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Your guide to education committees in the N.C. General Assembly this session

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North Carolina’s legislative long session begins on Jan. 25, where legislators will establish the state’s budget for the next two years. 

A recent report showed North Carolina’s public school funding is among the lowest in the country. This year, the State Board of Education and N.C. Department of Public Instruction are asking legislators to allocate funding for digital learning, educator preparation, charter schools, and more. 

And teacher salaries and licensure, school nutrition, calendar flexibility, school facilities, mental health, enrollment measurement, and funding for the Leandro plan are all expected to be on the docket as well.  

There are several committees dedicated to education in both the House and the Senate, with focuses on K-12 education, community colleges, universities, and funding. These committees work on bills before they are voted on and help decide what bills are heard in the chamber. 

Find a list of who’s who on each education committee below. We’ve included their role on the committee, political party, districts, occupation if listed, and a link to their page on the N.C. Legislature’s website. 

House

Education Committee — K-12

Chairs

Rep. Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke: Blackwell has served five terms in the House. He is an attorney who lives in Valdese. 

Rep. Tricia Cotham, D-Mecklenburg: Cotham has served 5.5 terms in the House. She has no occupation listed on the N.C. legislative website.

Rep. John Torbett, R-Gaston: Torbett’s listed occupation is a legislator. He has served seven terms in the House. 

Vice Chairs

Rep. Cecil Brockman, D-Guilford: Legislator with five terms in the House.

Rep. Diane Wheatley, R-Cumberland: Retired with two terms in the House.

Rep. David Willis, R-Union: Small business owner with two terms in the House.

Members

Rep. Cynthia Ball, D-Wake: Mediator

Rep. Brian Biggs, R–Randolph: Realtor

Rep. Laura Budd, D–Mecklenburg: Attorney

Rep. Ashton Clemmons, D-Guilford: Educator

Rep. Jeffrey Elmore, R-Alexander, Wilkes: Teacher

Rep. Ken Fontenot, R–Nash, Wilson: Pastor

Rep. Rosa Gill, D-Wake: Retired educator, state employee

Rep. Frank Iler, R-Brunswick: Retired

Rep. Jake Johnson, R-Henderson, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford: Real estate

Rep. Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth: Consultant

Rep. Brandon Lofton, D-Mecklenburg: Lawyer

Rep. Marvin Lucas, D-Cumberland: Retired principal

Rep. Larry Potts, R-Davidson: Real estate investor, building contractor

Rep. Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance: Marine engineer, educator, thermographer

Rep. James Roberson, D-Wake: Senior Dean and CCO of Wake Technical Community College’s Western Wake campus 

Rep. Phil Shepard, R–Onslow: Retired civil service, minister

Rep. Frank Sossamon, R–Granville, Vance: Sossamon funeral home

Rep. Larry Strickland, R-Johnston: Real estate appraiser, farmer

Rep. Julie von Haefen, D-Wake: No profession listed

Education Committee — Community Colleges

Chair

Rep. David Willis, R-Union: Willis is a small business owner who has served two terms in the House. 

Vice Chair

Rep. Diane Wheatley, R-Cumberland: Retired with two terms in the House.

Members

Rep. Jay Adams, R-Catawba: Commercial real estate broker

Rep. John R. Bradford, R-Mecklenburg: CEO, PetScreening, Inc.

Rep. Mark Brody, R-Anson, Union: Contractor

Rep. Gloristine Brown, D-Pitt: No profession listed

Rep. Mike Clampitt, R-Jackson, Swain, Transylvania: Retired fire captain in the Charlotte Fire Department

Rep. Ashton Clemmons, D-Guilford: Educator

Rep. Jeffrey Elmore, R-Alexander, Wilkes: Teacher

Rep. Joe John, D-Wake: Legal consultant, mediator, arbitrator

Rep. Tim Longest, D-Wake: Attorney

Rep. Howard Penny, D-Harnett, Johnston: Retired agribusiness

Rep. Lindsey Prather, D-Buncombe: Assistant director of admission at UNC-Asheville

Rep. Renée Price, D-Caswell, Orange: Consultant

Rep. John Sauls, R-Lee, Moore: Minister 

Rep. Steve Tyson, R-Craven: Realtor and general contractor

Rep. Donna White, R-Johnston: Registered nurse, aging specialist

Education Committee — Universities

Chairs

Rep. Jon Hardister, R-Guilford: Hardister works in marketing and has served six terms in the House. 

Rep. Ray Pickett, R-Alleghany, Ashe, Watauga: Pickett’s occupation is listed as self-employed. He has two terms in the House. 

Vice Chair

Rep. Kelly Hastings, R-Cleveland, Gaston: Realtor with seven terms in the House

Members

Rep. Kelly Alexander, D-Mecklenburg: Funeral director

Rep. Kristin Baker, R-Cabarrus: Physician 

Rep. Gloristine Brown, D-Pitt: No profession listed

Rep. Allen Buansi, D-Orange: Attorney

Rep. Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg: Legislator, former county commissioner

Rep. Kevin Crutchfield, D–Cabarrus, Rowan: CFO of Casco Signs, Inc. 

Rep. Ted Davis, R-New Hanover: Attorney 

Rep. Wesley Harris, D-Mecklenburg: Economic consultant

Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, Rowan, Yadkin: Appraiser, realtor

Rep. Neal Jackson, D-Moore, Randolph: Pastor

Rep. Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth: Consultant

Rep. Marcia Morey, D-Durham: Retired district court judge 

Rep. Lindsey Prather, D-Buncombe: Assistant director of admission at UNC-Asheville

Rep. Timothy Reeder, R-Pitt: Physician at East Carolina University Emergency Medicine 

Education Appropriations

Chairs

Rep. Jon Hardister, R-Guilford: Hardister works in marketing and has served six terms in the House. He is also the chair of the Universities Education Committee. 

Rep. John Torbett, R-Gaston: Torbett’s listed occupation is a legislator. He has served seven terms in the House. He is also the chair of the K-12 Education Committee. 

Rep. David Willis, R-Union: Willis is a small business owner who has served two terms in the House. He is also the chair of the Community Colleges Education Committee. 

Vice Chair

Rep. Jeffrey Elmore, R-Alexander, Wilkes: Teacher with six terms in the House

Members

Rep. Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke: Attorney

Rep. Cecil Brockman, D-Guilford: Legislator

Rep. Kevin Crutchfield, D–Cabarrus, Rowan: CFO of Casco Signs, Inc. 

Rep. Rosa Gill, D-Wake: Retired educator, state employee

Rep. Zack Hawkins, D-Durham: No profession listed

Rep. Marvin Lucas, D-Cumberland: Retired principal

Rep. Lindsey Prather, D-Buncombe: Assistant director of admission at UNC-Asheville

Rep. Frank Sossamon, R–Granville, Vance: Sossamon funeral home

Rep. Diane Wheatley, R-Cumberland: Retired

Senate

Education/Higher Education

Chairs

N.C. Sen. Michael Lee, R-New Hanover: Lee has served more than four terms in the Senate. 

N.C. Sen. Amy Galey, R-Alamance, Randolph: Galey has served two terms in the Senate. 

Members

Sen. Lisa Barnes, R-Franklin, Nash, Vance

Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, D-Wake

Sen. Kevin Corbin, R-Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, Transylvania

Sen. David Craven, R-Anson, Montgomery, Randolph, Richmond, Union

Sen. Michael Garrett, D-Guilford

Sen. Bobby Hanig, R-Bertie, Camden, Currituck, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Northampton, Tyrrell, Warren

Sen. Michael Lazzara, R-Onslow

Sen. Natasha Marcus, D-Mecklenburg

Sen. Julie Mayfield, D-Buncombe

Sen. Tom McInnis, R-Cumberland, Moore

Sen. Natalie Murdock, D-Chatham, Durham

Sen. E.S. Newton, R-Greene, Wayne, Wilson

Sen. Brad Overcash, R-Gaston

Sen. Gladys Robinson, D-Guilford

Sen. Norman Sanderson, R-Cartaret, Chowan, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Washington

Sen. Benton Sawrey, R-Johnston

Sen. Joyce Waddell, D-Mecklenburg

Education/Higher Education Appropriations

Chairs

N.C. Sen. Amy Galey, R-Alamance, Randolph: Galey has served two terms in the Senate. She is also the chair of the Education/Higher Education Committee. 

N.C. Sen. Lisa Barnes, R-Franklin, Nash, Vance: Barnes has served two terms in the Senate, and one term in the House. 

N.C. Sen. Dean Proctor, R-Caldwell, Catawba: Proctor has served over two terms in the Senate. 

Members

Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, D-Wake

Sen. Bobby Hanig, R-Bertie, Camden, Currituck, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Northampton, Tyrrell, Warren

Sen. Julie Mayfield, D-Buncombe

Sen. Joyce Waddell, D-Mecklenburg

Sen. Brad Overcash, R-Gaston

Sonia Rao

Sonia Rao is a spring 2023 reporting and engagement fellow for EducationNC.