Bill Summaries: all (2023-2024 Session)

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  • Summary date: Jun 12 2024 - View summary

    House committee substitute to the 4th edition makes the following changes.

    Section 1

    Amends GS 115C-150.11(c) to require the Department of Administration to provide schools with support in procurement (was, capital) and clarifies that information technology is included. Specifies that the effective date of the act’s changes to GS 115C-150.11(a),(b), and (c) begin on July 1, 2025.

    Section 6

    Requires the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), for the 2024-25 school year, to administratively house the North Carolina School for the Deaf, the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, and the Governor Morehead School for the Blind (collectively, the schools). Removes the requirement that DPI only house these schools until the earlier of June 30, 2025, or certification that the schools have been established as a State agency. Removes the requirement that DPI give each school’s board of trustees access to all records and information pertaining to the school, and execute administrative matters at the direction of each board. Directs that DPI and the schools enter into a memorandum of understanding with regards to the administrative support. Specifies that at a minimum, DPI provide administrative support in matters related to finance, human resources, and procurement, including for information technology and capital. Directs the Department of Administration (Department), in coordination with the schools, DPI, and the Department of Information Technology, to study the costs and positions needed for support of the schools and to report this information and any recommended legislation to the specified NCGA committees by March 1, 2025. Requires the Office of the State Controller and Office of State Budget and Management to ensure that the schools are established as State agencies prior to July 1, 2025. Adds the Department of Public Instruction to those entities that are to designate liaisons for the schools and requires that all of the liaisons serve during the 2024-25 school year instead until certification that the schools have been established as State agencies.

    Section 7

    Changes the date that the powers, duties, functions, records, personnel, contracts, property, unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations or other funds, including the functions of budgeting and purchasing, are transferred from DPI to the schools to July 1, 2024 (was, upon certification by the Office of State Budget and Management that the schools have been established as a State agency).

    Section 9

    Removes the exception for the Sunshine House from those assets to be reassigned to the Governor Morehead School.

    Section 11

    Removes specification that until the NCGA appropriates funds to the Department for administrative support for the schools, in order to get support from the Department the schools are required to jointly enter a memorandum of understanding with the Department that includes payment for the costs of administrative support on a monthly basis of up to $57,083. Removes provision that if the Department is appropriated funds for the administrative support, then it must reimburse the school for any payments made under the memorandum in that fiscal year.

    Makes organizational changes.


  • Summary date: Jun 11 2024 - View summary

    House committee substitute to the 3rd edition removes the content of the previous edition and replaces it with the following.

    Section 1

    Amends GS 115C-150.11 as follows. Removes the provision specifying that the schools for the deaf and blind (schools) are housed administratively with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for purposes of distributing state funds, but each school is operated independently with a board of trustees as the governing body. Creates the following as separate State agencies that are governed by boards of trustees: (1) Governor Morehead School for the Blind of the DPI, for the function, purpose, and duty of serving students who are blind or visually impaired from birth to age 22 (specifies that this includes the Governor Morehead Preschool); (2) Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf of the DPI, for the function, purpose, and duty of serving students who are deaf or hard of hearing; and (3) North Carolina School for the Deaf of the DPI, for the function, purpose, and duty of serving students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Clarifies that the boards of trustees for the schools for the deaf and blind are subject to rules adopted by the State Board of Education (State Board) in accordance with GS Chapter 150B for public school units. Requires that DPI now enter into a memorandum of understanding with the schools to facilitate the purchase of other insurance policies for those schools, beyond coverage for professional liability policies. Requires the Department of Administration to provide each school with support related to finance, human resources, capital, and information technology and requires each school to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Department for this support. Gives a school, its board of trustees, and the school’s members, employees, and agents, the immunities provided for under GS Chapter 115C applying to the State Board, Superintendent of Public Instruction, local boards of education, local school administrative units, and their members and employees. Sets out provisions under which this immunity is waived.

    Amends GS 115C-150.16, concerning the exclusion of schools for the deaf and blind from the requirements of GS Chapter 115C, except as specified, by removing the provisions stating that schools for the deaf and blind are considered a State agency and specifies that they must comply with all requirements for State agencies in State law.

    Section 2

    Amends GS 115C-150.12A by prohibiting employees of the schools for the deaf and blind from being a member of the school’s board of trustees. Deems a board member that becomes an employee of that school to have resigned from their membership on the board. Also specifies that a majority of the voting members of the board of trustees (was, a majority of the board) constitutes a quorum.

    Section 3

    Repeals GS 115C-150.10(5) which defined school director as it is used in Article 9C, Schools for Deaf and Blind Students, as the executive officer of a school for the deaf or the school for the blind. Adds and defines the term superintendent as the chief administrator of a school for the deaf or the school for the blind.

    Amends GS 115C-150.12B to require that each board of trustees appoint a superintendent for that school and requires the superintendent to meet the requirements for employment under GS 115C-271 (concerning local boards of education superintendents of schools). Makes all boards of trustee acts, that are not in conflict with State law, binding on the superintendent and requires the superintendent to carry out all rules and regulation of the board and other duties as prescribed by the board. Makes the superintendent, for purposes of the application to other statutes in GS Chapter 115C, equivalent of a superintendent of a local school administrative unit.

    Gives the superintendent duties and responsibilities previously assigned to the director under GS 115C-150.12B, concerning personnel and human resources, GS 115C-150.12C, concerning making recommendations to the board on rules governing employee conduct, reporting, and care of school property, GS 115C-150.13A, concerning admissions and disenrollment, and GS 115C-150.15, concerning the receipt of reports and evaluation data and maintaining confidentiality.

    Section 4

    Amends GS 115C-150.12C by adding that the Governor Morehead School for the Blind, the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, and the North Carolina School for the Deaf are regarded as a State agency for the purposes of the State Tort Claims Act and associated representation by the Office of the Attorney General with regards to litigation defense. Also allows a school’s board of trustees to purchase liability insurance and directors and officers insurance. Specifies that GS 115C-42 (concerning liability insurance and immunity for a local board of education) applies to a school that purchases liability insurance.

    Section 5

    Amends GS 115C-150.13A to specify that a school is responsible for providing free appropriate public education upon the student’s enrollment. Allows a parent to appeal a superintendent’s final determination of a student’s eligibility to the board of trustees (was, a parent may seek an impartial due process hearing following a determination on eligibility by the director). Specifies that parents may not seek an impartial due process hearing regarding an eligibility determination.

    Amends GS 150B-1 by adding the Governor Morehead School for the Blind, the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, and the North Carolina School for the Deaf to those entities that are exempt from the contested case provisions in GS Chapter 150B.

    The sections above are effective July 1, 2024.

    Section 6

    Repeals Section 5 of SL 2023-10, which required DPI to continue its administrative duties and responsibilities for the North Carolina School for the Deaf, the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, and the Governor Morehead School for the Blind until the board of trustees for each school has successfully transitioned into the administrative role required by that act, but in no event later than October 1, 2024.

    Requires DPI, for the 2024-25 school year, to administratively house the North Carolina School for the Deaf, the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, and the Governor Morehead School for the Blind, until the earlier of June 30, 2025, or certification that the schools have been established as a State agency. Requires DPI to give each school’s board of trustees access to all records and information pertaining to the school, and execute administrative matters at the direction of each board.

    Provides liability for civil liability for the State Board, DPI, Superintendent of Public Instruction, or any of their members or employees for acts or omission of the North Carolina School for the Deaf, the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, and the Governor Morehead School for the Blind or their members or employees.

    Requires the Office of State Controller, Office of State Budget and Management, and Department of Administration to each designate a person as liaison for the school to assist with technical and administrative questions until the certification that the schools have been established as a State agency.

    Section 7

    Transfers from DPI and the State Board, to the schools, the powers, duties, and functions, records, personnel, contracts, property, and unexpended balances, upon certification that the schools have been established as a State agency.

    Section 8

    Amends Section 7(b) of SL 2023-10 by extending the deadline for the final report to the specified NCGA committee from the schools on plans and progress in the transition, from July 1, to September 1, 2024.

    Section 9

    Requires the Department of Administration to reassign all assets in Complex 1-92-9, except Sunshine House, to the Governor Morehead School; allows the Governor Morehead School and Department of Health and Human Services to enter into a memorandum of understanding related to the use of assets in the Complex for shared services.

    Section 10

    Amends GS 14-458.2 (concerning the crime of cyber-bullying of a school employee by a student) by amending the definition of school employee to mean an employee, or an independent contractor of a public school unit (was, of a local board of education, charter school, regional school, or a laboratory school); amends the definition of student to mean a person assigned to or enrolled in a public school unit (was, assigned to a school by a local board of education or has enrolled in a charter school, regional school, or a laboratory school).

    Amends GS 115C-102.9 to require schools for the deaf and blind (was, regional schools) to report on access and connectivity separately for the dormitories and the student’s home when submitting information that is included in the digital learning dashboard.

    Section 11

    States the NCGA’s intent to appropriate recurring funds for the costs of the Department of Administration (Department) in providing administrative support for the schools and to appropriate recurring funds for insurance, legal, and information technology expenses.

    Specifies that until the NCGA appropriates funds to the Department for administrative support for the schools, in order to get support from the Department, the schools are required to jointly enter a memorandum of understanding with the Department that includes payment for the costs of administrative support on a monthly basis of up to $57,083. Provides that if the Department is appropriated funds for the administrative support, then it must reimburse the school for any payments made under the memorandum in that fiscal year.

    Makes conforming changes to the act's titles.


  • Summary date: Mar 28 2023 - View summary

    Senate amendment to the 2nd edition makes the following changes.

    Amends GS 115C-391.2 (pertaining to student searches), as follows. Changes the standard by which student searches are to be conducted from “narrowly tailored to be as minimally intrusive as possible” to “narrowly tailored to be minimally intrusive.” Creates an exemption to requirement for searches to be conducted by two members of the same sex as the student searched for walk-through metal detectors, handheld wands, or other similarly intrusive device designed to detect weapons and regularly used for security scanning.  


  • Summary date: Mar 15 2023 - View summary

    Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes. Deletes the content of proposed GS 115C-391.2, concerning searches of students, and instead replaces it with the following content. Requires that the policies the governing bodies of public school units adopt governing searches of a student's person or property be consistent with Article 27, Discipline, and US and NC constitutions, statutes, and regulations. Requires search performed by school officials under those policies to be performed using methods narrowly tailored to be as minimally intrusive as possible while investigating the suspected activity. Each policy must require that searches be conducted in private by one school official and one adult witness, both of whom must be the same sex as the student.


  • Summary date: Feb 9 2023 - View summary

    Enacts new GS 115C-391.2 to allow a public school administrator to authorize the search of a student's person if the administrator has a reasonable suspicion that the student has or is violating school rules or policies lawfully adopted under GS 115C-390.2 (related to discipline policies) or State or federal law. Defines reasonable suspicion as a suspicion which, in the administrator's professional opinion, is based on specific and articulable facts from a credible source. Requires the policies and procedures for conducting a search to be consistent with the provisions of Article 27 (Discipline) and US and State constitutions, statutes, and regulations. Requires these searches to be executed using methods that are as minimally intrusive as possible. Prohibits the use of cavity searches and searches that require a student to completely disrobe. Requires these searches to be conducted in private by one school official and one adult witness, both of whom must be the same sex as the student, which is to be determined by the sex assigned at birth as reflected in the student's official record, unless the student's parent provides written notice to the school that a different designation is appropriate. Applies beginning with the 2023-24 school year.