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N.C. House meets with superintendents, teachers, principals on education changes

Groups of superintendents, teachers and school principals will be in Raleigh this week to offer legislators advice on new education laws.

House Speaker Thom Tillis, a Mecklenburg Republican, said legislators want to know from people who work in schools every day what can be done to improve results and how the changes legislators are considering will mesh with existing rules and practices.

The confabs are beginning early in the session so "they feel comfortable with first, providing us with ideas but also challenging us when they see legislation moving that they believe may be operationally problematic."

Tillis doesn't expect harmony on all issues. There will be bills on providing tax money to help public school students pay tuition to attend private schools. Tillis expects pushback on that idea, but that superintendents and legislators will have to "agree to disagree" on that.

The public meetings with educators this week will be from 11 a.m. -1 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, in the House Chamber.

Superintendents are scheduled for Tuesday, local principals of the year for Wednesday, and local teachers of the year for Thursday.

Morning Memo: Redistricting in the courts, education in the legislature

THE MOST IMPORTANT POLITICAL STORY IN N.C.: The legal fight about the new political boundaries drawn by Republicans in the redistricting process is headed to court this week. A three-judge panelwill hear the arguments Monday and Tuesday after Democrats and groups fighting the maps filed suit contending they were unlawful. The new boundaries seal Republican power in the state legislature for the next decade and Democrats need a judicial reversal to regain strength.

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: The House will focus on education this week, with local school superintendents from across the state invited to meet with lawmakers. House Speaker Thom Tillis will hold a 3 p.m. press conference to discuss "education week." The House and Senate convene Monday evening for skeleton sessions. No votes are expected.

***Good Monday morning. Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo. Find more political news and a weekend headline wrap below. And find out more information about the N&O's new iPad app, available for download now. (Programming note: Dome is not available on the app at the moment. Look for an upgrade later.)***

School superintendents address Raleigh committee tomorrow

At long last, school superintendents will be at a Raleigh legislative committee to talk about budgets. But the money talk may be brief. 

House Speaker Thom Tillis promised last year that superintendents would be called to Raleigh to explain how they handled budget cuts, particularly to justify any teacher or teacher aide cuts. The meeting, initially promised for late 2011, was delayed. 

In the meantime, a debate has raged between Democrats and Republicans over how many teachers lost their jobs and whether the GOP budget was good or bad for education. 

Four school superintendents are schedule to appear at a legislative education committee meeting tomorrow. They are: Jeff Cox of Alleghany County, Michael T. Bracy of Jones County, Jeffrey Moss of Lee County, and Donald Martin of Winston-Salem/Forsyth.

The superintendents may not get too much into budgeting nitty-gritty, however. According to Martin's office, the committee invited him to talk about successful best practices the district has used and ways they can be scalable statewide, and to briefly address the budget impact on the district. 

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