Thank you for being here. This is our first meeting. It’s a little different than the past. The Education Committee used to be all as a whole and this year we have it separated into three different groups, the University, the K-12 and the community college and we’ll be focusing, of course, on bills dealing with the University system. We will not go through and do the first day of school thing where everybody tells us their name. If we don’t know each other’s names by now we might better find a new profession, but we’ll start off, we’ll introduce the pages and actually I’m gonna let them introduce themselves. If you will please stand up and tell us your name and where you are from and who your sponsor is, and we’ll start with the young lady on the right. [SPEAKER CHANGES] [??] [SPEAKER CHANGES] [??] [SPEAKER CHANGES] [??] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, thank you all for being with us. We appreciate your service and we hope that you take something away from this week and hopefully meet some new folks and make some new friends and again thank you for being with us. We’ll also take a moment to recognize our Sergeant at Arms. We have Charles Godwin, Dean Mashburn and Joe Crook. Thank you all for being with us this morning. That being said we will move to the first bill and that is House Bill 19, waive tuition for fallen officers. We have a PCS that needs to be adopted. I need a motion. Representative Jonathan Jordan makes the motion to adopt the PCS. All in favor, signify by saying aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed, no. The ayes have it and the PCS is adopted. Representative Graham, come forth and present the bill and the floor is yours. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair and it’s a pleasure to be here this morning with a committee and I’m kinda nervous. The first bill of the first meeting of a new committee, so I don’t know how to take this but I’ll get through it. House Bill 19, I’m to present this to you this morning and let me say again, it’s a pleasure to be with you. House Bill 19 is, and the title basically tells you what this bill is all about. It’s fairly straightforward. This bill adds legal guardian and legal custodian to those individuals who would be recipients of obviously free tuition at our state’s university when our guardian has fallen, has died as a result of service as a firefighter, a police officer, anyone in law enforcement. This bill has a lot of support throughout the state. The North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, the North Carolina Chief of Police supports this legislation, the North Carolina Law Enforcement Officer’s Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the North Carolina Firefighter’s Association has endorsed and supports this legislation and you can see the language in Section 1, it basically has added legal guardian, legal custodian, and it applies to those individuals who are between the ages of 17 to 24 years of age. That is the bill, just straightforward, plain and simple. There is no fiscal impact on our budget. Actually it’s negligible. I have that information and it’s zeroed out through 2020 so there’s no fiscal impact on our state budget and at this time if you have any questions I’ll be glad to entertain those questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Are there any questions from the members? Representative Jordan. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Representative Graham, the language says legal custodian, so could that be foster parents cause they would have legal custody. Custody’s lower than guardianship or adoption, so would that be foster care? That kind of? [SPEAKER CHANGES] You know what, Representative Jordan, that’s a great question and if I could defer to staff on that, Mr. Chairman, I would. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Absolutely. Staff, could you assist Representative Graham with that, please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Representative Jordan, foster parents do not have legal custody. Foster parents are granted physical custody. Usually the local Department of Social Services has legal custody of the child so that would not include foster parents. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Go ahead Representative Graham. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just wanted to thank staff for that response. Thank you, Representative Jordan, that was a good question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Fraley
Yes, I wondered how the university system felt about this? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Graham. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let me just, this bill came to my attention from a university, UNC Pembrooke. There was a young man, we had an officer who died in the line of duty two summers ago and obviously this young man went to enroll in the university and was looking forward to having this benefit and, of course, it was not one that he could take advantage of. My university strongly supports this and I would feel that the constituent universities in this state would not have any objection because I haven’t had anyone call me raising any objections to the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Fraley, I see we have a representative here from the university system. If you would, we’ll allow him to come forward and speak and hopefully he can speak for the university system. If you would just identify who you’re with, obviously the university system, but your name for the record. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sure. Drew Morrets with the University of North Carolina General Administration. We have no opposition to this bill and certainly hope we never have to use it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Are there further questions? Seeing none, if there’s a motion and, Representative, do you have a question Representative Martin or was you wanting to do the motion. Okay, I’m gonna get Representative Jackson cause he was first and Representative Jackson if you will make the motion, the motion that I’m assuming you may want to make is a favorable report, unfavorable to the original, favorable to the proposed committee substitute and a serial referral to Appropriations. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That is correct. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I read your mind. I knew that was it, and members you hear the motion. All those in favor signify by saying aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed, no. The ayes have it. The bill passes and it will be sent to appropriations. Thank you, Representative Graham. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair and thank you members. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right, we have one more bill before us today and this bill is for just discussion today and the chairs believe that we will vote on this bill in a future meeting but there was some questions. We thought it would be good for the membership to hear the reasons for this bill. It came from program evaluations and we have with us Representative Hurley and come on up and we will allow you to present House Bill 72 which is SOG pilot project standards and Representative Lucas, thank you for being with us and Representative Carney is in here as well and she’s a bill sponsor and Representative Turner so thank you all and we’ll turn the floor over to you all. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. Good morning. This bill did come out of Program Evaluations and I was not on there at the time this study was done, but they did a pilot program and there were five pilots that were done in North Carolina about the driver’s education. When they got the results back they could not use the data at all because so many questions were unanswered so from there we thought when there are so many pilot programs in North Carolina that it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have, that we need da da da da. So that’s how it came about and I’m going to ask staff, if you will let staff explain. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Sure, and whoever’s going to assist them turn over to your, okay. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, members, I’m John Turcott, Director of the Program Evaluation Division. As Representative Hurley explained this bill came about because of two projects PED did. The first was driver education. At the time the General Assembly was considering offering a driver ed through online approaches and some of the districts were already using online to some extent and the issue was would it be more economical, more effective to use online. Well, this was part of a reform. It was passed with driver ed in 2011 and the state board of Education and DPI were to do this pilot project and test out the concept in at least five districts. Well, without being disrespectful to my colleagues at DPI, they did not do the pilot project very well. The design for the project was more or less a repetition of the special provision to do the pilot and they got volunteer districts to participate and they told the districts that if you volunteer you have to use your funds allocated for driver ed to conduct the pilot, and
They also said that the vendors that would do the pilot had to follow standards used by North Carolina virtual school. At the time North Carolina virtual school had not adopted those standards. I could go on at length, but there are a number of technical flaws as well in the statistical methodology that should’ve been followed that was not followed. As a result of that the School of Government did come in toward the end of that project and helped, tried to get DPI some better data and they were able to develop a comparison of the test results of those taking online, those taking mixed online and traditional classroom but the issue was cost-effectiveness and because DPI did not collect cost data the School of Government couldn’t come to any solutions about which approach or mixed approach was cost effective. The joint committee took a dim view of them not having findings as a result of the pilot project, this is my joint evaluation committee, and that was the first instance of this. The second instance in a formal way, the General Assembly required a pilot study of overnight respite services by adult daycare facilities and DHHS used a methodology, user satisfaction and there was a lot of self-selection by us in this, of course, and there was really no formal concept that there were testing. It was just a vague concept. They should’ve had some sort of logic model of the concept they were testing. Overnight respite is where the caregivers are allowed to put their loved one in the facility for a brief period of time to give the caregiver some respite. The sum and substance was that you couldn’t tell from the pilot whether or not if you scale this up statewide would it be a worthwhile undertaking and what would be the implications if you did scale it up statewide and in general members oftentimes the General Assembly wants to do pilot projects to test concepts of one kind or another and so what this bill does is it requires the School of Government to convene a working group, a technical working group of experts who understand statistical methodology and how to do pilot projects and make a preliminary report to our joint committee in December of what they found, then by December of develop formal standards to recommend to the Office of State Budget and Management for adoption. School government can’t regulate, can’t do any sort of executive function, but then they would be doing the development of the standards and the Office of State Budget and Management would adopt those standards. Okay, so then what would happen after that? If the General Assembly wanted to do a pilot project, all you’d have to do is say a pilot project and the law itself executing. The law would say if you do one, if the General Assembly says pilot project these standards are required to be used. Now, of course, if you want to be more emphatic, you could say do them consistent with the standards adopted by the Office of State Budget and Management. If you did not want the standards used you could say very clearly say not withstanding whatever the section is in the law. I don’t know of a circumstance where you’d want to do that but there may be. That’s the essence, Mr. Chair, I’d be glad to answer any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Are there any questions from the members? Representative Brown? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Just had a quick questions. Why are we only having this for discussion today because to me this seems so clearcut, so common sensical, so necessary that I just had that question, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Brown, we do intend to vote on this and perhaps at the next meeting and there were some members who had some questions, maybe that were not familiar with what was going on in PED and so we do intend to vote on this and probably at the next meeting cause we do not have a large stack of bills in this committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Johnson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’d just like to make a comment. I think this is such a novel idea that we, North Carolina collects all kind of data but only parts of it are useful. I think this is a very good idea whether it costs money, whether it
Cost money not to labor that. It’s just that if you go to the trouble to do something you ought to be able to use the results. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Mr. Chair, may I ask one more question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, ma’am. I was just conferring with staff, but yes, Representative Johnson. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What is the reason that it would take to December of 2016 for formal standards? I mean, does it actually take that long? I mean, they know when they do. I mean, they have a history of what’s already happened. Would it take that long to go through the data and figure out? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Cherkot. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Johnson, the School of Government submitted a formal proposal to our Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee before the committee recommended this legislation and their idea was that it would take quite a while to go about getting experts together, convening a work group and the committee wanted to take a look at whatever the methodology they were using to make sure it was gonna produce something useful and so the idea of having a two stage was appropriate and also it would allow state agencies that have ideas on pilot projects, who knows what those ideas would be. Probably most of them would be good, but it would give them an opportunity to see where this is headed and provide input to the School of Government and ultimately to the Office of State Budget and Management before they adopt the rules as required by this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And Representative Brown also wanted to tell you as well that according to staff there needs to be just a bit of cleanup to the bill and they mentioned a possible amendment that needed to be worked on and I think this is the only stop for the bill and I think it goes straight to the floor from here. Is there a serial referral? [SPEAKER CHANGES] [??] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Needs to be. So we’ll make sure we’ll get it ready and that’s why it’s just for discussion today as well. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Representative Brown. We’ll come back to you, Representative Hurley. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. As I look at these 10 recommendations, I guess my question is are we doing a good job in communicating the reason that we feel a test pilot is necessary and that we go through these criteria as we should before, you know, we kinda. Such an appalling result of this pilot study, and I don’t wanna just blame it all on the agencies. Are we doing our due diligence? Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Those 10 questions, Representative Brown, those 10 questions came from a very good report that was done by the Fiscal Research Division several years ago. They too had concerns about pilot project efficacy and Chris Nordstrom from the Fiscal Research Division wrote a technical document and had those suggestions for legislators, questions to ask if a pilot project was being proposed. Now, to try to head off a question that we got this in program evaluation was well, if Chris Nordstrom and the Fiscal Research Division has already laid out these 10 standards, why do we have to have the School of Government develop standards. Well, they were not written as standards. They were written as suggested guidelines for legislators to ask and they certainly are not the formal, very technical standards that would come about as the result of this process, so yes, indeed, if you do have an agency or a stakeholder group coming to you, these are the questions that should be answered and if the standards are adopted they should be taken care of, but before you do or authorize a pilot project to get clarity as to what it intends to do, those questions are in order at that time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hurley, I think you had a comment you wanted to add. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. I just wanted to tell you that we do have a companion bill in Senate, it’s Senate Bill 91 and it is already in the Appropriations Based Budget over there. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Are there any other comments or questions? Representative Jordan? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. I’m just curious, the funds that are requested for this, is there a specific reason they’re asked to be non-reverting funds? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, I, appropriation questions always concern me. I wanna get them right and correct. The School of Government
Representatives are back there but let me suggest that when you make an appropriation to the universities they may need additional time to do this but just to put the on a strict reverting type of appropriation should they have any need to correct those standards in the future they’d have to come back and ask for additional appropriations, so that was part of their proposal and the committee concurred in that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr Chercot, would you like to recognize somebody in the audience. I know you said someone was there and if you wish for any extra explanation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, Dr. Maureen Brinner and Dr. David Brown from the School of Government, they’re the ones that developed this. Dr. Brinner I think took the lead in it and Dr. Brown is the liason for the school of government. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If you will just identify yourself for the record please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, my name is Professor Maureen Brinner. I’m with the School of Government at UNC Chapel Hill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And David Brown also with the School of Government. [SPEAKER CHANGES] To speak to the question, unfortunately I don’t want to, for the same reason as Mr. Chercot, I’m not familiar enough with the technicalities in terms of the budgetary terms, so the most I can say in terms of that specific item is we would try to get a response to you as quickly as possible, but the length of the time that we would use would really be in order to really convene together a group of folks from state agencies, some of the national experts. There is a lot of really exciting work going on with state legislatures right now in terms of adopting these kinds of standards and we would want to make sure that we put into place standards that would be useful for a long time going forward and make sure we do it right, so that we wanted to give ourselves enough time not to rush to put into place something that would not be useful and I imagine that the budgetary statement is to allow us to be able to do that fully, without any stops or additional requests, although, again, I’m not professing technical expertise on that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And I also found an answer from our staff. That’s why I always tell them they’re in charge. Representative McCraw, if you will give them the explanation that you just shared with me. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This really is just reiterating the comment you just heard, but the appropriations for the 2015-16 year because the timeline contemplated in the bill would have report on this in the Fall of 16 it requires the funds, or it keeps the funds from reverting so that they can complete their work in the fall without a new appropriation being made in next year’s budget. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does that answer the question? Any further questions? Seeing none, as stated there is some little cleanup we need to do to the bill. I expect it will be in the next meeting and we’ve already had the discussion today so we can just have it up on deck first thing next time, so with no other bills before us, this meeting is adjourned.