It was a relatively peaceful week at the General Assembly, with some movement on a few non-controversial education bills, as well as some progress with calendar flexibility legislation that will likely die in the Senate. Here’s your weekly roundup.
Probably the biggest news was the passage of a statewide bill that would let schools start on the Monday closest to Aug. 19. Currently, the state says that schools can’t start earlier than the Monday closest to Aug. 26.
The House has traditionally been more amenable to giving school districts calendar flexibility than the Senate, and it seems the same will be true this time. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, told the News & Observer such bills won’t gain traction this long session.
Another bill that would grant school calendar flexibility to Harnett, Jackson, and Swain County schools also passed the House and will likely die in the Senate.
Meanwhile, a number of local calendar flexibility bills — which apply only to certain counties — made their way through a House local government committee. They are:
Another local calendar flexibility bill that applies to Alamance-Burlington Schools and Guilford County Schools made it through a House committee on state government.
These were all among the slew of bills that we wrote about after they made their way through a House education committee earlier this month.
Odds and ends
A House K-12 committee took up and gave favorable approval to three bills. One would expand a pilot program for smart school buses to 21 districts. Another would expand a program that allows retired educators to return to work in high-need schools. A third would let educators get continuing education credit when they attend mandatory trainings. This last bill also passed the full House and goes now to the Senate.
Also, a bill that would change the Asheville City School Board from an appointed board to an elected one passed a committee on election law and campaign finance reform in the House.
And a bill that would change both the Burke and Caldwell County boards of education elections from nonpartisan to partisan passed a redistricting and elections committee in the Senate.