional public schools were set to begin the 2023-2024 school year, many school leaders raised questions and concerns about quickly implementing the bill’s numerous new requirements.

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