Rep. Bill Brawley, a Matthews Republican, wants to order counties to levy a 1-cent property tax hike for teacher raises.
And Reps. Becky Carney and Beverly Earle, Democrats from Charlotte, are among a group that wants to tighten state supervision of charter schools.
Welcome to the 2014 legislative session, which is supposed to be relatively short and simple.
Last year's long session brought plenty of surprises in public education. I'm beginning to see why so many of us got caught off guard. I've trolled through the list of bills filed in the first two weeks and come up with this list. I don't pretend to understand them all, let alone feel confident about which stand a chance and which are DOA.
In the spirit of crowdsourcing, I'm linking everyone up and eager to hear thoughts. (HB signifies a House bill, SB a Senate bill.)
Tenure: HB 1199 would restore career status, commonly known as tenure, after last summer's decision to phase it out by 2018. A Wake County judge recently ruled that decision unconstitutional.
Common Core: SB 812 and HB 1061 call for rejecting the Common Core standards and creating a new study commission to create standards specific to North Carolina.
Charter schools: SB 754 and HB 1041 would allow school districts and public universities to grant preliminary approval for charter schools, with the final decisions continuing to rest with the state Board of Education. HB 1085 strengthens supervision of charter schools. SB 752, HB 1042 and SB 793 set up an appeal process for charter applicants rejected by the state advisory board. SB 793 also raises the application fee to $1,000 and clarifies that charter schools are subject to the same public records law, including disclosure of salaries, as other public bodies. HB 1084 would establish an alternative accountability system for charter schools that serve large percentages of students with disabilities.
Vouchers: HB 1075 would repeal the Opportunity Scholarship program and restore the $10 million set aside for it to public schools.
Money: HB 1107 would require the state to spend specific percentages of lottery money on school construction. SB 789 would provide extra money for "geographically sparse" small school districts. (That wouldn't seem to affect the Charlotte area, unless it reduced the money available for bigger districts.) HB 1119 would provide a tax credit for teachers who spend their own money on classroom supplies. HB 1063 would appropriate $340,000 to restore the teacher cadet program for high school students.
Safety: HB 1062 and SB 770 would require public schools to provide keys and schematic diagrams to law enforcement.
Education data: SB 806 and HB 1150 deal with data for K-12 and higher education, but darned if I can figure out what these bills mean. SB815 deals with privacy of student records.