Monday, May 26, 2014

Teacher pay, taxes and charters: What's on table

Rep. Bill Brawley, a Matthews Republican,  wants to order counties to levy a 1-cent property tax hike for teacher raises.

Sen. Fletcher Hartsell, a Concord Republican,  wants to let school districts get involved in authorizing charter schools.

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.)

Teacher pay: SB 833 and HB 1186 direct the state Board of Education to come up with a performance pay plan for educators to roll out in 2016-17. SB 787, which I reported on recently, requires that at least 51 percent of the state allocation for K-12 education go toward classroom teachers. HB 1174 extends the cutoff date to qualify for additional pay based on earning a master's degree. And Brawley's HB 1177 calls for the additional 1-cent property tax for teacher raises.

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.

Online classes:  SB 748 and HB 1039 provide a tuition waiver for private-school students to take N.C. Virtual Public School courses.

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.

School calendar:  HB 1049 would give local districts more flexibility in deciding when to start and stop the school year.

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.


Anonymous said...

NO , What these folks mean is Mecklenburg county is going to lobby the state for work tax. Anyone not living in the county per their zip code on their pay check pays a graduated 3% tax for us supplying their job.Once you hit $100k it sides to 2% and over $250k its 1.5%. If you happen to get caught using a friend or parents zip code to escape the tax its a one time garnishment penalty of $10,000. Mecklenburg county can now pay its teachers a living age and some I said some other county employees could get wage increases. The county tax payers also could have their tax rates reduced by a large percentage as well. Do it now as the surrounding counties are growing by 10% every year . They move to save and we provide jobs so they can earn. Its just a simple formula that many cities use to keep up the pace. Keith W. Hurley

Wiley Coyote said...

Property tax increases for teacher pay? Absolutely a big NO!

Giving foxes a part time job in charge of the hen house; public schools and universities in charge of charters? Another big NO!

Anonymous said...

What about Mcory's plan? What was the point? I have a feeling, teachers are going to get the shaft again. Just go teachers..

Anonymous said...

If this was fracking it would have been settled off site by the lobbyists quickly, Larry?

Anonymous said...

I used not care about teacher pay. Then I had kids. My daughter's teacher, also her swim lesson instructor is moving to another state for a 15k increase. I don't mind paying for teachers, but I want the money to go to teachers. I don't want the money to go to people in cubicles downtown or some new save the children program. If there's money in fracking, go for it.

Anonymous said...

I think most people believe teachers need a pay plan. Every state in the union has a teacher pay plan. Every time I pick up a news paper, there's a new pay plan for teachers. Nothing ever seems to happen. Mcory just rolled out a new plan for next year. Why is this guy making a bill for 2017? I have come to the conclusion that this state is broken. What start up is going to want to come here? Last year at this time teachers where getting arrested. This is Minnesota or Ohio where teachers are making 80,000 to 100,000 thousand. This makes our state look foolish. Tech companies are looking to get out of California. We are in a competition and we look like Mississippi. The business community put on a rally for teachers last year in charlotte. This is how bad it has gotten. Wake up!!

Anonymous said...

Mississippi has a much lower cost of living and teachers are on a pay plan. Mississippi does not have the teacher turn over rate of NC. Mississippi also has many more homegrown teachers. Please do not compare yourself to Mississippi. We keep our teachers.

Anonymous said...

In 2008' Beverly Purdue once hailed Peter Gorman for all the great work he was doing on a teacher "pay for performance" plan. The theater teacher at my local high school was on a committee to make up a test for interruptive dance. After millions of dollars spent and time wasted, the plan was scrapped.
In 2014, the state government is talking about the same thing. Making a plan for 2017. "new boss, same as the old boss." Sorry teachers...

Anonymous said...

10:14,this is not Minnesota or Ohio.. Sorry, texting

Anonymous said...

I believe in representative government. What bothers me is the lack of representation. I work hard and live in a good neighborhood. I like my kid's school and appreciate the work of their teachers. I don't know one person that does not believe in having a pay plan and raise for teachers. Democrats, Republicans or Independents. 7 years with frozen pay. Why can't NC just have a common sense pay plan? Why is this clown in Raleigh talking about 2017? How many good teachers are we going to lose from now until then? Are they trying to ruin our schools?

Anonymous said...

Wiley , 1) we don't have a choice as all the great teachers are leaving. 2) its not a tax increase for those that live in the county its actually a tax decrease. For those that poach their income of our backs I am done caring. Keith W. Hurley

Larry said...

An observer dream is happening in education right before our eyes.

Anonymous said...

there is a reason why Fletcher Hartsell wants local school boards in charge of charters. The Cabarrus County school board actually approved HIS online charter school and the state rejected it. Hartsell works for K12, an online charter school company.

I do hope the state does away with voucher program.

Anonymous said...

8:22 a.m., that's what I love about the comments -- I was not aware of that connection.

Anonymous said...

Teachers will never get a fair shake in NC. It's something in the water around Raleigh? Is there a teacher hating cult that our state leaders belong to? South Carolina is way more Republican then NC and we don't have theses issues. Not all public schools are bad. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Tar Heels are a little light upstairs. They need a Gamecock to straighten them out. To many Yankees in NC.. Messing up the works.