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From teacher pay to Voter ID, dozens of bills fly in the Senate’s final day to file

MR_EducationA flurry of bills are being filed in the state Senate this week in advance of today’s deadline* for introducing public bills and resolutions. Here are five bills you may have missed that merit watching:

Senate Bill 384Increase Pay/Experienced Teachers – Senator Joyce Waddell may be a freshman in the NC Senate, but she knows veteran teachers deserve better pay. Her bill would appropriated more than $20 million from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction  to establish a new salary schedule that supports experienced educators:

salary schedule

Senate Bill 515Driver Education Funding – Senator Erica Smith-Ingram bill would restore funding from the Highway Fund for the Driver Education program administered by the Department of Public Instruction. Local boards of education would be permitted to charge up to $65 to offset the costs of providing the training. Read Lindsay Wagner’s piece on the challenge school districts face without this dedicated funding.

Senate Bill 463Increase Access to Education – Sen. Fletcher Hartsell’s bill spells out that an individual who has attended school in North Carolina for at least three consecutive years immediately prior to graduation and has received a high school diploma from a school within North Carolina (or their GED) would be accorded resident tuition status when applying for higher education.

Senate Bill 510NCVPS/Equal Access to Education – This bill would provide access for both public and non-public school students to the the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) program. Home-schooled children would not pay any more for access than students attending traditional public schools. Virtual education is a growing area of interest for state lawmakers.

Senate Bill 512Delay Law Implementation/VIVA/Paper Ballots.- Very simply this bill would delay full implementation of the Voter Information Verification Act (VIVA) and the use of paper ballots until the court has issued a ruling in Currie v. North Carolina. You can read more about that case in this post by our courts and law reporter Sharon McCloskey.

*The deadline for filing public bills in the state House is April 8th for bills that don’t involve Appropriations or Finance.

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