Good morning everyone. I’d like to call this meeting to order. First I’d like to begin by thanking our pages. We have Christine Long from Senator Berger, Kwon Anderson from Senator Bryant, Andrew Cavari from Senator Barefoot and Odem Wilford from Senator Nesbitt. Thank you for your service today. With us as Sergeant at Arms we have Ashley Mickens, Steve Wilson, Ed Kessler and Billy Fritcher. We have one bill on the calendar today, Senate bill 320. We’re going to hear some questions and comments from members, we have a couple of people who’d like to speak and that is our plan and agenda for today. Yes first we’ll need a motion to adopt the PCS. Senator Cook moves. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye [SPEAKER CHANGES] Opposed nay. The ayes have it. The PCS is before you. Senator Daniel please explain the PCS. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I guess this bill has been worked on for a long time by Senator Newton and myself and some house members who have a joint interest in the fact that both of us have a North Carolina School for the Deaf in our districts. The deaf community has come to us and been interested in sort of advancing the literacy efforts of our deaf and hard of hearing children in the school system. Basically that’s what this bill does and just so you’ll be aware, the PCS, the only thing that was really modified in that is in section one. There is a sub paragraph two and that was just cleaned up a little bit to eliminate a reference to an outdated test or database. That’s the only section that I understand was changed from the original version to the PCS but what this bill does is it focuses on the development of literacy for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and it does so by monitoring their progress. We know that reading ability is so important to educational achievement and specifically, one of the things… Probably the two things that the bill does mostly is one, in the development of an IEP plan for these children the parents will have an option to have a representative from one of the residential schools there to at least present the opportunities that are available to these children at a residential school so that the option is presented to them by somebody who knows about the institutions and not necessarily somebody from another part of state government. The other thing is that it will allow better tracking through the databases of deaf child and hard of hearing children’s progress as they meet benchmarks and so that they will be flagged in the database, which they are not always now, as being a deaf or hard of hearing child. I think that’s generally the emphasis of the bill. As far as I know there’s been no real opposition to the bill. DPS supports the bill and I think all the state quarters that I’m aware of basically support the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Senator Daniel. Senator Bryant, do you have a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I just wanted to, at the appropriate time, move for a favorable report and say that this is very important to our constituencies which include the school for the deaf in my district and I think one of the important issues I heard from the state caucus is that often there are misdiagnoses, if you will, of some of these students. They are presumed to have learning disabilities and there may be communication issues and these steps, setting out and delineating these four steps that would need to be taken will help make sure the communication issues are clearly identified, which may be significantly important in helping them read and communicate in addition to what other learning disabilities may be involved and I think that would be an important accomplishment. For that reason we ask your support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Great. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] If I could Mr. Chairman, I would just thank Senator Newton and Senator Bryant for their help in developing this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Great. Thank you. I don’t see any questions or comments. We do have two people from the audience that would like to speak. I’d like to ask Sergeant at Arms could you ask Megan Cats to speak for two minutes please? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hi my name is Megan Cats. I’m a resident of Wake County. I’m a constituent of Senator Stein. Thank you all for your service. I am here as a representative of North….
D Bausch, even like you got you as senators and legislators to reconsider this bill and we support the development of spoken language found in children with hearing loss that overarching mission is for all children with hearing loss to reach their potential. You go read Senators is clearly terrific map present majority of your constituents in reply, it relied on stakeholders to guide your decision making when it built with this kind of title comes across your desk. It seems like an army to be a good thing and we applaud your willingness to support children with hearing loss. This is a well-intentioned bill. However, there are several points which we support that they need further refining consideration before legislation is enacted. There are thirteen stakeholder groups in North Carolina that serve children with hearing loss across the state. This bill was written by two of them in North Carolina schools for the deaf represent ten percent of the population of children with hearing loss across the state, about a hundred and sixty students. There are two thousand more children in North Carolina in the public schools are under represented in the composition of this bill am not here to imply that sign language in the schools for the death by not important that they don't provide and partner resource first-time children. That is a small subset of children with hearing loss and unfortunately and of course testing a showing that the graduates and students across the board action at the schools that I significantly lagging behind their peers in the public schools, and it lies are going to be put into place. AG Bell would like to ask that stakeholders with experience in improving outcomes for children with hearing loss that the table when offering a bill such as this. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, scouts and we do have Julia Adams elected recognition for treatment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] good morning, my name is Julia Aventine, the assistant to him relations for the artist, North Carolina– North Carolina has been working actively on this legislation author for the past four years York of North Carolina is a nonprofit organization that was founded by parents of children with intellectual and no mental disabilities ever six years and throughout our history, that it is really a supported educational opportunities that recognizes students diversity, supports the child's ability to fully included academics and creates an environment that each child is afforded the ability to reach their full potential and significant number of students with intellectual and development of disabilities. I also diagnosed with hearing loss. The Centers for Disease Control and prevention reports that nearly one quarter of children with hearing loss have one or more others of elemental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities or vision loss. This prepares legislation creates a framework where child is deaf or hard of hearing will have a second monitoring monitoring their progress through the school system. The goal of achieving a standard and literacy for this population and ensuring that appropriate communication plans are made available with options for families is critical to students have multiple disabilities, one of which is hearing off working just achieving a standard literacy assists an individual in securing options for higher education and for employment, and we ask you to integrate their participation thank you sounds and we do have a motion for the report, but we know that's a good question. Your essay available select with the comments of some son [SPEAKER CHANGES] thank you so. Ms. Katz, a quick question, yes, the Ì evinces some extremely well intended legislation, and I read what before charges to the state board of education are under the no minimum jumps out at me is being our wrong were more poorly worded, is there anything specific you can point to that is your concern sort. I don't know and I can stress your name, your religion on cyanide and half an eye with North Carolina Isabel and also speechless pathologist who has been teaching seven to develop second language, and since nineteen ninety. So if you look at that. There is a clause about teachers being highly qualified to fill that bat is certainly a magnet every student deserves absolutely however, as going to be very difficult to define and enforce the legislation as teachers of the staff are required only to have a bachelors degree. There is no examination certification process that they must go through to prove that they are good at what they do and they are effective speech. I
are required to have a Master’s degree and a certification, but the resources for specific training and teaching children to develop spoken language is limited, so you cannot just say this person is highly qualified without stating “This is what it takes to achieve that designation.” In addition, there was a clause about collecting data. Section 2, I believe it says that there will be a database, and certainly collecting data is very important, but there’s no designation as to what the importance… what’s going to be done with that data. It’s going to require a lot of labor and time, and what are we going to do with it? What we find is that long-range planning is what makes the difference for these children. It’s sitting down with a variety of an IEP team and giving them… saying “This is where we are. In five years, this is where we need to be. How are we going to get there?” Collecting data and doing an assessment is a piece of that, but it’s not even close to all of it. And lastly, there was one more piece. It throws me at this point. I think it was section 1.2, but I can grab my notes if I have time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well thank you. And Senator Daniel, you had a comment. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Well first of all I guess I could sat to Ms. ??, or to the committee, really, is that as Ms. Adams indicated, this bill has been in development for at least two sessions, and that certainly there was no intent by the members who were working on the bill to exclude any interest group who at any time wanted to express an opinion or their thoughts or concerns about the bill. So I had heard as of yesterday that the A.G. Bell Society may have had some concerns about the bill. This is the first I’ve heard that expressed now that it’s passed the House and it’s in a Senate committee, but in regard to the database, we’re not developing a new database. It’s a database that exists. This children are monitored when they’re in the preschool years in the DHHS database, and then they’re later monitored in the DPI database, and so this is really more of an effort to just make that data more effective by identifying children who are deaf or hard of hearing so that they’re flagged so they can be monitored based on their literacy achievement. It’s not a new database. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Senator Bryant, you had a question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m only wanting to add that the comments she’s making are really consistent with the purposes of the bill, that it does specify and more clearly delineate a team that would need to be available to address the complex needs that Ms. Adams described, and in section 1 and 2, the data that’s referenced is just that the data that will be used to make decisions about the placement of the child will be identified. It doesn’t indicate that some database would be created from that, at least in one and two, and then he addressed the other database he referenced that the team would have access to, the educators would have access to, so I think some of the concerns she raises will be fleshed out by DPI, the state board, and probably DPI as they implement these four sections, and I think there’ll be plenty of opportunity for that, and I met several times with Superintendent Atkinson and she’s very committed to making sure all stakeholders who work with this population with complex sets of disabilities will be included. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Great, thank you. And we do have a motion for a favorable report on the floor. Any further questions or comments? Seeing none, we do have… it needs to be a… It’s a motion to favorable to the PCS, unfavorable to the original bill. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Opposed, say nay. The ayes have it. The bill passes and meeting’s adjourned. Thank you for your time.