PILOT PROGRAM/PROFESSIONAL TEACHERS & ADMINS.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 941 (Public) Filed Thursday, April 18, 2019
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE PROFESSIONAL TEACHERS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS ACCOUNTABILITY PILOT PROGRAM.
Intro. by Richardson.

Status: Ref to the Com on Appropriations, Education, if favorable, Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House (House action) (Apr 22 2019)
H 941

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Apr 22 2019 - More information

    Section 1

    Directs the State Board of Education (State Board) to establish the Professional Teachers and School Administrators Accountability Pilot Program (Program) to evaluate the impact of education reform initiatives provided in the act to support and enhance the education profession by investing additional State funds in the nine specified local school administrative units. Specifies the eight local units to be: Alleghany County Schools, Catawba County Schools, Craven County Schools, Cumberland County Schools, Henderson County Schools, Hertford County Schools, Union County Schools, Wake County Schools, and Watauga County Schools. Requires the local units to implement the Program set forth in this act beginning with the 2019-20 school year and ending with the 2033-34 school year. Directs the State Board to adopt any rules necessary to implement the act.

    Section 2

    Directs each local school administrative unit to use the provided monthly teacher salary schedules for the 2019-2020 through 2021-22 fiscal years for licensed personnel of the public schools who are classified as teachers. Directs the State Board to adjust the salary schedule for subsequent fiscal years to be consistent with any increases in the State salary schedule adopted by the General Assembly. The salary schedules are based on years of teaching experience and range from:  $3,588 for 0 years of experience to $5,330 for 25 or more years of experience for the 2019-20 Salary Schedule; $3,677 for 0 years of experience to $5,463 for 25 or more years of experience for the 2020-21 Salary Schedule; and $3,769 for 0 years of experience to $5,600 for 25 or more years of experience for the 2021-22 Salary Schedule. Also details salary supplements for certain teachers paid on these salary schedules as specified. 

    Makes the first step of the salary schedule for school psychologists, school speech pathologists licensed as such at the master's degree level or higher, and school audiologists who are licensed as audio pathologists at the master's degree level or higher equivalent to Step 6 of the "A" Teacher salary schedule. Provides these employees a salary supplement each month of 10% of their monthly salary. Provides that these employees are eligible to receive salary supplements equivalent to those of teachers for academic preparation at the six-year or doctoral degree level. Makes the 26th step of the salary schedule for school psychologists, school speech pathologists, and school audiologists meeting the academic preparation levels and licensing requirements as described in this act 7.5% higher than the salary received by these same employees on the 25th step of the salary schedule.

    Requires longevity be provided in the same manner as teachers paid on the State salary schedule in local school administrative units not participating in the Program.

    Repeals Section 9.1(d) of SL 2014-100, which removed teacher longevity. 

    Gives a teacher compensated under this section for 2019-22 an amount equal to the greater of: (1) the applicable amount determined under this section; (2) for teachers who were eligible for longevity for the 2013-14 school year, the sum of the following: the salary the teacher received in the 2013-14 school year under Section 35.11 of SL 2013-360, the longevity that the teacher would have received under the longevity system in effect for the 2013-14 school year provided in Section 35.11 of SL 2013-360 based on the teacher's current years of service, and the annual bonus provided in Section 9.1(e) of SL 2014-100; or (3) for teachers who were not eligible for longevity for the 2013-14 school year, the sum of the salary and annual bonus the teacher received in the 2014-15 school year pursuant to Section 9.1 of SL 2014-100.

    Defines teacher to include instructional support personnel for purposes of the Section.

    Appropriates the following funds from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to be allocated to participating local school administrative units to implement the Section: $28.4 million in recurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year; $57.8 million in recurring funds for the 2020-21 fiscal year; and $87.7 million in recurring funds for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

    Section 3

    Directs each participating local school administrative unit to provide a salary supplement in accordance with Section 2(b) for teachers and instructional support who spend at least 70% of their work time as described. Requires that teachers and instructional support personnel who are paid salary supplements to have their eligibility verified annually. Provides that salary supplements can be discontinued for failing to meet the requirements for that year. Prohibits teachers and instructional support personnel who earn an advanced degree in school administration from receiving a salary supplement for academic preparation.

    Appropriates $1.6 million in recurring funds for 2019-20, $1.8 million in recurring funds for 2020-21, and $2 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction, to implement this section.

    Section 4

    Sets out an annual salary schedule for principals for the 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22 fiscal years, beginning July 1, 2019. Placement on the salary schedule is determined according to the average daily membership of the school supervised by the principal and the school growth scores for each school the principal supervised in at least two of the prior three school years provided the principal supervised each school as a principal for at least a majority if the school year, with specified conditions. Sets out provisions governing the calculation of the average daily membership and the school growth scores.

    Gives principals with certification based on academic preparation at the six-year degree level a salary supplement of $126 per month and at the doctoral degree level a salary supplement of $253. Requires that longevity be provided in the same manner as principals paid on the State salary schedule in local school administrative units not participating in the program.

    Requires that a principal compensated in accordance with this section for the 2019-22 fiscal years receive an amount equal to the greater of: (1) the applicable amount determined pursuant to this section and (2) the salary the principal received in the 2016-17 fiscal year pursuant to Section 9.1 or Section 9.2 of SL 2016-94.

    Appropriates $7.1 million in recurring funds for 2019-20, $14.7 million in recurring funds for 2020-21, and $22.2 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction to be allocated to participating local school administrative units to implement the provisions of this section.

    Section 5

    Requires that for the 2019-20 fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2019, assistant principals must receive a monthly salary based on the salary schedule for teachers who are classified as "A" teachers plus 19%. For the 2020-21 fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2019, assistant principals must receive a monthly salary based on the salary schedule for teachers who are classified as "A" teachers plus 19%. For the 2021-22 fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2019, assistant principals must receive a monthly salary based on the salary schedule for teachers who are classified as "A" teachers plus 19%. 

    Requires assistant principals with certification based on academic preparation at the six-year degree level to be paid a supplement of $126 per month and at the doctoral degree level of $253 per month. Requires longevity for assistant principals to be paid in the same manner as those paid on the State salary schedule in local school administrative units not participating in the program. 

    Requires that an assistant principal compensated in accordance with this section for the 2019-22 fiscal years receive an amount equal to the greater of: (1) the applicable amount determined under this section or (2) the salary the assistant principal received in the 2016-17 fiscal year under Section 9.1 or Section 9.2 of SL 2016-94.

    Appropriates $1 million in recurring funds for 2019-20, $2 million in recurring funds for 2020-21; and $3 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction to be allocated to participating local school administrative units to implement this section.

    Section 6

    Directs each participating local school administrative unit to establish a program that utilizes advanced teaching roles and organizational models linking teacher performance and professional growth to salary increases for classroom teachers. Defines classroom teacher to mean a teacher who works in the classroom providing instruction at least 70% of the instructional day and who is not instructional support personnel. Details four purposes of the program, including enabling local school administrative units to create innovative compensation models that focus on classroom teacher professional growth and student outcomes, and establishing organizational changes related to compensation by utilizing local plans to sustain evidence-based teaching practices that have the capacity to be replicated throughout the State. Delineates eight elements the local boards of a participating local school administrative unit must include in the program, including: (1) descriptions of the advanced teaching roles; (2) salary supplement information as specified; and (3) the implementation plan, as described. Describes five purposes for which funds awarded to participating local school administrative units can be used, including salary supplements for advanced teaching roles and development of professional development courses. Provides that local school administrative units receiving funding under the program can exceed the maximum class size requirements for kindergarten through third grade notwithstanding GS 115C-301.

    Appropriates from the General Fund to DPI the following funds to be allocated to participating local school administrative units to implement the Section: $23 million for the 2019-20 fiscal year; $26 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year; and $29 million for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

    Section 7

    Directs each participating local school administrative unit to establish a policy to grant interval educational sabbatical leave to classroom teachers according to a teacher's years of service to NC public schools. Details eligibility requirements for a teacher to request up to a six-month or one-year educational sabbatical leave, and requirements during and after grant of educational sabbatical leave. Prohibits a classroom teacher from being granted educational sabbatical leave more frequently than every five years. Defines a classroom teacher as a teacher who works in the classroom providing instruction and who is not instructional support personnel. 

    Appropriates from the General Fund to DPI the following funds to be allocated to participating local school administrative units to implement the Section: $10 million for the 2019-20 fiscal year; $11,170,000 for the 2020-21 fiscal year; and $12.4 million for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

    Section 8

    Directs each participating local school administrative unit to develop a mentor program to provide ongoing support for teachers entering the profession. Requires the local board to develop certain guidelines for the program, consistent with State Board policy, and to develop criteria for selecting mentor participants. Requires each new teacher to have one mentor and each mentor to have one teacher mentee. Requires the mentor to prepare all of the mentee's lesson plans while the mentee has fewer than two years of experience, and requires the mentor to observe and counsel the mentee during that time. Directs the mentor to refer the mentee to the Teacher Support Program established in Section 12 of the act if the mentor believes that the mentee is suffering from severe stress, exhaustion, or disillusionment related to the profession.

    Appropriates from the General Fund to DPI $11,750,000 in recurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year to be allocated to participating local units to provide a $1,500 monthly stipend to each teacher serving as a mentor. Adds that these funds are in addition to a supplement received pursuant to Section 3 of the act.

    Section 9

    Directs each participating local school administrative unit to establish a professional development program for principals and assistant principals to prepare school leaders in the described ways. Appropriates $350,000 in recurring funds from the General Fund to DPI for the 2019-20 fiscal year to be allocated to participating local units to provide this professional development.

    Section 10

    Directs each participating local school administrative unit to establish a Teaching Fellow Program to provide a four-year scholarship loan of $6,500 per year to NC high school seniors interested in preparing to teach in NC public schools.  Directs the local units to adopt stringent standards for awarding the scholarship loans to ensure that only the best high school seniors receive them. Directs the local boards to administer the program in cooperation with educator preparation programs selected by the local board. Directs the local board to form a review committee to assist in identifying the best high school seniors for the program as specified. 

    Sets out the details of the scholarship loans and permits the loans to be terminated by the recipient withdrawing from school or by the recipient not meeting the standards set by the local board. Directs the local board to forgive the loan if (1) the recipient teaches for four years in the local school administrative unit within seven years after graduation; (2) the recipient teaches for three consecutive years (unless the recipient takes an approved leave of absence) at a public school located in the local school administrative unit within seven years after graduation that at the time the recipient accepts employment with the unit, the unit is a low-performing school system; or (3) the local board finds it impossible for the recipient to teach for four years within seven years after graduation at a public school in the unit because of the death or permanent disability of the recipient. Establishes that the local board is responsible for the collection of a loan awarded under the statute if the loan repayment is outstanding for more than 30 days.

    Appropriates $85,000 from the General Fund to DPI for the 2019-20 fiscal year to be allocated to participating local school administrative units for expenses related to recruitment and selection of Teaching Fellows. Appropriates $232,000 from the General Fund to DPI in recurring funds for the 2020-21 fiscal year to be allocated to participating local units to award forgivable loans in the amount of $6,500 per recipient beginning with the 2020-21 academic year.

    Section 11

    Directs each participating local school administrative unit to establish and administer a Loan Repayment Assistance Program for Teachers to attract qualified teachers to the education field and address the educational needs of the unit. Directs the local board to adopt any necessary rules concerning the application process and eligibility, including the provided provisions as follows.

    Allows any eligible teacher to apply for a repayment assistance loan under the program to repay all or a portion of the teacher's eligible debt by receiving repayment assistance loans for up to six years for eligible debt accrued toward an undergraduate degree and for up to six years for eligible debt accrued toward a graduate degree. Defines eligible teacher as a classroom teacher currently licensed in North Carolina who is rated as "highly effective" on the most recent North Carolina Teacher Evaluation instrument through the North Carolina Educator Evaluation System or the equivalent on an out‑of‑state teacher's state or district instrument. Adds that for the purposes of this act, a highly effective classroom teacher is a teacher who receives a rating of at least "accomplished" on each of the teacher evaluation standards on the North Carolina Teacher Evaluation instrument and who exceeds expected student growth based on teacher evaluation data as calculated by the State Board of Education or equivalent on an out‑of‑state teacher's state or district evaluation system. Defines eligible debt as the outstanding principal, interest, and related fees from loans obtained for undergraduate or graduate educational expenses made by government or commercial lending institutions or educational institutions but does not include loans made by a private individual or family member.  

    Requires that the eligible teacher must have been employed for at least one year in the local school administrative unit before applying for the initial year of repayment assistance. Requires the eligible teacher to include in the teacher's application for repayment assistance a signed statement of intent to remain employed in the unit for a period of at least four years following each year the eligible teacher receives a repayment assistance loan and agree to repay in full any repayment assistance loans disbursed to the eligible teacher if the teacher fails to complete the repayment assistance period due to voluntarily leaving employment.  Bars eligibility for a repayment assistance loan if the applicant is in default on any obligation to a government or commercial lending institution or educational institution until those financial obligations are satisfied. Provides that the local board may waive ineligibility for this reason at its sole discretion.

    Requires the local board to award repayment assistance loans of up to $6,500 per calendar year for an eligible teacher that meets the criteria set forth in subsection (b) in the order in which applications are received. Requires all repayment assistance loans to be evidenced by promissory notes made payable to the Authority. Directs the local board to forgive the repayment assistance loan in the amount of each annual disbursement once the eligible teacher remains employed in the unit for four years following the receipt of funds. Requires an eligible teacher who received a repayment assistance loan in a previous year to provide documentation to the local board that the funds in the amount of the loan were submitted to the government or commercial lending institutions or educational institutions for repayment of the teacher's eligible debt.

    Provides that an eligible teacher who voluntarily leaves the qualifying employment will be required to repay in full any funds that were paid to the teacher, with interest accruing at the annualized rate applicable to the eligible debt being repaid, if not yet forgiven under this subsection at the time of termination. Establishes that an eligible teacher who cannot fulfill the employment requirements due to death or disability, taking a leave of absence, or being involuntarily terminated can no longer be eligible for a repayment assistance loan under the Program but is not responsible for repaying the outstanding amount of loans previously disbursed to the eligible teacher during the repayment assistance period.

    Appropriates the following funds to DPI to be allocated to participating local school administrative units to implement the provisions of the Section: $282,500 in recurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year and $508,500 in recurring funds for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

    Section 12

    Directs each participating local school administrative unit to include in the unit's technology plan a plan to equip all students in grades seven through 12 with personal learning technology statewide. Details the required components of the plan, including a component promoting equal opportunity for and providing meaningful access to personal learning technology and resources for students who are economically disadvantaged or have special needs. 

    Appropriates $3.5 million from the General Fund to DPI in recurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year for the participating local units to implement the described plan in this Section. Allows the local board to phase in deployment of personal learning technology beginning with seventh and eighth grade students and then use available funds to deploy the equipment to high school students. 

    Section 13

    Directs each participating local school administrative unit to establish a Teacher Support Program to help teachers cope with stress, exhaustion, and disillusionment related to the profession by providing counseling services. Authorizes the local board to contract with a private, for-profit, or nonprofit employee assistance program corporation. Details related rules the local board must adopt for the implementation of the Program, including the development of a referral system, professional and licensure requirements for staff, and the development of a toll-free, 24-hour hotline for teachers. Makes any records related to teacher participation confidential and prohibits local boards from considering teacher participation for purposes of teacher performance evaluation or making any employment decision.

    Appropriates $100,000 in recurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year from the General Fund to DPI to be allocated to participating local units to provide a Program pursuant to the above provisions.

    Section 14

    Directs each local school administrative unit to report to DPI and the Program Evaluation Division (PED), by November 15 of each year for the duration of the pilot, on the progress of the Professional Teachers and School Administrators Accountability Pilot Program as specified. Provides that the initial report is to be submitted by November 15, 2021, and the final report by November 15, 2033.

    Section 15

    Directs the PED to conduct a measurability assessment of the components of the Program established by the act and whether the Program should be continued, modified, or expanded statewide based on the Program's impact on student performance and outcomes, improving the retention and availability of employing high-quality teachers in NC public schools, and providing a return on investment of State funds. Directs PED to begin the assessment beginning in 2029 and compare data from the 2019-20 fiscal year and data collected up until the 2032-33 year. Directs PED to report to the 2034 General Assembly on the results of the assessment.

    Section 16

    Makes the act effective July 1, 2019.


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