This week more than 200 teachers with North Carolina Virtual Public Schools (NCVPS) were notified of an impending mandatory 31-day break in their service due to a state law governing temporary employees. While NCVPS employment had been permitted under the statute for years, the Office of State Human Resources (OSHR) recently determined that the arrangement was out of compliance.
The furloughs would impact fall semester course offerings for thousands of students statewide who rely on the platform.
In a Friday letter to NCVPS educators, State Board of Education chairman Eric Davis noted the “significant, practical” impacts the furloughs would have on teachers, students, and school districts. With the beginning of the traditional school year right around the corner, the State Board and the Department of Public Instruction are working with members of the General Assembly and the Governor’s office to address the problem.
Late Friday, the State Board’s Director of Government Relations Cecilia Holden said the board had requested a temporary waiver from OSHR and was working with the General Assembly to find a solution. Among others, one option being reviewed is the possibility of identifying and enacting a limited legislative exemption from this requirement for NCVPS temporary employees.
Holden noted that House K-12 Education Committee Chair Craig Horn shared that the Staff and Education Chairs are working on a solution to this issue and feel that they have the situation well in hand. They expect to have the problem solved before any such furloughs are implemented. She added, “In this time of need, we are thankful to our legislators who are working diligently to partner with K-12 education for the benefit of our students.”SBE_NCVPS_memo_8022019