Members, are we on? Will members please get to your seats so we can get started. The sergeant at arms that are helping us today, Young Bae, Martha Gaddison, David Collins, and Carl Morello. And our pages that are helping us are Cameron Warren from Cumberland, Glazier is the supporter, Walker Winslow Lenore Brown, Blake Weismann from Wake County ???, and Spencer Carney from Nash College. I call the meeting to order. Our first bill today is house bill 1062, schematic diagrams and keys to schools and this is a PCS and I have a motion to put it on the floor. We have a motion to have the PCS on the floor. All in favor say aye. Opposed no. The ayes have it, the motion is carried. And where is that? Representative Torbett [SPEAKER CHANGE] Motion for a favorable report Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Hang on. I like it though, I like it. Does any member have any debate on the bill? Representative? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Did I miss it in an earlier meeting that we had a discussion of this bill? [SPEAKER CHANGE] What? I didn’t understand what you said, sorry. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I heard there was a motion for house bill 1062 and I was out of the room for part of last weeks’ meeting and I wonder whether it’s been discussed in this committee? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Not in this committee. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Could we have a two minute presentation? [SPEAKER CHANGE] I am not opposed to a discussion, I just asked. That’s the reason I didn’t take his motion, if I had wanted to do that I would have taken his motion. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I appreciate it, if I had been out of the room and missed it that’s one thing but having been here I would like a short explanation of the bill please. [SPEAKER CHANGE] You can get that. I think ??? he’s asking for an explanation of this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGE] The proposed committee substitute for house bill 1062 basically does two things. It adds two new statutes and provides that LEAs have to give to their local law enforcement agencies specific information, schematic diagrams of their school buildings and emergency access to key storage devices such as knox boxes. It’s our understanding that, for example fire departments already have access to these storage devices or the knox boxes and this would add local law enforcement to have access as well. The department with public instruction in consultation with the department of public safety would help develop standards and guidelines for the preparation and content of the schematic diagrams and the updates that would need to be done. The second statute would have LEAs provide to the division of emergency management at the department of public safety specific information including the schematic diagrams of the school buildings, and emergency response information that the division would request for its school risk management plan and the emergency response plan. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Holloway. This is Representative Holloway’s bill. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chair. Members of the committee I was so focused on the other bill that I didn’t even notice that this one was our bill on schematics. This is a bill that actually passed last session. It was the school safety bill and I worked with a number of people on it, it was a bipartisan bill and it passed the house and as we went through the process of dealing with our friends on the other side this got left out. It was a PCS ??? before Representative Torbett I think had amended it and made some changes that gave some concern to our law enforcement and our firefighters. I think Representative Torbett that has been worked out and he’s not in his head yet..
And so this bill is before you, and the purpose of it is so that law enforcement, if tragedy occurs – if a child or someone brings a gun to a school or if someone shows up at a school with a weapon, it lets law enforcement know what they’re walking into – to know the interior of the building, to be able to set up perimeters. It’s just an extra tool to help them provide safety for our kids. And Representative Lucas, do you have anything you wanted to say? And so just asking for your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any debate from members? Representative Speciale. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I understand the schematics; I’m a little confused on the keys. If there’s an emergency at the school, I don’t think an officer’s going to stand there looking for the right key to try and unlock the door; they’re going to get in that building one way or another. And I’ve been approached by some law enforcement saying they don’t want the responsibility – that they will get in there however they got to get in there. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chair? And Representative Torbett, remind me. Your PCS I think addresses that and allows them to breach the door. And if I can, Representative Speciale, recognize Representative Torbett, and I think he can answer your question with that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Torbett? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman and Representative Holloway. Representative Speciale, the bill that was in front of us last week would do exactly like you’re talking about. There’s no way in a large school district would one expect to have bazillion keys in a cigar box somewhere only to search through and find which one fit whatever door, so what this provision does is add – or what this PCS does – is provide that availability onsite. It was already there through the fire department, so this provides access to law enforcement. It does not prohibit an emergency tactical situation as far as the way a police entity may enter the building. It does not prohibit that. They will get in to the best of their ability, the easiest access at any time, but if the opportunity is that they simply are going in to check, say an alarm goes off or something, this gives them instant access via a key located somewhere on the property. So I think the concerns have been removed. Plus it also gives them instead of a paper rollout diagram or schematic of the school, it gives them for tactical purposes digital or digitized information of that as well for easier access. Thank you Representative Holloway and thank you Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other member? Representative Glazier? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman and thank you Representative Lucas, Representative Holloway. I fully support the bill and I think also, weren’t these recommendations one that came both from the International Chiefs of Police Association and from the Fire Chiefs Association nationally? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any others? Representative Torbett. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For a motion worded, how would you like to word it, Mr. Chairman? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Favorable to the proposed committee substitute as amended, rolled into the new proposed committee substitute with a favorable report to the new committee substitute, and an unfavorable report to the original bill. That is the way we want to say it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sounds excellent. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have the motion before. All in favor of the motion, say “Aye”. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed, “No”. The ayes have it and the motion’s carried. Our next bill is Senate Bill 370, Respect for Student Prayer, and we have Senator Bingham who’s handling this. Senator. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I’m Senator Warren Daniel and I appreciate being able to come before this committee today and discuss this bill. The bill before you brought the Senate together in a 48 to nothing vote – a very bipartisan bill. In terms of statutory protections of student-led prayer and religious activity, I believe North Carolina is behind many other states. To mention a few, Tennessee passed the Student Religious Liberty Act in 1997, Texas enacted a model policy governing voluntary religious expression in public schools in 2007, South Carolina passed the religious Viewpoints Anti-Discrimination Act in 2010, both Utah and Virginia have passed laws protecting student religious expression in 1993 and 2008. What prompted Senator Bingham, Senator Hise and I to file this bill were two incidents that occurred in McDowell County.
2012 first involved a first grader who wrote a poem for her school’s Veterans Day about her grandfather’s service in Viet Nam. Because the poem made references to her grandfather’s faith in God during his military service, it was censored by school administrators. I’m not sure if an article was passed out about that or not, in the committee, but you could Google that this moment and you could find national news articles about this. Can you imagine how this child felt when she was told that she couldn’t read her poem in the Veterans Day ceremony as if she had actually done something wrong? Another matter of concern arose in McDowell County involving coaches being advised that they may not be present when student athletes gather to pray, during, before or after sporting events. This bill just makes clear that student-led prayer may be, that faculty may be present and may adopt a respectful posture when there is student-led prayer. Because of these incidents and the perception of constitutional inconsistency in school districts across the state, Senator Bingham, Senator Hise and I began putting this bill together last Spring in hopes of establishing a state wide policy respecting student prayer and religious activity on school campuses. While I’m don’t claim to be a constitutional scholar I do know it is the fundamental principal of constitutional law that school officials may not oppress or exclude the personal speech of a student simply because the speech is religious or contains a religious perspective. US Supreme Court has held that students do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. Rather, school officials must permit students to convey private religious sentiments through the written and oral school assignments and even through student presentations at celebratory events like a Veterans Day ceremony. Since at least 1995, US Department of Education guidelines have stated that students may express their beliefs about religion in the form of homework, artwork and other written assignments free of discrimination based on the religious content of the submission. Incidents like the censorship of this young student’s poem about her grandfather’s service in Viet Nam is repugnant to the First Amendment rights of all students and sends an impermissible message of hostility towards religion. The bill before you was crafted with the help of staff using language from similar statutes in several other states, taking into consideration existing case law on the topic. I hope the committee will give this bill a favorable report and create more consistency across the state for student religious expression. Thank you, Mr. Chairman for allowing me to present. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members, anyone who wishes to speak on the bill? Representative? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Make a motion, at the proper time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay. Representative Glazier. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, to speak on the bill, and then for an amendment that I think is pending. I first want to express my appreciation to both the Senator and Representative Dobson. He shared this with me last week, and we worked through it. It’s my view that 99.9% of this bill is crafted appropriately and very faithfully to both the Constitution and to federal law. And I think it simply says in most respects everything that I believe to be accurate as a matter of law and the rights that both students and faculty have in schools. And although most of it is elsewhere sometimes we forget to look elsewhere, and so I have no objection whatsoever in seeing it in the statutes. But there is one section for me, and I think Representative Luebke has one amendment as well, and Representative Dobson and I were working on this. And if you’ll turn to the last page of the bill, and it’s on page 3, subsection C, and let me read the sentence and then explain why I believe a clause in it to be unconstitutional. School employees supervising extracurricular activities including coaches may be present while a student or group of students exercises their voluntary right to pray, as provided in our statute. And if present, shall not be disrespectful of student exercise of such rights, and may adopt a respectful posture. Everything up to the word rights in line 13 I think is consistent with the case law. The problem is, and I suggested a simple amendment to resolve it and with the hopes that we could have a unanimous bill, and no litigation possibilities and no issues. The problem with it is the adopting a respectful posture. And it’s not my analysis but there’s two cases, pretty much directly on point. One from the fifth circuit and one from the third circuit. And both of them are very clear in their analysis that it gets into the
Under the first amendment when you have teachers participating in a way that quote crosses the line and endorses the practice that’s going on by creating or being involved in the particular posture. Let me give you the two cases so that you know what’s happening here. In Borden v. Brunswick which was a third circuit case, in reviewing the claims by a coach who simply wished to bow his head during a student led prayer at a team dinner and take a knee with his players while the students led the team in prayer, the third circuit looking back at the fifth circuit case reached a similar conclusion that a respectful display is permissible but only where it doesn’t cross the line. The third circuit concluded that a reasonable observer with knowledge of the history and context of the display, in this case the coach had led his team in prayers on a number of occasions which concludes his actions were, at the level this was occurring, viewed by the students as an endorsement of that particular religious exercise and struck it out. That is the third circuit case, it relied as I said on a fifth circuit case that came to the exact same conclusion. The problem here is that clause. If we pass the rest of this bill I would hope we would all vote for it, but that clause and what it’s going to do, number one we know there’s two circuit cases out there from two different parts of the country that have struck this down. Where it will go, I don’t know. Whether it will ever be challenged, I don’t know. I suspect that it would and for me I can’t see why we would want to put that clause in to create what then it seems a pretty obvious constitutional challenge when the rest of the bill does exactly what the law requires and gives all the rights that we want to give to kids, to students, to parents, and to personnel and so my amendment Mr. Chairman simply moves to put a period after the words rights and just eliminates the words and may adopt a respectful posture. In my view that may happen anyway but we don’t and ought not set it in the law when we know it’s been struck down in two other places and therefore just sort of send a neon sound out there for the next plaintiff to say go file your constitutional claim. That’s my true problem with the bill and my only problem with the bill. I move in this case for the adoption of the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] We’ve had amendment on page 3 after line 13 rewriting the lines rights Senator Daniel do you have some comment on that? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the members comments on this topic. I really think it’s a sad day in America when we can’t tell a coach that they can bow their head when a student is leading a prayer in an extracurricular activity. We’ve got so many problems in our schools, drugs, teenage pregnancies, homeless students, and I would just ask the committee to defeat the amendment that’s my thoughts on it. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I have some people that I don’t if the people who have already spoke wanted to speak on the amendment but that’s what we’re on now. Just whose on the amendment. Representative Speciale. [SPEAKER CHANGE] It just breaks my hear that we’re at the point in American history that we even have to have a bill here like this. The constitution is very clear. Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof, that’s very clear. It doesn’t say Congress shall make no appearances of supporting religion, it’s referring to Congress and it’s saying they shall pass no law, that’s as clear as it can be. Anything about separation of church and state, all that stuff, it’s not in the constitution and to think that someone that works in a school cannot bow their head if they choose to, there’s nothing in here mandating that they do that, puts us in a really really bad spot. We need to remember what this country was founded on, regardless of what you believe do your history and look at what principles this country was founded on. I ask you to not support this amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Luebke do you want to speak on the amendment? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Not on the amendment sir. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Shepard you want to speak on the amendment? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Okay. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chair. My question is can someone define for me what you mean by respectful posture?
I think I understand what they’re talking about. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I don’t know who wants to take that, do you want to take that Senator or do we need? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Maybe we should let staff if they have an opinion on that. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Staff? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Carol McCraw, research division. The bill does not define respectful posture, the case law that has been on this issue it was generally a teacher or a coach bowing their head while students were praying but there’s no definition for what that would mean. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Follow up. I just want to make a comment toward that. I’ve seen this done several times in the school system in football games and basketball games and so forth and personally I don’t think the coach is going to be there if they’re not respectful of what the students are doing so I support this bill 100% but I don’t know this makes a difference one way or the other as far as the students and the coaches and the teachers being able to be there and supportive of what the students are doing. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Pittman, you want to speak on the amendment? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Okay. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Article 1 section 13 of the North Carolina constitution says all persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences and no human authority shall in any case whatever control or interfere with the rights of conscience. I submit to you sir that the activity we’re talking about on the part of the coach or whoever is a matter of the right of conscience and all persons would include coach, teacher, parents, whoever it might be whose present so I believe this amendment would violate article 1 section 13 of our constitution and if anybody wants to take us to court on that I think it’s time for us not to back down on it. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Dobson you want to speak? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I’ll just say I’m not an attorney or a constitution scholar but if this was something on the fringe I would not be supporting it. My whole thought is if a group of students are praying around a flagpole, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to me if it’s a teacher or personnel sees that happening to bow their head like that, I don’t think that’s unreasonable, I don’t think that’s out of the question and that’s basically to me what a respectful posture is. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Brandon you want to speak on the amendment? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Yes sir. I wanted to speak on this because this is kind of personal to me as I was the president of my high school’s fellowship of Christian athletes and I always had to fight this fight continuously continuously about how what we could do with students and what the participant is from our folks. I think Representative Glazier makes a good point but I think the case law that we are discussing is coach led or teacher led prayers and I think that when you reverse it, when you have a student led operation I really don’t think that there is a case law that says we cannot have a coach or a teacher to participate in something that is already student led and I think that it actually proposes comradery around it. We had a lot of issues with this at my high school. We actually had to have attorneys come in and I think that they actually supported out football coach being able to be at our prayers and our prayers before school and our prayers before the meeting as long as it was student led. It is a different situation, we have to be very clear about that, if the coach actually leads a prayer, but if the students are doing it and the coach wants to join in I think that’s a different case study. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Glazier you wanted to say something? [SPEAKER CHANGE] I do want to respond. First let me make it really clear this is not Glazier’s recitation on the constitution here. First point to get back and I want to be very clear, Representative Brandon I appreciate all your experiences but actually both cases deal with student led and what can happen and that’s exactly what these cases are. Doe vs. Duncanville fifth circuit upheld a ruling that school employees could not participate in or supervise, be a part of student led prayers, noting the coaches were representatives of the school as such and it went on and on. ??? went further and did the case that I told so these both were student led exercise issues. Secondly as far as the state constitution, and I recognize Representative Pittman’s citation to it, but of course the first amendment and..
… case law trumps by the supremacy clause the North Carolina provision. I don’t agree or disagree; that’s not my point in raising it. My point in raising it is we ought not be passing provisions which we know have case law put there that declare them unconstitutional, particularly when the rest of the bill is so exceptionally well-crafted and won’t cause a problem, and so I think my point was to alert the body that we’re simply setting ourselves up, based on existing case law, to be sued, and if we want to do that, that’s certainly the prerogative. I just don’t view it as a part of my oath that when I see cases that are decided in multiple circuits in the country directly on point, saying there’s a constitutional problem, that we can just sort of sit here and say “Well let’s just get sued.” I think we have a point to the taxpayers to make sure that we’re on point as well, and that was my only point in raising this – not to get into a major policy debate because frankly I’m not sure I disagree with the policy assessment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Jeter? [SPEAKER CHANGES] My question may be directed to the amendment sponsor if he’ll yield in a second. The greatest college football coach currently out there is Dabo Swinney of Clemson University, as we all know. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That’s a matter of question but we’ll let you out. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That’s the next amendment I’m running. It’s interesting, and I say that with sincerity, because Dabo just ran into a problem where he was in essence baptizing players, which was a proactive act by a coach at a college state institution. It received a lot of national media in the most recent year. I can see a difference between a coach actively baptizing his players and the difficulty for a non-Christian player to feel like they’re a part of a team. I understand the argument there. I guess my question is if I extrapolate this out, if a coach was wearing a cross, if a coach was wearing symbols of the Jewish faith, symbols of the Muslim faith that I’m not as familiar with – with all due respect to those faiths; I’m just not as familiar with what their visible signs are – does that not also lead us down a path? Because I don’t think we want to get to the point of saying you can’t wear a cross, because certainly that’s a visible sign of a religious organization that the players are going to interpret. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well first of all, Representative Jeter… I’m sorry Mr. Chairman, may I speak? [SPEAKER CHANGES] You got it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. First of all Representative Jeter, we’ll just have to get you some Jewish bling that you can wear, so… but when we get past that, the answer to your question is no, there’s absolutely no limitation on what you can wear. That’s not involved in this. This is engaging in… and what it’s referring to in the case law refers to… because the beginning of the sentence says they can supervise, they can be present, they are not to be disrespectful to the exercise, but when you get into it in the posturing, clearly is the case law; involvement physically in the activity is when the line is crossed because now you’re going from simply you’re acknowledging and supervising to being a part of it, and that’s where for as a minority kid in a minority religion, that becomes a problem which I think is where these cases are coming out of. So all you’re talking about’s perfectly fine. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Stam? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, briefly. Under our little-known rule, you can tell about a subsequent amendment as a reason to defeat this one. I have an amendment coming up that will just have a more robust severability clause that will specifically say – or clauses, so that since we appear to all like the bill itself, this should allay Representative Glazier’s concern that this problem may bring down a major part of the bill, so… We don’t get to pass it out now, but I’m just saying I’m voting against it, but I’m also cognizant of the fact that there’s a slight chance he might be right and you don’t want the bill to go down. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Martin? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. I’m a Presbyterian. If you look at the numbers, we are sadly on our way to becoming a minority denomination I think. We’re also known as probably being too boring to have Presbyterian bling, but maybe that’s what we need to do to boost our numbers. I want to commend the bill sponsors first of all. I think as a father, nothing would make me more proud than to have a daughter who went to school and did an essay talking about the connection of my faith to my military service, and as that same father, nothing would make me angrier than to have someone at the schools to tell her…
That you couldn’t write that so the extent that this bill addresses that problem, as the father of a veteran thank you very much. In looking at Representative Glazier’s amendment, nothing in his amendment would alter or in any way weaken the ability of this bill, this great bill to fix the problem that you’ve identified. I appreciate my friend from Wake County, Representative Stam’s comments about the robust severability clause that may be coming. I think that partially fixes the problem but in the end as members of the state legislature, we sometimes under certain laws when we’re writing new laws we do get to have a big say in what we actually think the law should be, but where the courts, to which we are bound to follow their dictates, have ruled on these issues we can sit here and talk all day about what we would like to have the law be, but in the end the law is what the courts have said it is or the constitution is what the courts have said it is and short of amending the constitution and our role as the state legislature in that, there’s not much we can really do. So while certainly a robust severability clause would in the end improve the chances of this bill, or at least the portions that I’m very appreciative of, surviving, I think given that it preserves really almost everything the bill we’d like to see if we pass Representative Glazier’s amendment we avoid the taxpayer’s the cost of even have to litigate that at all and still getting what I think we all want in the bill anyway so I’d urge you to support this amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Michaux. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I pass. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Jones. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chairman. To briefly speak on the amendment, I think any time that we pass laws here we should be as clear as possible and I think that this particular phrase in question is a clarifying phrase. I agree with some of the comments earlier, I think that it would be nice if we didn’t have to clarify this and it’s a shame truly that we are at a point in our society where such laws have to be passed and have to be clarified. I would like to point out the fact that its says may and not shall, that is something that we often discuss here. It is not a shall, it does not direct what one must do, what one shall do, it simply clarifies what one may do and I think we still live in a free country, I think there should be freedom of expression if one wants to bow his head or stand on his knee he should be able to do that and quite frankly that should be obvious whether this phrase is in there or not, but the truth of the matter is that the context of this is we live in a society where there is an all out assault on God in the public square. I would like to think that we do still live in a constitutional republic, but the truth of the matter is there’s often rule by judicial fiat if you will and we can have ten million citizens of the state of North Carolina speak, the majority turning out in an election, their representatives can speak on their behalf, and we all know that it only takes one activist judge, one lawsuit as we’ve heard about. Are we at the point where we can’t pass laws here anymore because there might be a judge somewhere, because there might be someone somewhere that will file a lawsuit? Let’s just be honest, people will file lawsuits regardless of what we do so I think that it is only right that we clarify to the person that they may adopt a respectful posture because somebody out there is going to try to make the argument that you can be there and not be disrespectful but you can’t take the proactive measure if you want to join in and actually bow your head. It is a shame as we’ve heard that we are at that point but that is what will happen and so this is a clarifying measure, I support the bill as it is and I oppose the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Jordan. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I’m very supportive of this bill and I’m not saying that so I can then go on and say but I have a problem. I do support this bill. What I’m concerned about here and I would like to see the circuit opinions, and I would ask my friend Representative Glazier if he shares my shock that there are federal circuits out there that are abridging the first amendment right, freedom of religion of school employees and educators. Because that’s clearly what that circuit of opinions seem to do. That these employees and educators cannot be involved and participate..
Not against our intent, our law. It doesn’t requirement it and doesn’t say they should or should not do it but simply allows that they may do it and I think that helps clarify. If we take it out, we’re making this more vague and opening it up to attack from all sides. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Folks we have heard all sides of this. I’ve got a couple people who want to speak but I’m going to close debate on this amendment. We’ve got another bill we need to take up, it’s going to take a lot of time too so I need to close out on this so let’s vote on Representative Glazier’s amendment at this time. All in favor of Representative Glazier’s amendment say aye. All opposed to Representative Glazier’s amendment say no. All in favor raise your hand. All opposed raise your hand. We have twenty eight opposed to the amendment and eleven for, the amendment fails. Representative Luebke. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I do have problems with the bill although I completely understand the intent of the bill that freedom of expression, of religious expression for students is very important and this bill underscores that, but I think we move into a problematic area and an area which leads me not to be able to support the bill when on the first page in section A4 or lines 24-27 begin talking about distribution. Distribution of the religious material leads to lots of problems. There can be multiple religions in a school. The way this bill is written, it’s not just to express your view but to hand out your view and handing it out means you can have multiple handouts occurring all the time. Now I want to ask staff just one question whether it is possible under the law, current law, to distribute material advocating for the libertarian party, the republican party, or the democratic party? Is that allowable under current law? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Staff? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Luebke it would depend on the individual school’s policy with regard to distribution of literature by students and that’s done on a case by case basis for schools. There’s no statewide law regarding whether students could distribute political materials at schools. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you. I bring that up to say you can imagine what kind of problems you can incur in a school where you say if you can pass out materials about material about the boy scouts and the cub scouts, you can pass out material about the candidates for office. You can imagine what kind of chaos that would represent in a public school if this was happening, and the same thing is true here with the distribution of religious literature. Let’s say your distribution of religious literature has a political point of view that is absolutely current to a political issue that is before the voters of the state. Again remember I’m not objecting to the expressing of views on the issue, but I am objecting to the issue of the idea of passing out literature for or against the issue and having multiple religions, multiple denominations within Christianity begin to express themselves. Not just express themselves, which is fine, but pass out literature on the issue. And if you say what are you talking about? Let’s just think about the relationship between religion and amendment one two years ago in 2012..
Speaker 1: …appears to honor case law. I beg to differ with them, that’s not my responsibility. My responsibility, and I believe our responsibility, is to honor the Constitution and the rights of the citizens. Plessy v Ferguson was right, that was case law right? But it was found to be wrong as in many, many, many Supreme Court decisions. The Ninth Circuit is constantly wrong. Two-thirds of their decisions are overrode by the Supreme Court. Case law, it doesn’t necessarily go in accordance with the Constitution and that’s the document we need to be looking at and we have the right to free speech, we have the right. Especially our schools, that’s what they’re there to teach. If anybody remembers, the schools used to hand out Bibles, that was the book that they learned from when the public school system was first started in this country. All your Ivy League Universities were religious schools and the Bible was the book that they used. How in the world did we get where we’re at now? I’ll tell you how. By believing that case law is the thing that we need to, if you have a bad rule you don’t keep expounding on that bad rule. I’m not a lawyer, okay? I’m just a retired marine who spent twenty years in defense of our freedom and I’m not going to quit now and neither should you. I ask that you do not support this amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Tom Thillis: Representative Susan Martin. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Susan Martin: Thank you Mr. Chair. I just want to share some personal, on the ground practical experience. Before coming up here I worked regularly as a volunteer in the elementary school and often groups would come by with materials that they wanted passed out that we would put in the boxes in each office if they were approved and the fact that this says “to the same extent and processes as other materials” which is not just opening the door. I mean those are vetted by the local schools. Additionally, I work with my daughters. They started the FCA (sp?) chapter in their middle school and my older daughter is the co-president in her high school and we regularly hand out materials at those events if students choose to come but that doesn’t mean a free for all if you’re not attending an even like that that you wouldn’t have the material. So I oppose the amendment and support the language that’s here, that says that they’re not just discriminated against and that it would still be vetted by the school system. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Tom Thillis: Representative Bart (sp?) [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Bart (sp?): Thank you Mr. Chairman. My concern is, and I would ask my Constitutional scholars that are colleagues here, is how does this not run afoul of the viewpoint discrimination clearly decided by the Supreme Court. When a public forum is opened up in the schools which is the schools choice to decide once it is opened up, you cannot discrimination between religious and non religious distribution and for that reason alone I ask you to defeat this amendment [SPEAKER CHANGES] Tom Thillis: We have the amendment before us. And we now vote. All in favor of the amendment say aye. All oppose no. Amendment fails. (inaudible) do you want to sandboard (sp?) an amendment? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speaker 2: I have an amendment. It’s been distributed if I may speak to it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Tom Thillis: You may. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speaker 2: It’s just a more robust. The underlying bill says that if any provision of this bill is declared unconstitutional, da da da, this just breaks it down. Any Senate’s clause or provision so that a judge doesn’t try to strike down more than what’s necessary if that happened. You know, third circuit is very liberal, fifth circuit’s very conservative, who knows what the fourth circuit would do but this would preserve ninety-nine point nine percent of the bill in that bad circumstances. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Tom Thillis: Senator, you’d like to comment on that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Speaker 3: If I could. Thank you for that amendment, I’d support the amendment and I hope that that will address some of Representatives Leubke’s and Representatives Glazier’s concerns. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Tom Thillis: Representative Glazier. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rick Glazier: I do support the amendment, I think it’s a good rewrite and I think there was a severability clause in the bill and I think this just makes it a better severability clause so if there is any litigation over that clause that was the subject of the amendment it doesn’t strike the rest of the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Tom Thillis: Any other discussion? All in favor of the stated amendment say aye. All opposed no. The ayes have it, the amendment is passed. We’re back on the bill as amended. (inaudible). All in favor of the bill say aye. I’m out of place here. Y’all have got me confused. Larry would you like to the motion that we need to make to do this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Larry Bell/Hall/Pittman: Yes [SPEAKER CHANGES] Tom Thillis: And that we have
favor to the bill and amended and rolled in to the proposed committee substitute with a favor repot to the committee, substitute an unfavorable one to the original. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So moved [SPEAKER CHANGES] All in favor of the amendment say ‘aye.’ [MANY SPEAKERS] ‘AYE’ [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed, ‘no.’ [FEWER SPEAKERS] ‘NO’ [SPEAKER CHANGES] The ‘AYE’s have it, the motion is carried. Thank you senator. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The house maintains its position of talking a lot. Our next bill is House Bill ten sixty one (1061). Representative Holloway[???]. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This is to replace common core standards in with North Carolina higher academic standards. We need a motion for the PCS[???] enforced. It is moved that the PCS[???] is enforced. All in favor say ‘AYE.’ [SPEAKER CHANGES] ‘AYE’ [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed ‘No.’ [SPEAKER CHANGES] [INDISTINCT] [SPEAKER CHANGES] ‘AYE’s have it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chair – [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Holloway[???] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, I have an inquiry to the chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes [SPEAKER CHANGES] Where did this bill come from? [SPEAKER CHANGES] It is a common core LRC committee that was appointed in the interim and the common core LRC committee made a recommendation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That correct? OK. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair and members of the committee. I need to first start off by thanking my colleagues that are standing here behind me. Representative Horn[???], Representative Pitman[???], Representative Speciale[???], who all three have spent a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of energy working on this bill. And as I stated in the interim, we had a common core legislative research commission which looked at this issue. I’m just going to make a few brief statements and then I’m going to refer to staff and let staff just walk us through the bill. It’s not a very long bill, but walk us through it. But what I want to start off with is to answer a few things that this bill does and does not do. Does this bill replace common core, and the answer is yes. Does it replace it instantly, the answer is no. And the reason for that is because the race to the top, because of some of the strings that were attached to that grant and we do not want to find ourself in the situation to send forward one hundred million dollars back to the federal government. So with that being said, this bill does replace common core, but it does not rip the rug out from under us today. Will this bill leave us with no standards, will we operate for a period of time with no standards, the answer to that is no. We will not. This bill simply tells the state board of education that next year when they do their five year review, and they do this every five years, they review the standards, it’s not directed by us, they do it every year on their own, we’re telling them not to move down the common core road that we want them to take another direction. To provide assistance we are creating a commission that is advisory, they do not have rule making authority, but we will assemble a group of experts that will help and assist our state board to pick standards that are proper for North Carolina. We are not trying to weaken standards. We actually would prefer to have even stronger standards. Common core is not the only set of standards in the nation that we can chose from. And we, again, want them to be assembled in a way that is proper for this state. And we want standards that are rigorous and very challenging for our students. Again, this will replace common core. It does remove it. But it does so in such a way that, again, that we do not find ourself in a situation with the federal government. And with that, I’ll refer to staff if you want to walk us through the bill. I’ll be happy for you to do that, and then we’ll take questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Staff [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you representative, members of the committee. If you’ll look on the back of your bill summary you’ll see the bill analysis for the PCS[???] and you can follow along also in the text of the PCS[???], so section one of the PCS[???] adds some duties to the state board of education --
And in your bill those are the things that are underlined and the duties would be to ensure that North Carolina’s academic content standards reflect North Carolina’s priorities and that they are age and developmentally appropriate. The state board of education would be required to consult with the academic standards review commission when they revise the English language arts and the mathematics standards. In section 1b you’ll see a new section and that section prohibits the state board of education from entering into any sort of contract or agreement understand that would see the control of the standard course of study and any related assessments. The state board of education also in section 1 would be directed to comprehensively review the English language arts and mathematics standards and replace these standards with new standards that are at least as high academically as the current standards. The state board of ed. can benchmark their replacement standards with those of other states and other nations but they must maintain North Carolina’s independence from federal control. The state board of education is directed to remove the common core copyright and any references to the common core from North Carolina’s standard course of study. Section 2 of the PCS establishes a permanent academic standards review commission composed of nine members. You may recall from the original bill there were 17 members, the PCS removes all elected officials. The new makeup of the board, there would be three members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and three members appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate and these appointees may represent parents of students in the public schools and English language arts and mathematics teachers and curricula experts and those could be at the university level as well as the K-12 level. Two members of the state board of education would be appointed by the Chair of the state board including the Chair or his or her designee and a member of the state board of education who represents the state board’s task force on summative assessments. An additional member of the commission would be appointed by the governor. The terms are set out to be staggered and the co-chairs would be elected by the members of the commission. This commission would be located administratively in the department of administration and their duties are to conduct a comprehensive review of the English language arts and mathematics standards, recommend changes to these standards, any reductions in high stakes assessments that would be aligned to the standards. The commission is also directed to consider any impact on educators including the need for professional development when they make these recommendations. The commission should begin meeting no later than September the first of this year and may contract with a facilitator. Section 3 of the bill repeals GS115c-174.11c3 and I’ll just read that to you. That current language says that the state board shall continue to participate in the development of the common core state standards in conjunction with a consortium of other states review all national assessments developed by multi-state consortia and implement the assessments that the state board deems most appropriate to assess student achievement on the common core state standards so section 3 would repeal that part of the statute. Section 4 also makes some statutory changes. The current language directs the state board of education to consider the common core state standards when they came up with a local process to accredit school and section 4 redacts that language so that the state board of ed. would just consider what academic standards would be needed to held to accredit local boards of education and local school administrative units. Section 5 builds on language that was passed in last year’s budget. Last year’s budget said that the state board of education could not purchase in..
the assessments that are aligned to the common core without legislative action, this year it says they cannot purchase or implement and they cannot consider the assessments that are being developed by the park and the Smarter Balanced Consortium when they are looking at nationally normed assessments. Section 6 directs local boards of education to continue to implement the current standard course of study until they receive official notice from the state board of education that the standard course of study has been changed. Section 7 prohibits the gathering of any personally identifiable student data on several items such as their own or their family's religion or political affiliation. Section 8 provides an appropriation. This is a reduction from the original bill, offers $250,000 in the PCS, reduces that appropriation to $75,000 to contract with the facilitators and experts. This PCS would become effective on July 1st 2014. Thank you representatives. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Holloway, anything else? [SPEAKER CHANGE] I'm good unless the members have any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Tine[sp?] [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I would like to offer an amendment and explain it's already in front of the committee members, it's already been passed out. And I appreciate the work of the committee because there has been a lot of frustration with the implementation of common core. As a parent I feel like I've been poorly communicated with. My expectations, I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing with... Does everybody have it? [Multiple speakers] No. [SPEAKER CHANGE] OK, I'm sorry, I asked to have it passed out, my apologies. Miscommunication on my part I'm sure. So it's coming around. Teachers didn't get the proper training on the way there. We sorta put the cart in front of the horse on this. Students didn't have the right resources available to them when we started school. But there is an issue inside of the bill that there might be some confusion and perhaps I am adding to this. So to the bill sponsors I apologize but I think it's something we need to work our way though. This amendment as you get it, will eliminate Section 3 as the main portion of that. Which says we will not continue to work on the standards, and I'll read it specifically. Section 3 says the State Board of Education shall continue to participate in the development of the Common core state standards in conjunction of the consortium of other states, review all national assessments developed by both multi-state consortia, and implement the assessments that the state board deems most appropriate to assess student achievement within the common core state standards. So my concerns is, and the concern of some others, and the chamber has worked with me on this as well. Our concern is that we are not working on the common core standards now, making it better today, while we also have this other track where we look at replacing it. Quite frankly, if we come up with something better, I don't think you're going to find anybody arguing with you that we need to move in that direction. So basically, I'm trying to clarify that we're still going to make things working and I know you think that there is some language in there that takes cake of it. But looking at it, as a parent, I'm unclear. Basically I think this will clarify that. Give us two paths, working on it in the short term and also keep the commission that would look on replacing and how to replace it, and setting up the right implementation. Mr. Chairman I would like to ask for the ayes and nos on the amendment please. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Mr. Chair [SPEAKER CHANGE] Ron [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chair. Representative Tine, I certainly appreciate the intention of your amendment, but I do think that the amendment, I don't think it's your intention, but I do think it would apply as we refer to amendments sometimes as a 'catfish' amendment, and I do think it would gut the bill. The reason why is we are intending to replace common core, and Section 3 is imperative to the bill because we are wanting to tell them to stop working or doing what you're doing that is moving in the common core direction. If you look in Section 1 of the bill. In Section 1 of the bill, we define what we want the state board to do. They will be doing this five year review.
...next year. And so we want common core to halt. We want them to replace these standards. We want high standards; we want very rigorous standards. But I think section 3 is very important to the bill or otherwise there would be no reason to even do this bill if we didn't have them to halt and stop with common core. For that reason, I will have to ask the members to please oppose this amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Stam. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Yes, Mr. Chairman. I agree with Representative Holloway, that section 3 deleting that guts the bill. However, there is more in the amendment than that. And on line 7, essentially what he is doing is saying that tests shall be nationally normed. Well, for those in the majority party that's been in our platform for the last 10 years. So I would make the request, it's not a point of order, but the request which I think should be granted since this is really 2 amendments in 1, that we vote on them separately. In other words, vote on line 1 first and then vote on line 7 and 8. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Stam, May I Mr. Chair? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I am more than willing to sit down and work with Representative Tine and you to work on that if it gets to the floor. And maybe we can work on that. But like I said, the amendment because it repeals section 3 and it is combined, I'll have to oppose it the way it's written now, but I'm more than happy to talk. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Mr. Chairman, my request is that we not take as a whole, but take it as 2 separate motions since it really is 2 separate things. [SPEAKER CHANGE] But we might need a little time to talk with some folks and stuff. If we could wait for that on the floor, I would really appreciate it. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I withdraw my request Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you. You were getting me into a parliamentary problem. What shall I do? [SPEAKER CHANGE] I've withdrawn it. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you. Representative Jeter. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chair. Comment on the amendment. You know I disagree with the bill sponsors that this is a catfish amendment. I can't imagine, Let's say that common core is bad. Let's make that analogy and assumption and state that as a fact. Which I think most of the bill sponsors believe that is true. And I'm not going to argue that you're not right. But we're asking a committee to study what is in the best interest of North Carolina students. O by the way, you can't study this. O by the way, you can look at this. So you can do whatever you want but you can't use your left hand. And to me, I almost go back to the debate on the religion bill that we just had. If we've all firmly believe that common core is inferior to other standards and this bill does not eliminate common core in the next year which according to staff it doesn't, then having this committee study every aspect in coming up with North Carolina standards is the right course of action. If we believe in what we're doing, then studying everything out there doesn't cause harm. It's no different than if we believe that our religion is correct, praying in schools shouldn't offend others. I think you can't have the argument both ways. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Fisher. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I wanted to speak on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Fisher just a minute. Representative Horn you wanted to respond to Representative Jeter? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Jeter, Representative Horn here who helped me put this part together. I am going to let him explain. I think you're referring to something as a study that is not a study. But I will let Representative Horn explain. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Fisher, we'll come back to you as soon as he finishes. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Representative Jeter, I certainly understand your point that we want to look at everything that is out there. And in reality, maybe that's a poor choice of words, but we're not prohibited from looking at everything that's out there. What we're saying is we're not taking this contract that we have with Smarter Balance and using that. We the state of North Carolina reject that we are going to allow the program from Park or Smarter Balance usurp our right to determine our standards. Now I understand, and I'm probably going to have a little hard time here removing all the doubts from your mind. But the concern has been that testing drives curriculum and legibly stems from standards, but in the case of what has happened here occurs to me, to us...
That all this has become inextricably intertwined. So worse we're directing the State Board and the Commission to develop standards that are and therefore consider all the things that go with standards separate from what we're now involved in which has caused the mess we're in. So we're trying to clean this thing up. Reset from the standpoint of determining what our standards should be from a baseline of where our standards are now and not let us go down a separate path. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Representative Horn. Representative Fisher. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. To speak on the amendment. I am aware of places around the state where the approach to the new standards for North Carolina has been a little bit slower on the uptake. There has been confusion around some of the things that have been required. But one thing I just want to give the Committee a chance to give some thought to is North Carolina has been in the forefront of making changes and rising to the challenge of making our state competitive with not only other states, but with the nation. With other parts of the world. And I think that we need to think about three years of work that we have undertaken in North Carolina in good faith. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Your getting a little bit off the amendment. ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I am. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So let's hang on to the amendment and then we'll let you come back to the motion when we get through with the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well I believe that this does speak to the amendment but I will hold my comments. Thank you Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brandon. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair. I've got a quick question because maybe I'm confused on what happens with this bill and why we're repealing the section 3 but if we say that we're directing the schools to not continue with common core and we're not moving forward with it, but we're not actually taking it away. I'm trying to figure out what standards would we be using? And if we're not using the common core standards then aren't we actually lowering the standards because we won't actually have standards? But what are we doing in the meantime? We've got five years of what? That's what I want to know. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brandon let Representative Ballaway answer your question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well you get ?? only. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brandon, today we are operating under common core standards. And your bringing up the point under what standards will we be operating under if this bill passes today. In the upcoming school year the answer to that is still common core. What this amendment and the reason section 3 is important, we do not want the State Board to continue spending money to develop and prepare as they go into their five year review to continue down the path of common core. When they do their five year review next year, this bill gives them directions. You need to change it. They do this review every five years regardless of what we do. They're going to do it. And we're telling them we want you to select something other than common core and then we are setting up an independent commission that will give them advice. This in no way leaves us without standards. We will have standards and then when the school year starts, we will still be operating under common core standards. So it is not lessing them at all. We're just simply telling them don't spend your money. Don't continue getting prepared to develop common core because we want you to change it. I think what we think is that common core and another set of standards, that they're just going to be completely different. I'm sure common core and all the standards that are out there available, have some similarities. So it's not going to flip the school system upside down on its head. There's just some things in common core that we feel is inappropriate for schools. We don't think it's the right direction for us to go. But in no way does this have us operating without standards. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up Mr. Chair. Just ?? one quick question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ok.
So if we are not spending money on it one of the bigger problems that we have with common core is the professional development, the things that we need. If we’re not spending money on standards that we are still going to be operating under and they are not actually meeting the needs of the students, what do we say to our constituents? That we’re going to continue down the road of common core but we’re not going to continue to support it, I’m sorry that your children have to be here for the five years that we’re not going to support it, but they’re not actually going to get anything out of it, but hopefully your other siblings after five years maybe we’ll have something better for them but your kids. And I’m really worried about the ambiguity of the five years, you might not be changing it but if you’re not going to support it what are we going to do? Are they just five years of no supplement, no support, and you have teachers out there who are trying to do something that’s very rigorous and now then have the support and suddenly we’ve got five years of kids that are just out there doing what? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Holloway. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I have just one more comment. Representative Brandon if you’ll look in section 6 of the bill it does address what I just said that the standard course of study remains in effect until official notice. I also will point out common core is in place and again this five year review is going to happen. I’ve never known a board that didn’t make changes when the opportunity was given to them. They’re going to make changes to common core in my opinion whether we pass this bill or not but they still may be going down the path of common core. We are making sure that they are going to pick a different path. I don’t think it’s going to take away instructional support from teachers. Instructional support will still go on and we also have to remember there’s standards and there’s curriculum. The curriculum is more what impacts the schools, the standards is what the curriculum is drawn by, is created by, so I don’t really see how this is going to harm staff development, our kids. We’re just telling them don’t be wasting your money and your time moving down this road and continue to develop common core. When common core was put in place we had something completely different. I’m willing to bet nobody in here even noticed when the switch was made, but as we got to learn about this new thing, common core, and find out about some of the things that are in there that’s when it was brought to our attention that maybe we need to get involved with this and replace it. [SPEAKER CHANGE] By the way Representative Holloway, Representative Elmore said he did notice when it happened. He was in the classroom at that time. [SPEAKER CHANGE] And I wasn’t, I was here in the legislature and I’m sure they did but we as legislators didn’t notice. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Horn. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Brandon, just to specifically answer your question if you look on page 6 line 4 it says that the standard course of study remains in effect until official notice is provided, page 6, line 4. The standard course of study, the standard course that we have right now those standards remain in effect until a change is implemented and everyone is fully notified. Also, the commission operates this next year, we don’t wander around five years. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Malone. On the amendment now. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Okay. My question was answered, thank you Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Jordan, on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Yes thank you Mr. Chairman. Sometimes it’s nice to discuss policy and sometimes it’s nice to be an attorney and read the details and look at this amendment. In section 3 we have to leave it in because if you read the rest of 115c-174.11c3 it requires the state board to implement the assessments that they deem most appropriate to assess student achievement on the common core state standards so if we take that out we’re leaving them on the common core track so by definition we have to vote against this amendment and we have to remove that portion of the current law. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Martin, G. Martin. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chair, just an inquiry for the Chair that staff actually might be able to better answer. Since I was on a six month vacation you all made some technological strides, are we at the point now where this PCS or other PCSs are available online at the time? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Staff is that? I would think so.
Representative Martin, we get permission from the co-chairs of the committee and the sponsor of the PCS to send it out electronically. Once it’s adopted, then we release it to bill-typing. Once they’ve prepared it for the next committee, this goes onto appropriations, then it would be available as the second edition. So we have to follow that process. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Actually, is this like it was when you were here? Before you took your vacation? Representative Glazier? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a couple questions for the bill sponsor please. May I go ahead? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Representative Holloway, I just want to be clear on what’s being attempted to be done and what your intent is and make sure they’re matching. So clearly for this year, common core may continue because that’s the standard that’s in place right now, and there’s language in the bill that suggests that that I think you or Representative Warren have pointed to. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That’s correct. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Question number one: When the study occurs, because we all want high standards, if in fact the committee determines that frankly the higher standards out there right now that have at least materials and curriculum in prep that they can use, is in fact what amounts to the common core, are they free to recommend or readopt those standards? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I would have to say that the answer to that is no because the title is to replace common core. Now that does not mean that they cannot take potentially pieces or parts of a set of standards like common core that they think might be appropriate, but as common core in its whole and its entirety, they would not be allowed to do that because we are giving them directions to replace it and to come up with a set of standards that is different from common core. So they may be able to keep pieces or parts, but if it’s in its entirety or if it was in its majority, then I would say the answer would be no. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Speak on the amendment, Mr. Chair, then. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I favor the amendment, and I favor the amendment in part because of the answer just given, which I think is an honest and candid answer, and my question was deliberately framed to say, if in fact this study determines of these people that the highest standards that are out there now useable is what amounts to common core – and I don’t care what we call it; that’s irrelevant – they’re going to be barred from using them. That’s fundamentally the problem, and so in our attempt to get at common core… I don’t know if common core is going to be determined to be the highest standards, but the assumption is that it may be, and now we’re not going to be allowed to use it, and what I think Representative Tine’s point in his amendment is – and Representative Jeter made this point to some degree as well – that doesn’t make sense until the commission finishes its work and determines what the best standards for North Carolina would be – and we want them to be the highest standards. Why are we fully ordering a replacement and saying you may not consider an option that may in fact be the highest standards? I believe there’s a lot of work to be done with common core on assessments, and I believe there should be a study of it and I think there should be a study. I think a lot of this bill is important and good, but I think fundamentally where this bill falls, and what Representative Tine is trying to get at, is putting the cart before the horse and effectively negating the ability of this commission to determine if in fact common core is the highest standards available, and for that reason I support Representative Tine’s amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Holloway? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just have one quick comment, and Representative Glazier, certainly I have a lot of respect for you and appreciate your comments; however, we just don’t feel that common core is appropriate for North Carolina, and there are other states out there currently that have higher standards – Massachusetts for one – and we want higher standards. We want our children to be challenged, and we know that there are other standards that could be put in place in North Carolina that are higher, and we want to move down another path of common core. If you want to keep common core, and that’s the direction you want to head, then you should vote for this amendment. If you want to replace common core and you want to move in a different direction that potentially brings in even higher standards, then you need to vote against this amendment. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I would like to remind the members that ??...
And I do intend to vote on this today so get your thoughts together and let’s limit that and I’m going to give Represntative Tine one more time on the amendment and we’re going to go to the vote on the amendment. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I think the discussion shows that the amendment is appropriate because there’s confusion. On page 6 line 4 it says we’re going to keep doing it but in section 3 by eliminating it says we’re not going to pay any money to do the development. Is what I heard from the sponsors, and I’m sorry if I’m not getting it right, but like I said I think there’s confusion in regards to it. It is not meant to gut the bill, I think it creates a two track. On one track we are working to find out if there’s a better way to do it that’s something that’s more appropriate and on the other one we continue to try to make it better because we know we have problems today that need to be fixed today for my kids today. So it gives us two tracks to work on it so that we can move forward and on one side we can look and see what’s better and get that done and create better implementation in the way we did it this time and on the other side it lets us continue to invest today and get our kids ready. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Tine has called for ayes and no’s on this amendment. I suppose that means he wants to know who votes what and we don’t mind doing that. It does take time though Representative Tine. Are we ready? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Adams. Arp. Bell. Brandon. Brown. Bryan. Bumgardner. Carney. Cleveland. Collins. Cotham. Daughtry. Dixon. Dobson. Elmore. Fisher. Gill. Glazier. Charles Graham. G. Graham. Hall. Hardister. Horn. Iler. Jeter. Jones. Jordan. Lambeth. Lucas. Luebke. Malone. G. Martin. Susan Martin. Meyer. Michaux. Pittman. Presnell. Riddell. Saine. Schaffer. Shepard. Speciale. Stam. Tine. Tolson. Torbett. Turner. Warren. Whitmire. Wilkins. Younts. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Did you vote? Meyer, you did? Okay. Okay I was just checking, just wanted to make sure. [SPEAKER CHANGE] The amendment fails with eighteen for and twenty-six opposed. We are not at the bill itself, we don’t have any other amendments, the bill is before us. Representative Michaux. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Yeah Mr. Chairman I’ve got a couple questions, well actually one of them has been answered..
I guess administratively you put this commission in the Department of Administration and my question is why since constitutionally DPI is our head Education department. And number 2, is if you're going to put in that you only give the Governor 1 appointment in a body that is run by the Governor. And my question is why are you doing it this way? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Holloway. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Mr. Chair. Representative Michaux. 1, we want this commission to be independent of DPI and the state board. We are not taking any power or authority away from DPI or the State Board of Education. We wanted this committee though to be completely separate. To have their own opinion with no boss and that was the reason we put it away from the state board. [SPEAKER CHANGE] May I follow up on that then? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Yes you may. [SPEAKER CHANGE] If you wanted it that way, why would you not put your appointments where the body that rules it all is here, the legislature. [SPEAKER CHANGE] We were trying, Mr. Chair, we were trying our best to keep this as far away from the politicians as possible. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Any other debate? Representative Meyer. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Mr. Chair, I'd like to ask you to call for the ayes and the no's when we vote on this bill and then I'd like to speak on this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGE] You may speak on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Mr Chair. Prior to coming here in May and starting my first session as a legislator, I worked for North Carolina's public schools for 16 years so like Representative Elmore, I was very aware when the common core entered schools and I spend the last several years trying to make sure that they were implemented well. During the hearings on the common core, I took a day off of work in the schools and come and listen to those hearings everyday that they were held. And I was going to speak against this bill because of what I heard in the hearings. I think that this bill with the inclusion of section 3 and it is an ideological bill rather than a pragmatic bill. When we were in those hearings, essentially there were 2 sides and they weren't democratic and republican. They were pragmatic versus ideological. The pragmatists were saying let's repair the common core. We know that we need better communication with parents; that we needed to be a little more developmentally appropriate; We need better professional development for teachers; That there is problems with money and time allotted to testing; we knew that all those were issues. The pragmatists basically said let's repair those things. The people who asked us to replace the common core gave us ideological arguments. They told us the common core is likely to lead us to socialism, fascism, monarchy and crony-capitalism and I don't think all 4 of those things are possible from one set of standards. And so I think that as an educator, I think that we can keep working with a set of standards if we use the good parts of this bill. There is a good commission that is non-political. It has great membership of professional educators and we could build on the common core to create great internationally and nationally norm standards for North Carolina students and therefore I recommend that we vote against the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Elmore. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chair. To comment on the bill, I would urge your support for the bill. I would describe what this does for you from an educator's perspective. Our desktops at school are a little slow, so if you keep on opening up multiple windows because you're interested in this and you're interested in that and you're interested in this. You get so many windows open that the next one that you click on freezes the whole computer. And I think that's what has happened in our common core discussion through the committee meetings. We see that there are so many factors that are hitting education right now that may not necessarily be directly linked to common core but they're all open on our screen and it's locked it up. Basically what this bill does is a reboot of that computer. It says hey let's stop and turn the computer off and turn it back on and get going again so we can move it. I would disagree with my colleague, sitting in all of those meetings, there were many educators that were in the meeting talking about the developmental appropriateness of the standards. Which I think that's not an ideological argument, that's very much an educational argument on the appropriateness of the standards. So I would urge you to support this bill. Reboot this to where we can get our kids back on track and get North Carolina back on track. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Representative Fisher. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chairman. To Speak on the bill. I just want to continue with my train of thought.
from earlier now that we’re back on the bill. And one of the concerns that I have in going forward with this is that we have invested so much already in making North Carolina cutting edge, making sure that our students are ready for work. And making sure that the business community has future workers that they can employ. I think that this bill takes us backwards from that, and if you look at even the teachers have expressed some frustration but if you look at the teacher working conditions survey, the higher percentage of teachers are saying that they’re happy with the way that this implementation has gone so far. They want to see it be successful. And I feel like we’re not listening to what the business community is saying, we’re not listening to what the teachers are saying, and even more importantly, we’re not listening to what the families and the parents of the students are saying. So I cannot support this bill and I would urge my colleuges to be against it as well. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Goiser[???] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Fast? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Excuse me? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Are you fast? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Not usually, but I can be. Thank you Mr. Chair. Two reasons that I’m going to vote against the bill, and one is that I really find it difficult to vote for a bill that bars us from considering what may be the highest potential standards. I have no question that there may be other standards out there that we might want to use, and mix in, but when you talk about the fact that we’ve admitted that we are not going to allow, if in fact this the highest standard, I think that’s a bar we shouldn’t put on ourselves. More importantly is the inconsistency, and this is the last point I’ll make. Representative Fisher[???] just said all the time that was used in doing this. I don’t know what folks think is going to happen in the field, but if they are under next year, and I appreciate Representative Holloway[???] doing this, and Representative Horn[???], the common core standards next year Mr. Chairman, but they are told by the bill those will not be the standards the following year. That is that you cannot choose those, it’s going to be something else. What’s the teacher going to do, they’re not going to invest time any longer in those common core standards because that’s not what they’re going to work with. And so we have functionally with this bill de-stabilized the field. And that, I think is fundamentally wrong. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Horn[???] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I respectfully disagree with some of the comments, not all. I think the elements of this bill are very fundamental. And those fundamental elements are the sovereignty and right of the state of North Carolina to determine its education standards, how we deliver education. It’s very clear in the Constitution of the United States that it’s unclear, that is to say the Constitution does not address it, but the Constitution does say in the tenth amendment, any power not specifically designated to the federal government is reserved for the states and the people. Our Constitution specifically requires us, the state of North Carolina to provide public school, public education. So we can, by inference; it’s our job. Period. And we do not seed that responsibility to anyone. To any organization, to the federal government, anyone. Secondly, as a result of the bill that came out of, not only the bill that came out of the study committee, but as a result of testimony, conversation, everyone, OK. That there is a lot of confusion. That’s already been granted. So we’re here – we’re going to add stability to the process, not confusion. We’re going to involve people that are not politicians to make the decision. So, with that in mind, Mr. Chairman, I move for approval of the PCS[???] as presented, no to the original bill, and move on to the next step. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You’ve heard the motion [SPEAKER CHANGES] Inquiry to the chair [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, I’m looking at the clock [SPEAKER CHANGES] I know that, I saw it. We’re going to vote right now. [SPEKAER CHANGES] We’re over time [overlaps previous statement] [SPEAKER CHANGES] We may be, but we’re still going to vote. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And we have called for the “aye”s and “no”s.
We’re not arguing about the time, we’re voting. Call the roll. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Adams. Arp. Bell. Brandon. Brown. Bryan. Bumgardner. Carney. Cleveland. Collins. Cotham. Daughtry. Dixon. Dobson. Elmore. Fisher. Gill. Glazier. C. Graham. G. Graham. Hall. Hardister. Horn. Iler. Jeter. Jones. Jordan. Lambeth. Lucas. Luebke. Malone. G. Martin. Susan Martin. Meyer. Michaux. Pittman. Presnell. Riddell. Saine. Schaffer. Shepard. Speciale. Stam. Tine. Tolson. Torbett, Torbett. Turner. Warren. Whitmire. Wilkins. Younts. [SPEAKER CHANGE] The vote on the motion is twenty-seven to sixteen, the motion passes and we adjourn.