Update from Legislative / Advocacy Chair Tara Muller 9/26/17
Class Size Law and Possible Student Transfers
Since the passage of HB13 in spring 2017, which reduced class sizes in elementary schools (but which did not provide increased funding to pay for the changes), principals across NC are considering how to accommodate smaller class sizes in growing school districts such as Wake County. Along with other districts, the Wake County School Board has been working hard to address the new class size requirements. Among the options are blending grades, having multiple classes in one classroom, increasing class size in upper grades, eliminating specials, and putting specials onto a moveable cart.
Another idea is to move students to new schools. On September 18, 2017, the Wake County School Board released the first draft of its 2018-19 Student Assignment Plan. Some families at Brooks are affected under the attendance boundary changes of the draft plan, because the plan removes the high “grandfathering” priority usually given to existing students. Check out student assignment at www.wcpss.net/enrollmentproposal to see if your family is affected. That site provides information about dates of public forums and how to give feedback.
Also, the North Carolina PTA is gathering information, meeting with community groups, and speaking with parents about how to best advocate for our schools in the upcoming legislative session regarding the K-3 mandate. If you have ideas, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every Student Succeeds
On September 7, 2017, the NC State Board of Education approved the State’s final plan under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the replacement for the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The plan, which will go into effect this school year, must now be approved by the U.S. Department of Education within 120 days.
The focus of the plan is to improve public schools and student outcomes. Included are 10-year goals for student performance using current end-of-grade and end-of-course exams; closing achievement gaps among specific minority groups, English learners and students with disabilities; and increasing NC’s four-year cohort graduation rate to 95 percent, up from the 2016 baseline of 85.9 percent.
If you learn of policy issues or legislation affecting Brooks, please contact Advocacy Chair Tara Muller at (919) 244-4131 or Tara@MullerLawFirm.com.