Last week was rather busy in the Legislature. I had a telephone Town Hall with Senators  Jay Chaudhuri and  Natasha Marcus , a nd Rep. Amos Quick about education, I co-sponsored twelve bills, and I hosted a Town Hall with Rep. Sydney Batch at Wake Tech.

There's a lot to keep up with now that session is in full swing, and if you're ever wondering what I'm up to at the Legislature, feel free to look me up on Facebook or Twitter .

Finally, there have already been over 500 bills filed this session. That's a lot of legislation to sift through, and many of these bills can be quite complicated. If you have any questions or input about a bill, I encourage you to reach out to my office. We would love to hear from you.


Representative Julie von Haefen
Redistricting Town Hall
On March 28th, I was proud to join Representative Batch, Jane Pinsky (Director of the NC Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform), and David Heinen (Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy for the NC Center for Nonprofits) for a community Town Hall on Redistricting.

We learned a lot about the history of Gerrymandering in NC and why it's so important that we pass nonpartisan redistricting reform this session. Below is video from David Heinen, showcasing one of the General Assembly's greatest Magic Tricks: drawing congressional maps so that one intersection just so happens to represent 23% of North Carolina.
Thank you to everyone who attended and participated. Your questions were wonderful! If you'd like a copy of the video, please contact our office.
Legislative Updates
HB 504: Back to the Future
On Wednesday, March 27th Representatives Gill, Ball, Dahle, and I filed House Bill 504 to stagger the terms and elections of Wake County's Board of Commissioners and School Board. These changes make the terms served by elected officials uniform across district.
School Performance Grades
Schools receive grades just like students. Currently, schools’ grades are based on test scores with 80% of the grade coming from how students perform on tests (achievement) and 20% coming on how students’ scores improve during the year (growth). The current grading scale for schools is a 15 point scale, but it is scheduled to drop to a 10 point scale.

There are two big problems with current law. The first is that the grade emphasizes how well students test and not how well schools are teaching students. Imagine two different schools.

  • School A is full of lots of wealthy families. The students have pretty good test scores, but for whatever reason the school is not working that well and test scores stay at the pretty good level.
  • School B is full of lots of lower income families. The students have low test scores, but the school staff is terrific and the kids make great strides throughout the year and their test scores rise significantly to an average level.

Under our current system, School A will have higher grade than School B despite the fact that School B is doing a much better job lifting up its students than School A.

HB 354 passed the NC House this week and would change the scoring formula so growth counts for 50% of a school’s grade and not 20%.

The second problem with the current system is we are about to shift from a 15 point grading scale to a 10 point grading scale. This means that a bunch of schools will see their A-F letter grade go down even though nothing has changed at their school. Attaching grades to schools based on test scores only is not a good idea, and arbitrarily lowering those grades by changing the grading scale is an even worse idea. That’s why I voted for HB 362 to keep the scale where it is.

A third bill that passed the House this week is HB 266 which assigns each school two grades – one for testing achievement and one for testing growth. These three bills are not perfect, but they would improve our current situation. Unfortunately, the outlook for all three in the State Senate is not good.
Office Hours
Every First Friday & Third Thursday
Please be advised that the location for this Friday's office hours has changed!
Stop by my office hours to talk about your district needs.
There will be no set agenda. RSVPs are not required, but they do help me plan ahead.
District News
New Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center
Alliance Health, in collaboration with Wake County, has developed and opened a new service in Raleigh to help people who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis. Much like the physical health urgent care facilities that are becoming common in our communities, a behavioral health urgent care center provides rapid assessment of an individual’s situation, routine intervention, and referrals for follow up services. 

The new center in Raleigh, located at 319 Chapanoke Road. Suite 120, is open for adults and children Monday-Thursday from 8 am to 8 pm, on Fridays from 8 am to 3 pm and on Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm

For more information, call: 919-651-8401
Education Spotlight
Hope Creek Academy
I loved speaking to the HS class at Hope Creek Academy in Durham on March 18th! This nonprofit school serves 60 elementary & secondary students who “need structure, consistency, positive reinforcement, more movement, reduced stress, both remediation and challenge along with a multi-sensory way of learning.”

We had a great discussion & the students asked questions about being a candidate, why NC is a “purple state,” what is gerrymandering, the 2020 election & how much money we get paid in the NCGA. (Spoiler alert- not much!)
Advocating for Our District
In Focus with Loretta Boniti
This week I appeared on an episode of “In Focus with Loretta Boniti” on Spectrum News! We discuss  STEM  education in North Carolina along with Rep. Dean Arp and other guests.
NC Testing Culture Forum
I was happy to be interviewed by Spectrum News at the  NC Testing Culture Forum on March 16th
I hate to be biased but my favorite advocacy group visited the  NCGA  on March 26th - the North Carolina PTA!

Advocates from across NC came to meet with legislators & attend committee meetings. I was proud to open the day by meeting with members to share my story as a PTA leader and insights as a member of the House. Thank you for all you do for kids & teachers! 
Borderless Friends
I absolutely loved speaking on this Leadership Panel with high school exchange students from  Borderless Friends Forever  who are in the U.S. on Youth Study and Exchange (YES) and  FLEX Program scholarships. We exchanged quotes that inspire us & it was amazing how motivation & a desire to change the world knows no borders.
Wake County Democratic Party Convention
I got to see some Apex friends from precinct 20-09 and Congressman David Price at the Wake County Democratic Party County Convention on March 23rd!
The Triangle Down Syndrome Network
I'm thankful for the wonderful families and advocates with the Triangle Down Syndrome Network for hosting a Legislative Breakfast on March 15th & for sharing their stories with legislators. Their advocacy was a great way to start the day with beautiful smiles & inspiration.
Did you Know?
The General Assembly first met in Raleigh in 1794. They met in a simple two-story brick building that was the first Capitol building until it was destroyed by fire in 1831. A new Capitol building was finished in 1840 and is the building you see on the Capitol grounds when you visit Raleigh. This building was used by the General Assembly until the present Legislative Building was completed in 1963.