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NCSBA Legislative Update – July 26, 2019

This Week at the Legislature

We have come to the close of another short week at the legislature. Both chambers adjourned for the week on Wednesday. The House will return to Raleigh on Monday for a Rules Committee meeting and a voting session. Senators were notified by leadership that they will not have another voting session until August 6th. Therefore, we expect very little, if any, action in the Senate over the next week and a half.

We have now hit the 26th day of the new fiscal year without a State budget. The Senate stopgap budget measure (HB 961), which ensures that federal dollars continue to be utilized (but does not include funding for k-12 ADM growth like the House proposal), passed both chambers and was sent to the Governor. Until a new State budget becomes law, North Carolina will continue to operate on last year’s recurring funding levels.

 

Headlines of K-12 Education Bills

For more detailed bill summaries see Highlights of K-12 Education Bills below.

Bills with House Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Tranp Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

SB 522: Low-Perf. Schools/Stand. Student Conduct

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

 

Bill with Senate Action

SB 476: Compt-Based Assess. & Mental Hlth/Teen Viol.

 

Bill with House & Senate Action

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

 

Bills on the Governor’s Desk

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

 

Bill Still on the Governor’s Desk From Last Week

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

 

Bills Signed by the Governor

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities 

 

Highlights of K-12 Education Bills

Bills with House Action

SB 5: School Safety Omnibus

  • Passed third reading in the House 114-0 and sent to the Senate for a concurrence vote
  • Establishes that school safety requirements apply to all public schools and strongly encourages non-public schools to participate in school safety plans
  • Clarifies the powers and duties of the Center for Safer Schools
  • Requires reporting on the operational status of all public schools during states of emergency
  • Defines the term “school resource officer” (SRO) and requires training for SROs
  • Requires annual vulnerability assessments for each public school building
  • Requires threat assessment teams to be established at each public school and codifies the duties of threat assessment teams
  • Requires LEAs to require peer-to-peer support programs at all schools with grades six and higher
  • Requires DPI to transfer up to $1.5 million from the funds appropriated for the 2018-19 fiscal year for the anonymous safety tip line application to the Department of Public Safety to be used for the digital panic alarm system
  • Requires trauma kits to be in every public school classroom, but the contents inside the trauma kits are optional

 

SB 123: Geo Iso Sch/Tranp Eff Buff/Currituck Cty Sch.

  • Passed third reading in the House (passed second reading 115-0) and sent to the Senate for a concurrence vote
  • Revises the geographically isolated schools formula regarding the allocation of teachers for Currituck County (the goal is to add one new teacher)
  • Increases the transportation efficiency budget rating for Currituck County Schools (the goal is to add two new buses to the fleet)
  • Requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to develop draft policies and procedures for auditing public school attendance and membership data, including schools participating in the virtual charter school pilot program

 

SB 522: Low-Perf. Schools/Stand. Student Conduct (Innovative School District bill)

  • Passed third reading in the House (click here to see 58-54 vote on second reading) and regular message sent to the Senate
  • The House adopted the following amendments:
    • Allow LEAs to request that a school under its control be selected to the ISD
    • Expand the contents of SB 219: Modify Teacher Licensing Requirements (S.L. 2019-71) to apply to residency licenses (RL)
      • Adds that an individual who was issued an initial professional license (IPL) or RL, but failed to fulfill examination requirements after three years of licensure may be eligible for a limited license
    • Defines a qualifying school as a Title I school governed by a LEA in the lowest-performing 5% of school performance grades
    • Aligns the selection of innovative schools with those identified by the SBE for comprehensive support and improvement
    • Expands options for the innovative school district (ISD) to require LEAs to inform boards of county commissioners of academic progress annually
    • Requires the SBE to transfer the lowest scoring school in the State for the 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 school years to the ISD in the 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 school years respectively
    • Establishes a multi-year process that will transition eligible schools to the ISD in the 2023-24 school year and annually thereafter – NCSBA was instrumental in maintaining the multi-year process because the bill had previously been changed to shorten the process by one year
    • Allows up to five schools to be selected to the ISD beginning in the 2023-24 school year
    • Requires further study of reforms for assistance to low-performing schools

 

SB 681: Rur Hlth Care/Loc. Sales Tax Flex/Util. Acct.

  • Approved by the House Finance Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Berger, R-Rockingham; Tillman, R-Randolph
  • The House Finance Committee added the contents of HB 667: Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility to the bill, which gives counties additional flexibility with regard to local option sales and use tax without increasing the existing maximum tax rate

 

Bill with Senate Action

SB 476: Compt-Based Assess. & Mental Hlth/Teen Viol.

  • Failed to concur in the Senate
  • The House replaced the contents of the original bill that dealt with student discipline policies with the contents of two House bills – the House version does the following:

 

Bill with House & Senate Action

SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019

  • Passed third reading in the House 75-39 (click here to see vote), failed to concur in the Senate, and conference committee appointed
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Berger, R-Rockingham
  • The House adopted an amendment that authorizes LEAs to select different k-3 diagnostic assessments—this would allow a LEA to continue using mCLASS or transition to Istation
  • Establishes individual reading plans (IRPs) for k-3 students performing below grade level
  • Establishes a Digital Children’s Reading Initiative, which provides free tools and resources to assist with learning outside of school
  • Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a task force to develop a Comprehensive Plan to Improve Literacy Instruction that will ensure literacy instruction in NC public schools is evidence-based, designed to improve student outcomes
  • Requires the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) to provide professional development in literacy instruction
  • Requires educator preparation programs (EPPs) to provide literacy training coursework for elementary education teachers
  • Requires the alignment of literacy curriculum and instruction with Read to Achieve
  • Requires DPI approval of local reading camp plans
  • Studies the phasing out of certain alternative assessments
  • Creates a uniform template for Read to Achieve data
  • Provides continuing education credits related to literacy for certain reading camp instructors and allows certain retired teachers to serve as reading camp instructors
  • Expands the Wolfpack WORKS program

 

Bills on the Governor’s Desk

SB 301: Regional School Modifications

  • Presented to the Governor on Wednesday, July 24
  • Establishes a mandatory process for participating units seeking withdrawal from a regional school
  • Requires a participating unit to adopt a resolution requesting withdrawal (including a withdrawal plan) and submit a copy to the regional school board of directors
    • The participating unit must receive conditional approval to withdraw with a 2/3 vote from the board of directors — prohibits a participating unit from withdrawing without approval from the regional school board of directors
    • If the participating unit receives the 2/3 vote approval, the SBE must grant final approval

 

SB 366: 9th/10th Grade/College Transfer Pathways

  • Presented to the Governor on Wednesday, July 24
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators McInnis, R-Richmond; B. Jackson, R-Sampson
  • Extends the participation in college transfer pathways and enrollment in college courses to include qualified freshmen and sophomores who meet the specified requirements
  • Requires that the criteria for adjunct career and technical education (CTE) instructors weigh work experience and industry recognized licenses/credentials over educational attainment level — requires the SBE to develop and report the minimum criteria to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by April 15, 2020
  • For the 2019-20 school year, allows an individual without an associate or baccalaureate degree to be deemed to meet the minimum criteria for an adjunct CTE instructor if the individual (i) can demonstrate a minimum of six years in the last ten years of professional experience in the relevant skill or trade and (ii) has a recognized industry credential or active professional license in each subject area

 

Bill Still on the Governor’s Desk From Last Week

SB 392: Various Charter School Changes

  • Presented to the Governor on Friday, July 19
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Brown, R-Onslow; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Designates the Superintendent of Public Instruction as an applicable elected representative who may approve bonds to finance or refinance a charter school facility
  • Clarifies charter school renewal standards
  • Requires background checks for charter boards of directors
  • Permits the SBE to allow a school participating in the virtual charter school pilot program to increase its student enrollment by more than 20% for any year of the school’s operation – NCSBA opposes this part of the bill because of the virtual charter schools’ poor school performance grades

 

Bills Signed by the Governor

HB 107: PED Oversight/EPP Changes

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-149 on Monday, July 22
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson; Lucas, D-Cumberland
  • Makes clarifying/technical changes to the annual educator preparation program (EPP) performance report
  • Requires the SBE to adopt a rule creating a small group reporting exception any time data are at risk of being individually identifiable
  • Requires the SBE (in consultation with DPI and the Professional Educator Preparation & Standards Commission) to develop a scoring model that would compare the performance of each EPP and report it to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee
  • Requires the SBE to study two-year retention rates of EPP graduates initially licensed and employed in a NC public school as a potential EPP performance measure

 

HB 362: 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-154 on Monday, July 22
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Harris, D-Mecklenburg; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Autry, D-Mecklenburg
  • Makes permanent the 15-point scale for school performance grades, which is one of NCSBA’s top priorities for this legislative session
  • Requires the SBE to adopt emergency rules in preparation for permanent rule making
  • Directs the SBE to study (i) if the weighting of school achievement and school growth used to calculate school performance grades best reflects the performance and growth of each school and (ii) the reporting methods used for school accountability purposes on the NC annual school report cards

 

HB 411: Modify School Quality/Student Success Indicator

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-142 on Friday, July 19
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives Horn, R-Union; Corbin, R-Macon; Elmore, R-Wilkes; Johnson, R-Cabarrus
  • Combines the career and college readiness indicators used for school performance grades and for the purpose of compliance with federal law
  • Requires that the SBE include additional career and college readiness information on annual report cards

 

HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Education Buildings

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-176 on Friday, July 26
  • Primary Sponsors: Representatives D. Hall, R-Caldwell; Lewis, R-Harnett; Arp, R-Union
  • Requires LEAs to insure and keep insured buildings owned by the LEA to the extent of not less than 80% (previously not less than 75%) of the current insurable value against loss by an insurable hazard such as fire, windstorm, vandalism, sprinkler leakage, water damage, etc.
  • When property of the LEA is located in the 100-year flood plain on the latest Flood Insurance Rate Map, that local school board is required to insure or keep insured to the extent of not less than 80% of the current insurable value for flood damage to buildings and their contents
  • Requires county commissioners to provide the necessary funding for compliance
  • Transfers the School Insurance Fund Section of DPI to the Department of Insurance (DOI) – the balance of the Public School Insurance Fund will also be transferred to DOI

 

SB 343: Various Education Law Changes

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-165 on Friday, July 26
  • Primary Sponsor: Senator Ballard, R-Watauga
  • For the 2019-20 school year, requires each LEA to report its instructional calendar start and end dates to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the SBE by August 1, 2019 and requires the SBE to report the dates to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by September 1, 2019 — annually thereafter, requires each LEA to report by April 1 and the SBE to report by June 15
  • Staggers Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission appointments

 

SB 391: Expand Youth Internship Opportunities

  • Signed into S.L. 2019-166 on Friday, July 26
  • Primary Sponsors: Senators Ballard, R-Watauga; Gunn, R-Alamance; Newton, R-Cabarrus
  • Provides a limited exception to the prohibition of 16-18-year-old students participating in supervised, practice experiences with employers in occupations declared by the Commissioner of Labor to be detrimental to the health and well-being of youth
  • Clarifies that the Commissioner of Labor must make the required findings that would allow an eligible student to qualify for the exception

 

 

Leanne E. Winner
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6686

Bruce Mildwurf
Associate Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6692

Richard Bostic
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6677

Rebekah Howard
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association
(919) 747-6688

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – July 26, 2019