#NCED Updates: NCAE hides membership again, a Renewal School District Explainer, General Assembly updates & more

This installment of NCED updates covers the NCAE hiding their membership numbers again, legislative updates and renewal school district explainer video. Also included are a few national headlines and a Quiet Epidemic update.

National Headlines 

North Carolina Headlines

#1- North Carolina Association of Educators  (NCAE) hides its membership again

This is the fifth year in a row the NCAE has refused to cooperate by furnishing membership numbers to the NC State Auditor’s office for its annual report.

According to this year’s auditor report which covers fiscal year 2018, the NCAE “refused to furnish the information based on the premise of lack of authority.”

The only number the state auditor was able to obtain was that of the 5,391 members using payroll deduction to pay their dues.

Payroll deduction members recorded in past years by the state auditor are as follows: 5,702 (2017), 6,402 (2016), 7,331 (2015), 9,452 (2o14).

This downward trend represents a nearly 43% drop between 2014 and 2018.

Mike Antonucci, who runs the Education Intelligence Agency blog, wrote earlier this year that the NCAE had only 28,725 total members in 2017-18 which is a 6 percent drop over the prior year. The release of 2018-19 numbers is anticipated to show further membership declines.

Back in 2017, Antonucci listed the NCAE as one of the five “shakiest‘ National Educators Association (NEA) members in the country, noting the organization was half the size it was in 2010 and ran a “$690,000 deficit in 2015” with their employees complaining that they have not gotten a raise in eight years.

Over the last five years, teachers in NC have seen average raises of 20%. Lawmakers included another raise in the 2019 Appropriations bill, which Governor Cooper vetoed.

The budget was overridden by the House and was not taken up by the Senate before lawmakers adjourned for the holidays. Before adjourning, the General Assembly made a second attempt to give teachers a raise of 4.4% through a mini-budget bill.  The governor vetoed that bill too.

It is likely that most rank and file teachers wanted that second offer, but not members of the NCAE and its radical social and racial justice caucus, Organize 2020. These union affiliates instead staged protests at various schools in Charlotte, Durham and Wake County that targeted the legislature instead of the governor.

The NCAE represents just 5% of the teachers in North Carolina, which begs the question, who does the NCAE represent?

#2 – Renewal School District Explainer

In the 2017-18 session, House Bill 986 was passed which included the Renewal School System Plan.

The intent behind this plan is to improve the sustainability and quality of public schools through tailored instruction that meets the needs of the students. The district is given charter-like flexibility in terms of things like calendar setting, curriculum, standards, salary setting, class size, and exemptions from many other state requirements.

The Lt. Governor has created an explainer video about the pilot of the Renewal School System taking place in Rowan-Salisbury schools.

#3 – Education Legislation for 2019

There were 49 education-related bills that passed during this session. A full list is included in the NC Public Schools Legislative Updates newsletter.

Bills of note include:

SL 2019-55: (HB 664) myFutureNC/Postsecondary Attainment Goal: Establishes a postsecondary educational attainment goal for the State to ensure the State remains economically competitive now and into the future. The State will make significant efforts to increase access to learning so that by 2030, 2,000,000 residents between the ages of 25 and 44 will have completed a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree.

SL 2019-71: (SB 219) Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements: Makes various changes to statutes regarding the testing for the initial professional teacher (IPL) licensure; creates one-year extension for IPL for certain teachers; creates a limited teaching license for out-of-state teachers; authorizes local boards of education to determine commensurate pay level; and reduce the lifetime teaching license requirement from 50 to 30 years.

SL 2019-82: (HB 924) Teacher Contract Changes: Clarifies the amount of time a teacher must work for an LEA in order to be eligible for an extended employment contract.  Adds a new course in economics and personal finance as a graduation requirement for students.

SL 2019-91: (HB 770) Freedom to Work/OLB Reform: Defines a “State agency licensing board.”  Clarifies standards for a licensing board’s use of an applicant’s criminal history in making determinations.

SL 2019-120: (SB 500) Modify Advanced Math Course Enrollment: Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, makes certain modifications to the implementation of advanced math courses offered when practicable for grades six and higher. Requires an annual report on the number and demographics of students eligible for advanced math courses.

SL 2019-142: (HB 411) Modify School Qual./Student Success Indicator: Combines the Career and College Readiness indicators used for school performance grades and for the purpose of compliance with federal law for grades nine through twelve, to require the State Board of Education to include additional Career and College Readiness information on annual report cards.

SL 2019-154: (HB 362) 15-Point Scale For School Performance Grades:  Adopts a fifteen-point scale in the determination of school performance grades, requires SBE to adopt emergency rules in preparation for permanent rule making, and directs SBE to study the reporting methods used for school accountability purposes on the NC annual school report cards.

SL 2019-209: (HB 226) Pay Increases/State Employees: Appropriates funds for the 2019-2021 fiscal biennium to award public employee benefits increases and legislatively mandated salary increases to state employees.

SL 2019-212: (SB 621) Testing Reduction Act of 2019: Reduces testing administered to students in public schools and makes various technical and clarifying changes related to education laws.

SL 2019-245: (SB 199Child Sex Abuse/Strengthen Laws: An act to protect children from sexual abuse and to strengthen and modernize sexual assault laws.

SL 2019-222: (HB 75)  School Safety Funds, Programs, and Reports: An act to appropriate funds for school safety, require an annual report on school resource officers, establish certain school safety grants programs, require the development of a recommended school mental health crisis response program, require annual reports on school mental health support personnel.

#4 – Quiet Epidemic Updates

As of just before Thanksgiving, this website has tracked 58 teacher arrests since Jan. 1 of this year.

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About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips: APDillon@Protonmail.com
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