Printer-friendly: Click to view
View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
House Bill 993 (Public) Filed Thursday, May 2, 2024
Intro. by Prather, Reives, Ball, Staton-Williams.

Status: Ref To Com On Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House (House action) (May 6 2024)

SOG comments (1):

Identical bill

Identical to S 853, filed 5/2/24.

H 993

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: May 6 2024 - View Summary

    Part I 

    Starting with the 2024-2025 fiscal year, directs the State Education Assistance Authority (Authority) to not award any scholarship grant funds under Part 2A of Article 39 of GS Chapter 115C (scholarship grants for children to attend nonpublic schools/Opportunity Scholarships) to new persons who did not receive scholarship grant funds in the prior school year. States the General Assembly’s intent to eliminate the Grants beginning in the 2036-37 fiscal year or once all current recipients become ineligible. 

    Reenacts GS 115C-562.2(b) (Grant award formulas) and removes new award formula in GS 115C-562.2(b2). Redefines eligible student under GS 115C-562.1, as amended, for a Grant award to requires having received a Grant in the school year prior to the school year for which the student is applying.  

    Amends GS 115C-562.5 (obligations of nonpublic schools accepting students receiving Grants), as amended, as follows. Requires annual documentation (currently, just requires nonpublic schools to provide documentation) of tuition and fees charged. Now limits increases in tuition in a given year by more than the change in the federal Consumer Price Index that is reported in the calendar year in which the increase would occur. Removes listing of required annual tests and instead requires nonpublic schools to annually administer those tests required by the State Board of Education (Board) for students in grades three or higher, but specifies that school can administer additional tests if it chooses. Requires the school to retain testing date for five years. Allows the Authority to audit the school to ensure compliance with the retention requirement. Makes conforming changes. Exempts test performance data collected by the Authority as a public record to the extent the data contains personally identifiable information. Requires student graduation information provided to the Authority to include four-year graduation cohort rates and specifies that the manner must be consisted with Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended and any associated federal regulations (currently just requires graduation rate information in a manner consistent with nationally recognized standard). Requires schools to contract with a CPA to perform audits (currently financial review) for each year the school accepts students receiving $100,000 or more in Grants (current those enrolling 70 more students); if less than $100,000 requires audits every three years. Requires the school to report the audit results by December 31 of the year its conducted. Expands annual information requirements to include the contact information for the owners and chief administrator of the school, attendance records for students receiving Grants, documentation of a completed fire inspection within the past 365 days. Requires schools to educate children with disabilities in line with their IEP, the IDEA, and applicable policies adopted by the Board. Requires compliance with certain requirements of Article 8C of GS Chapter 115C, including adopting a School Risk Management Plan, providing schematic diagrams and keys to local law enforcement, conducting school safety exercises, and providing certain information to the Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management (DPS).  Requires the Authority to post aggregate test performance on its website. Prevents nonpublic schools from discriminating on the basis of disability as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Makes conforming changes.

    Amends GS 115C-562.7 (Authority’s reporting requirements) to include its data on nonpublic school compliance with the academic assessments described above in its annual report to the specified NCGA committee. Requires the Authority along with the Department of Public Instruction, to publish certain information for nonpublic schools accepting more than 25 students in any grade whose tuition and fees are paid, in whole or in part, with a Grant. 

    Amends GS 115C-526.8, as amended, to remove language increasing appropriations to the Opportunity Scholarship Grant Fund Reserve. Reduces annual appropriations to the Grant Reserve in range starting with a reduction from $415,540,000 to $174,236,499 in FY 2025-2026  and ending with a reduction from $520,540,000 to $24,022,254 in FY 2035-2036. Eliminates funding thereafter (currently provides for $520,540,000 in each fiscal year starting in FY 2032-33). Eliminates reporting set forth in Section 8.6i(i) SL 2023-134 and requirement that Authority designate certain national standardized assessments. 

    Reduces the $354,540,000 appropriated to the Grant Reserve to $180,368,271 for FY 2024-25, effective July 1, 2023.  

    Part II

    Adds new GS 115C-593.5, pertaining to academic assessments in nonpublic schools receiving Grants. Sets forth testing standards in line with the testing provisions set forth above. Requires the tests to be administered to in grades three and higher whose tuition and fees are paid in whole or in part with scholarship funds. Requires the Authority to provide an eligible student’s parent or guardian with an annual written student progress on the tests. Amends the legislative reporting requirements for in GS 115C-598 so that the Authority has to report on a nonpublic schools’ requirements with the academic assessments set forth in GS 115C-593.5. 

    Effective July 1, 2024, and applies beginning with the 2024-25 school year.