While the biggest news at the state legislature last week was certainly the long-awaited passage of the 2023-2025 state budget package, which is set to become law on October 2 without the Governor’s signature, state lawmakers also sent a handful of other education-related bills to the Governor’s desk last week for final consideration.
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Senate lawmakers on Thursday voted down party lines to concur with the House on a controversial parental rights bill, in the legislation’s last step before being sent to the Governor for final consideration.
It became clear this week that lawmakers would not meet their initial goal of passing a state budget before the July 1 start of the new fiscal year, with many lawmakers now estimating a final budget package to be shared after July 24.
While many legislative leaders were likely working this week on state budget negotiations behind closed doors, lawmakers in the Senate discussed and approved two education proposals not included in current budget proposals — a bill that would change state requirements for principal licensure and a bill that would require students to complete a computer science course before graduating high school.
This week was especially busy at the NC General Assembly, as lawmakers in both the House and Senate pushed a frenzy of bills forward ahead of Thursday’s May 4 bill crossover deadline, or the last day in which a policy bill can pass from its originating chamber and still be eligible to be heard in the other chamber. As a result of the impending deadline, several legislative committees, including the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee, held meetings on Monday, a day usually void of any substantive legislative work.
State lawmakers in the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee on Wednesday approved, mostly down party lines, a bill purported to be the largest expansion of NC’s “Opportunity Scholarship Program” in state history. Senate Bill 406, sponsored by Senate Education Committee Co-Chairs Sens. Michael Lee (R-New Hanover) and Amy Galey (R-Alamance), would open the private school voucher program to all students, regardless of family income level, in the 2024-2025 school year. The bill, as summarized by legislative staff, would allocate almost $4 billion to the program over the next 10 years and would provide qualifying students with “scholarship grants” on a sliding scale based on family income.
NC House Republicans held a press conference Wednesday to roll out their two-year state budget proposal in House Bill 259. The proposal, which is reflected in the Money Report and bill text outlining Special Provisions, then was reviewed by subject areas in Appropriations Subcommittees this morning before moving to the full Appropriations Committee, where it faced discussion and numerous proposed amendments this afternoon.
North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt presented to members of the House K-12 Education Committee on Tuesday an update on her “Operation Polaris,” or her strategic vision for supporting public school students across the state.
State Board of Education members discussed during October’s monthly meeting two major updates for principals across North Carolina, including the principal pay “retention bonus” and the latest recommendations on principal licensure requirements.
Members of the NC Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC) met on Wednesday and Thursday of this week to discuss the ongoing work of its various subcommittees, including a discussion of the latest version of the draft teacher licensure and pay model.
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Helpful NC Education Links
NC Department of Public Instruction
- K-12 Education Legislation and Reports
- Operation Polaris
- District Human Capital
- Financial Business Services
- StrongSchoolsNC K-12 Public Health Toolkit
- NCDPI News