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The Friday Report

August 11, 2017

Forum News

Concerns Voiced About General Assembly’s New Principal Pay Plan

A new principal pay plan enacted this year by the General Assembly drew pointed comments and concerns at last week’s State Board of Education’s (SBE) meeting. The 2017 changes dramatically overhaul how the state’s principals and assistant principals are compensated. With North Carolina currently ranking at the bottom nationally in average principal pay, the new $35.4 million investment in school administrator pay for this school year was clearly welcomed. However, based on comments and questions by SBE members and educators last week, the new plan may have created as many problems as it solved.

The big change moves principal pay from a schedule based on years of experience and number of teachers supervised to a schedule based on the number of students in the school and the “school growth scores” which are based on student EOG and EOC test scores that are used to create a composite school score known as the EVAAS School-wide Accountability Growth measure. The new plan also will eliminate both longevity pay and supplemental salary bumps for administrators who achieve advanced degrees. The General Assembly eliminated both forms of pay for many teachers in recent years.

While the legislated changes to principal pay are complex with “hold harmless” provisions and other exceptions, the basics are that the old principal salary schedule ranges went from $56,100 to $109,848 plus longevity; whereas, the new principal salary schedule ranges from $61,751 to $89,921, not including bonuses and other differentials. See NCDPI Budget Implementation Update, p. 23. Even with the hold harmless provisions, many principals are reporting that the new plan equates to a significant pay cut.

Here is a chart of the new 2017-18 Principal Salary Schedule (without the accompanying special provisions):

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See Appropriations Act of 2017, Section 8.3(a), p. 94.

At the August 2nd SBE Meeting, Board members and advisors offered sharp questions and key comments about tying principals’ salaries to the school growth scores of the school. They also reported situations where an assistant principal’s pay could be higher than the principal’s pay at the same school. The NC Department of Public Instruction confirmed that this situation is not an anomaly under the new plan.

The larger concerns voiced, however, were that by tying principal pay to school growth scores, the state could deter high performing administrators from moving to a chronically low-performing school where they are needed most, perhaps an unintended consequence of this new law.

“It’s going to make it even more difficult simply because these principals know that if they go into these schools, these at-risk schools, high poverty schools, that there is a possibility that the cost of that growth model piece, that is going to affect their salary,” said Amanda Bell, Local Board of Education Advisor. “So, who’s going to want to go?”

The apparent sense of this new principal pay plan was one of resignation for now – as it is law enacted by the General Assembly and therefore non-negotiable.

“I know we can’t change it,” said SBE Board Member Patricia Willoughby. “But we’re being asked to vote on this knowing that it’s not fair, it’s not right, to comply with the law — but what is our other option here?”

There were indications by SBE members and advisors that they plan to give legislators specific input on opportunities for improvement when, or before, they come back for their Short Session in May 2018. State Board of Education Legislative Affairs Director Cecilia Holden said they would be pulling together principals, central office representatives and the business-backed non-profit BEST NC that pushed the principal pay legislation forward to identify fixes and areas for improvement.

For more detailed information on 2017-18 Principal Pay, see NCDPI’s Financial & Business Services Division website, including its 2017-18 Principals Pay Schedules FAQ. For personnel questions on any specific school administrator’s salary for 2017-18, please confer with your local school system’s human resources office.

This Week on Education Matters:

A Closer Look at the NC Innovative School District & New Teacher Pay Pilots

This week’s show focuses on the new – and controversial – NC Innovative School District, formerly known as the Achievement School District, which is slated to begin taking over some of the state’s lowest performing public schools. We talk with Innovative School District Superintendent Dr. Eric Hall. We also examine a new teacher pay model being piloted in Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools.

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Guests include:

  • Dr. Eric Hall, Superintendent, NC Innovative School District (pictured above)
  • Dr. Philip Holmes, Director, Project ADVANCE, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (pictured below)
  • Courtney Sears, Teacher, Ephesus Elementary, Chapel Hill (pictured below)

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When and Where to Watch Education Matters

Saturdays at 7:30 PM, WRAL-TV (Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville)

Sundays at 6:30 AM and Wednesdays at 9:30 AM, UNC-TV’s North Carolina Channel (Statewide)

The North Carolina Channel can be found on Time Warner Cable/Spectrum Channel 1276 or check local listing and other providers here.

Online at https://www.ncforum.org/

In This Issue

Public School Forum Programs

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Nominate an Outstanding Education Leader!

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The Public School Forum is seeking nominations for education leaders to be profiled on our weekly TV show, Education Matters.
Do you have a great leader in your local school? Nominate them today! We are seeking leaders who make a difference in their school each and every day.
This includes (but is not limited to) principals, superintendents, teachers, teacher assistants, guidance counselors, parents, students, community volunteers, afterschool providers, and the list goes on!
To nominate an education leader, please fill out the form here.

Public School Forum Seeks Interns for Fall 2017

The Public School Forum is seeking applications for Education Policy & Programs interns for the Fall 2017 semester.

Position description and application details can be found here. Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to Lauren Bock at lbock@ncforum.org.

State News

More Trailers? Shared Classrooms? Schools Consider Ways to Deal With New Class Size Rules

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Wakefield Elementary students leaves their mobile classrooms in this N&O file photo.

Photo Credit: Takaaki Iwabu, News & Observer.

Wake County’s youngest students might have to use more mobile classrooms, and fourth- and fifth-grade classes might become larger in the coming years.

Wake school leaders are trying to figure out how to deal with new rules handed down from the state legislature that require smaller class sizes in kindergarten through third grade. A committee made up of principals and staff presented some potential short-term solutions to the school board’s facilities committee Wednesday.

“There is not one solution that is going to work for everyone in the county,” said Kristen Faircloth, a committee member and principal of Sycamore Creek Elementary in North Raleigh. “Some solutions are going to work for some schools and not for others.”

As part of last year’s budget, North Carolina lawmakers lowered maximum class sizes in kindergarten through third grade from 24 students to between 19 and 21 students. The maximum average K-3 class size for school districts will drop from 21 students to between 16 and 18 students.

These changes would have gone into effect this fall, but House Bill 13, which was passed in April, pushed back extensive class-size reductions until the 2018-19 school year. Some school districts, including Wake, had warned that some art, music and physical education teachers would have to be laid off if the new rules were applied this year.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Trogdon, K. “More trailers? Shared classrooms? Schools consider ways to deal with new class-size rules.” The News & Observer. 8/9/17.

Governor Cooper Calls on Public to Donate School Supplies

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Governor Roy Cooper announced a statewide school supply drive at Pearsontown Elementary School in Durham this week. The drive will run from August 14 to September 8, and people interested in donating school materials can drop them off at branches of the State Employees Credit Union, state government offices and businesses that partner with the North Carolina Business Committee on Education.

“The one thing we know is far too often teachers are having to dip into their own pockets to cover the cost of classroom supplies — supplies their students need to learn, and supplies that the state currently is not providing for them,” Cooper said at a press conference.

Cooper cited a Forbes study which found that teachers, on average, spent $500 of their own cash each year for school supplies.

The items requested for the drive are:

  • All types of paper
  • Pens, pencils, and dry erase markers
  • Spiral notebooks
  • Tissues and sanitizing wipes

In his proposed budget earlier this year, Cooper proposed a $150 stipend for teachers to use on classroom supplies. The General Assembly did not adopt his proposal in its final budget.

 

To continue reading the complete article and to view Cooper’s announcement of the supply drive, click here.

Excerpt from:
Granados, A. “Governor Cooper calls on public to donate school supplies.” EducationNC. 8/9/17.

Teaching Fellows Commission, Professional Educator Preparation Commission Appointments

The following is a press release from Sen. Chad Barefoot, R-Wake:

The North Carolina Legislature [last] Thursday appointed members of the education community to serve on two commissions created during the 2017 legislative session. The NC Teaching Fellows Commission was created to determine which programs will participate in the NC Teaching Fellows Program and which students will receive forgivable loans starting in the 2018-19 academic year.

The Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission, established in Senate Bill 599, will make recommendations to the State Board of Education regarding all aspects of teacher preparation, licensure, continuing education, and standards of conduct. Senate Bill 599 was signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper last week. Both Senate Bill 599 and the NC Teaching Fellows Program were sponsored by Sen. Chad Barefoot (R-Wake).

“I am grateful to the education leaders in our state that have committed to serve on these important commissions,” said Sen. Barefoot. “I am confident that they will serve the commissions and the students and teachers of North Carolina well in their new roles, and I look forward to working with them to improve our state’s teacher pipeline.”

Dr. Mariann Tillery, Dean of the Stout School of Education at High Point University, was appointed by the Senate to serve a two year term on the NC Teaching Fellows Commission.

Dr. Jennifer Olson, Education Department Head at Meredith College, was appointed by the House to serve a two year term on the NC Teaching Fellows Commission.

The following people were appointed by the Senate to serve on the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission:

  • Dr. Patrick Miller—Superintendent of Greene County Schools
  • Meaghan Loftus—Principal of Ashley Park PreK-8 School in Charlotte
  • Dr. Ellen McIntyre—Dean of the Cato College of Education at UNC Charlotte
  • Dr. Hank Weddington—Dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Lenoir-Rhyne University
  • Dr. Anthony Graham—Dean of the College of Education at North Carolina A&T State University
  • Lauren Genesky—English Teacher at Millbrook High School in Raleigh
  • Glenda Jones—Assistant Superintendent of Cabarrus County Schools
  • Dr. Michael Maher—Assistant Dean for Professional Education and Accreditation at NC State University College of Education

The following people were appointed by the House to serve on the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission:

  • Aaron Fleming—Superintendent of Harnett County Schools
  • Joseph Childers—Principal of Simon G. Atkins Academic and Technology High School in Winston-Salem
  • Dr. Van Dempsey, III.—Dean of the Watson College of Education at UNC Wilmington
  • Dr. Ann Bullock—Dean of the School of Education at Elon University
  • Dr. Connie Locklear—Director of the Indian Education Resource Center in the Public Schools of Robeson County
  • Robin Hiatt—Teaching and Learning Coach with Johnston County Schools
  • Dr. Westley Wood—Executive Director of Personnel and Human Resources for Wilkes County Schools
  • Dr. Samuel Houston, Jr.—President and CEO of the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center

Reprinted from:

Staff. “Teaching Fellows Commission, Professional Educator Preparation Commission appointments.” EducationNC. 8/4/17.

State Board Approves Funding Plan for Advanced Teacher Pilot

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The State Board of Education approved a funding scenario at its August meeting to launch a pilot program in six districts to pay teachers based on advanced leadership roles or student performance. The General Assembly directed the development of the three-year initiative in its 2016 budget bill and provided $10.18 million in funding to begin in the 2017-18 school year.

In response to a request for proposals (RFP) from the NC Department of Public Instruction, 12 school districts submitted bids for funding under this pilot program: Franklin County Schools, Cumberland County Schools, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Pitt County Schools, Washington County Schools, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Wilson County Schools, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, Vance County Schools, Cabarrus County Schools, Edgecombe County Schools, and Durham Public Schools.

A team of 11 reviewers rated each proposal based on scoring criteria listed in the RFP, and the following proposals were approved for funding: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Edgecombe County Schools, Pitt County Schools, Vance County Schools and Washington County Schools.

The initiative is aimed at developing a system that provides more opportunities for teachers to earn higher pay based on performance-related factors instead of years of service.

Good News for CMS: Raises for All. Bad News: Fewer New Counselors, Social Workers

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board Tuesday celebrated a budget that includes raises for its more than 19,000 employees. But they were forced to scale back a plan to add school counselors and social workers. The board unanimously approved a $1.4 billion budget driven largely by decisions from state legislators and county commissioners. For instance, state lawmakers set the raises that will shape paychecks for one of the region’s largest employers:

▪ Raises averaging 3.3 percent for teachers, with the actual amount depending on experience. The state also expanded its performance bonuses for teachers in some tested subjects and added a retention bonus for highly experienced teachers.

▪ Seven percent raises for principals and assistant principals, who lose their state longevity pay as part of the state’s budget vote. In addition, principals will be eligible for new bonuses based on student gains on test scores.

▪ Raises of 3 percent or $1,000 a year, whichever is higher, for most other employees. Bus drivers will get a $1,500 raise, which Vice Chair Elyse Dashew said may help fill an urgent need as CMS expands its transportation program.

“We’ve got a lot of buses with a lot of kids that need good, responsible drivers,” Dashew said. The board approved a budget plan in April, working with then-Superintendent Ann Clark and her staff to estimate what the state might provide and make a pitch for county dollars.

Double Whammy Creates Teacher Shortfall in Richmond County Schools

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Three weeks before classes start, Richmond County Schools are 17 teachers short.

“It’s like pulling teeth” to fill the classrooms in the county’s 15 schools, Superintendent Cindy Goodman (pictured right) said Monday. “There are no teachers out there” who haven’t already made commitments.

Plus, Richmond County has its own difficulties: It’s small. It’s rural. And …“It’s a lot easier to attract a young person to an area where there’s a movie theater.”

Movie theaters aside, the problem is a serious one across North Carolina, she said. For one thing, the General Assembly mandated in 2016 that the size of classes in kindergarten through third grade shrink this year. That means more teachers may be needed if class rolls grow.

According to the mandate, class sizes may range from 19 to 24, but the average per school must be 21. (The legislature does not limit the size of classes at fourth grade or higher.)

To continue reading the complete article, click here

National News

Trump’s Proposed After-School Cuts Could Lead to More Hungry Kids, Lower Test Scores

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The 21st Century Learning Centers offer after-school programs to a range of grade levels in Greenville, Mississippi. At the Boys and Girls Club, one of the district’s five sites, children receive homework help and tutoring, recreation time and a hot dinner. Photo Credit: Tovin Lapan, The Hechinger Report.

In March, President Trump revealed his “skinny budget,” a rough sketch of the nascent administration’s fiscal priorities and objectives that included deep cuts to education and nutrition programs. Budget chief Mick Mulvaney defended the move. “[The programs] are supposed to help kids who don’t get fed at home so they do better in school,” Mulvaney said at a press conference on the day of the announcement. “Guess what? There’s no demonstrable evidence they’re actually doing that. There’s no demonstrable evidence they’re actually helping results, helping kids do better in school.”

In Greenville, Mississippi, a town on the Blues Highway in the Mississippi Delta where every public school student receives free breakfast and lunch, Joan Rowe, director of the local Boys and Girls Club, heard that comment and immediately thought: “They should come down here.”

Rowe and her colleagues across the Delta are watching with keen attention as the federal government aims to slash vital programs and relax school meal standards that have helped combat pervasive community health concerns and poor academic performance in one of the nation’s neediest states.

The Trump administration’s proposed budget would nix the Greenville afterschool program and impose deep cuts in other areas that impact school meals and nutrition. The USDA, which administers numerous grants and programs that help feed needy children, is facing a budget cut of $4.7 billion, or 21 percent of its discretionary spending, while the Department of Education’s budget could fall by more than $9 billion. Even if Trump’s budget never passes, the administration has already put its stamp on school meals. Newly installed Department of Agriculture chief, Sonny Perdue, is rolling back school lunch nutrition standards.

The moves befuddle researchers, who cite a growing body of evidence demonstrating that more meals for school children, and specifically more nutritious meals, benefit kids in a myriad of ways, not only in the short term, but throughout their lives. Recent studies indicate the impact of healthier meals is even greater on low-income children.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Lapan, T. “Trump’s proposed after-school cuts could lead to more hungry kids, lower test scores.” The Hechinger Report. 8/7/17.

Massive Expansion of Arizona School Choice Program Could Be Blocked

A few months after Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a major expansion of the state’s most ambitious private school choice program into law, the program is on the verge of being blocked. A group that aims to halt the expansion says it has collected enough signatures for a petition to stop the new law from taking effect.

Save Our Schools Arizona says it has more than 100,000 signatures—enough to put the expansion on hold so that voters can directly weigh in on the law at the ballot box next year. The Associated Press reports that’s 25 percent more signatures than required.

Arizona lawmakers passed a bill expanding the state’s education savings accounts program this spring. The program allows parents to pull their children out of public school and use the per-pupil funding the state allocates to each student on approved education expenses instead, such as private school tuition, tutoring services, or even text books for home schooling.

The bill had the backing of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and Ducey signed it into law in early April.

Originally the program was limited to a few select groups of students, such as those with disabilities or from low-performing schools. Now all of Arizona’s 1.1 million public school students are eligible for the program.

Only one other state has attempted to open up a private school choice program to all of its public school students, and that was Nevada. But that program has been put on hold indefinitely after the state’s Supreme Court ruled last year that the way it was funded was unconstitutional. A bill to change the funding stream failed in the state legislature, in large part because control of the statehouse switched from Republican to Democrat in the 2016 elections.

Forum Opportunities

Beginning Teacher Leadership Network Accepting Applications

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The Public School Forum’s Beginning Teacher Leadership Network (BTLN) is currently recruiting teachers in Cabarrus, Carteret, Mecklenburg, Onslow, Union, and Wake counties for the 2017-18 cohort. Applications are open through September 8, 2017.

North Carolina traditional and charter public school teachers in their first three years of experience are eligible to participate. Participants may remain in the network for three years, regardless of when they enter the program. The core program will consist of monthly sessions, one during each traditional teaching month, during after-school hours. Forums will consist of education policy briefings, teacher collaboration sessions, and interactive professional development.

By bringing together educational practice and policy, BTLN hopes to produce and retain teachers that are “empowered to lead and informed to change” in a new era of teaching. BTLN provides unparalleled access to information and key decision makers in education, while simultaneously giving beginning teachers high-level professional development.

To apply for the 2017-18 Beginning Teacher Leadership Network, click here.

Opportunities

Women in Educational Leadership Symposium

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Registration is open for the second annual Women in Educational Leadership Symposium (WIELS). The purpose of WIELS is to bring women together to share, learn, and grow in leadership. Women who are interested in learning from others and those who are willing to share skills and expertise are urged to attend. This conference aims to provide personalized learning and mentoring opportunities for those who aspire to become, or currently serve as educational leaders.

The symposium will be held September 22 through September 24, 2017 at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. This year’s conference theme is Advancing the Leader Within: Building Capacity.

Registration for the conference is online at https://wiels.appstate.edu/about-us/registration. Additional information can be found at https://wiels.appstate.edu/.

The Friday Report is published weekly by the Public School Forum of NC and is distributed to Forum members, policymakers, donors, media, and Forum subscribers. Archived editions can be found at www.ncforum.org.

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