Category: "Campaign Updates"

Legislative Update – July 16, 2015

 

Here’s Rep. Jordan’s Newsletter for the week of July 16, 2015.

In this issue:

  • a bill to streamline the legal process regarding expert witnesses heads to the Governor for signature
  • Ashe County’s best kept secrets
  • Rep. Jordan appointed to the Legislature’s Budget Conference Committee
  • status updates on bills in the Legislature

Download the full update now.

7-16-2015 Newsletter

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Legislative Update – July 2, 2015

Here’s Rep. Jordan’s Legislative Newsletter for Thursday, July 2nd, 2015.

In this edition: Rep. Jordan joins MADD at a press conference to promote Interlock for first-time drunk driving offenders, Rep. Jordan wins a Sunshine Reward for “superior” disclosure reports, and the current status of bills in the legislature.

Download the newsletter here!

7-2-2015 Newsletter 7-2-2015 Newsletter

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June 26, 2015 Budget Update – A Look at the Senate and House Education Budgets

This information is provided verbatim from the Public School Forum of North Carolina

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Last week, the Senate passed their version of the 2015-17 budget. On Tuesday of this week, the House formally rejected the Senate’s version and the two chambers will now head to conference committee to seek a compromise budget.

In this article, we highlight several of the differences in the education portions of the House and Senate budgets. Some of the largest differences include total spending on education, teacher salaries, teacher assistants and driver’s education.

Overall Budget

The Senate budget provides a 2 percent spending increase, with the entire budget totaling $21.47 billion for 2015-16. In contrast, the House budget provides a 5 percent spending increase, with the entire budget totaling $22.2 billion.

K-12 Education Budget

The Senate budget increases K-12 spending by $176.4 million, or 2.2 percent, over the current fiscal year. The House would increase the K-12 budget by $268.8 million, or 3.3 percent, over the current year, although $31.6 million of that is nonrecurring funding. Funding statewide enrollment growth accounts for $100 million of the K-12 increase in both the House and Senate budgets.

Teacher Assistants

The House would keep teacher assistant staffing at this year’s levels. The Senate budget would reduce money for teacher assistants by $57.5 million next year and $166 million the year after. In addition, $113 million would be eliminated from state lottery profits for the assistants. This would do away with approximately 8,500 teacher assistant positions over the next two years. Instead of funding teacher assistants, Senate Republicans want to spend $273 million more through mid-2017 ($80 million in 2015-16 and $193 million the following year) to reduce class size in grades K-3. The Senate plan would reduce kindergarten class size to a 1:17 ratio and grades 1-3 to a 1:15 ratio, resulting in a need to hire more than 4,000 additional teachers.

Teacher Salary

Both the House and Senate budgets provide salary increases for teachers, but their specifics differ.

The House budget provides a 2 percent across-the-board pay increase for teachers, state employees and retirees. The budget would also raise the salary of starting teachers to $35,000 per year and would pay for teachers to move from one salary step to the next.

Senate leaders say they provide an average 4 percent raise for all teachers, although the specific amount depends on how long a teacher has served and where they are in the series of salary steps. Like the House, the Senate budget raises starting teacher salaries to $35,000 per year, but it does not fund an across-the-board pay raise for teachers or state employees or a cost-of-living increase for retirees. Under the Senate’s plan, most of that extra money would go toward teachers with less than 15 years of experience. Those with 25+ years of experience would not see any increases to their current base salary from the state.

Under both House and Senate proposals, teachers going into their fifth year of teaching would receive the biggest boost. With the Senate plan, they’d go from $35,000 to $38,250; under the House, they’d receive $37,230.

Driver’s Education

In contrast to the House budget, the Senate would not provide funding for driver’s education. Instead, it would allow local boards of education to charge students the full cost of the program. Currently, local boards of education can only require students to pay up to $65 for the classes. With the cap lifted, that cost could go up to $300 or more depending on the county. In 2016-17, the Senate budget would move driver’s education from NC DPI to the community college system.

Textbooks & Digital Learning

The Senate would spend less than the House on textbooks, increasing the allocation by $29 million annually compared to $43 million increases each year in the House plan. The House also provides an additional $4.8 million in non-reoccurring funds for textbooks for 2015-16.

Vouchers

Both the House and Senate budgets expand the Opportunity Scholarship program by $6.8 million each year, bringing the total cost of the program to $17.6 million each year of the biennium. However, unlike the House, the Senate allotted the funds to be recurring going forward. The NC Supreme Court has yet to rule on the constitutionality of the program. Senate and House leaders have petitioned the court to allow the program to disperse funds while the ruling is pending.

Master’s Pay Supplement

The Senate budget provides no funding going forward to pay teachers a salary supplement for obtaining new master’s degrees. The House proposal would continue to provide a pay bump to those who obtain new master’s degrees in the disciplines in which they teach.

Additional Items of Note in the Senate Budget

  • Directs schools and districts to develop school improvement plans for schools receiving a D or F under the school grading system, with the exception of D or F schools that exceed academic growth. No additional funding is attached to this directive.
  • Reduces the Department of Public Instructions funding by $4.8 million, a ten percent cut
  • Moves educator licensure from a section at NC DPI to a newly created Office of Educator Licensure which would report directly to the State Board of Education
  • Proposes eliminating retirement health care benefit coverage for new teachers and any other state employee hired after January 1, 2016
  • Gives the State Board of Education ability to consolidate contiguous Local Education Agencies
  •  Senate budget does not appropriate funding for a new teacher recruitment and scholarship program, a school leadership development initiative, differential roles and pay for teachers pilot or the state’s new digital learning efforts, all of which were included in the House budget

Feel free to download and distribute a copy of this document.

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Legislative Update – May 21, 2015

Here’s Rep. Jordan’s General Assembly Newsletter for Thursday, May 21, 2015.

In this issue: ASU students visit Raleigh to learn about the inner workings of the state legislature, Juvenile Code reforms heads to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law, and Rep. Jordan speaks at the Apartment Association of North Carolina’s Education & Legislative Conference about changes in landlord-tenant laws.

Download the full newsletter Rep. Jordan’s General Assembly Update for May 21, 2015.

5-21-2015 Newsletter 5-21-2015 Newsletter

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Legislative Update – May 14, 2015

Check out Rep. Jonathan Jordan’s General Assembly Newsletter for the week!

In this issue: updates on House Bill H878 – Expand Board of Trustees at the School of Science and Mathematics; the Senate passes Juvenile Code Reform, and the House Committee on Children, Youth and Families, which Rep. Jordan serves as Chairman, passes the Custodial Parent/Party Cooperate w/Child Support bill, which requires a person with primary custody of a child receiving child care subsidy payments to cooperate with county child support services as a condition of receiving the subsidy payments.

Download it here!

5-14-2015 Newsletter

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Legislative Update – April 24, 2015

Check out Rep. Jordan’s General Assembly Newsletter for this week.

Included are updates on revisions to the Juvenile Justice Code, bills being heard that protect private property, secure against counterfeit airbags, and protect the privacy of our Law Enforcement Officers.

Legislative Update for April 24, 2015!

4-23-2015 Newsletter

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Legislative Update – April 16, 2015

Download and read Rep. Jordan’s most recent legislative update – download here!

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Campaign Commercial: How State Representative Jordan is Protecting Children, Supporting Teachers, and Cutting Taxes

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Bob Crawford of the Avett Brothers Supports State Representative Jonathan Jordan

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The Truth About Education, Unemployment, and Medicaid

EDUCATION

  • Public education budgets have increased $1 billion from 2010-11 to 2014-15, not cut $500 million, as is being falsely stated.  $7.53 billion in 2010-11: $8.6 billion in 2014-15
  • Gov. Perdue and her party froze teacher pay in 2009; We unfroze it in 2014. Every teacher is getting a raise; Largest raises to teachers hit hardest in the freeze.
  • $321 million=largest amount for education raises in N.C. history, 7% average = one of the largest percents for teacher raises.
  • Lt. Gov. Forest set a goal to be at or above the national average for teacher pay in three years; this is year one.
  • In 2011, we inherited a $3 billion budget shortfall from Gov. Perdue and her party. We balanced the budget while cutting taxes for every N.C. family.
  • The average family of four has saved over $1200 since 2011 just on sales tax; this is everyone who buys things. EVERYONE

UNEMPLOYMENT

  • Gov. Perdue inherited a $1 billion surplus unemployment insurance.  Four years later, 2013 she left Gov. McCrory a $2.7 billion debt in unemployment insurance.
  • Our tax reform, regulatory reform and other reforms have made it easier for small businesses to hire more people; the unemployment rate has dropped from almost 10% to near 6.5% since early 2013.  This is in spite of federal policies that make it harder for small businesses.

ELECTION REFORM

  • Our election reforms simply brings us in line with most other states; only one other state had same day registration.
  • Over 35 states have a for of voter I.D. Georgia’s experience has shown that photo I.D. does not reduce voter turnout for minorities the elderly, etc.

MEDICAID

  • State Medicaid costs have more than doubled since 2011.  The proposal to also expand eligibility could cost the state $5 billion, possible doubling your state sales tax.
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