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The Friday Report

May 31, 2019

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Public School Forum Honors Jim and Barbara Goodmon with Annual Education Award

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Nearly 500 educators, business leaders, community stakeholders, government officials and supporters of public schools gathered at the Raleigh Convention Center last night to honor Jim and Barbara Goodmon for their vast contributions to public education.

Jim Goodmon, chairman and CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company, and Barbara Goodmon, president of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, are the recipients of this year’s annual Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award, bestowed by the Public School Forum since 2000 to recognize innovative, creative and effective leadership for public education in North Carolina. The award is named in honor of the late Dr. Jay Robinson, one of our state’s most distinguished education leaders.

In their acceptance remarks, the Goodmons emphasized the importance of supporting public education, a cause they have championed for decades.

“We must keep fighting,” said Jim Goodmon. For years, Goodmon said, North Carolina surged ahead in its support of public education. During the last decade he was shocked to see our state go backward, he said, and he encouraged everyone to push back against the retreat from strong investments in public education.

Barbara Goodmon emphasized the need to ensure that our public schools are equipped to serve students as “whole people” by increasing the number of guidance counselors, social workers, and nurses.

“The best of teachers can’t do what they need to do unless they have the right [support for] the whole person,” said Barbara.

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The gala event included a reception, dinner and awards presentation. Dinner music was provided by Carnage Magnet Middle School and the Community Music School. Art pieces created by first graders at Raleigh’s Joyner Elementary School were featured as table centerpieces for the event.

Tributes to the Goodmons were made by Nicky Charles, Chief Operating Officer, East Durham Children’s Initiative; Former Governor James B. Hunt; and Smedes York, Chairman of the Board, York Properties. Governor Roy Cooper also provided a video tribute for the event.

All speakers spoke of the incredible commitment to public education in North Carolina demonstrated by both Jim and Barbara Goodman. Smedes York closed his remarks with the statement “When the question is what’s next in the Triangle, we call on Barbara and Jim.”

Forum President and Executive Director Keith Poston and Forum Chairman Dr. Thomas Williams presented Jim & Barbara Goodmon with pottery created by Ben Owen, a North Carolina native and well-known ceramic artist, to commemorate the award.

The Forum is grateful to our sponsors and to everyone who attended the 2019 Jay Robinson Education Leadership Award Gala to honor Jim and Barbara Goodmon.

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Legislative Update

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Legislative Update: Senate Budget Edition

The Senate is expected to pass its final budget proposal today. The most significant differences from the House budget include lower proposed pay raises for teachers, no language to restore advanced degree supplements (master’s pay) and no change to the A-F School Performance Grades—the Senate would maintain the current 80/20 achievement over growth formula that public education advocates say unfairly stigmatizes high poverty schools.

Below we highlight the most important elements of the Senate’s budget that would have an impact North Carolina’s public schools, making note of important differences with the House budget.

Next week, the Senate and House are expected to appoint conference committee members who will work together to address differences in their budget proposals and assemble a final budget that they will send to the Governor.

Highlights of the FY 2019-21 Senate Budget Proposal as of Friday, May 31th, 2019

Money Report Link (May 29 version)

Budget Bill (PCS of HB966)(May 29 version)

Educators

K-12 Educator Pay

TEACHERS

Teachers would receive a 3.5 percent average salary increase over two years. This would raise the average teacher salary to $54,500 by the end of the biennium. (Current average teacher salary as reported by DPI: $53,945)

The House budget focused on rewarding veteran teachers, who largely have been left behind over the past several years. The Senate budget provides salary bumps to all teachers — however, there are more substantial increases provided to veteran teachers as well, but they are in the form of one-time bonuses instead of actual raises.

  • For teachers with between 15 and 24 years of teaching experience, they will receive a bonus of $500.00.
  • For teachers with 25 or more years of teaching experience, they will receive a bonus of $1,000.

The Senate budget has the base pay for beginning teachers remaining at $35,000, and the salary schedule would max out at $52,520.

The Senate budget does not reinstate advanced degree (master’s) pay.

The Senate budget includes a Small County Signing Bonus for Teachers, which was also in the House budget.

Unlike the House budget, salary increases would take effect July 1, 2019, instead of January 2020.

PRINCIPALS

The Senate budget includes an additional $15M in recurring funds for each year of the biennium to provide salary increases. Principals would see an average 6.2% increase; the bonus structure is revised and the option to double the performance bonus for those leading low performing schools has been removed for 2019-20, creating a situation that impacts ~90 principals that NCASA is asking to be remedied.

The Senate budget includes funding for salary supplements to recruit up to 40 high-growth principals to low-performing schools. The supplements are provided to selected school districts for a 3-year period at $30,000 annually.

The Senate does not tie the principal salary schedule to the teacher schedule, as does the the House budget, which continues a scenario whereby teachers and APs could earn higher salaries than principals.

The Senate budget does not factor in years of experience in their revised principal salary schedule, unlike the House budget.

Principal Preparation

Language in Senate budget would keep the Transforming Principal Preparation program under the purview of the North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals Association for the next two years. Following that, NC PAPA will help with transitioning the TPP to merge with the new Principal Fellows program, which is slated to be housed at UNC GA.

Advanced Teaching Roles

Provides additional funding to expand the Advanced Teaching Roles program. The revised appropriation for Advanced Teaching Roles is $2M in FY 2019-20 and $3M in FY 2020-21, which is the same language as the House budget.

Teacher Prep/Teaching Fellows

The Senate budget expands the new NC Teaching Fellows program from five institutions to eight and includes language that they should represent a diverse selection of UNC and private postsecondary institutions, which is the same language as the House budget.

The Senate budget modifies the provision for the Commission to provide mentoring and coaching support to forgivable loan recipients through the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program. Increases award amount for teachers at low-performing schools from $2,000 to $2,200, and removes the $1,000 award amount for those who are not teaching at low-performing schools.

Teacher Leave/Protests

The House language that would make it nearly impossible for future teacher rallies to take place is not included in the Senate budget.

Infrastructure/Resources/Instruction

Infrastructure

The Senate budget includes capital funding for schools in the amount of $4.8 billion as follows:

  • $1.67 from the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund (SCIF)
  • $1 billion from the Public School Building Capital Fund
  • 2.1 billion from the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund

This $4.8 billion in capital funds is referred to as “pay-as-you-go” because unlike a bond, which has been favored by the House, they are not guaranteed funds, provided up front for construction and other infrastructure needs. Instead, funds are contributed to these line items on an annual basis and are subject to availability of state funds and future legislative decisions.

The Senate budget also includes a provision that prevents local school boards from suing county commissions over insufficient capital appropriations.

Classroom Supplies

The Senate budget includes a modified version of State Superintendent Mark Johnson’s classroom supplies bill, which redirects a portion of district funding for classroom supplies into the hands of teachers through a mobile app.

The Senate budget proposes that districts be required to allocate $300 per teacher for supplies. The House budget, which originally set the per-teacher allocation at $400, was later amended to include $145 per teacher, funded through an additional $15 million designated for supplies rather than coming out of the original $47 million for supplies given to districts.

The Senate budget, like the House, also includes an additional $15 million for classroom supplies, but this would not cover the per-teacher allocation of $300 without also dipping into district classroom supply funds.

Textbooks and Digital Resources

The Senate budget allocates $74 million for textbooks and digital resources for each year of the biennium. There are additional appropriations of $10.9M in 2019-20 and $12M in 2020-21, but those monies backfill previous non-recurring monies. No significant increase over last year’s level of funding.

Class Size & Arts Requirement

Unlike the House budget, there is no language in the Senate budget that includes waivers for districts that have a hard time locating facility space and recruiting personnel to satisfy the K-3 class size requirement. Senator Tillman indicated there is a fix in the works in the form of an amendment or stand alone bill.

Instructional Materials Selection

The House’s proposal to transfer the responsibility for selection and adoption of school instructional materials (including textbooks and digital resources) from the State Board of Education to local school boards is not included in the Senate budget.

Financial Literacy Instruction

The Senate budget proposal on financial literacy instruction is identical to that in the House budget, which would require that all students receive instruction on financial literacy prior to graduation. Instruction would include, at a minimum, education on the economic principles of: the true cost of credit; choosing and managing a credit card, borrowing money for a car or other large purchases, home mortgages, credit scoring and credit reports, and planning and paying for postsecondary education. The State Board of Education is to determine any other components.

A-F School Grades

The Senate budget proposes no changes to the current A-F school grading system, and would maintain the current formula as-is, with 80% of the grade coming from a school’s proficiency score and 20% from growth over time. The House proposed revising the formula to 51% proficiency and 49% growth.

Read to Achieve

The Senate budget would require DPI to purchase the Imagine Learning and Failure Free Reading Camp Pilot with funds appropriated for fiscal year 2019-2020 to conduct a Reading Camp Curriculum Pilot Program. DPI would select one or more local school administrative unit that represents the diversity of the state to implement the curriculum in its reading camp to assess their effectiveness for improving reading proficiency. DPI would be required to report findings on the impact of readings camps on proficiency from the pilot to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee by November 15, 2020.

School Safety

The Senate budget proposes a school safety grants program to be administered by DPI:

  • $6.1 million non-recurring for school safety equipment grants in first year. (House proposed $3 million non recurring first year, $6 million recurring second year.)
  • $4.5 million non-recurring for school safety training grants in first year. (House proposed $3 million non-recurring year one, $6 million recurring year two.)
  • $4.5 million non-recurring for students in crisis grants in first year. (House proposed $2 million non-recurring year one, $4.6 million recurring year two.)
  • $6 million recurring in each year of the biennium and 1.7 million non-recurring in the first year for employment and training of school resource officers. (House proposed $3 million non-recurring in first year and 7.7 recurring in second year.)

The Senate budget reduces funding for the instructional support allotment to transfer 326 school psychologist positions to a new school psychologist allotment.

Provides funding to hire an additional 100 school psychologists to ensure at least 1 psychologist for every school district. Some lawmakers have complained that districts that have more pressing needs in other areas would not be able to transfer those funds.

Provides funding for school mental health support personnel grants. $10 million recurring in both years, 8.2 million non-recurring in first year for school mental health support personnel grants for hiring and training. (NB: This is substantially less than the $19 million non-recurring in year one and $30 million recurring in year two proposed by the House.)

Department of Public Instruction

Senate budget eliminates 13 vacant staff positions and allocates two new positions to the Division of School Business.

School Funding Formula

The House budget included a provision that authorizes DPI to issue a RFP by September 15, 2019 seeking proposals from independent research organizations to conduct an evaluation of the current funding system for public schools and to propose alternatives. The Senate budget has no language to this effect.

School Choice

School Vouchers:

The Senate budget does little to change the Opportunity Scholarships Program (traditional vouchers), except to raise the administrative cap from $1.5M to $2M annually.

The Senate budget does include language from the House budget that combines the special education voucher programs. The Disabilities Grant and Education Savings Accounts would be combined into a new “Personal Education Student Accounts for Children with Disabilities.” (PESAs)

Award amounts for the PESAs would not exceed $9,000 annually (it was $8,000 in the House proposal), unless the student has one or more of the following disabilities: autism, hearing impairment, moderate or severe intellectual or developmental disability; multiple, permanent orthopedic impairments; or visual impairment, in which case award amounts can be up to $17,000 annually. All funds can be placed on a debit card and up to $4,500 can be carried over annually. Expenses are limited to tuition and fees at a private school and qualifying expenses, such as educational therapies, technology, transportation and more.

*Both the House and Senate budgets remove the provision requiring the state to verify 6% of all applicants to ensure eligibility for PESA.

Virtual Pre-K

The Senate budget does not include the House’s controversial proposal for creating a virtual Pre-K pilot program.

Charter Schools

The Senate budget broadens enrollment priority for siblings and children of CMO/EMO employees.

Lab Schools

The Senate budget does not include House budget language that would reduce the lab school program from 9 schools to 6; however, it does include House language that lab schools should reasonably reflect the racial, ethnic and socioeconomic composition of the LEA in which they are located.

Education Matters

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This weekend on WRAL we will re-air the 100th episode of Education Matters focused on Youth Suicide. During this episode we explore the rate of teen suicide in North Carolina, self-harm among 10- to 14-year-old girls in the U.S, and the alarming rate of mental health condition in children and adolescents that goes untreated.

On FOX 50 and NC Channel we will re-air episode #98: Expanding NC’s Teacher Pipeline. During this episode, we talk with several education leaders to discuss both the challenges and the most promising solutions to teacher shortages and long term vacancies in our state’s public schools.

When and Where to Watch Education Matters

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

Sunday at 8:00 AM, FOX 50 (Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville)

Sunday at 6:30 AM and Wednesday 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 your local listings and other providers here.

Watch online at www.ncforum.org.

Education Matters is also available as a podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Overcast, and Google Play Music.

State News

NC Senate Budget Would Change How Teachers Buy

Supplies, Require Student Finance Course

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Sen. Harry Brown talks about changes to education funding in the state budget proposal to the press on Tuesday, May 28, 2019.Leaders want to change how teachers buy supplies and make sure students know about personal finance before graduating.
Photo Credit: Julia Wall, The News & Observer.

North Carolina Senate Republican leaders want to change how teachers buy their classroom supplies and make sure that students know about personal finance before they can graduate from high school.

Senate GOP leaders on Tuesday unveiled details of their spending plan for the next two years. In addition to providing raises for teachers and school support staff, the budget has a number of education-related “special provisions” that will impact the state’s 1.5 million public school students.

The Senate plans to approve the budget this week and then work through a compromise with the House, which adopted its budget plan earlier this month. The Republican-led legislature will then take the budget to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who could veto it to get more changes.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “NC Senate budget would change how teachers buy supplies, require student finance course.” The News & Observer. 5/28/19.

NC Superintendent Announces School Safety Tip Line,

Partnership with Sandy Hook Group

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Photo Credit: WRAL.

North Carolina Superintendent Mark Johnson announced a partnership on Thursday with Sandy Hook Promise to provide a statewide tip line for people to anonymously report school safety issues at middle and high schools across the state.

The “Say Something Anonymous Reporting System” will launch during the 2019-20 school year. More than 5,100 schools nationwide are using the service. North Carolina will be the second statewide partnership for Sandy Hook Promise. Pennsylvania began using the program in January.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hinchcliffe, K. “NC superintendent snnounces school saftey tip line, partnership with Sandy Hook group” WRAL. 5/30/19.

This Coastal School System Has the Highest Average

Teacher Salary in NC. Here’s Why.

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Photo Credit: WRAL.

In North Carolina, the average teacher salary is $53,975, according to the state education department. But which of the state’s 115 school systems has the highest average teacher pay? It’s not the big-city districts in Wake County or Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, as you might expect. Teachers making the most money, on average, work in the Outer Banks, along the sand and surf in coastal Dare County Schools.

That statistic was revealed when the state superintendent released a new North Carolina School Finances website, which shows average teacher salaries at every school system in the state.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Hinchcliffe, K. “This coastal school system has the highest average teacher salary in NC. Here’s why.” WRAL. 5/28/19.

Making The Grade:

The Murky System Used To Evaluate Schools

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West Charlotte High School biology teacher Taylor Conner talks to her students about performance on midterm exams as the
prepare for the end-of-course exam that will be used to assess them as well as grade the school.
Photo Credit: Ann Doss Helms, WFAE.

The school year is almost over, but there’s uncertainty hanging over every public school in North Carolina. School letter grades, which influence where parents buy homes or send their kids to school, are on the minds of educators as lawmakers in Raleigh grapple with a grading system that has never quite worked as planned.

In this three-part series, “Making the Grade,” WFAE correspondent Ann Doss Helms examines the challenges in grading North Carolina’s public schools.

To continue reading the complete article, click here.

Excerpt from:

Helms, A. “Making the grade: The murky system used to evaluate schools.” WFAE. 5/28/19.

From 6,750 Nominees, these 10 ‘School Heroes’ Each

Will Get $10,000 from NC Lottery

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Shonny Williams, a social worker at the Governor Morehead School For the Blind in Raleigh, is among the 10 winners in the N.C. Education Lottery’s School Heroes program. She’ll use part of her $10,000 prize to help her hometown of Rocky Mount.
Photo Credit: T. Keung Hui, The New & Observer.

Shonny Williams has given all she could to the students at the Governor Morehead School For The Blind for 13 years. So on Thursday, the school social worker got something back by being named a school hero and winning $10,000.

Williams is among the 10 winners in the N.C. Education Lottery’s “North Carolina School Heroes” program, which allowed people to nominate school employees who are helping students achieve their dreams. The winners represent a wide range of people from across the state, but all are credited with making a difference in the lives of their students.

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Excerpt from:

Hui, K. “From 6,750 nominees, these 10 ‘school heroes’ each will get $10,000 from NC Lottery.” The News & Observer. 5/23/19

National News

‘Borderline Criminal’: Many Public Schools Teeter On

the Edge of Decrepitude

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Binford Middle School in Richmond is among the campuses needing repairs, a tab that could reach $800 million citywide.
Photo Credit: D. T., The Washington Post.

Each morning for several years, Keri Treadway switched the classroom lights on and stomped loudly to frighten away the mice. She checked the sticky traps. She swabbed tables with disinfectant wipes and cleared droppings from the colorful rug where her kindergarten students sat.

After the school day ended, Treadway rested her legs on a chair to avoid the scurrying rodents. The routine at William Fox Elementary School persisted until the 108-year-old brick building in the city’s vibrant Fan neighborhood was visited by exterminators last year.

Treadway isn’t familiar with much else. She has taught for 16 years in Richmond Public Schools, learning to adapt to deteriorating buildings. But she pauses when she hears from friends who teach elsewhere, in schools that are not rundown.

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Excerpt from:

T., D. ‘Bourderline criminal’: Many public schools teeter on the edge of decrepitude.” The Washington Post. 5/25/19.

New Report On Virtual Education: ‘It Sure Sounds

Good. As It Turns Out, It’s Too Good To Be True.’

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Photo Credit: The Washington Post.

The future of education, you might hear some enthusiasts say, is virtual: Online schools have grown significantly over the past decade, as have traditional schools that use online curriculum, and the promise of virtual education is boundless.

Or not.

Virtual Schools in the U.S. 2019, a report published annually by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder, looks at the research on this form of education and suggests that some brakes ought to be put on the virtual education revolution

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Excerpt from:

Strauss, V. “New report on virtual education: ‘It sure sounds good. As it turns out, it’s too good to be true.’ The Washington Post. 5/29/19.

Discipline or Treatment?

Schools Rethinking Vaping Response

A glimpse of student athletes in peak physical condition vaping just moments after competing in a football game led Stamford High School Principal Raymond Manka to reconsider his approach to the epidemic.

His school traditionally has emphasized discipline for those caught with e-cigarettes. Punishments become increasingly severe with each offense, from in-school suspensions to out-of-school suspensions and, eventually, notification of law enforcement.

But Manka began thinking about it more as an addiction problem, and less of a behavior issue, after seeing the two players from another school vaping near their bus. “It broke my heart,” said Manka, whose school is now exploring how to offer cessation programs for students caught vaping or with vaping paraphernalia.

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Excerpt from:

The Associated Press. “Discipline or Treatment? Schools Rethinking Vaping Response.” Education Week. 5/28/19.

Opportunities

Applications Open for 2019-20 NC Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP)

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The Public School Forum is accepting applications for the 2019-20 cohort of the North Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP).

The North Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program is the only statewide program of its kind that focuses on leadership and professional development in the context of education policy. Fellows come from public schools, higher education, community colleges, and a diverse array of education organizations across North Carolina. Each class includes a cohort of fellows who focus on education policy issues and the wide range of factors that influence education in North Carolina. Fellows will increase their awareness of how public policy is made, learn whom the key players are in the formation of this policy, and become more confident and involved in the policy-making process.

Application information for both EPFP Central and EPFP West can be found online at https://www.ncforum.org/education-policy-fellowship-program/

Applications are due by June 30, 2019. Contact Lauren Bock, Director of Policy & Programs, at [email protected] with questions.

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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The Public School Forum of North Carolina, Duke Policy Bridge at the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, are proud to announce that award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates will headline “Color of Education 2019” the second annual summit focused on race, equity and education in North Carolina.

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Download the Forum’s 2019 Top Ten Education Issues

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