North Carolina Legislative/ESSA Post-Mortem

North Carolina Legislative/ESSA Post-Mortem

The Tar Heel State legislature approved its court-ordered redistricting maps in time for the September 1 deadline, and it is now adjourned under a new Senate Joint Resolution 692 — this time until October 4.

The legislature also overturned Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of HB 770, “Various Clarifying Changes,” which had been vetoed on non-education grounds. Nonetheless, this bill is now law and, relevant to education, makes a clarifying change to the A-F School Performance Grades law.

According to “The Public School Forum of North Carolina,” the state’s plan under Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) — which will be submitted to the federal government in any day now– will better comply with the federal law. The state Board of Education also addressed the final ESSA plan before submission to the U.S. Department of Education.

The concerning element about the General Assembly’s return in October is that they have allowed themselves a wide berth of possible issues upon which they can vote. Under the terms of this most recent adjournment, it can take up the revision of judicial districts, constitutional amendments, more veto overrides, impeachment proceedings, technical corrections bills, and other pre-existing bills that are under conference between the two chambers.

Legislators on both sides of the aisle are questioning whether they truly are a “part-time” legislature. At the end of the day, September will be a nice break for all, but there will be plenty of jockeying for the upcoming October 4 session.