- The Progressive Pulse - http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org -

Senate budget’s education special provisions stray deep into policy

The 150+ pages of special provisions [1] contained in the Senate’s budget bill meander well outside the bounds of budgetary policy and into the arena of pure educational policy, including over 30 pages of text cut and pasted from an omnibus education bill that was already passed by the Senate.  That bill (Senate Bill 795 – The Excellent Public Schools Act [2]) is modeled on the seriously-flawed policies currently employed in Florida [3] that are currently resulting in plummeting test scores [4].

The education-related special provisions contained in the Senate’s budget would have significant policy impacts:

Student Retention – Puts third graders who do not pass their end-of-grade reading tests in jeopardy of retention solely on the basis of a test score.

 “Grades” for Schools – Assigns letter grades to schools but provides no additional resources to schools with poor grades.

Doing Away with Career Status – Makes attracting highly qualified teachers more difficult by doing away with career status for teachers and putting all new teachers—and even some experienced teachers—on one-year contracts.

Rather than burying this bill amidst a sea of special provisions, the far-reaching educational impact of these suspect policies should be scrutinized by both houses of the General Assembly and the public at large to determine how and if they should be implemented.