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Highlights of state budget compromise

posted Jun 27, 2017, 8:18 AM by Valerie Newton   [ updated Jun 27, 2017, 8:21 AM ]
Budget Highlights


Teacher Pay: The average State-funded increase for teacher pay will be 3.3% in FY18 and 9.6% in FY19 when compared to FY17. To pay for these increases, there is a $101.7 million funding increase in FY18 and $372.6 million increase in FY19.


Teacher Bonuses:

  • $14.9 million in FY19 for third grade reading performance bonuses, AP and IB bonuses and career and technical education bonuses;
  • $25.3 million to support a math performance bonus program for teachers in grades 4 through 8 and a reading bonus program for teachers in grades 4 and 5;
  • $5 million in non-recurring funding in FY18 and FY19 for bonuses for all teachers with at least 25 years of experience.

Principal and Assistant Principal Pay: The budget creates a new Principal Salary schedule based on a school’s average daily membership and school growth performance. The average percent increase is hard to predict due to the new schedule, but based on Fiscal Research modeling the State-funded average salary will increase by 8.6%. These salary increases will be funded by a $35.4 million increase in FY18 and $40.6 million increase in FY19. In addition, the new bonus program equates to an additional average increase of 4% of principal pay. 


NC Pre-K: The budget includes $9 million in NC Pre-K funding in FY18 and $18.3 million in FY19. The increased funding will serve an estimated additional 1,725 children in FY18 and 3,525 children in FY19. The current waiting list is about 4,700 children.


Textbooks: The final budget includes $11.285 million in non-recurring funding in FY18 for textbooks and digital materials, but no additional funding for FY19.


Drivers Education: The final budget does not include the Senate’s proposed “stipend” for drivers education.


Children with Disabilities: The final budget includes $6.32 million in recurring funding to increase the funding cap for students with disabilities allotment from 12.5% to 12.75%. A school district can now receive funds for each child identified with disabilities, up to 12.75% of the districts ADM.


School Vouchers: The final budget includes $45M in FY18 and $55M in FY19 for opportunity scholarships and creates a task force to study evaluating learning gains and losses by students receiving opportunity scholarships.


Education Savings Accounts: The final budget includes $450K and $3 million for education savings accounts in FY18 and FY19 respectively. Children with disabilities would be eligible for scholarship grants for education related expenses, including tuition for non-public schools.


Class Size: The final budget did not include any additional funding to support the scheduled class-size reduction for the 2018-19 school-year. While neither the House nor the Senate included such funding in their respective proposals, both chambers included provisions to address the class-size debate in other ways, but neither were included in the final budget. The Senate proposal would have created a separate K-5 teacher allotment and would have imposed restrictions on the ability of LEAs to shift funding, while the House budget included a requirement for superintendents to notify legislators of capacity limitations that would prevent them from meeting class-size requirements.


ESSA Compliance / School Grades: To comply with the federal ESSA Act, legislators made several adjustments to the school performance grading scale, including:

  • Separate grades for certain subgroups of students, including:
    • Economically disadvantaged students;
    • Students from major racial and ethnic groups;
    • Children with disabilities;
    • English learners;
  • A requirement to report on the data for each subgroups along with achievement gaps;
  • The incorporation of English language proficiency as a measure;
  • A requirement for the State Board of Education and DPI to provide user-friendly access to the public on the annual report cards issued for LEAs and individual schools;
  • The redefinition of academic and school quality and student success indicators (see page 69 and 70 of the budget bill).