The North Carolina General Assembly will reconvene on January 28th, 2015. Both house and senate calendars are available online at http://www.ncleg.net/.
Hot issue areas we will likely see debated during this session may include:
- Retaining Career Status (Tenure) for Teachers.
- The Rise of Charter Schools, especially for-profit & virtual vendors.
- The Unconstitutionality of NC School Vouchers.
- Teacher Pay Raises, Removal of Longevity Pay for Career Teachers.
- Possible Revival of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program.
- Rethinking Textbook Costs and Instructional Supplies.
The 114th Congress convened on January 3rd, 2015 with the largest Republican control in both house and senate since the 71st Congress of 1929 to 1931. Framed in the role of testing, the new chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) has introduced a draft bill to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act, the previous reauthorization of the omnibus Elementary and Secondary Education law. This legislation retains a lot of the language and ideas of the partisan ESEA reauthorization bill introduced in 2013. For 2015, there are proposals to circumvent the department of education in accountability testing, eliminate currently unfunded programs, and remove the School Improvement Grant model, where districts would have ultimate discretion in aiding low-performing schools.
Secretary Duncan has countered the bill but laying down his ESEA marker, refuting the Republican’s proposal of scale back the role of the Department of Education and testing requirements that may “hide” the achievement of historically under-served students and mask the ability of states to help these populations. A summary of his remarks as well as Congressional supporters and stakeholder groups may be found here.
EducationNC (EdNC) is a new nonpartisan news source for educational stakeholders that “seeks to expand the educational opportunities for all children in North Carolina, increase their academic attainment, and improve the performance of the state’s public schools.” Through their free website and optional e-news digest you can receive state data, maps, research, opinion, and other types of information on NC public schools. Sign up for the list serve and learn more at https://www.ednc.org/
Submitted by Rebecca Hite
NCSLA Legislative Liaison