Education
House Leaders File $200 Million Funding Bill For New ECU Medical School Construction PDF Print E-mail
Education
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 27 January 2021 11:26
House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) filed legislation (HB 6) to provide $215 million for the construction of a new Brody School of Medicine facility at East Carolina University. He was joined by primary bill sponsors Speaker of the House Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), Representative Chris Humphrey (R-Pitt) and Representative Ed Goodwin (R-Chowan). 
 
“I am proud to lead the effort to fund the construction of a new Brody School of Medicine and reaffirm our commitment to improving healthcare access in eastern North Carolina by filing this important bill on the first day of legislative work,” said Majority Leader Bell. “The Brody School of Medicine has a long history of training and preparing physicians who stay right here in rural eastern North Carolina. Our region desperately needs more providers and the construction of this facility will be a huge benefit and asset to our area and the entire state.” 
 
Last legislative session, Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the budget, which included funding for the new facility. Despite bipartisan support, legislative Democrats refused to override the Governor’s veto and blocked these critical resources from becoming law.
 
“The state House is committed once again to accomplishing this healthcare priority for eastern North Carolina, where residents depend on graduates from the Brody School of Medicine for access to care,” Speaker Tim Moore. “Building this facility as soon as possible is a vital initiative that the General Assembly has budgeted carefully to afford, and I urge all of my colleagues in state government to ensure funding for this priority is delivered in 2021.” 
 
“I am proud to sponsor this legislation to build a new Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, an institution that has continued to serve our region and state with quality higher education opportunities,” said Representative Humphrey. “The new medical facility is critical to attracting quality healthcare practitioners equipped to serve Lenoir and Pitt counties along with the surrounding rural communities. I am committed to getting this important legislation approved and signed into law for the betterment of rural eastern North Carolina.” 
 
The economic impact for the construction of the building is $395 million and would provide 1,700 jobs. By 2028, the new Brody School of Medicine facility is projected to have an annual impact of nearly $300 million.
 
“I want to personally thank former Representatives Brian Brown, Dr. Perrin Jones and Congressman Dr. Greg Murphy for their efforts over the years to lead this effort and I am excited to pick up where they left off,” said Majority Leader Bell. 
 
 
Senate Leader Plans To Introduce Early Childhood Literacy Legislation PDF Print E-mail
Education
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 27 January 2021 10:23
EdNC today a legislative preview highlighting Senate Leader Phil Berger's (R-Rockingham) intent to reintroduce early childhood literacy legislation that passed the Senate unanimously in 2019. Dozens of stakeholders, including appointees to the State Board of Education, helped write the 2019 bill over many months. 
 
Below are excerpts from the EdNC piece. 
 
Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, read with interest about Transylvania County Schools’ shift to align reading instruction with how scientific research says kids learn to read. Some of the district’s plans reminded him of a state law he tried pushing through two years ago. 
 
"I feel good for Transylvania County and for the students in Transylvania County," he said. "Where my frustration level is raised a little bit is … we certainly don’t have the outcomes that I think would be better if we had more districts doing the same. … We’ve not seen any mass movement in this direction."
 
Berger intends to change that in this year’s legislative session. He plans to re-introduce legislation similar to 2019’s Excellent Public Schools Act.
 
Berger candidly acknowledges Read to Achieve’s shortcomings, and he won't defend it just because his name is attached to it. He wants to fix it, he said.
 
After legislative reform failed in 2019, Berger said, he worked with members of the State Board of Education and staff inside the Department of Public Instruction to push reform through policy.
 
The State Board and DPI spent much of 2020 working on just that. The board convened a literacy task force whose report helped inform and support the work of a K-12 Literacy Committee at DPI.
 
The State Board and DPI seem poised to continue policy support for science-backed approaches to reading instruction.
 
Truitt advocated for the science of reading during her campaign for superintendent. And this month, State Board Chair Eric Davis listed it as the second of his three legislative priorities.
 
"We need to double down on literacy,” he said. “Every academic subject depends on our students’ ability to read. We’ve got to get on the same page with our partners across the districts around the science of reading and make a concerted effort to not only close the gaps, but also accelerate students’ literacy skills."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 January 2021 10:25
 
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