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House | March 31, 2015 | Chamber | Education: Community Colleges

Full MP3 Audio File

I would like to call to order this meeting on the house education committee with, community colleges. To begin with, I'd like to introduce our pages, and where are they, by any chance, I don't see them. There I don't seee them, Okay Dawson Recarg from Wilson county sponsored by, representative Martin and Matthew Parker from Forsyth County, sponsored by representative Terry also our Surgeant at Arms today Charles Goodwin, [xx] and Raycock. Today on our agenda we do have House Bill 188 sponsored by representative Hager. Before we begin, we have a PCS before us. Is there a motion from anyone to Rep Szoka. I move that we see the PCS the House Bill 188 for us. Having heard that motion, all in favor say Aye. Aye. Any opposed say no, and the opinion of the Chair, the Ayes have it. Representative Hager the floor is yours. Thank you Mr. Chairman. This bill as it came out last week, a couple weeks ago, has gone through a couple of changes. I had spoken with the board of community Colleges, Dr. Hunter on this bill and we've talked about structuring very similar to what Stanley County has structured on theirs and I think Lee County's done something very similar. So what you'll see on there is this, the Board of Education appointments that were four appointments are now moved to the County Commissioner to keep on the locals so we have some local control, and in that I emphasize that we were looking for three or four particular talents or experiences put on the board of trustees, for Isothermal Community College one was local business folks I think we got two of those, want to get two of those who want to get someone that has budgeting, planning, accounting type experience, and then we want the one that has some kind of building maintenance experience. And part of that is guys run through some numbers right now. Right now we have about $10 million in maintenance needs that the board has presented to the County Commissioners in the past couple months. Almost 50, 30 to 50 is emergency needs of folks that we just have some issues that the health and safety of our students that we need to fix. We had, I got an email just about a month ago, we've had two of our students that's out due to lack of AC and a cosmetology lab this past summer. So we've got some real needs there [xx], and what we're going to do is move to put some folks on the board that can fulfill these needs to make sure we're doing the right thing, and that's what this Bill's about. Is there any questions from the committee, Representative Insco. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, so have we heard from the Rutherford County Commissioners if they support it, and does anybody oppose it? Mr. Chairman? Please. Mr. Chair, I've talked with the County Commissioners, and they all suppor this issue. I'm sure the board of education doesn't like it because it takes appointments away from them. Representative Stevens Thank you, Mr. Chair. Representative Parker, this doesn't remove anybody currently sitting does it, or does it remove somebody currently sitting? Mr. Chairman, no madam it does not. Representative Goodman? Thank you, Mr. Chair. Representative Hager, is there, I hear you talking about the needs. Is there some indication that the school board would not make good appointments or it seems to me that there're lot of issues relative to community colleges and school boards that would intersect, and it seems to me the school boards appointments are necessary and should not be removed. I don't know why a school board cannot appoint competent members to a community college board. Would you kind of tell me your thought process there? Go ahead. Thank you Representative Goodman, I appreciate that. What we have is, school boards in general just in general terms have no fiduciary responsibility to community college and I'll give you an example, of all the budgets of community

colleges, a lot of it comes from the federal side, a lot of it comes form us. Most of the board governs 60-70%. Price of thermal comes from the legislature, but the other percentage of it comes form the and the county commissioners. They're responsible for the maintenance, the money for the maintenance of the community colleges, and in this case this is where the need is, this is where the need is and so the board education has no fiduciary responsibility in this area, but the county commissioners do. My feeling was if they have a fiduciary responsibility they ought to have a say on how that money is being spent to make sure it's being spent wisely and prudently at the community colleges, because it is Ruth pre county's  money and the taxpayer's money, we need to make sure it gets spent in the right way. Countly commissioners have that fiduciary responsibility so therefore, I believe those folks have their appointments. Representative Stevens. Oh I'm representative Vinsco[sp?]. I guess one of concerns with this bill is that I'm not sure that, it might not have existed with the local board of education too, is it. I'm concerned when you get removed from the education setting that you may end up with a whole board of trustees that has no connection to education. I think it's good to have business people on board, I also think it's is good to have people who have expertise in the education role, especially community colleges. So school board didn't have any specifics either I believe, they just appointed the board. Is that a question representative [xx[, I'm sorry? What question was it? Is there any, you mentioned that you're getting business people on here, there's nothing in here that would require that appointment better than anything to do about education. There's 15 appointments to the IC board we are only going to categorize and put constraining some four of them, the other nine can be appointed to anywhere they want be the county commissioners so we have a multi-county campus which we have some appointments coming up, poll county also, so poll county commissioners or the [xx] county commissioners can appoint education folks if they see fit. Representative McNeill. He just answered my question. My question was going to be couldn't the commissioners appoint somebody from the school if they wanted to so he's already answered my question. Representative Shepard.  Thank you Mr. Chair, Representative Haggard just for clarification it mentions here that the no member of the general assembly may be appointed to a local board of trustees to a community college, is that just specific directed to [xx] County? I believe and staff may be will tell us, Representative Shepard I believe that's the statue for everybody is that correct? Yes sir it is the statue for everybody this is not a new rule for us. All we're doing is changing the four appointments from the Board of Education to the county commissioners. Representative Stevens. Thank you Mr. Chair. I move that we give a favorable report to PCS for House Bill 188 unfavorable as to the original. Can you hold just a minute just so I need to ask one more question? Anybody else have any comments or questions? I'm sorry. Representative Insko, go ahead. So just to understand, the county commissioners would now have, and I apologize, I read this before I came in, but the county commissioners would now have eight? Representative Insko, I think it's seven for Rutherford County and two or three, I can't remember, I think it's three for Polk County since it's a multi-county campus. And who are the other appointing bodies now? No. Under your bill who else would make appointments beside the county commissioners? It doesn't change. Still the governor has the appointments, and I think the student body president has immediate appointment to the board also. Representative Goodman. Thank you, Mr. Chair, I, just want to make a comment. Given the relationship between K12 education and community colleges, and especially with the expansion of the college high school and those things. I think it's very important that we keep school board appointments on the community college board and I just want to state I'm going to vote against the motion. Thank you.   Mr. Chairman if I could respond, Go ahead please. Thank you. Mr. Gibbon I appreciate your opinion on that but what we have is the education system and if you can fix this problem, I think we can discuss it. We have an education system in county that has consistently over the last decade been 200 points behind the state average, has consistently been over the state average and dropout rate has consistently been in the 70-75 percent of remediation rates. I think the Board of Education needs to focus on Rutherford County children in K-12 before they start focusing on what happens in the ICC.

Some people have said, Well, the relationship between ICC and the Board of Education has been great, and that's good. It is and it will stay that way. I don't think these appointments will change the relationship between the Board of Education and ICC, if it does we have a whole other problem sitting there. So I think what we have to do is focus on the K-12 education to make sure we do, analysts say you get up to state standards, get up to state averages before we start putting that pressure and putting that emphasis on something else. It's a focus issue more than anything. Representative Goodman. Before us is a motion for a favorable report to the PCS for House Bill 188, no other referral. I pose the question, All in favor, say Aye. Aye. All opposed No. No. In the opinion of the Chair, the Ayes have it. The Ayes have it and the Bill passes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And.