On Wednesday, April 12th, North Carolina Superintendent Mark Johnson filed response documents related to the State Board of Education lawsuit over House Bill 17 (HB17).
HB17 is entitled Modify Certain Appts/Employment.
The bill shifts certain powers previously held by the State Board of Education to the new State Superintendent. The bill stated that the Superintendent is no longer “Subject to the direction, control, and approval of the State Board of Education,”.
HB 17 gives the Superintendent the power to, “create and administer special funds within the Department of Public Instruction to manage funds received as grants from nongovernmental sources in support of public education.”
The documents filed by Johnson last week include:
- Motion for Summary Judgment
- Superintendent’s Brief in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment
- Affidavit of NC Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson
- Answer and Defenses of Superintendent Mark Johnson
The brief characterizes HB 17 as ‘overly aggressive, stating that, “In its amended complaint the State Board stakes an aggressive claim to inviolable authority over essentially every aspect of North Carolina’s public schools.”
The brief makes the case that HB 17 is restoring powers previously stripped from the office of Superintendent by the General Assembly through, “far-reaching legislation in 1995.”
The brief also says that HB 17 is an attempt to restore the Superintendent as the, “day-today chief” or “direct administrator” of the daily operations of schools in the state.
That restraining order issued by a judge to keep the HB 17 from taking effect remains in place. A three-judge panel has given notice they intend to hear the case on June 29, 2017. The three-judge panel was appointed by North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin.