There were two items that WakeEd was following in the short legislative session that we haven’t written about in a while. The first is the H657 bill, known as the Math Standards bill, and the second is H1080, the Achievement School Districts bill.
The Math Standards bill was a late addition to the legislative calendar. It had passed the House in 2015 in one form and was sitting in a Senate committee this year when its text was replaced entirely with a new version that would’ve required high schools to offer two tracks of math curriculum.
The bill passed out of the Senate and was sent to the House for final approval before going to Gov. Pat McCrory for signature. The House didn’t approve the bill and sent it to a joint conference committee for final negotiations. The bill died when the session ended on July 1.
On the other hand, the Achievement School Districts bill was approved by both chambers and sent to the governor for signature on June 30. Gov. McCrory has not signed the bill yet, and under state law he has until July 30 to sign or veto the bill. If he takes no action, a move known as a “pocket veto”, the bill will become law automatically.
WCPSS is not directly affected by the Achievement School Districts law because none of the schools are low performing enough to qualify. Plus, WCPSS has already adopted a model to help improve lower performing elementary schools with its Elementary Support Model region. This group of 12 elementary schools works underneath its own area superintendent Dr. James Overman, and two of the schools – Barwell Road Elementary and Walnut Creek Elementary – have moved to a year-round calendar and will operate starting this school year with charter school-like flexibilities such as having extended school days. The schools also receive extra student supports and the teacher receive additional professional development.