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House | March 24, 2015 | Committee Room | House: Education K-12

Full MP3 Audio File

(BLANK) B? Call the meeting of Education K-12 together. I didn't mean you had to find it that fast. This morning we have pages with us and when we announce your name, if you'll stand up or raise your hand. We have Diane Haag from Wake County and Representative Holley your representative, and we have Nia Jedkins from Wake, also Holley's representative and Evan King from Wyke, and his representative Jackson's sponsored him and I'm going to try this, Davis Castenburger[sp?] is that correct? And he's from Wilke[sp?] and Rep. Malone is his sponsor. And our house Sergeant-at-Arms for today's meeting is Young Bay, Phil Mars and Jim Murran. Today we had one bill pulled and not because it wasn't a good bill but they needed to discuss this more with the heart association, I think that's very good so today going to start with Representative. Cothamsville. You ready? Great leaders for great schools is the study bill I don't believe your mic's on. Well goodness good morning. Thank you Madam Chair and committee members I have my mentee with me who is also on this bill. It's his first bill so we'll have all questions for him. Now this is a simple Bill to use our favorite word as a legislature, it is simply a study asking our Joint Education Oversight Committee to look at our principal programs in North Carolina. This is a common practice for education oversight where we have specific topics that we want areas, our departments to go in depth and make a presentation and recommendation to the committee, that's what this bill does and representative Thorne is also a primary sponsor, he's gracefully sitting in the back so I'll be happy to answer any questions that you might have, or a motion. sorry, just, Chairman Horn? What other hand was that? Representative Fisher. For a motion at the appropriate time Madam Chair. Thank you, is there anyone who has a question? If not it's the appropriate time. I move that we give a favorable report to House Bill 216, let's see that's it, and it goes to the floor, thank you. A motion has been made for a favor report, all those in favor will say aye? Opposed no? The bill has passed, and this they will go to the floor. Thank you members of the committee, thank you. Our next bill will be Modify Special Education Scholarship, and I believe Representative Jordan is handling that. The other primaries will like to join Representative Jordan, looks like you got it on your own, Jonathan Thank you madam chair Yes certainly. Thank you, this is House Bill 133, Modify the Special Education Scholarships, this is

my third term in the General Assembly and this is the third time I've worked on this program, we started as my first term as a tax credit, my second term we turned it into a scholarship. The improvement for this year, is if you take a look at your review your summary there are only two changes and that is to increase the amount from 3000 to 4000 per semester, and again these are for students who have disabilities that may or may not be able to be met in the public school system but they will get some funds to be able to deal with those issues either inside or outside of the system, so that's the first change. The second is to make it from changing it from reimbursements to the end of the semester to remitting it twice during the semester, and that is to help the low income special disabilities families not have to front the entire amount of money up upfront. Also staff has anything to add to that? Everyone is ready to proceed. They do not and we will proceed, we do have an amendment I think it is to be handed out, if you would just be patient a minute. We only have one amendment, but it is H133ARQ-3 version 2. Does everyone have the Does everyone have the amendment? The man hasn't got back yet. I believe we do now. Representative Mark Thank you Madam Chair my concern about the new version of this deal was the elimination on page two of the intuition embarsement codes lines 31 to 37 existing stature it requires that a student be enrolled in the school for 75 days before the other were fully if we have eliminate that clause, what is there to stop a student for enrolling for two weeks leaving the school and being able to and loosing the state investment in that scholarship, so my amendment would leave in place the first to the change representative Jordan has recommended increase in scholarship amount but keep the existing statute on the remainder of the bill. Do we have any questions? Speaker, Representative Stam? Excuse me the change was when it was in arrears they had to bend their 75 days. please recall we're talking about special needs students who tend to have more absences than other students. This is going to be afforded in advance, and so actually there's no attendance in advance, but what is In the bill, still on the bill is, and this is on page 3, line 19 and 20, the authority, that's the State Education Assistance Authority, the same group that does college foundation loans, shall establish rules and regulations for the administration and awarding scholarships, and in those rules which we just got the copies here for, but I think we had provided them to Representative Glazier. They are, a schedule for return of Opportunity Scholarships which was done in the same way, and it's basically return of various percentages based upon how much they were there. So for example if the

student attends two weeks or less return 100%. If the student only attends three weeks return 90%. If he only attends four weeks, 80%. Only five weeks, 70. Six weeks, 60. Seven weeks, 50%. If the students attends more than seven weeks then responsible for returning. The SEAA retains the authority to adopt rules for a call back so and I'll hand this to Rep. Meyers after we make some copies that concern is addressed and is addressed by the SEAA so I would ask the committee not to adopt the amendment realizing that the concern is real but it is addressed administratively I have Rep. Fisher, Glazier an Elmo, is anyone else like that? Rep. Fisher. Thank you, Madam Chair. I appreciate Rep. Stam reviewing the rules that are provided for the administration of the opportunity scholarships, but I'm wondering if we need to be more specific to the scholarships that will be provided to students with disabilities. It seems like we're talking about two different things and maybe we need to not just assume that the FEA is going to adopt the same rules for administering these scholarships as they would for the opportunity scholarships Rep. Jordan.  Thank you Madam Chair. Rep. Fisher if you look at line page three of the bill. Yes ma'am. Page three of the bill, lines 19 through 22 says that the authority shall establish the rules and regulation for the administration and awarding of the scholarships and annually develop a list of special technology for which they are going to be used. So the authority has to establish these rules. They've already done it for the one program, they'll have to do it for the other, and there'll be no indication there be anything significantly different in the rules for this program than there are for the more general one. Follow up? Yes. I think the thing that troubles me is that they shall adopt rules is one thing but we don't know that they will adopt that particular rule. And I don't mean to be picky about this but I don't want to assume lawyers everywhere have told me I should never assume anything and I don't want to assume that this rule will appear without some sort of guarantee. And Representative Jordan, and you make a good point but we need to keep in mind that this programme is for folks who would generally have more and have a lot more difficulties because they're already not being able to be met in the current situation and I think we need to provide them some more flexibility than just a straight 75 days or you're out because there's going to be a lot of specific situations here with the different disabilities. But I understand your point. is had sufficient? Representative Fisher. Representative Glazier? Thank you Madam Chair and thank you Representative Jordan. I want to follow Representative Fishers comment and I have previously supported this Bill, this bill that I still think has constitutional issues but it's never been challenged. The point about this I think is important about having a bit more structure in the bill. Let me explain exactly what you just said Representative Jordan. This isn't the same as the other scholarship and here there are other things, we're going to have to deal with students with varying IP's and time frames to get those IP's and services in place, so I don't think the exact schedule of reimbursement that apply to the other scholarships, would really apply here. I think as the SEAA actually is going to have to take a if we get a little more time to balance out those factors. I don't have a problem in that sense but I I think we don't give them much guidance here, and at a minimum I think the lines on page three probably fully ought to change to give some guidance for that we expect a reimbursement schedule if students are not attending, we expect it to take into account factors like the time frame for development of the IEP, and all of those issues that we think are there and so I think that the rule making authority if we're not going to put it in the bill, at least has to be more confined about the things here that're going to be different than that other one, and I think then it's back to representative Fisher's there may be way to think about that language.

I don't necessarily think we have to be as prescriptive as creating our exact schedule, but I do think that before this bill hits the floor there're all the the rethinking of that sub-section D to make sure what we're all talking about actually takes place. Do you have a better idea than ours? Representative Joe Sam. I took a proposal to members of the staff, but they had a better idea as usual. I would like them to read it and if it's satisfactory to you we'll consider. Is that possible? I'm sorry, he wants to do an amendment? I would like staff to read a proposed amendment and if it's acceptable to Representative Glaser then we'll, and Myrus then we'll have it put on a piece of a paper, Representative Myrus, that's OK with you? It's alright.   Start, because the amendment  I think actually the best for it to be would be on page three, lines, somewhere on lines 19-22, I think we could just may be inserted in between the two sentences, they'll basically say the authority shall adopt rules providing for pro-rata return of funds if a student withdraws prior to the end of a semester, so I need to think about whether it needs to go there or on page two in terms of placement but we think it can go under role making, so the. The amendment is representative Myers. Representative Myers do you agree to that? Can I ask a question officer? Certainly. How long how will it take the educational system to institute or make the rules? Well, if they go through the role making process they can adopt Oh, excuse me. Yes, they're exempt under the university so it should be within their normal policy adopting process which I think it's two to three months probably if [xx] but I would have to defer to them to give you specifics on that process, if someone from the SEAA is here. Do we have anyone? If everybody would just be at ease a minute, let the four of the to speak on the side, it's alright, just be at ease. if our side group can finish it up, we'll give you another minute Manager Madam chair. If you would like to explain that to the, there has been an agreement and do what you like represented [xx] madam chairman I'm willing to withdraw my amendment pending the replacement of another amendment coming forth which I will allow representative Jordan Stance to introduce to the body Representative Jordan you're here representative Stam is going to enter the amendment it is going to take just a few moments to get it drawn up Do you want it passed out or do you think it can be raised? Just raised, yes please. Representative Glasier. Maybe as it has been done just ask questions representative Stan and Jordan that might highlight what the amendments are going to

be and, alright we will do that, is not thank you madam chair, as I understand it will have several components, one is it will create in the effective date that the rule making process on this issue has to be done within 60 days of the effective date of the Bill by ACAA, is that correct? Yes sir. And then secondly, there would be some language that make it clear as much like the draft by staff that there will be unprogrado rebay[sp] for lack of better term, and we may move that bit, but if someone is dropping out of school and doesn't attend, so there will be rebaysp?] by attendance of the scholarship is that accurate? I guess that's great.  And then the third part is that there will be as representative Brian suggest sometime between now and fuller perhaps in appropriations an indication that in including that not limited to list of some of the things that ought to be considered ACAA and developing that schedule including the time frame for IPs and the use of those and that kind of thing, would that be accurate? That would be correct including absences if you're thinking of absences, Thank you. Thank you representative Glaser, representative Myrus, you have anything to say? Representative Jordan, you have a response? OK, if you'll just be at ease until we get the amendment drawn up Representative Elmore has the floor I think what everybody is kind of dancing around is the program within existing IEP rolls over very easily but is the issue of the initial IEP which then deals with kindergarten and first grade and I ask Representative Stam to explain processes that are already in place on the development of that IEP qualifying for the program We have an amendment drawn up, it's necessary that we have copies representative Lookey Well yes because it sense here and it sense here it plays here and it plays there Just asking  and we will get it to you, okay, thank you mom, you are welcome anything else before yes go ahead. To Elmores question for returning students and those who have been in the programme previous to last year, they had to have an IEP- Individualizes Education Plan, now they can also come in kindergarten even perhaps first raid without an IP, because it's hard to get an IP before you've been in school, and they come in at their own risk, that is if during that year is determine that they are in fact disabled students, if that's the right term. Then they get the scholarship, but if it's determined that they are not disabled students then they don't. So that's sort of how it works. I have two more people who are on the amendment, Representative Allen did you want to speak on the amendment? He's on the other amendment this [xx] thank you. Representative Richard? Richardson I'm sorry. That's fine thank you madam Chairman. I have a question about the website availability, there was some reference here that we were trying to accommodate have low income recipients of the scholarship but we're making the website availability with information, how are we going to make it available for those as parents who may not have access to website? Do you want to wait till, we're on the amendment? Is that we'll get to that, I'm sorry. Let's get one thing done here. Is there anyone else who wants to speak on the amendment? No, just be at ease. If we were in appropriation this

would be appropriate of time for someone to ask for a new coffee machine. Representative Elmer brought to my attention asked me if I remember the old what mimeo graph alright. Does everyone have the amendment before them, and that amendment is H133ATC-14 version 1. And staff will explain. So the amendment makes changes on page three line 20 by rewriting the line basically by adding a sentence in between the two sentences in that and subsection by saying the authority shall adopt rules providing for a program of [xx] finance of student [xx] prior to the end of the semester from a school towards the scholarship funds have remitted been and then the effective state clause section two Bill as the senate directs the authority. The SCAA to adopt rules within 60 days of the effective day of the act providing for pro-rata return of funds basically tracking the language and then above the a paragraph. Do we have any questions? Representative Moore. Madam chair I appreciate the  bill sponsored, we're going to make this memo at this part the amendment I just want to thank the committee for your patience and the staff for your flexibility and creativity and helping us to get to this point.  I agree. Alright. The amendment is before us. All those in favor  say Aye? Aye all those apposed  say no>  The Ayes Is have it. And now we're back on the bill and representative Richardson. Okay I'm sorry I misunderstood the process there, my question was regarding the website availability and since we are concerned about students of low income and parents of low income. How are we going to contact them? And a second question along that same line I've just heard that the authority is the SCAA but would have pairing no what authority would mean, do we not need to define authority in this paragraph? Representative Stem, yes the answer is by all means possible and for example our office sends information about this even yesterday to all 700 private schools that we have of the ones that we have email on. In the back are representatives Julia and Jennifer, representative with a disability rights groups and they're very proactive in letting these groups know about this directly to the parents of children with disabilities and by all means possible my staff and I been out and done seminars  on

this at regional meetings of parents with children with special needs. Follow up madam chair. Yes, Representative [XX] In my early life I was especially a director so I understand that, but this language does not say that that is what's going to happen, so that's what I'm trying to get at should we not have an alternative way of save it in the bills of how we will contact people other than website because according to the bill the only way that you must contact the is through the website and I'm saying should we not have other reference and I'm on page 15 through probably 19. So with site availability, I just think it needs to state some other form of communication even though we know that all process in  place, represent it to them. I know the state education system already talks to people by telephone, by mail and if you have an idea or addition where is to get the world out I'll be glad to look at this does have to go to appropriations and I'm all in favour let the whole world know about it. representative [xx] said, sufficient yes because he does have a rear referral to appropriations. And I have a second question on page three concerning the student evaluation am I understanding this correctly that the students might be pulled out of public school but then will taken back to public school for their third year reevaluation? the local [xx] has to be the one provide that they will probably have to go back into school enroll back into the school in order to get that? No I didn't ask that, I said they will be the responsibility of the local school district to reevaluate them regardless of who are they do it. We're putting that responsibility back on the local schools system.   Representative Jordan? The DPI reimburses LEA from that? I'm sorry, it needs to go through the Chair, I'd be glad for you to ask another question. Is that sufficient? Yes, thank you. Representative Bryan. Just for motion at the appropriate time, Madam Chair. Thank you but we have some more questions. I'm sorry let me start, just a moment I just saw another hand and I needed, raise your hand if you wish to speak on this. I'm going to call this out if your names are not on here, and we just speak just raise your hand, Glacier, Whitner, Luckie, Better Fill and Pitmen and Jones and you do realise it is 15 minutes to, do you also feel this committee is [xx] used again? So if you'll be short and concise and representing closure, Quick point madam chair and this is to the idea of who is doing the evaluations, representing Jordan to what you said that the they will be paid. It is true but we do need need to consider as more and more students may access this which is the hope on the there really has to be some additional school psychologist and counselors involved because they're doing the testing so when we get at that point at some point we really ought to talk about that resource issue. Remember this, I remind you again that it is for a means to be used, Representative Whitmire? I'll just direct the question if I may to any of the bill sponsors this is just a question that hasn't been along. If said student does this program and it ultimately doesn't work out and they find themselves back in the public schools after their ADM calenders are done in the fall, I take it that there is no way any of this money can help with their special needs once they come back to the public schools if they come back. Are you asking that as staff? Fiscal research?

I think that could be taken up, let me just start there, I think that can be taken up when it goes to appropriations, it that fine with you? I'll be glad to talk to you and [xx] thank you. Anything else? Representative Whitmire. Step on, OK. Representative Luebke? Thank you, a couple of points, first on page two line seven the school must be deemed eligible, what's the definition of that quickly, please? Representative Jordan I'm sorry I think we went through this years ago I cant remember my sales staff Representative Luckie the requirement is that they have to be recognized non public school by the division of non public education. A follow up? Certainly does the school have to have a special education program in place?  Staff? No sir. There's no requirement in the non-public statute regarding special education. Representative [xx] Yes, quickly,  I think there is a serious problem with the bill I would say that, that needs to be amended in appropriations I can at this point support the bill just on the fact that there's requirement of the special education program and where are we sending these children with disabilities. It just seems wrong to me. The second is a larger point that we had on both this and the general so called opportunity scholarship programme, and that is we are sending public funds public dollars to private schools, that seemed wrong to me over and beyond all the other detail we dealt with  is wrong to send public funds to private schools. but is also wrong to send money whether is a special education program at that school, thank you. Thank you, representative Batterfill Thank you Madam Chair. I was wondering if we have the numbers in terms of the number of students with disabilities that're receiving scholarships in non-public schools. 800 in non-public schools. A fall up Right 800 and that none public schools. For the public schools do we have those figures? Everybody. For representative Better Fill is your point the amount of money think that is way refereed to a progression now my point is the number of children who are really non public settings and I have a follow up my question is how many of those are from low income plan list. Do you have an answer for her? I don't have any. OK because you see that she gets that information? OK thank you, Representative Pittman. Just save time, I was going to ask pretty much the same thing but wondering what total cost would be based on those numbers and I guess it just did preparation. We're here for the policy and we're seeming to be doing a pretty good job. Representative Jones. Thank you madam Chair. I just want to say briefly that and please this is the bill that take public money to educate public citizens, and that's all about and I'm pleased to be a sponsor on the bill it's takes a great program, makes it even better and I commend it to this committee. Okay. If there are no more questions we have. Madam Chair? Yes. representative [xx] just a quick one, Representative Jones, I think it's wrong for public dollars to go to private schools, as I said a moment ago, and for that and they reason by special education, I disagree with you and I will not be supporting this bill. Thank you. Thank you. With no other questions there's a motion before us. Would you want to make the motion? I can try chair. Okay, I'll make it. Do you want me to make it? Yeah, go ahead. I'd move for a favor report of the original bill as a and it rolled into a new PSC was a serial referral to appropriations. A favorable report to the committee substitute and an unfavorable report to the original bill. Is that what you're said? Okay. The motion is before us. All those in favor will say Aye. I. All those opposed will say no. The Ayes have it and your bill will be referred to appropriations. Thank you very much. I do want to say before we go, thank you very much for your patience and this is how a committee is supposed to function and I

am very pleased that we were able to reach a compromise and I think it was a very good example for our pages. Thank you, for your service today and the meeting is adjourned. Thank you.