Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — State Superintendent Catherine Truitt, State Board of Education Chairman Eric Davis and Vice Chairman Alan Duncan have unveiled their joint budget priorities, which will be discussed in greater detail during Thursday’s State Board meeting.
These joint budget priorities reflect Truitt’s vision for public education in the state while also aligning closely with the board’s strategic priorities. These budget requests are critical to North Carolina’s COVID-19 recovery plan as well as casting a long-term vision for the future of education in the state.
Truitt stressed the unified effort by the board and superintendent to help the state’s students and schools recover from the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to strengthen public education across the state for all students.
“Today continues a new chapter here at the Department of Public Instruction, as the department has worked in tandem with the State Board of Education to outline its budget priorities for the new year,” Truitt said. “This joint budget proposal reinforces our commitment to putting students at center of all that we do as ‘one team, one voice.’
“These priorities reflect our immediate plan for COVID recovery while also casting a long-term vision for public education in this state. We recognize the need to address literacy challenges head on, as it is one of our greatest needs following a year of remote-learning. Funding for student safety and mental health will also be critical to addressing statewide learning challenges.
“In order for every student to have a highly-qualified, excellent teacher, we must prioritize our educator pipeline. In support of this priority, we will build on the work of the General Assembly regarding teacher pay by advocating for North Carolina to become number one in the Southeast.”
Board Vice Chairman Alan Duncan, who serves as chairman of the board’s Business Operations Committee, said the close working partnership between the board and superintendent is especially critical at this time.
“The State Board of Education appreciates the work of the superintendent and her team to create joint legislative and budget priorities,” Duncan said. “It is important that we address the needs of our educational system by addressing student academic and non-academic supports. We do this by providing and requesting funding to support student safety and mental health, COVID recovery needs and ensuring we continue to support efforts to increase our educator pipeline.”
Board Chairman Eric Davis underscored the importance of the board and superintendent working hand-in-hand to maximize the efforts of both the department and the board.
“Never before has it been more important to address our students’ needs through a comprehensive and holistic approach,” Davis said. “Superintendent Truitt’s vision in alignment with the board’s strategic priorities creates a unified, focused and stronger plan to achieve the critical goals needed for maximum impact. The needs of our students, educators, districts, and charter schools are greater today because of COVID-19. It will take a persistent, determined, and unyielding multi-year commitment of monetary and human resources to achieve the social, emotional, mental and educational needs of every student in our state.”
Superintendent and State Board of Education’s Joint Budget Priorities:
♦ Science of Reading Professional Development and Training
♦ Competency-Based Diagnostic and Learning Platform & Professional Development<
♦ Limited English Proficiency and ESL Allotment and Services Expansion
♦ Student Information System Modernization
♦ Educator Preparedness Project
♦ Broadband/Internet Connectivity
♦ Advocating for #1 in Southeast Teacher Pay
♦ Advanced Teaching Roles
♦ District Assistance and Turnaround Support Staff
♦ Specialized Instructional Support Personnel FTEs
♦ Investing in School Psychologists Pipeline
♦ New Teacher Support Program
♦ Alternative Pathways for Teacher and Principal Recruitment
♦ Residential Schools Support Positions
♦ Licensure, Teacher Recruitment, Applicant Tracking, & Grants Management Systems Modernization
♦ Bonuses for non-Certified Support Staff (TA’s, bus drivers, cafeteria workers etc.)
Testing and Accountability
♦ Competency-based Education Tool and Professional Development
♦ Statewide Uniform Education Reporting System Expansion
♦ Financial and HR Systems Modernization
♦ Data Transparency Dashboards
♦ Common Education Data Analysis and Reporting System (CEDARS) Expansion
♦ NC Virtual Observation Tool
♦ Turnaround Principal Training Program
♦ Charter School Data Management System
♦ Panorama Statewide Student Survey Pilot