NC Legislature Eases Up on Class-Size Reduction Mandate – Part II

Yesterday, I wrote a post about the NC Legislature having reached a tentative deal in the class-size debacle, which would allow a four-year phase-in of the class size reduction mandate and allocate funds to help school districts pay for the additional teachers required to meet the mandate.

It seems the deal may be held up after it was revealed that Republicans planned to use $58 million from a fund Governor Cooper negotiated with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and meant to be used for economic development, environmental impact, and renewable energy initiatives.  Republicans suggested the fund was directly tied to the pipeline’s permit approval, and questioned its legality in their justification to allocate the money toward funding class size reductions instead.

Additionally, HB 90 also seeks to add a ninth member to the state elections board, continuing what is said to be an attempt to limit the Democratic Governor’s power.

The elections board previously consisted of five members, three appointed by the Governor’s party. Under Republican Governor Pat McCrory, the Republican majority board oversaw a significant decrease in early voting hours and polling places. Before incoming Governor Roy Cooper had an opportunity to reverse those reductions, the Republican legislature authorized a new configuration of the board, now with 8 members – 4 from each political party, ensuring political gridlock. In January of this year, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled 4-3 against the law, finding it violates the state Constitution’s requirement for separation of powers.

Republican attempts to tie in to the legislation the additon of a ninth member to the elections board, when the recent court ruling is still being sorted out, and attempting to reallocate money intended for other purposes raise the question of whether HB 90 will pass when it comes to a vote.  More updates later.

From today’s N&O – Class size, pipeline, elections board tied in NC legislature

From Slate – North Carolina Supreme Court Strikes Down GOP Attempt to Control Elections Board

From – Supreme Court sides with Cooper in fight over NC elections board

Categories: Wake County Schools

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