We have passed the crossover deadline in the General Assembly!
Last Thursday, May 13, marked crossover in the General Assembly. As a result, bills that do not include any appropriations must have passed either the House or Senate chamber by this deadline. Bills that do not cross over are no longer eligible to be considered for the remainder of the 2021-22 legislative session.
Read a recent summary from EdNC here about education legislation that survived crossover.
For charter schools, there is some good news moving forward! During this session, lawmakers have been considering TWO charter school omnibus bills. These bills are quite different. The first bill, H 729, contains provisions favorable to charters. The second bill, H 920, is an anti-charter bill that includes provisions restricting charter autonomy in significant ways.
Charter Schools Omnibus (H 729)
H 729 passed the House on Wednesday by a vote of 63-52, and has now moved on to the Senate. This bill would enable charters to provide blended instruction; would authorize counties to provide charters with capital funds; would ensure funding parity for charters; and would permit charter teachers to receive residency licensure. Access the bill history for H 729 here.
Last Wednesday, the Coalition sent out a statewide call to action, asking charter leaders to contact their representatives in the House regarding an amendment to H 729. That amendment, which would have removed Part II (authorizing counties to provide charters with capital funds), failed. Thank you for taking action! As we mentioned above, the bill then went on to pass the House.
A special thank-you to Rep. Brockman
We would especially like to share our appreciation with Rep. Cecil Brockman (D) – Guilford for voting in favor of H 729. Please feel free to contact him to thank him for his support of public charter schools. He can be reached at Cecil.Brockman@ncleg.gov or 919.733.5825.
Charter School Omnibus (H 920)
We have also been tracking a second, and very different, charter omnibus bill, filed on May 10. H 920 – Charter School Omnibus would severely restrict charter autonomy. Fortunately, this bill did not “cross over” to the Senate. As a result, it will not move forward.
Here is the list of H 920’s sponsors:
- Rep. Julie von Haefen (D) – Wake
- Rep. Cynthia Ball (D) – Wake
- Rep. Susan Fisher (D) – Buncombe; House Democratic Whip
- Rep. Rosa Gill (D) – Wake
- Rep. John Autry (D) – Mecklenburg
- Rep. Terry Garrison (D) – Granville, Vance, Warren
- Rep. Pricey Harrison (D) – Guilford
- Rep. Carolyn Logan (D) – Mecklenburg
- Rep. Nasif Majeed (D) – Mecklenburg
- Rep. Raymond Smith (D)- Sampson, Wayne; House Democratic Whip
- Rep. Brian Farkas (D) – Pitt
- Rep. Wesley Harris (D) – Mecklenburg
This bill is a clear and concerning example of what could await charter schools if we do not remain alert and vigilant about protecting charter autonomy. It’s also a stark reminder of the importance of working to elect charter supporters to the legislature, no matter the party.
While the bill did not cross over, any of the mandates in it could appear as amendments to other bills. Maintaining charter autonomy in the face of legislative threats such as this one is the reason why the Coalition is in Raleigh! We are committed to safeguarding your autonomy as charter leaders.