The governor has recently engaged into discussions regarding raising teacher salaries to raise morale, stem attrition and attract candidates into the profession. New teachers would benefit from this proposed initiative, whereas veteran teachers are languishing with frozen salaries and eliminated teacher tenure, which is garnering national attention. Guilford and Durham counties have already made strides against enforcing the state law revoking of teacher tenure; however their preliminary injunction is only a temporary victory until the constitutionality of the law is determined by higher courts. Regardless, any financial incentives for educators has been called into question with the projected state government shortfall of $445 million when the fiscal year ends June 30th due to the changes in North Carolina’s tax laws. The only means for teachers to advance in salary has been the Governor’s Teachers Network (GTN), a competitive program leveraging Race to Top Dollars, to pay 450 exceptional teachers to create and share best practices in K-12 curriculum.
In Subcommittee: New bill by Cabarrus Senator Fletcher Hartsell is calling for state-wide open enrollment. Many are sounding the alarm that this bill is yet another stab at school choice and is fraught with concerns regarding tax base revenue and transportation costs.
We last reported that Representative George Miller (D-CA), ranking minority member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, has announced his retirement after serving 40 years in the US House of Representatives. It is now certain that Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) will become ranking member, yet few believe that he alone will be able to move ESEA out of the predominately Republican committee.
Common core state standards remain a battleground issue; just recently Indiana has pulled out of the full implementation. Hints of trouble have been brewing since last year as Alabama and Utah have pulled out of the Smarter BalancedAssessment Consortiumand more recently, Georgia and Oklahoma dropped out of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium. Even celebrities like Louis C.K. have been discussing Common Core on twitter, further dividing camps supporting or opposed to this initiative.
Did you know that NCSLA is hosting its first annual Advocacy Day in Raleigh June 16th and 17th? During this two 2 day professional development institute, learn how to effectively communicate with lawmakers about issues in science education that are important to you and your district culminating with a conversation with your state representative lawmakers so that you can put what you've learned to work. Interested? Sign up and share with colleagues. http://tinyurl.com/NCSLAAdvocacy
Submitted by Rebecca Hite
NCSLA Legislative Liaison