Neighbors on Call's Weekly Policy Update for 8/9/21


COVID-19



Fair Representation


  • On Thursday the NC House Standing Committee on Redistricting and the NC Senate Standing Committee on Redistricting and Elections met jointly to establish procedures and rules for the 2021 redistricting process. With filing for the 2022 elections opening on December 6 and census data scheduled to be released August 12, the committees have a short window of time to complete the redrawing of district lines. Even before the census data is released, however, the committees intend to begin proposing and debating redistricting criteria this week. The committees appear to intend to continue following procedures designed to increase transparency in the redistricting process that stemmed from a 2019 court decision. Public comments on the redistricting process can be submitted through the newly-opened public portal.


Education Policy


  • The NC House’s proposed budget, parts of which were released on Thursday, includes several significant education policy changes. These include delaying the implementation of new social studies standards designed to be more inclusive of marginalized groups to at least the 2023-24 school year, requiring school districts to post teacher lesson plans and other instructional materials online, shifting the responsibility for curriculum updates from the State Board of Education to a politically appointed commission under Republican Superintendent of Instruction Catherine Truitt, and mandating the creation of “local community media advisory committees” by districts to evaluate challenges to instructional materials. The NC House is expected to debate its proposed budget in committee early this week and to vote on it on the House floor later this week.

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