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House | April 14, 2015 | Committee Room | House Education Committee

Full MP3 Audio File

We are about to get underway so please take your seats. The meeting of a house education k12 will committee will come to order it is 10:06, we're late, like to recognize our Pages, Mr. Ben Smith from Johnston County. Ben, where are you? There he is in the back, and you're sponsored by representative Daughtry, Roman Bilain[sp?] from Pit County, sponsored by Representative Brian Brown, welcome. Thanks for all your help. The Sergeants of Arms today are Mark Cone Mark Cone[sp?] Mark. Behind you. Behind me? I looked everywhere, but behind me. Well, somebody has got my back, thank goodness. Ray Cooke, Ray over here to my right your left Dean [xx] Also behind me, Bill Morris following behind me for all I know, no not in here and Jane Moran, also not in here yet. We're always happy to have the chief sergeant of arms joined us today. Thank you sir. Also joining us today are some folks from the public school forums education policy fellowship program, you are in the audience? Stand up, let us welcome you, thank you for coming appreciate you being here we need all the help we can get. We have only agenda today one bill, House Bill 237 to be presented by representative Representative of Elmore and with that, the Chair recognizes the Representative of Elmore. We have a PCS on that bill, is that correct? Yes, it is correct. So we need a motion for a PCS to be before us Representative Cleveland moves that the bill be before us, all those in favor say I. Those opposed say no. The Is have it, and we now are dealing with House bill 237 PCS, you've got it and proceed. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, what you see in front of you with the PCS is basically dealing with what is called a PEP Plan. Now, Before the discussion starts, I want to make it clear there is a difference between a PEP and an IEP, an IEP deals with special education children, this bill does not affect that at all. This affects another piece of paper work that was geared at art risk students. They, what the PCS shows, if you look at the actual bill itself, is that it strikes the language dealing with the actual piece of paper work itself, of land 15 Diem and that's pretty much what the bill does in a gist. And I'll be happy to take any questions. That's pretty quick. Do we have any questions from the committee? Representative Cleveland. For a motion. Alright, when appropriate and representative Stan. Why? Representative, Elmore, would you care to answer that question? Sure, I can. This piece of paper work I think with it's original intent, it does a good thing, but as technology has improved, and the use of EVOS data, and the [xx] of the starting of the implementation of what's called the RTI process, this piece of paper work has become quite dated and plus two, it's not consistent. I've got, here's one version of what it looks like, here's another version from another county, here's another version from another county, and pretty much, it's just repeating information that is already being done through the other processes Representative Richardson. Thank you Mr. Chair, I have a question of the bill a sponsor. How often will this transition plan be developed in I noticed you said it would be transition from elementary to middle to high school so how

often will this plan be developed, will be in the first grade and spaying through the fifth grade or will it be done annually? In reference to the transition teams I think the intern of the transition teams was from the fifth grade to the sixth grade that transition from elementary to middle school different schools do that in different ways you have visitations you have presentations different things on that nature within the data with Eva follows the kid the whole way and you also see that from eighth grade to ninth grade.   Follow up Mr. Chair Follow up So in the bill they said if they observe that if the student is failing in kindergarten there would be no plan in place until they get to fifth grade, I'm just concerned about when you recognize that a student is failing and then your going to wait to fifth grade to do that, I understand transition is how they're going to move from elementary to middle school but what is going to be done with the students when you notice they're failing in kindergarten first or second grade this doesn't apply to that at all or I'm I confused here or what? Representative Elmore? [xx] Represent Glacier is recognised Thank you Mr chair and thank representative Elmore and representative Jonhson, it's really good question representative Richardson and so a couple of things, if you notice the first two sentences are kept in the PCS of the statute which maintains the legal obligation that we have as a state and that local boards have at risk students. It simply takes out the language for the PEP but still maintains the obligation but leaves it to the local boards now to come up with what works for their students, what works for their kids as opposed to dictating a specific plan that has to happen. If you will then see the additional sentence in the PCS, shifts responsibility on the transition year specifically to the School Improvement Teams since that's where parents and teachers and faculty will be meeting, and they have an obligation, they are as well beyond just be on at risk but also to the transition grade so these planning should be taking place based on those first two sentences as part of every year for every kid and it certainly should be taking place as it relates to School Improvement Team Plans every year. All this bill is attempting to do is say PEP in of itself shouldn't be dictated because those who've not been overly successful in most schools we've taken away resources, we've taken away bodies and so we have a document that's kind of put on the shelf and checks the list that is not doing anything. You still have an obligation, we still have an obligation, let's talk about different devices, different ways to do that in different schools for different kids. So Representative Glacier, I'm I hearing you saying that educators will earn the same with this new Bill that they still have a responsibility even though we are not spelling it out, and we are repealing the Personal Educational Plan and moving to a transition plan that they are going to automatically understand that they need to put something in place for a student who's at risk K through whatever grades? Well Representative Rishardson, the first sentence says, in order to implement the chapter, Local School Ministries shall identify students where we are students, and it goes on to say how they're to do that, and it gives them devices that they can use, but that obligation is, been clear for a while, part of the problem on the original bill is that it struck that language, this PCS keeps that legal language in, certain districts well aware, plus as you know they're getting at risk when amount to at Risk Funds and really at Risk Kids Funds from multiple sources, so they've got reporting obligation under those sources as well, discerning districts right now are under multiple obligations this simply takes away a document that can still be used. That is PEP are still available for families, parents can still request them, teachers can still do them its just that they don't have to be done in every case because in most cases they are in my opinion and I was a bigger supporter of PEPs but in many places because resources and time, a pretty useful document and not being used well most places in my opinion. Thank you Representative Avila famous chairman back in 2013 and 2014 I spent time in each of our schools in our country and put together the teacher advising committees, is still in operation, and I, these ideas come up several times, that this is excess paper work, along with a lot of testing other things that come up to, but this is bottled[sp?]

up as one of the things that goes on the shelf in their opinion, and our teachers trust the teachers to know, who's doing well, who's not, or you can have a system or you can have a combination, I think that's what we're heading towards and I think it's a great step is not perfect obviously but it insisted in the right direction I appreciate it you bringing forward thank you Representative Cothem   thank you Mr chair speaking off is position to the bill, I think that personalized education plans can and should certainly be improved upon and with representatives Elmore's beginning statements about that, this is an outdated source that I wish that instead of just cutting it of and repeating feeling that we would include this version and other new, technology versions so that there is still this resource but this is an attempt to get rid of PEPs, I saw it coming a few years ago when I put this into law. I think it's important to really talk about how a PEP can help a child and we hear often about teachers, and the school, and the school board, and the school system. But this can be a very useful tool to help children and to help a child who is on the brink. Who doesn't qualify for an IP, they're not on special education, maybe they have some attendance issues, some behavior issues, they're struggling in school, and this is the way for a parents, who often times in this same communities feel, they're kind of scared of this school, to be honest with you, and this is one time where they can come together and feel invested and involved in their child's education. Now, Breneth, there are many things that were said that I think are are very accurate and there are problems we don't want it to be a paper work burden that's not, and I would question then what's really happening. It should could be improved upon, there should be a way to, update this and so that it does not a burden but I think, ultimately we have to think about how, what are we doing to the children who need the most help, by cutting us out, cutting the paper trail, or not giving new extra resources to help this children, we're not giving more support, so what are we really doing for them, and I just, it just get me great struggle and I wish that we can came to a better solution then the title repeal because this children need a voice as well. Representative Halloways recognized respond. Thank you Mr. Chair a lot of words have been said here from opposing sides, supporting sides is some what accurate Thank you but from my experience in education system this is just additional paper work for teachers to have to perform and by doing so much paper work in class filling this out, filling this out, filling this out you get lost and all the ink and you don't do what you're supposed to be doing helping those kids that need help, PPs have not been successful they've not been successful because there is no accountability, a lot of times they don't follow that child to the next teacher, there's already a lot of data that's out there, but keep in mind, this bill is not telling counties, "you can't do pee pees", they can do anything the want to, to try to help at the Risk Kids to help the kids who need it but the vast majority of the kids of these pee pees, because you have to do one for everybody, is a waste of time and it's time that could be better spent helping kids who truly need help again, pee pees can be helpful, but if we want to do a pee pee program, let's rethink it but let's scrap what we have now, because again there is no, been no positive impact, you maybe able to find a case, here and there, here and there, but we are not preventing counties from doing it, we're just telling them to start a mandate and for, in my opinion, for this program to be successful, if you really want a really good pee pee program, then you almost have to hire whole another staff that does nothing but pee pees. Teachers are there to teach, but they've got enough paperwork to do now and one sense you can almost even think of this is somewhat of an unfunded mandate, because, I've been there, I've helped work on pee pees I've talked to my wife, it's just an unbelievable burden and it's time that they could be used them to help kids who need them. Representative Brian thank you Mr chair I guess maybe generally, I did share a

little bit of representative standard concerns although, I think you guys have done a good job of highlighting for me I think this is probably okay which I think is good teachers, and principles are doing what they need to do to make sure the kids are learning that need it in and it's relieving a paper work burden on those folks and on folks who aren't doing the job and are just on the paper work it's not doing any good I did have a question just on the other explanation, on the background we talked about these students being assigned a fact with one year of teaching experience I don't know where these actually is in the bill I just actually found that interesting because I'm not sure that would actually make sense to me but I don't know if any staff or anybody can give any of the background to that. Yes that's just part of the rules that have been made Hold on just a second Mr. Reddrick Yes it's currently state board policy Follow up Follow up I guess may be just because I guess, that's fine, I might have some questions about that but I guess I'll take care of that later. Reno Woodmire. Thank you Mr Chair, I'll brief then commend the bill from the perspective I've seen, and after six years of school board, four years as a chairman and a school assistant, that truly we evaluate our educators in their attention or prior to use judgment as to what's best for the kids between the assessments and knowing their kids, and the safety nets that are there and so many things, getting rid of things that aren't producing as their intended purpose was, is what this Bill is doing. I don't think it takes away from the care skill and diligence that goes into making sure all of their students are what's in the best interest of their students is done, and I simply commend the Bill and thank you. Thank you, Representative Lambert. Thank you Mr. Chairman, I also commend you for bringing this Bill to us. I was also a chairman, school board in our county for 18 years, and as I traveled around the county this was probably the most discussed issue with teachers worthless mandate from Riley, and I commend you for actually getting rid of it. Thank you. Representative Stan for a second time. Is this the summary of the sponsors or intentions of the experiment that failed? if so I'll vote for it. It appears to be the concern, I'm sorry. Representative Graham. Thank you, I do commend the Bill I do have one question if I could get clarification. In exception in special education I know we have transition plans for those students, that's understandable and needy. Now when I look at the transition component to this bill, does the transition piece have any does it address the issue of post high school? What would that child go to when he leaves high school? in that transition plan.   Representative Almore. I don't believe it does but I can refer to stay up I don't think it going to delay us in the [xx] Excuse me, Mr. [xx] Currently the way that it's written it does not. [xx] Representative Butterfield[sp?] Thank you Mr. Chair is there any one here opposed to the bill or for the bill in the audience that we are here today from today?  I don't know if the sponsors are aware of any, I'm going to ask for comments from anyone in the audience just just in case, I see no Follow up, follow up, follow up Follow up, I apologies. Yes, I did want to make a follow up, thank you I'm sorry sir. Please go ahead With regard to the question of transition planning will the member be willing to accept some language that will address that issue? Realizing we were trying to get children not to high school but actually get those

children out of high school and in to some kind of sustainable per secondary situation. Would you be willing to consider that? Representative Glazier  Thank you Mr. Chair, thank you representative [xx] for the question your actually very very right about the need for post high school transition planning both as people are looking into careers and looking for two and four year and advanced certification options. The particular statue obviously that we're involved with and amending, didn't have and doesn't have obligation beyond the 12th grade but there are several other statues with regard to, in particular with art students and with different kinds of exceptional students who meet essay requirements and those who are otherwise available for example for vocational rehab and other kinds of issues where there are transition requirement from high school to post high school. So I'd be more than willing to offer anything and I think all of us would I'm looking at those statues and determining whether their many needs whether they need to be consolidated with and they need review. I think it's a different statute, but you raise a really important question, it's just this statute doesn't go past high school. That was acceptable. Follow up? That's acceptable. OK. Representative Richardson. Yes, I have one other question. In the language under section 1 of the PCS it says, To adopt and implement rules directing school improvement teams to consider transition plans for student at risk. So if they consider it and don't do it are they following this Bill here? Because there's nothing in here to demand, mandates that they do it, it just that they can consider it. I can consider it and never jot down anything. So are we leaving it that wide and open?   I think with your line of questioning, what we have to think about is the changes that are happening in the classroom currently. Dealing with students that are at academic risk you have to be very nimble in how you address to the different students. May I interrupt you? I'm a former educator, so I understand that, thank you Well you wold understand this too. The idea of differentiation that is been implemented in the classroom. I use my kid's reading group as an example. The days of every kid getting the same book and class following the same book. Teachers are now doing small reading groups with the reading levels at different levels in the classroom. You're having those techniques being used, as a matter of fact, through the RTI process with DPI they're actually encouraging that. So you are not seeing a theory of teaching to the middle, and then if the kid doesn't get it, they don't get it. You're seeing that differentiation happening in the classroom. Follow up. Follow up. I'm still not sure if my question was answered, I think Representative Glazier wants to help. Alright. Representative Glazier, you're recognized. I understand the question and I think on my reading of before was slightly because it says, Local Boards of Education shall adopt and implement rules. So the board must implement rules that direct the school to consider, so it's not the considering. I think the operative verbs are the local boards must do it, and they must direct schools to consider, meaning as one of the things they have to put in school improvement plans I think there's a list of about as I recall 20, so that's how I read the sentence. OK, thanks. Follow-up. One more follow-up. I was reading from the PCS, so it's not in the PCS, so you're saying it's in the original Bill? PCS on line 33, 34. It's just not the highlighted portion, it's the pre-highlighted portion. Local Boards of Education shall I'll adopt and implement rules that direct school improvement teams. Thank you. You're welcome. Representative Farmer-Butterfield, I owe you an apology for having blown right by you. I don't take it personally, Mr. Chair. Thank you Madam. I know you better than that. You know me better than that, so please continue if you care to. Okay, thank you. I'm new on this committee, so bear with me folks. One is, do we know the positive or negative impact of the PEPs on at risk children do we know that at this point? Two is if this bill is passed, it would

involve the LE8[sp?] to having an opportunity to make the decision themselves as to whether or not to continue doing the PEPs, right? Is that simple enough? Is that? We have a shaking of the head, is that sufficient? Do you want to address that? Further explanation needed? I'm just curious about the impact on children. Do we know the impact that these PEPs these have on children? Is that a follow up? I don't know if I can answer the effect that we had, but what we got to keep in mind we are not banning counties from doing it. If counties have had success, and I'm sure they tract their own records. In most counties they won't teachers care sub attendants care principals care they can do it still and they can do specifically for art risk kids and what we're trying to do again the big petro is do away with this general requirement that's for every child that really just makes teachers spend an on amount time doing something that doesn't yield a lot of result but as far as giving you any result I can't do that but again counties can still do this as they want thank you say no more questions from the committee is there anyone in the audience who cares to be heard on this issue please come to the mic identify yourself and a little button at the bottom good morning Mr Jera[sp?] thank you Good morning   Carol Vendenburg a service educator for professional educators of North Carolina and I appreciate you hearing me today, this concept of eliminating the PEPs is something that our members have been asking for a number of years our teachers are dedicated to ensure that they're doing what they need to do to be sure that students are successful in their classrooms but as the sponsors have already mentioned this really has become more of a paper work burden than it has become a tool for really ensuring that are successful  and especially giving they say the reverse tools the RTI the MTSS and all of those systems that are in place the state word of education I should mention no longer receives the reports on the PEPs and I think that's why they're mentioning here today OK And I just want to let you know that we'd appreciate your support on this Philip  Anyone else wishes to be heard, yes sir, please identify yourself and talk for your organisation. Yes, thank you for the opportunity to speak today. My name is Matt Almond, I'm with the North Carolina Justice Center. We represent and advocate for low income students and their families in the educational system, and we really understand the importance of avoiding unnecessary and duplicative paperwork for teachers who are really stretched extremely thin right now, and we certainly don't want to create any kind of extra work, but we really think it's important that the law contains a policy statement that says three things, that really gives the message to parents and children that one, the average students are going to be identified. That we're going to have a system in place to identify them, and then that's going to take place regularly both within, not every other year, but within the year. Two, that they receive some evidence based educational interventions that are going to help them overcome the risk of failure, that that's ensured in the law as well. I think it's really important that parents and families be sent that message as well, and three, this is one area where the PEP has helped at least in pockets that, it was sort of an avenue for parental involvement where parents could use the PEP database and said statutes to request a meeting with with their teachers and try to come up with a plan, that's going to help their child, so, a third thing we would want to see as the law moves, this law moves forward, is that the parents are as involved as possible and have an opportunity input the teachers on which interventions are going to be most appropriate for their child, so, we think that this is important both in terms of students constitutional rights to sound basic education but also that it's really the best way for a child's educational plan to be developed. So we really appreciate those sponsors willingness to work with us this far to move kind of closer to these goals and we have to, continue to be able to work on those three goals that this government has forwarded. Thank you. Thank you, anyone else, say none Representative Cleaveland, we are ready for your motion. Thank you Mr. Chairman. Unfavorable report for house bill 237 in favor for the proposed committee substitute to House Bill 237 All you've heard the motion for the discussion. All those in favor say I [xx]. Those opposed, no. The aye's have it, and this meeting is adjourned!.