NC General Assembly Education Committee Action on COVID-19

NCGA House COVID-19 committees on healthcare, education, economic security, and continuation of state operations have been meeting virtually for a few weeks. They have also reportedly been working with the Senate and will be proposing COVID-related legislation next week when the Legislature goes into short session.

Highlights from the proposed Education committee legislation (which passed out of the bipartisan House COVID-19 Education Committee unanimously) include:

  • A “Jump Start” program for 1st through 4th graders who are performing below grade level, focused on literacy, and with an additional emphasis on math. Three weeks of instruction in August prior to the beginning of the school year.
  • School calendar flexibility to allow school districts to start one week earlier than planned (August 17).
  • No further diagnostic assessments for K-3rd graders in 2019-20.
  • No School Performance Grades or School Report Cards for 2019-20.
  • Read to Achieve adjustments: 
    • Principals would make determinations on retentions 
    • No reading camps required this summer
    • Reading assessment within the first 10 days of fourth grade
  • Budget flexibility for local school districts in 2020-21
  • Delay K-3 Class Size Reduction requirement for one year

In addition, DPI and the NC State Board of Education requested a $380 million COVID-related appropriation for public education to cover:

  • Child nutrition services
  • Student support staff for both now and when children return to school
  • Exceptional Children services during the summer
  • Resources for digital and remote teaching and learning
  • The Jump Start program

This request will also be considered once the Legislature is in session.

Resources from Committee meeting: