#NCED Quick Hits: Supt. Budget, School Crime, Mental Health Screening Bill

Some quick education hits from the last few weeks include a  mental health screening study bill, Superintendent Mark Johnson’s budget, and the annual school crime report.
Also, a long-running education legal case pay-day is postponed and more.

I haven’t written up the latest teacher turnover report yet, but I can tell you turnover is down again. Check out what Dr. Terry Stoops has to say about it and look for my article later this coming week.

Mental Health Screening Study Bill

At North State Journal, I recently wrote about a mental health screening study bill moving its way through the legislature.  Not included in that article was a list of what the bill seeks to explore or determine:

  1. If the state should require such a mental health screen.
  2. Which mental health professionals should conduct a mental health screen.
  3. What problems/diagnoses should be targeted or looked for.
  4. The format the screen is to take; something new or a pre-existing assessment tool.
  5. Should the screen be uniform statewide or be up to the local school administrative units.
  6. What policies need to be created to make sure services get to any children identified as being at risk.
  7. What type of mental healthcare providers may provide services or follow-up treatment.
  8. What policies need to be in place regarding the collection, storage of, and access to, the confidential health information that mental health screening will reveal.
  9. What is the right age to initiate screening and whether screening should be repeated and at what ages.
  10. Determine if parents will be permitted to opt out their child or children of the screening.
  11. Explore immunity for the healthcare providers from legal actions in relation to performing the screens.

Those with questions about this bill can contact their representative at the General Assembly.

School Crime Report

North Carolina Public Schools has released the 2017-18 School Crime report. In it, serious offenses continue to be troublesome, including sex offenses nearly doubling.

Sexual Assault not including Rape or Sexual Offense went from 107 in 2016-17 to 115 in 2017-18. The generic “Sexual Offense” category jumped 48% from 47 in 2016-17 to 70 in 2017-18.

Out of State Teachers

Alex Granado’s has an article about the State Board delaying taking action on making it easier for out-of-state teachers to come to work in the Tarheel state.  I think the real lede in that story is why:

Last month, State Board members rejected that initial proposal, citing concerns about weakening the standards for teaching in North Carolina.

Long-running education lawsuit over technology funds ($750 million) is delayed and Carolina Journal reported on the story:

Judge Vince Rozier signed the order Wednesday, March 6, extending a 2008 court order directing the state to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars into the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund.

The dispute between the state and school districts over the funds dates to 1996, when a N.C. Supreme Court ruling in Craven County Board of Education v. Boyles determined civil fines imposed by state agencies should be viewed the same as criminal fines and should go to public schools.

Superintendent Mark Johnson’s Budget

While Roy Cooper wants a 9.1% pay raise over two years for teachers, Johnson asks for a 5% pay raise. Johnson also includes figures for a 7% teacher pay increase and wants principal salary increases too.

Johnson calls for the number of institutions partnering in the Teaching Fellows program to go from five to eight. He also wants to spend $750,000 in 2020-2021 on TeachNC, a teacher recruitment campaign.

The section on teacher compensation and benefits totals a whopping $464 million in recurring funds for just the 2019-2020 school year. That figure jumps to over $800 million in recurring funds for 2020-2011.

Spending Highlights for 2019-2020:

  • Pre-k and Kindergarten programs: $4 million
  • Early literacy: $9.25 million
  • Eliminate certain testing: $10 million
  • Study to dump Common Core Math: $500,000
  • Career Pathways (science, robotics, trade skills): $4.45 million
  • School Safety related: $93 million
  • Textbooks: $15 million
  • Data-Driven support for Admins, Teachers, and policymakers: $2.1 million

Read his budget wish list.

Miscellaneous Updates

Jen Mangrum enters the 2020 NC Superintendent race. She’s the 4th Democrat to do so.
Others are Michael Maher, James Barrett, Keith Sutton, and Candace Lav Johnson.

Maher is the most reasonable out of the bunch so far, but his apparent enthusiasm for the Common Core /Education non-profit Potemkin village in NC is a real turn off.

There are attacks on School Choice and then there’s this pile of self-loathing dumb:

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About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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