We'll go ahead and get started, I know at the time the median is today that many of our members might want to be getting home so let me tell you a little bit about what we're doing today. Today we're gonna be doing a discussion of house bill 539 This bill was regionally sent to Senate as a public access bill for school play ground and the current languauge that you see was inserted into the bills. So this bill has not been heard and a house education committee. So to that what we are going to do is we are gonna discussing this bill, discussing only. With the bill so there will be no motions taken. The format for the day is we're gonna let staff explain the bill and you've gotta bill summary in front of you. We're going to open it then from a member questions after that discussion from staff then we're going to have a public comment And period. At this time, with public comment period, with a number of speakers that we have, we're gonna give each speaker three minutes and we are going to alternate, we will have speaker that will speak for and then speak against and our goal today is we will be out of here by 12:30. Regardless okay. So thats' kind of structure for today with it. Are there any questions about that from teh members, okay. Since he is not here, I'm going to call on staff now together through the bill summary with you. [BLANK_AUDIO] Section one of the Bill at the provision and the actions between local school administration and local board education and chartered school regarding any discrepancies on the per people share of the local Chronic expense fund. And any actions that are brought, the court will be allowded or would be directed to award prevailing party, liquidated damages and the amount of 5% of the money that should have been transferred as compensation for administrative expenses incurred by the prevailing party. Do to the unavailability of moneys for the time period that it was under litigation. Starting with the Section two of the bill, which is the piece that deals with the charter school funding, the local funcding, currently A, excuse me I'm trying to, there are three funds that have to be established, a fake public school fund for local [UNKNOWN] expense fund and the capital outlay fund and then the statute then further allows other funds for an [UNKNOWN] to have other funds, the fund that can be used to account for specific things which is reimbursement including indirect call fees for actual calls, tuition sales tax avenues, using the [INAUDIBLE] method, sales tax refunds, gifts grants restricted [INAUDIBLE], trust funds federal appropriations made directly to LEA and then funds received for prekindergarten programs. The current statute also allows the appropriation or use of fund balance or interesting [INAUDIBLE] to not be construed as a local current expense appropriations. So that does not have to be put into the global current expense fund and therefore it dose not have to be shared. So starting on page two of the bill. And [INAUDIBLE] 14 things that I'm not going to read to you that would this 14 items would also be allowed to be put into separate funds. So this would be items that would not have to be shared because they would not have to be put in the local current expense fund. So they would not have to be shared with a charter school. If you go down to line 39 of page two under new sub section E1, those five items would have to be shared, with charter schools. So, these are other money made available or accruing to the LEA and then these specific five things would have to be shared to the charter school if the LEA has a child who attends a chatter school, it would go with the child. [BLANK AUDIO] Questions from the committee. [BLANK AUDIO], any questions from the committee? Representative, Cleveland >>Thank you Mr. Chairman.
It's for staff, the moneys that are going to be shared with charter schools, l give little explanation first. My understanding is that when chartered schools were established, they were given a list of funds, they were given provided to them. From the LEAs and sometime in 2007 or 8 on the that time framework. Whenever it was this funds were taken away from them, and my question is these five things that we are going to share with charter schools, are they actually the part of that group of funding that was taken away from them initially? [BLANK_AUDIO] >> We're not exactly sure about how to answer the funds were taken away, there have been numerous statutory changes made in this statute along with a line of court cases that have at various times provided clarity, or not as to whether certain funds path could be moved but. >> Drupty/g why don't you explain. >> I think what he's trying to ask is, cuz of the terminology, the difference between fund aid and fund to. >> Mr. Chairman I'm actually trying to, in my mind if the funds that we're going to give to charter schools now was part of the funding they used to have that was taken away from them. I think they should get it. If it isn't then there's some question in my mind about what we're really trying to do here. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Representative Fisher I was gonna see if maybe I could even maybe delve into that question just a little bit more and ask, in this bill what is the difference in funding that charter schools should expect coming from this bill versus what they have come to expect up to now. What is the difference? [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Thank you Mr. chair. Brian Madison with fiscal research. Representative Fisher to your point um I certainly don't have for you an omnibus estimate of what the impact would be as I think you know. But I wanna make sure it's clear what H539 version 3 would do would be to clarify what sources of funds LEAs may properly place in their local current expense funds Which sources of LEAs may place in other funds, what LEAs are not compelled to take categories that would be in other funds, and place them there, they could conceivably, if they wish to place them a local current expense fund. But we do not have estimates for basically any of the list of 14 here as far as what's currently happening. I think the existing statute is somewhat vague. So I don't have a figure, even at a LEA level, I could provide, perhaps some of the interested parties may have some information to bring to bear on this. >> Follow up? >> Yes. >> I really don't need a figure exactly but I would like to know in terms of category what are we looking at in this bill that is different from what charter schools have been able to receive so far? Well do you wanna speak about it to represent Cleveland? They tie together. I think your answer will answer both. >> So the current law right now is if you look on page 1 of the bill starting on line 28 to 34, all those items can be kept in separate funds. So these were actual cost and direct cost tuition sales etc. So each of those can be kept in a separate fund right now and not be shared. Then if you split to the second page the bill would take a number of those, on the first page and put them in their own [UNKNOWN] item And come up with 14 item that would be able to kept separate. So some of them are exact, [UNKNOWN] like the prekindergarten funds both and then are some slight variation on a theme. So language is a little bit different and we would either Brian or from the folks that are very, very familiar with
local funds. [LAUGH] That would be better to answer those variations on that. And we have the answer I think for Representative Cleveland question. So prior to 2010 the section which said you have to have three funds said other funds may be used or excuse me may be required to account for trust funds, federal grants restricted to use and special programs. So you can have three add funds. And then in 2010, the law was changed to what we see today, right? Well, actually, there's been a few changes in since then right in 2010, it was reimbursement including indirect cost, fees for actual cost, tuition, sales tax revenue, sales tax refund, gift grants restricted to use. [UNKNOWN] funds federal appropriations made directly to LEAs, funds received for prekindergarten and special programs. I believe if memory severs me correctly, trust funds and special programs are no longer part of the current language. So in 2010, the funds that could be kept separate, were expanded and then a couple of things were deleted and that's where we are now. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman, one last follow up, and so, what is left to the traditional public schools fund availability wise? I'm not sure I understand the question, so. >> The, on page two of the Bill we have under C1, we have a all of those different categories of funds that don't have to be included, shared, And I'm trying to see specifically what has to be shared from the Bill and I'm not seeing that exactly. >> The fund, That are specified that now would have to be shared sort of clearly de-alienated or put in the bill, would start on line 42 of page two, those monies have to go into, have to be shared. >> I saw that, thank you. >> Representative Gill, I just wanna ask one question, may be one question, might have two, but when the chattered schools calculate their revenue sources, they have indirect costs, they have gifts and grants, They have precare funds and federal reimbursements, I'm wondering how can we find out what amount of monies they receive for those categories that were being asked of the LEA, To share with them because they get some of the same monies as the LEA's do but it's not in their calculation when they talk about their resources for their revenues. Is there any way That we can find out how much that is? >> Mr. chair, representative Gill to your question. As you know charter schools do not have to chair proceeds with the traditional public's but to the extent that I think you're pointing at lines 42 through 47 or 48, certainly I can Ask DPR to what extent we could look at prior year charter school financial statements and see if we can glean any of that, can't promise in the short time period that we'd be able to get that exhaustively but that's something I'll ask about and try to get you an answer on. >> Okay. A followup Please. [BLANK_AUDIO]. You know we on the state level continue to increase revenue to our charter schools, and now we're requiring our local alias to continue sharing their resources of revenue or their source of revenue. Revenue to charter schools, but we aren't asking the charter schools to give up anything. I guess my question is, how do we make sure That we are not giving more of a per pupil share of revenue to the charter schools.
[BLANK_AUDIO]. [SOUND]. >> Is that it? Yes go ahead. Staff. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman. Representative Gill, from the state level what is allocated to charter schools on behalf of their students is pretty straight forward. The average per pupil procreation with a few exceptions for limited English proficient, children with disabilities Then there's typically not that much controversy surrounding that. Obviously there's been more controversy with respect to, as it's been called fund aid issue or other funds and what should be shared with respect to sending charter school or charter schools Receiving a larger appropriation than tradition public school counterparts. The only way that could happen under existing law would be as if a charter school was so well supported by private grants, or for some reason got a preponderance of federal grants that would enable it to have a larger per pupil than the average appropriation for that district. But I don't think we've seen much evidence of that historically. Typically charters do receive some amount less than the traditional LEAs primarily just due to the fact that capital funds aren't conveyed. >> And I will comment I recommended this to another member, your CFO and your LEA because funding models are different for each county can give you more specific numbers target from your LEAs specifically. I'm gonna move from this side of the ring to give somebody over here, okay? [LAUGH] Yeah I got you on the list, like a restaurant, you're on the list, okay. Representative Richardson. >> Thank you Mr Chairman, I have a question and a concern. I know that charter schools are here and they're gonna continue, to stay here. But my question is, how do we continue to pour money out of the public school system and expect the public school system to adequately provide for its students when we are limiting the appropriations that we're giving them each year. Because our budget limits are short naturally because revenues are short? So do we look and find that public schools had all these excess money sitting in accounts and they decided that, oh we need to share with the charter schools. I just wonder what will be the impact if we continue to take from the public school system to operate the additional charter schools that we are, establishing and I think we'll now have as many charter schools as we do traditional public schools. [BLANK AUDIO]. >> Do you need an answer Representative Richardson? >> As if you have one, how can we continue to pull from the public schools to fund charter schools when our resources are limited, and the public schools are continuing to have the same debt they had before charter schools were expanded to the degree that they are now, yes that is the question. >> I understand what you're saying, and I'll give the recommendation I gave Representative Gill, that you can ask your individual LEA CFO specifically the effects on the LEAs that you represent to get a specific number. >> Follow up please? >> Yes ma'am. >> I have asked them and they said they're really hurting and especially now since we've taking back, local money that was promised to them from its tax redistribution. So they are filling the pitch that they are having trouble funding their program, because they are for example, Franklin county may be serving students in more that a half of dozen charter schools. So money is flowing out in different direction even though Franklin county doesn't have but two chartered school in his district but they are funding more than a dozen or spending money to more than a dozen, okay. >> Chairman Johnson. >> Thank you Mr. Chair. May be I can address that. Are your meaning that the extra say salary, more administrative salary is that type of thing is that what you are asking. >> No, I mean- >> How are we continuing to pay for two, three superintendents or two or three principals, what are you- >> No, I'm asking about the funds that were taken from. Those funds, those are the funds that you've listed, that obviously [UNKNOWN] schools where utilizing so now we are having them to share. So how do we continue to expect the charter schools to operate when
we're taking funds to various moneys that are being given to them to operate the schools. I know salaries and superintendent is something that we Fund but we also fund head of charter schools and principal of charter schools, so thats a different part of money. I'm looking at the five items that you are seeing now with the charter schools. What kind of negative impact financially does that have on our traditional [UNKNOWN] schools, just [UNKNOWN]. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH] >> Thank you Mr. chairman. Representaive [UNKNOWN] your question is a Pretty broad. I dont think I'm on may be I'm on now. But anyway your question is pretty broad and I understand very clearly where you're going with it. I dont think its issue for the discussion of this particular bill board broader issue is certainly is now. And now, I would like to make one of the point. We as a state in my view are to provide funds for education of kids in this state. Now, we've chosen as a state we've made a decision to provide education through traditional public schools and we've chosen to provide education through a public charter school process. Parents also can have other choices as well, private schools, religious schools etc. But in the law, we are to fund children's education. What we're trying to determine is what is a fair and balanced I'm sure that phrase is over used, but what is What is a fair balanced way in which to do that? So that a child being provided an education is treated fairly, whether they choose a traditional public school, or they choose a charter school. But the charter Charter school is a public school according to our State statute, it's funded by public money in a way we are trying now to determine. And that's the purpose of this bill is to determine, what is the fairest distribution that money >> Follow up Mr. Chair >> Last one and then I'll put you back on [CROSSTALK] >> Thank you. I understand fully how the state is supposed to fund public education. My question is how does this body take away gift money that I give to a particular Traditional public schools that justification, I'm not talking about state dollars, I'm not talking about local dollars, I'm not talking about any of the other funds but we're looking at gifts and grants and we're also gonna get into federal grants for example as a charter school I may have put a non-traditional public school applies For a grant and gets that grant from a federal agency, so that is not state dollars, those are dollars that are different. That's the question that I'm asking. >> Thank you. Representative Lingard/g. >> Thank you mr. chairman. My question has been asked but we got a shaky answer. >> [LAUGH] >> So which proves the point and I'm gonna make a statement as part of that. We do not need to be taking this bill up in a short session because I think it's shaky and the decisions that we're making Faked a lot of things, and I really wish we did not do that. Thank you. >> Thank you Representative. Representative Portman/g? >> Thank you Mr. Chairman. I will get to answer your question but I'm probably going to make more of a statement and then maybe ask you a question to end. If I may, I'm getting a lot of emails and stuff that have a lot of false information about this bill, and I have a couple of sheets here from a couple organizations that are putting out a lot as false information, and a lot of it is based on the idea that charter schools are not public schools. Maybe at the end of my comments, I'd like you to To maybe explain a little better how they are public schools for those who may not understand that, but some of the complaints that I'm getting about this bill show very clearly that people who are sending me those complaints, either have not read that bill or they've read it so quickly that they did not understand what they're looking at looking at, because in C1 we have 14 items that are not to be shared with the charity schools, and in E1 we have 5 items and I think some of the comments I've got from people include items in C1 and
stuff is gonna be shared. When it's clearly stated they'll not be. I'm taking a little aggravated with this to tell you the truth and I don't know how many of these people I'm hearing from know the history of this situation, my understanding is that all the staff at one time was [INAUDIBLE] share of charity schools and the [INAUDIBLE] amendment in 2010 I believe it was, allow for the ALA's to take a lot of that funding and put it in something they created called fund eight which to me was to hide some funds they were supposed to share with charity schools and they didn't wanna do it. There's a law suit and that was finalized I believe November of last year and basically on the decision from the courts all this stuff could be shared with charity schools and all that is being asked for in this bill is the things in E1, so the charity schools had said okay those 49 of the C1 that we could have asked for we are not going to, we are just asking for what's in E1. I think that's a pretty fair compromise myself and you know if you read it more clearly, what some of these people aren't doing you see that C1 it plainly says this 49 is not to be shared. So I just feel like that a lot of people are very misinformed about this bill and I'm frustrated, I have tried and tried, I have discussion with the school board in [UNKNOWN] County trying to explain this to him and point to him exactly in the bill where it says, what it says and they tell me no that is not so, because somebody else Telling him that stuff's in the bill that's not in the bill, or that the bill says something other than what it says. It's very frustrating when you have the understanding, you've read the bill, you know exactly what it says and you tell people that and they say no that's a lie, when I just read it, I showed it to them. This is This is very frustrating but I would like as part of this if you could help explain that doing this is not taking money away from public schools to give to some other entities that has nothing to do with public schools, but it is to charter schools within the public school system. Thank you. Okay anything else representative Pittman. I can answer the first welcome to politics is the reason why I have that information. >> Right I know >> Okay that's easy question that's a easy answer. >> But to explain how this is, public schools we are taking about. And charter school is like a public school, that is the correct statement. Okay representative Huley. Let me make one comment to help the non-attorneys in the room. When I said will be taking questions from the committee since some of the statements are morphing In to questions and are not fitting well. If you want to make a statement you may or ask a question so that will help some of these cuz we are getting some very broad questions that are very philosophical. >> Thank you very much. I want to narrow in on the grand situation whether it's federal or local or state. If all of local school ask for, does the application and gets the funding from a grant and it is specified that they have done all the work and they are going to administrate it. Is that has to be shared if it's not specific, they have done all the work. Do they have to share that with anyone else. >> Staff. >> Under the bill under C13, the language says federal grands appropriations that are restricted STU's and that the federal government requires to be Be held separately and not commingled that would not have to be shared. And then under, on-line 47 money that would be shared would be federal grants and appropriations made directly to the LEA. That's all it says so like I can't speak to your specific question. Followup Mr. Chair. >> Yes mam. >> I really think that needs to be addressed somehow because I really feel like if your school is applying for a period, I don't think you should have to share then if you're doing all that work implying and so I don't know exactly how to do that but I feel like it should be. >> And thank you Representative [UNKNOWN] representative Brian. >> Thank you Mr. Chair I was just going to ask a followup maybe to Representative Cleveland's question which I think I understand maybe it's just
difficult to answer but maybe staff it could be something we I don't know difficult to be put together, I think the question that Representative Cleveland was trying to ask was some point you might say that we reached some kind of hall water mark for charter funding which was then changed in 2010 and trying to, I think Representative Cleveland was trying to ask in this interesting question Question are we apples to apples for what this bill does versus what the maximum previously covered was, and I know some of the funds and some of the things have changed over that time period so I don't know how easy or hard that is to do but I do think it would be interesting to see All the things that the high water mark that were funded and what is this bill find in comparison to that. [NOISE]. >> I mean we can certainly provide a legislative history of how the statute has changed. Part of the issue also is there were also a line of court cases which then influence how money we can certainly provide with the legislative history of how the statue has changed but some of that also. I don't know how we can do a apples to apples comparison because of some of the court language that said if you put it in the local current expense fund then you have to share it. Otherwise of you don't put it in there you don't have to. >> Thanks Miss [INAUDIBLE] I had a five low with staff after. >> Okay and I've just got a note from the chair of PED, they are currently in the middle of looking at this too, because those changes and legislation and also court cases that have effected this. It's a lot of changes since that time period in either direction so PED is currently Are looking into that. Let' see, Representative Whitmire/g. >> Mr Chair I have two different types of questions, one will require a couple of followups that are probably directed more towards staff and then a question for another group. So I'll try and be as expeditious as possible As possible. First of all the words that Representative Langden/g talked about is this bill in it's situation as far as coming back for concurrence its got a lot of seemingly sloppy things in it from a legal aid standpoint. I'm not an attorney and don't wanna masquerade as one, but the staff questions Representative Hadley was talking about federal grants. It seems as though the way lines six and seven are written on page two seem to be pretty clear. However, staff can you name any situations as examples that the federal government actually requires applicable federal grant Grants appropriations to be reached, to actually be hailed in a separate and not be co mingled, in other words it seems as though from what I've talked to with my three different superintendent school tenants at super intensive school systems that number three although it's written seemingly straight forward it doesn't really apply Apply to the grants that school systems would be applying for. That's question one, staff. [SOUND]. [BLANK_AUDIO]. >> Mr chair, Representative Witmire thanks for the question. I don't think we you have specific examples available to you as what restricted to use might mean and where it's otherwise applicable in the public schools statutes. I'd say it'd be reasonable to have some confusion over whether restricted as to use may just apply specifically to a certain cohort of students of certain school domicile or certain type of activity and whether UFCD may have presumably, most educational related grants are US set grants that not all whether the administering agent at the federal level has the requirement that only certain students be impacted by the grant, so we couldn't really say for sure. Your superintendents might be better placed to say that or that's probably the better source. And I'm gonna recognize Chairman Horn to comment on that offer. >> It's part of a comment and maybe is a question It would seem to me that if and it answers something else that was brought up. It would seem to me that if a school be it traditional public or charter applies for a grant specifically that school applies and they are awarded a grant for some specific activity that the implication
is that it's for that school. If the LEA applies for a grant for a process or an activity for the system then that then is a bervat/g context broader context and therefore would be shared money. So to some extend is who applies whether it be an individual school or LEA? And then secondarily and this is part of in question for staff. Secondarily if a federal grant then comes down to an LEA generally then that applies to all the schools that operate within that area of LEA which would include the public charter schools. So I guess staff would I be correct in that assumption? >> Chairman Horn, my initial reaction on this is that would be more of a policy determination by the general assembly as to what types of federal grants, should they be permissible to be shared by the granting entities so US education or department of Ag or what not. The extent that the body wishes to direct a liaise to share a proportional out of those funds in the same way that we commonly think for local current expense and state current expense. I'm not sure that I can concur necessarily that the way at least for line six and seven and then moving down to lines 47 and 48 that those lines make a distinction necessarily make a distinction between an ALA application not having some sort of restriction. Potentially you could have a grant for something like physical education where it might be a district wide grant. But only for a particular purpose. So I'm not sure necessarily that those restrictions would be be held necessarily to a school or an ALA maybe more determination of what the general assembly thinks it's appropriate to be shared if anything. >> Follow up. >> Yes sir. > I think what we're seeing here and again I Certainly appreciate the expertise that's on the staff. We cannot get a clear cut answer on a pretty basic core piece of this bill and with it being in the short session, and it being a major policy situation, I have to go back to my three school systems that, one of which has one of the highest Academic performance per dollar spent that we'll be shipping $ 441,000 of its money out of its county if this is implemented. This bill is not ready for light of time. The second question and I will hold off on the second set of questions putting them in the Harper ->> [SOUND] I could put you down again on the bottom That'll be fine- >> Okay >> as to the continuation of the first step, reimbursements. It talks about, on line 43 reimbursements except for medicaid and medicare well so many things are done on a reimbursement basis. It specifically talks about up on line four that [UNKNOWN] and I'm And I'm sure there's a good answer for this but I remember as a school board chair going through the process of establishing a program, most of programs like that or maybe it's erased to get connectivity Wi-Fi just a whole broad swaf of programs of [INAUDIBLE] nature they're done on On a arrears basis so what exactly is a reimbursement program? I mean we exempt some but then we go down on line two or line 43 number 2 [INAUDIBLE] for medicaid and medicare are shared this bill is not ready for lifetime stuff out there for the answers are Clarifications to that reimbursement I would appreciate and I'll be quiet at this point [SOUND] >> [UNKNOWN], do you wanna explain the concept of reimbursemen,t what that actually means. >> Mr chair, Representative Whitmore did it well and especially [UNKNOWN] would be the most prominent I think a program in which the federal government reimburses an eligible or charter school for expenses related to connectivity, the money is outlaid by the district up front then the feds would reimburse a certain percentage of that outlay. >> Thank you. Let's see, I'm trying to get folks that haven't spoken yet. Representative Bradford. >> Thank you Mr.
Chairman just a couple comments and then perhaps a question. You know this is always a spary discussion. Because it feels like we're pitting public traditional schools against public charter schools and I don't like to frame it that way, I think we should all be cautious about doing that these two programs can exist they do exist, they will continue to exist. I think really what we're talking about here is, well first I was trying to remove the emotion to this issue. Cuz it's really easy to get caught up in the emotion. I think you have to be very pragmatic and try to follow the bouncing ball and look at facts. And to get an accurate picture of what's going on you get or two different answers depending on how far back in time you go. If you only go back a couple of years, which was after the [UNKNOWN] amendment, you're gonna get a much different answer about how much public traditional schools might put parenthesis or quotation marks around [UNKNOWN]. But if you go back further even before the [UNKNOWN] amendment then it changes the equation. I think what my understanding of House Bill 539 is this bill attempts to restore, and that is a very important word, restore monies that were there before legislation was passed in 2010. And I think it is ambitious and perhaps a little bit of false promise to suggest that this piece of legislation 539 is wrongfully taking away something from public traditional schools because it is clear to me that prior to 2010 those moneys were not theirs to begin with. And it's always hard to give up a dollar I get it, everyone wants to fight for the dollar they don't wanna lose another dollar I understand that. But we're talking about dollars that weren't necessarily the right of the public schools to have before the [INAUDIBLE] And that's very important. I know folks don't wanna talk about this we wanna wait to the long session, the challenge is our kids don't get that same luxury, they keep getting older, they keep going and advancing to the next year. And by waiting yet for the long session while public traditional schools are gonna say when we don't get enough money now we have public charter schools saying we can use the money now, this is why we are here. All we'll be doing is taking this can down the road and it has to be solved. This piece of legislation partially restores moneys that were rightfully the public charter's prior it had in the amendment. It doesn't take it all back folks, we're not taking it all back. Gift money that's given to a school, if it's directed to a school, this bill cannot touch it, and I've heard that it can and that's false. Keep in mind LEAs. Think of corporations, I run a business. I have a private business its's not a corporate business, but if was CEO of a public company my goal would be to take our corporate profits and maximize the return for our shareholders. LEA's are paid, are funded with tax payers dollars. Their goal is to take care of their shareholders which are their students. The challenge is the way it works right now is if any of those students depart and go to a public charter they're former shareholders, they get to retain their money. Folks that is not to me that is an inequity. And this bill re-establishes more equity, corrects a huge inequity and I really encourage us to keep pushing forward with it to get to a resolution, because the kids are getting older and they're going to the next program. And my question and then I'll be done, thank you for your patience Mr Chairman, is- >> You are welcome. >> If there is any way The staff , thank you. If there's any way that Staff could perhaps make it very clear, and maybe they already have, and if you have I apologize, of the things that this bill restores that was already alerted to the public charters prior 2010. And that would I think give out and proof that we're only trying to partially restore some of them not all of them. I don't know if that information is available, but it would be worthy if you have it. >> We can read the language from the court case. >> Is that, representative Bradford can they talk to you after the meeting because I think the point that they're making there's been legislative changes, there's been judicial changes, there's a lot of tentacles to this that it would be difficult to them to give you a two minute answer. >> Understand this and I appreciate that I would take that answer, and the spirit of the comment is, that's factual data that would be important and that helps kick the motion out. >> Thank you. >> Representative Idler/g >> Thanks Mr. chair, I think everything has been said but I'll end by saying , someone will say it again, no I'm not . I'm kidding. >> Thank you >> Two things are being told, one particular is that
federal grants are never required to be not [INAUDIBLE]. Is what I'm hearing, so this should eliminate, that should be eliminating the bill. That was an example of swapy/g I think that would apply. Never gonna solve then find a solution to this folks is gonna be money following the student not going through the LEA. That's the final solution, okay. It should follow the student, it's about them, it's not about the bureaucracy and LEAs and It's about money following the student. If one school has [UNKNOWN] and one doesn't obviously, that should make a difference. If one has made sales, they should keep their money and whoever has the [UNKNOWN] that's not even in controversy. I've been told also that these restores from 73% of what they are supposed to be in getting to 82% of what they are supposed to be getting. Who made the number up of I'm not gonna ask the staff to verify but that's especially what I have be told and that's the couple of things again that this doesn't solve the problem. It is a long session item not withstanding other comments contrary. But I think I agree with representative Langdon and Whitmire this bill is not ready for prime time. But their is a solution I may made the bill out their with a solution in it. But until the money falls the student we are not gonna solve this. >> Thank you representative Idler/g . >> Representative Stone. >> I actually have a question and it's actually quick. In places like Charlotte, Mecklenburg , Wake and some of the other very fast growing districts. Facility costs are a big challenge cuz got keep up with the growing population. My question is the [INAUDIBLE] charters don't get any reimbursement of any kind for facility cost correct? >> Correct. >> Okay thank you that was my question. >> Thank you representative Stone. Representative Hardister. >> Thank you Mr. chair this is a question for staff. And I apologize if this question is been asked. But I'm looking for clarity lines 11 through 13 Gibson Grants expressively exclude charter schools, can you give examples of what kind of gifts and grants we're looking at? [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Mr Chair, Representative Hardister your issue I think what these lines would do would be to indicate that a grant tour who's looking to structure a gift to an LEA or to a school would have to specify explicitly that the gift was not to be shared essentially with charter schools that it was only for that dedicated purpose. Whereas I think currently there really hasn't been a need for that level of delineation given the prior language. >> Follow up Mr chair. >> Yes sir >> Well I don't understand the rational on line 13 prior to October 15th, 2015. What is the practical effect of having that, I just don't understand what that does. >> Mr. Chair I'll try again and this reiterates staff, there's a little bit of an awkward position here as we're not the Bill's sponsors. What's been brought before you is a Bill that actually just considered by the Senate last year late September. So my presumption would be that the October 15th, 2015 time line on was just reflecting the consideration of the Bill and late September last year. Again I think because the bill is up for discussion all mean the chair just wanted to have a conversation about it, taking up a bill centrally is that was considered more hidibly/g last year kind of under new contacts. >> Just want one quick follow up >> Yeah I'd appreciate that and I apologize if I'm reading this wrong but it looks like its saying the grants if they expressly exclude a charter school that they're not shared. Its not supposed to be shared. But only if it was paradox over 15 of last year. I mean, am I reading that right? Well, I think you're reading it correctly and I would presume that it may not have reflected the explicit intent at the time of the potential bill sponsors. But it would seem like that section three there is written to be an exception to deal with grants made before that time. But doesn't read as such.
>> Thank you Representative, Representative Turner >> Thank you Mr chair. We've mentioned both the court case and the amendments and I have had vague answers and conversation for sometime. I wondered if it would be appropriate for the attorney who litigated that case, to make some comments in a limited time at this point. >> Whoever gonna do is to public comments at the end, Do you know if he signed up to speak? [INAUDIBLE AUDIO] Yeah >> Okay he's going to speak, yes okay thank you. >> Representative Farmer Butterfield. >> Thank you Mr chair I have a series of questions, one is there a companion bill on the senate side? This is the senate bill right, no house bill? This is the house bill 539 thank you that's what I thought is there a senate companion bill? >> House bill was done and I can answer that, this was originally sent over as a public access to playgrounds bill that took the language out and placed this language in. So all of this language was generated in the other chamber and it's being sent by to us so that's The background on the bill, thank you very helpful. >> To stakeholders at the table all of them when this bill was put together or drafted including BPI, LEA's, state boards etc, were they represented the stakeholders? >> That is from the other chamber so I really can't answer to that. >> Are of the states doing something similar to this and do we think what that is, is so? >> The PED as we stated earlier is looking at that and other states is a component of the PED study. >> Okay, great. Put that on the committee. And final question is whether or not amendments will be received and as so will that be at the next meeting after we hear from the speakers? The way this bill was sent over it sent over for a concurrence or none concurrence vote that would be our only option. We would not be able to amend the bill in this structure. >> What about on the floor, not their either. >> Thank you. >> Okay, thank you, representative Mayer/g. >> Thank you Mr chairman sir we see a lot of wacky and complicated bills here that raise a lot of questions really we see one that raises so many questions with so a few answers and yet I think I'm going to ask another friend. But only one question and then one comment, so I think there is a question for Mr Matherson/g. We've heard repeatedly from advocates on this bill that charter schools are only receiving 75 cents on the dollar, 75% of what public schools are receiving, do you have fiscal analysis that can confirm that number? Representative Mayer/g, Mr. Chair I don't, certainly that analysis is not from our office when we've looked at this, issue before we've not arrived at a 75% figure though I do have to say I haven't looked at it in last two years. But typically figure would be higher closer 85 to 90%, mostly due to capital concerns. >> Thank you one comment Mr. Chair. >> So I just wanna speak to the grant piece a second. For a long time, I ran college access, draft out prevention programs, four local school districts usually more than 50% of our funding was grant based was usually a hundreds of thousands of hour per years. We had some funders who were very friendly, who we could basically negotiate the terms of our grant agreement and I can tell them I like to restrict this agreement in any way that I wanted. Because they are trying to support us. But when there was federal money, sometimes department of education Sometimes from other departments. And sometimes federal money that the feds would send, to another agency to do a sub-granting process. We never had any control. Never. Not once did we have control over the terms of the grant agreement. The contract between the funder and the school district. And so if I wrote a dropout prevention grant to work district wide, for every school in the school system.
I had no way to set any limitation on that money besides what the grantor told me that it had. The limitations that they set on me. That was also often true in private grants from larger foundations that they have proforma contracts. That its not up to the recipient to negotiate terms. You send them a proposal say how you wanna spend it and they send you back a contract that says we are gonna give you the money you asked for, and here's the rules of what you can or cannot do. So the grants provision to this Bill remained very problematic. >> Thank you Representative Luebke. >> Thank you Mr. Chair. I wanted to ask first if there was anything, when the bill came over from the Senate late in the 2015 session, was there any fiscal impact brought along like what will this cost us the core public schools to make the transfers as written in the Legislation. Is there any fiscal impact sent along by the Senate? >> Mr. Chair, to answer representative Luebke question, just offer there is no fiscal note published with this Bill as had been discussed. There's no state impact, there could conceivably be impacts of local funds or Federal funds held by localities. But there's no fiscal note. >> Yes. >> Follow up. While we do know that in our fiscal notes or fiscal memorandums. We all know, I think that they do look at local impact. So while this Bill's been sitting with us here on the House side, has there any research been requested of you as staff to tell us what the fiscal impact might be on core public schools. If this Bill were to be concadian/g. Do we have any idea at all of what this is costing? Representative Whitmire made reference to a school in his district schools his LEAs. Do we have anything at all for a state wide estimate even? >> [INAUDIBLE] I may just speak briefly. >> Briefly >> Yes sir, I will. We've heard a lot about the grant issue and I just lewd/g with, remind everybody or just look. If you have copies of the Bill. look at line six and seven. And then lines 47 47, 48 on page two of the Bill. And as has been indicated by many speakers, it's unclear which is which. How will this play itself out? We don't know. They'll like using right here, that's just critical to realize, that's it's not time for us to deal with this in a short session we need to get that clarified. I secondly think we need to have some idea, and we could do this, if this Bill carried over to the long session. We could get some sense of physical impact, LEA, via the LEA as to what it would be, what impact it would have on the core public schools, if moneys are sent to the charter of public schools as indicated in this Bill. Thank you members. >> Thank you. I've got one more member that wants to ask questions, and hasn't had an opportunity to yet. Representative Shepherd [BLANK_AUDIO] >> I'm not on the committee Mr Chair but- >> I'm being very nice to you, yes- >> Give my public comments. I just wanted, just say a few comments. I've been looking at this for some time, and the dilemma I have is, we know today there were several questions answered or asked, we didn't get a lot of definite answers for them. And with a Bill that comes from the Senate, that we have to concur, and not concur on. I'm just not prepared to vote for it, and can't vote for it, because I think it's something that needs to be more deliberate we need to run it through the committees. And have more discussions and get more answers to the question that's that we've asked. So I just want to make that comment because I think there's too many questions unanswered out there and for us to be put in a dilemma that we have to concur or not to concur, I just don't like that that we need to look at. >> Okay thank you Representative Shepherd I have got Representative Cleveland want to speak again and he's stepped out, so I've got Representative Fischer, Richardson, Whitmire and Farmer Buttrefield, and we have got this sort of public comment time in five minutes. So try to keep your questions concise. We'll just start at the top Fischer. > Thank you Mr chair and I appreciate your indulgence I do know that a lot of us have asked more than one question, lots of time for comment. My basic purpose at this point is comment, and that is to say that as a former school board member and chair for eight years. I went through the time period where charter public schools came to being and was sort of prepped and encouraged to embrace the
idea of charter schools, and we have done so and we did so. What I have heard here today for one thing is reference to money following a child. And I think that the idea still holds that if a child goes to a charter school, enrolls in a charter school the money that would go with them, their per pupil expenditure, follows them to that charter school. If they decide they don't wanna stay in the charter school and they wanna come back, the money does not come back to the school, that they came from until the following school year. Now that may have changed, I don't think it has, so there's that to consider. There is also the idea that with charter public schools, the way we were sold on it is that, we would be able to look at them as a laboratory for ideas and approaches to education that the traditional public school had not been able to incorporate. I am still waiting for that day, I think a little bit of that has happened but not nearly to the extent that I would like to see it, and then the other thing is I really believe that there could be giving some time away to make this more of a collaborative bill rather than a bill that [UNKNOWN] public Charter schools against traditional public schools and I don't think a short session allows time for that to happen and what I would like to see and I hope that we hear some of these from the public, from experts in the audience, from both the charter, public side and the traditional public side. I hope we hear some ideas About how we might take a different approach to this then a simple concurrence on the floor. I have a couple of ideas for amendments that I think could be really helpful and I would really like to, I mean we've heard from both sides, both sides of the aisle are saying that this is not ready for OS, Representative Whitmere might put it life time and what I would I would like to see is both sides of the aisle think a little bit out if the box about the Legislation and the Stakeholders that are gonna be affected by this both on the public charter schools side, and the traditional public school side, and make this a better Bill before we are forced to vote on it. Thank you. >> Thank you. Representative Richardson. >> Yes, thank you Mr. Chairman. A question that comes to my mind is, what do we consider a grant to the school. I went to a couple of recipients who are teachers, who were given grants because they had written a proposal and a private entity so I think I think we need to, and even though it was written to the school is that considered a grant to the school or is that a grant to that particular teacher for a project that he or she wants to implement in his or her classroom and I don't expect an answer today I'm just saying that's something we need to think about, also I think we need to think Think about the percentage of, has anybody set an equation for what amount of money will be extracted from this funds cuz traditional schools support so many of our public charter schools, are we going to take the bulk of that grant for our charter schools because the The number that we serve and this are just things that we need to think about, thank you. >> Thank you we've got around two minutes, representative Witmire. >> Short and sweet, during the public comment I have had numbers all over the charts on the 75 cents on the dollar, I've had it 91 cents on the dollar When I'm gone next year I hope as that conversation comes into play that as far as what representative Fischer mentioned about those rules and those ideas, there's a big exchange from the funding to being able to have the flexibility that whoever, whenever it's applicable when you do your public comment. If anyone wants to To address accurately the claim of 75 cents on the dollar or maybe it's 91 cents on the dollar I would appreciate that, thank you Mr chair. >> Thank you Representative [INAUDIBLE] Butterfield got about a minute. >> [INAUDIBLE]]. >> Okay thank you, we are going to open up the public comment time, how this is going to work is the Clerk is going to read your name and we are going to start out with the four and then the next speaker will be against, you will have three minutes, the sergeant of arms will notify you when you are getting to your three minutes. We've got 13 speakers to speak on this So we've got a half a hour that would fit so please be conscientious of others time as they want to share today okay,
so the clerk is going to call the first name and it will be a four and then the next one will be, we will alternate as we go through. North Carolina charter teacher from Lake Norman Charter School. [BLANK_AUDIO]. >> Mr. Chair, over here. I just have a logistic question. >> Yes ma'am. >> Will we be allowed to ask them questions? >> We'll just have to watch time time, I'm scared if we'd have such a discussion, probably not. >> Thank you. >> Okay thanks. >> I need to make sure this is on, can you hear me? Good morning, my name is Elizabeth Padgett and I'm the current North Carolina charter school teacher of the year, I preferably teach sixth grade science at Lake Norman Charter School which is North of Charlotte, I've been there 16 years Since the beginning we are currently ranked number 8 in the state and according to US news and world report we're in the top 1.5% in the nation. Henry Ford once said coming together is the beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success. Success comes when we remain focused on the students and not the money. Students come to Lake Norman Charter from many counties surrounding us and many of our students are children of Charlotte Mecklenburg School employees, which shows that many in education want to have a relationship with us but politically these [UNKNOWN] They just can't say that out loud, for fear of losing their job. More South City schools mentored our school in our around the world technology program and yet now they are one of the leaders in going against us on this Bill. Competition. Charter schools have pushed school systems like CMF to create economies, magnets and options and And have raised the bar for all children. Their programs have grown exponentially due to the competition with charter schools. Again competition drives success. I have two children, both went to the traditional public schools, K through 4, then went to [INAUDIBLE] charter five through eight and then my daughter went back to CMS for high school. When it was time for my My son to go to high school, he could have gone to Lake Noman Charter High School, but I chose to send him back to CMS so he can play football for high school. We needed a better choice, athletically. He's now playing for Western Carolina on Scholarship. Charter, public schools are used to working with within a budget and trying to make it financially on their own. Traditional public schools are trying to reserve themselves with the money they are given as well. Remember in order to provide choices for families, and build schools to meet those needs, charter schools have to raise their own capital fund. For Lake Norman charter, 12.8% of the money that comes Our way goes to rent and debt. What does that mean in dollars? $1.5 million every year. Consider student A whose has been educated here student B has been educated here, they're both being educated given the same amount of money, I'm not sure why that doesn't make sense. Honestly there's no need or place in our world for adults to fight over money, we teach our students to work together and to compromise yet it seems like it's the adults that needs to get back to the classroom. The focus on how we can best serve our families, give them choice to decide what learning environment works best for their child, whether that's a home school, private school, public school or traditional professional charter school and unfortunately for our students we've lost that focus and it's finally time to get it back thank you for your time, and for giving me this opportunity to speak. >> Thank you so much and conforming that the chairs I just want to remind the speakers please try to stay focused on the funding component that the bill is dealing with cuz that's where most of the questions and things have been raised is to actual, we call it in the wits. It is the wits of it so next speaker, thank you. >> Matthew Ellinwood, with the North Carolina Justice Center. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Thank you Mr. Chair and members of the committee for the opportunity to speak today. I'm the Director of the North Carolina Justice Centers Education and Moore/g Project. We represent and advocate for a low income North Carolinians and their families who attend both local public schools, and public charter schools. And we support an education funding system that supports adequate resources for both sets of these schools. But the Justice Center opposes House Bill 939 because it represents a significant shift away from the original purpose of charter schools. Which were designed to be laboratories of innovation and foster collaboration in the sharing of best practices, individual success stories between public and charter schools. And does not address the funding problems that all of our state's public schools are facing.
Instead this bill continues the troubling trend of putting charter schools and public schools against one another for scarce resources and will lead to further costly litigation within our schools. While there are some sources of funding that charter schools cannot access, including for some services they do not provide. Local charter school funding per student is roughly equal to traditional public school funding per student, when including the grants and donations that charter schools receive and are not similarly required to share with local public schools. It is true that many charter schools schools facing significant financial pressures and hardships. But these are primarily caused by the fact that charter schools funds are tied to the local level of first student funding in traditional schools. And first student funding has been mired among the bottom states in the nation in recent years. This is actually an area where charter schools and public schools should be working together to collaborate and ensure that all schools have adequate staffing and resources to provide students with their constitutional guaranteed opportunity to learn. We urge you to reject this bill and create a compromise similar to the funding model offered by house bill 1111 that makes an appropriation forward funding charter school growth adequately supports both charter schools and local public schools and will hopefully put a stop to the infighting and litigation between our schools, thank you. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Madam clerk [UNKNOWN] a third grade student at Torch Light Academy. [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] I'm Marcus Brandon executive director of [UNKNOWN] and I am not gonna take any time to make any comments. Because I found this young lady from Torch Light Academy that has everything that I wanna say. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Hello, my name's Ashanti [INAUDIBLE] I'm a third grade student at [INAUDIBLE] academy a charter school here is Rayleigh. I love my school I love my friends and teachers and principle. Together we learn and done so much. But recently I found out my school gets treated differently than other public schools where my friends go. Why is that representative? In schools were taught about a supreme court case that makes sure every child gets to go to school that is treated equally shouldn't we listen to that law? My school deserves the same books and classrooms Playground and every other public school in North Carolina. Please representatives vote for house bill 539 so my teachers, principals and classmates are treated the same as well as other schools in Rayleigh I want to be treated fairly. >> Thank you so much. >> You're welcome. >> And Marcus thank you for not being the one to talk. >> [LAUGH] >> Now if you have longer or comments that are in writing that you did not get to share you can always bring those to the clerk after the meeting and we can put it in the record. >> Leanne Wener with the North Carolina School Boards Association. >> Good afternoon, I'm Leanne Winner director of government relations for the North Carolina School Boards Association. This is not a simple issue, I do not envy the position that you are being put in to basically make a choice between two groups of public school students, however our association does oppose this bill. We have been trying for the last couple of years to come up with a solution that I think Mrs. Joyce will address later to resolve these issues and we remain committed to being able to do that. I wanna share with you just a couple of points. First of all, in the first case that you all hear about the Sugar Creek [INAUDIBLE] case, the court of appeals actually said that this is part of its decision. We acknowledged that the inclusion of restricted funds in the local current expense fund will result, I'm sorry that's a different case. The language from Sugar Creek was if donations or other moneys are intended for special programs, they should be held in a special fund because defendants have held these moneys in their local current expense fund they're required to share the moneys with the plaintiffs. Fund aid was then created after that court decision and it was first created actually by the department of public construction state board of education and the local government commission. The general assembly then came in the subsequent year in 2010 and codified that procedure in the statutes which is what you have in your current law. We have had a subsequent case since then that has really put all
of this to rest. And that was the Rutherford county case and in that the court of appeal said we acknowledge that the inclusion of restricted funds and the local current expense fund will result in a larger per pupil appropriation to the charter schools. So the courts have recognized that if fund eight did not exist that the chartered schools would get a disproportionately higher amount of unrestricted dollars to be able to operate their schools. I do wanna share with you just a couple of quick points that I don't think you'll hear from some of the other speakers. Indirect cost is part of that list. Indirect cost is not extra money that comes with Federal programs. It is part of the money that is included in those programs. It is money not to operate basically a back room office. It is money for the school district to actually do all the paperwork that is required to comply with those federal grants. That paperwork is extensive. It also in particular for child nutrition is to help pay for the cost of running the boilers and the refrigeration which is extremely expensive for school districts. In conclusion I would just like to say we would like to work with you. We hope that you you will not pass this Bill this year, and give us time to continue to see if we can come out with a solution that will work for both sides. Thank you. >> Thank you. >> Madame Blaussard, founder of the Research Triangle House School. >> Thank you for having me here. I'm Pamela Blizzard and I've opened two high performing charter schools over the last 17 years, and I'm on the Board of Directors for Carolina CAN. When I opened Raleigh charter in 1999 I actually had to take notes on a post It and stick it on my computer to remember and understand who was on which side of this issue. It really wasn't clear to me why there were sides and whose interest was on which. We were local parents with and we hired teachers with the usual experience backgrounds. And our students were kids from the same county. And neighborhoods and towns and we were all residents and workers and tax payers of North Carolina. I literally needed a person to keep track of everyone's beliefs. Of course I learnt that our kids aren't your kids. That our teachers aren't their teachers and that our school board is not their school board. In 2012 I opened research Tango High school. That was a fun fire storm of fighting over dollars and kids if any of you recall. As we enroll an incredibly diverse pool of kids from all backgrounds the same mystery still rolls around in my head, they were your kids now they're our kids. And so we operate with fewer dollars than their kids do. Our local example in Durham county spends an average of $11,000 per year per student and our funding is at 8,300. That's a pretty striking difference. This has become more and more unfair for many reasons that maybe we don't all realize. First I can tell you that managing the finances for a charter school in 2016 are night and day different than they were back in 1999. back then we easily hired the number of teachers we needed, paid them on the county scale, rented a reasonable space and had some money left over at the end of the year. Today 17 years later teachers are underpaid and teach more students than anything I've ever seen. This spring we ran and ad for an additional math teacher and got exactly zero applicants, zero. Real Estate prices have risen along with the price of inflation so that our space consumes a considerable part of our budget. So, what would I do with the funds that would come from this fair funding Bill? First we have some very strategic things that I would fund. A bus for our east Durham students who currently ride the Triangle system, 75 to 90 minutes to get to school and to home again. More investment into our national personalized learning model, so we can keep closing the gap between an East Durham zip code and Kerry or North Raleigh zip code. Collaborating on this model with school districts across the state, which is part of our charter mission. Sending our teachers to national events to share the successes that we achieve. All of that would be exactly what we set out to achieve in our innovative charter. But there's also this, a retiring Principal once said to me, quote, education is what happens between a teacher and a student. Our job as administrators is to get as much as possible out of their way so that can happen. I would use these dollars to get more things out of the way of teacher's teaching.
Whether it's their gimpy desks getting repaired regularly their trash taken out by cleaners instead of themselves, the materials they need purchased without any hurdles. Or just plain frankly more teachers in their department so they can spend of more of that teacher to student learning time. I know it's a tired old song but these kids are the next people coming along. They're their next pages, our next reporters, our next school advocates and legislators. These are all of us. And they need to be educated effectively and successfully not skimpily/g. So I ask you to approve this Bill. Thank you. >> Thank you. >> Sherry Kenny, a parent. >> [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Hi. My name is Sherry Kanoy/g. And I am the parent of two students in the Randolph County public school system. And I encourage you to vote no on the Bill. I'm not affiliated with any group. I'm just a parent today. My daughter took a computer class in a core public school and because there were not enough working computers for the students, she said she would not take another computer class. This is a shame since computer skills are are critical for both the workforce and for college. Bills such as H.539 make these types of situations more difficult for the core public schools to maintain resources. And you've already talked about the grant situations so even if they applied for a grant for Randolph County school system to upgrade their computer resources. It might be shared with another charter school in Randolph County and therefore the core public school might not get the equipment they need. It is wrong to siphon more money from our core public schools to give to charter school for services or programs they may not provide. You are rewarding the charter schools for not providing these services while punishing the core public schools if they don't hand out the money in the required time. If core If core public schools are required to share their grant proceeds with charter schools then charter schools should have to do the same and share their grant proceeds with the core public schools. One final point, from what I can see and you guys don't make it easy for us everyday folks to look through this bill. From what I can see this bill was originally proposed for a school play ground access. For future purposes there should be a notation on bills such as this which were proposed for a certain purpose and then gutted and renamed in the Senate for an entirely different purpose. For example, maybe you could put the initials BS in the bill name, >> [LAUGH] >> For Bill Substitute of course. >> [LAUGH] >> Thank you. >> [LAUGH] Tom Simmons, Head of Flemington Academy in Columbus County. >> Thank you Mr. Chair. Ladies and gentlemen I appreciate this time this morning. Flemington Academy is a small charter school in Lake Waccamaw, Columbus County. On the campus are boys and girls of North Carolina. Now I just came here in a unique situation. I just spent over 30 years in a traditional public school as a classroom teacher and a principal. I had a good job I was retired after those 33 years and then boys and girls would call me and say we need you to come down here, and operate this charter school. When I was being a traditional principal I thought that's a four letter word I don't wanna here about it. But I began to look at what boys and girls needed and the kind of curriculum that we need to do for our children. Our children come to us from Department of Social Services, they come to us from Juvenile Services Center, some of them come to us from mental facilities. They have been fallen through the crack, they've been forgotten about and nobody wants them. We have 10 children who are gonna graduate this year. Two years ago, most of those children had no idea of graduating from high school and had no desire to graduate from high school. I'll tell you all this so that you'll understand that we need funding equally to everyone else in the state. If it were not for the partnership between boys and girl centers in North Carolina we could not keep our doors open. Boys and girls centers provide transportation, they provide lunches, they provide the buildings that we stay in, they provide the computers in our classrooms. If it were not for that we would have 100 kids that have just gotta be forgotten and lost. I'm passionate about this ladies and gentlemen because I was one of those kids. At the age of 10 years old I had an abusive father and I ran away from home to get away from him. Boys and girls whom first opened their doors then,
because of that care, because of that nurturing, because of the kind of programs that we're offering at Flemington Academy right now that started boys and girl zones. I not only graduated from high school but I stand here today with a doctorate degree. So please let's not make this a debate about public schools versus public charter schools. A child should not be funded by determining which school they go to, child's funding should determine because it's the fair and right thing to do. Please help us out. I know that the public schools are challenged, I know that the traditional public schools need their money but we're not taking money from them. If a child moves from Columbus County to New Haven County, those children move to New Haven County. They're only move to us so that we can help them in a curriculum that is designed to meet their needs. We offer therapy that we're not getting paid for, we're offering [INAUDIBLE] we're not getting paid for. We are giving children the opportunity to do things in schools that they never thought they could do. So please consider this bill and I know that there is gonna be a lot of my good friends from [INAUDIBLE] that I've been a member of it for 40 years, I'm gonna disagree with this bill. Cuz it says [INAUDIBLE] for public schools. If we're talking serious about funding equally for public school children let's not forget that charter schools are public schools and these are public school children. Thank you. >> We've only got a few more minutes, so I want to remind the speakers please try to narrow the focus of your comments to the specifics of the funding component. Matt Joule with the NCAE >> And right on point with that introduction. Thank you thank you Chairman Elmore distinguished members of the committee I'm Martin Joule. I'm a Guilford elementary teacher and I'm president elect of North Carolina Association of Educators. And I wanna thank you for the opportunity to make these few brief comments. Let me first begin by saying that everyone you've heard from today. We all believe and I personally believe that we want what's best for North Carolina's 1.52 million public school children. That each and every child has the opportunity to reach their fullest potential And that the needs of other students are being met adequately. But NCEA does oppose house bill 539 because it will no longer provide equitable funding for our students, and it will greatly jeopardize the needs being met by shifting larger portions of funds to charter schools. Many times for services that you've heard that aren't even offered by the charter. And in like so many other cases, when the monies disappear for the local education agency someone has to make up for it. And it's usually the parent or the teacher, many of whom are already spending hundreds if not a thousand dollars, out of their own pockets. Because we have shortchanged them on many of their resources for their public student needs and for the right to be successful. North Carolina's traditional public schools simply can't sustain the continual draining of funds. Our LEA are simply starving, and unfortunately it's this generation of students that end up paying the price. Instead of legislating how we shift and fight over limited resources, why don't we pass legislation to adequately fund our public schools in North Carolina. Mr. chairman Thank you for this opportunity but NCEA stands firmly opposed to House Bill 539 and we urge you to reject it. >> Brady Johnson, North Carolina's Superintendent Association. [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Good afternoon, my name is Brady Johnson I'm superintendent of the IRL States for Schools and the President of The North Carolina Association of Superintendents. Thank you for this opportunity to address you this afternoon. The superintendents of North Carolina are not opposed to charter schools. We understand the concept of school choice and we are working hard to make sure that traditional public schools are competitive in providing choice options to parents as well. We fully understand the desire of charter school directors, and headmasters to secure more funds for their schools to support initiatives that they have started. The superintendents of North Carolina do have grave concerns with House Bill 539 that would take resources away from our districts that have been sought to supplement state and local dollars. Which have already been shared on a per unit basis. Let me give you a couple of examples of how this bill will negatively impact local LEAs. My district is ranked 110th out of the 115 school systems in North Carolina per pupil funding. What that simply means is I spend a lot of my time out trying to cure grant dollars to supplement the work that's taking place in
the [UNKNOWN] school system. We have been very successful in securing over $40 million in grants over the last 8 years. Many of those grants come with all types of strings attached. In 2011 we received a $5 million grant from the US Department of Education for school innovation. That grant came to us with a stipulation however. We were required to show that there was strong local support for the work that we were proposing in the grant. So we had 30 days to go out and raise $1 million in private funding to match the $5 million that we were getting from the federal government. The first person that I called on to raise that money was a local group called the Ardale County Community Foundation. They did support that grant. Today in Ardale County we have four charter schools. But we have children living in Ardale County that attend 21 charter schools. Most of those are out of our community Imagine how difficult it would have been for me to convince a local community foundation to support work that's taking place outside the county and share funding with folks outside of their community. Here's another example- [CROSSTALK] >> Mr. Superintendent, I'm gonna have to cut you short. We've got four more people that wanting to to speak and we have asked for them to sign up in the beginning. Will you just sum up in about 10 seconds your point please. >> I'm glad to hear you folks say this. You need to slow this train down and what I would recommend to you is let's bring in the leadership from the charter schools and there's traditional schools and let's work together and bring new idea how we can resolve this issue. Thank you. >> Thank you so much and the last speakers please we're so close on time keep your comments nearly focused to the funding component please. Thank you. >> Catherine Joy association of School Administrators. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Thank you Mr Chairman, members of the committee. I'm Catherine Joyce, Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators. And I appreciate the opportunity to be with you today. You've now heard a lot of arguments on all sides of this issue. And you now have to decide what you are going to do next. We hope that you can see from the conversation and the questions today that this bill is too controversial with too many unanswered questions to move it forward during this short session. We urge you to allow all the parties to work together. The charter community, the traditional public school community and all of you working with us to take this over to the long session and come up with what is the right solution that would ensure that all types of funding are allocated and remaining with the entity for which they are intended. And that funding is equitable for all public school children no matter where they are enrolled. Thank you. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Matthew Tilley an attorney from Charlotte. [BLANK_AUDIO] Good afternoon. My name is Matthew Tilley, I'm a lawyer in Charlotte and I'm standing here because the first case that I took when I joined my firm in 2009, was a case on behalf of charter schools in Charlotte. What they were asking was they had looked at their budgets, they had looked at the per pupil that had followed them, and they looked at CMS's budget, and they said, if you divide this out by the number of students, we're not getting the same per pupil. In fact, CMS is getting drastically hundreds and not thousand dollars more student, why is that? Well, we looked at the statute. The statute which was passed in 1996, the Charter school Act is now 20 years old, said that money should follow the child from a local district if they go to another school. I heard someone say, they are not our kids and your kids, money doesn't belong to a district or a Charter school, it belongs to To a student, and so if that student goes from the district to the private school, the money that that student was supposed to have or would have been spent on that student goes to the church so that they can experiment and do all the great things you've heard from these private schools. And it said Sher felly, Mike easily in 1998 wrote an opinion at the attorney general that said that share equally, there were cases Fransine Delaney/g decided in 2002 by the court of appeals said share equally. Still wasn't happening we called CMS and we asked why? They said we don't share everything with you because there are programs we have but you don't. We said that's the point.
You have programs we do different things with the same money we experiment They refused and we had a law suit. We had to have a law suit because they said there was no other way to get an answer. The general assembly said this and I heard Mrs Winter quote from this cases. This is Sugar Creek too. Looking at the old statute from 1996. It is clear to the court that the General Assembly intended the charters children have access to the same level of funding As children attending the regular public schools of this state. The language of the statute is ambiguous, direct, imperative and mandatory. Share everything in front too. Now You've heard different notes on how much actually gets shared now. The difference is because those that Say that we get 90%, charters get 90%, are only comparing fund too at the district level and capital funding not fund aid. We had this law suit, we won, we expected that to be end of the question. Ashville City School still refused to share their money along with a number of others. Had a law suit against Ashville city schools and we asked their CFO, why did you share this money? She said that was just the Court of Appeals opinion it's ridiculous. That's the reason for the lawsuits. We were gonna take that case up to the Court of Appeals, and in conference at the last minute in the appropriation bill of the hacking/g amendment has passed, I had a question before the staff what was taken through the hacking/g amendment was being restored. If you wanna see that laid language it's at the bottom of the bill first page of the bill in section C, there is a long laundry list there being Xed out. And that list is the list of the moneys that had been taken. that money is being split up between C1 which we'll go to find eight and E1 which would go to fun two. That's the reason for the difference there, that's the reason for the technicality and the language has been to try to compromise there is 40% of the money that was lost due to that hacking/g amendment being risked over, now I've also heard different questions in federal grants the issues here is this and court of appeals just addresses this past year, the supreme court is considering it right now. They looked at federal grants and direct cost of me writing this and they said look this budget expanders. When you get this money it goes to it lists all ships, many of federal grants are used for the purpose of expanding the budget just for K3 12 students. They ought to be treated equally and shared, that's the reason that some federal grants will be restricted, some federal grants will go to the system and benefit the entire system and for that reason they would go and be part of the people, there are other questions I know that many people have them would be happy to answer any further. >> Thank you so much, folks have driven a distance in membership if you'll hang on to me say something for a couple of minutes a peice Jeff Holman Onslow County schools. And please try to be concise okay, thank you. >> I'll be as quick as I can thank you for the opportunity to put in to your day Jeff Holman Chief Financial officer Onslow County School and also president elect with North Carolina Association of school administrators. I have two points that I would like to make, first there are several issues related to house bill 539 relate to sharing federal grants received directly by school districts for example our district receives federal impact a day for basic support. Now we are the home of camp [INAUDIBLE] base and with The privilege of serving the dependence of our marines comes additional challenge to support students to move frequently from Davy Station. Davy Station, and enter the stresses of having a parent poet. So the federal government provides funding to assist us in addressing these needs. But first we must invest hundreds of hours staff time and thousands of dollars to complete that application. The application is based on members of federally connected students that are in our schools alone and it's unclear to me how or why these funds will be permitted to be used outside of the organization that applied for this funds. Part of the funding is Based on federally connected students in our district with special needs, and these funds are required to be spent on excess from children's services. We ensure that those funds are spent appropriately. These are just some of the issues related with the federal grants sharing. Secondly, I'd like to speak with regard to the the sharing of reimbursements and indirect cost, I'd like to provide analogy. So it's grass cutting season and so you're out there, you buy gas for your mower using your own money, you take the time to change your old [UNKNOWN] times during grass cutting season, you even
take your mower in for service and have the belts and the blades replaced. That you had to pay for. Now your sister lives next door and she uses your mower and at the end of the grass mowing season she meets you out in the yard one day and reimburses you for the gas that was spent mowing her lawn, and she even pays you a payment to help cover a portion of the cost that you expended To have your mower serviced. Now your brother lives across the street and he sees you out there speaking with your sister and he comes over and asks for a portion of the reimbursement that your sister's paying you. Now keep in mind your brother who lives across the street works at the same factory you do, receives the same hourly base that you do, But he did not spend any of his money to buy this gas or to service the mower. My question is, do you think that's fair? So why should school districts share reimbursements and indirect [UNKNOWN] recruitment's with our brother charter schools for the services that we provide to our sister program programs such as child nutrition, charter one and federal exception for the programs, the services that we provide such as the human resources department, doing criminal background checks, provide payroll, paying the vendors, paying utilities insurance, providing computer networks, IT technicians and can stay with your services [INAUDIBLE]. >> Yes, thank you JF I got to To know when I get home so you reminded me of something that I was dreading. The last speaker that's on the list is [INAUDIBLE] and we're already over so thank you members for your patience. >> Mr Chairman. >> Yes sir >> Request of the chair. >> Yes >> Several speakers have alluded to getting people together to negotiate again I always think that's a good idea but I also think it took place in 2015 when it broke down, it would be very helpful for me if anybody in the public or in the committee could provide me with details as to what had been agreed upon before the negotiations broke down and then what was the Was the deal-breaker? So anybody who can help me with that I'd appreciate. >> Okay, thank you representative. Lenda Welbourne/g. >> Thank you and I appreciate this opportunity to speak to the Legislature at this time. I know we all wanna get out in that sunshine so I'll try to be brief. I am Lenda Welbourne. I am a Gilford County Board of Education education member. I'm here to be the voice of the 72,000 students in Guilford County schools. Guilford county schools economically disadvantaged population reached 60% this year. Guilford County schools serve over 5 Million breakfasts, and close to 8 Million lunches each school year. The Federal Government provides reimburses for the indirect overhead costs associated with operating the child nutrition program. The Bill will force Guilford County schools to provide a portion of this reimbursement to charter schools. There's a significant cost of managing a program of this size. Any charter school that chooses to take the time and effort can participate in a Federal Child Nutrition program. I know Greensburg/g Academy and Triad Math and Science participate. Some charter schools should now provide lunch services. There's a huge difference in the cost associated with lunch service when you're serving 50 children or a few hundred children first it's thousands of children. What's the logic in providing charter school's funding for something that has no association with or expended any time or effort? Federal grants, I looked at the U.S education department grant paged the other day, and looked up a few grants available for local education agencies. when I clicked on eligibility I found a statement, the grant competition eligibility is limited to local education agencies or LEAs, including charter schools that are considered LEAs under state law. Which means every charter school in North Carolina has the same ability to pursue federal grants they choose. [INAUDIBLE] spend the time and effort to compete with the federal grants in order to better services for county school's students and support our Guilford county teachers Again, charter schools weren't part of the indirect cost we fee from the federal government for managing these grants. Please give me consideration I'm moving. [INAUDIBLE] put no time and effort into delivering the services. Statistical data, capture on many of these grants is required and
very costly. I don't wanna go to private donations. Philanthropists that make donations to schools in this day and age, are fully aware that charter schools are a separate entity From district schools. Therefore private donations to Guilford county schools are intended to be used for specific purposes to better students enrolled in Guilford county schools. No designation should be required for private donations. If there should be anything, the donation should be that the donor should request that the charter schools be added not that we have to designate every designation. >> Okay, thank you so much. >> Well I feel cheated but I wanna- >> I think maybe a lot of people do, I feel that way about every day with several things I do so >> Well I'll make one more comment. I have heard about how everybody is, we have four schools that ->> Ma'am I teach in public schools I understand I appreciate but we are out of time. Thank you yes. surviving, bring it up here. >> And we can put it in the public record. Members thank you so much for your patience today. Thank you. Meeting adjourned. [NOISE] [BLANK-AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO]