SCHOOLS FOR THE DEAF/ADMINISTRATION.

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 878 (Public) Filed Tuesday, May 4, 2021
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF AND THE NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF ARE GOVERNED BY BOARDS OF TRUSTEES AND FUNCTION SIMILARLY AS LOCAL SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS.
Intro. by Blackwell, Cooper-Suggs, Rogers.

Status: Re-ref to Education/Higher Education. If fav, re-ref to Rules and Operations of the Senate (Senate action) (Jul 15 2021)
H 878

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: May 12 2021 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.

    Revises the proposed changes to Article 9C of GS Chapter 115C as follows. Organizes the Article into two Parts, with Part 1 governing the Governor Morehead School for the Blind, and Part 2 governing residential schools with hearing impairments. Makes changes throughout Part 1, consisting of existing law, to eliminate all provisions relating to the Eastern NC School for the Deaf and the NC School for the Deaf and making conforming changes to limit the provisions of Part 1 to the administration and oversight of the Governor Morehead School for the Blind. Moves the proposed changes to existing law relating to the governance and administrative structure of the Eastern NC School for the Deaf and the NC School for the Deaf to Part 2, with the following changes.

    Adds defined terms, including defining residential school as the schools for students with hearing impairments located at the Eastern NC School for the Deaf (ENCSD) and the NC School for the Deaf (NCSD). Makes changes to refer to residential schools throughout the Part rather than naming the schools. Specifies that the State Board of Education has general supervision over residential schools in accordance with GS 115C-12, which provides for the powers and duties of the State Board (previously referenced the State Board's statutory powers and duties). Specifies that each residential school must be governed by a separate board of trustees. Makes a technical change regarding appointment of board members to require legislative appointment upon recommendation of the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of four of the five members, as previously distinguished. No longer provides for initial membership of the boards. Adds a new provisions to deem an appointed member's seat vacant for failure to be present at three successive regular board meetings. No longer provides for the director to call the initial meeting of the board. Now provides for election of a vice-chair, and provides for a quorum.

    Eliminates the proposed corporate powers of the boards of trustees (presented in previously proposed GS 115C-150.11B), and instead grants the boards the powers and duties of a local board of education, except as provided in the Part. Directs boards to adopt rules necessary for the administration of the residential school to implement the Part's requirements. Further directs boards to establish rules for determining admissions and assignments for students to the school that meet the five specified minimum requirements provided, such as (1) admission criteria which consider evidence of hearing loss, state and federal laws, optimal academic and communicative outcomes for the child, and parental input and choice and (2) an admission committee to evaluate eligibility for admission and assignment to the school. Provides that rules adopted by these boards are not required to be adopted pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Subjects the board to rules adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to the APA. Adds provisions concerning the following, which align with the provisions of GS 115C-150.14 and GS 115C-150.15 applicable to the Governor Morehead School for the Blind: tuition and room and board; and reporting to residential schools on hearing impaired children. Adds a new requirement for the local superintendent or the staff member with the highest decision-making authority to share a copy of all current evaluation data and a copy of the current and proposed individualized education plan (IEP) with the ENCSD or the NCSD for any child enrolled in a public school unit who has been identified as a child with a disability with hearing impairment that has applied for admission to a residential school, upon written request of a parent, guardian, or custodian of the student. Updates internal and statutory cross-references. 

    Amends GS 115C-5 to explicitly include a residential school in the definition of public school unit, and the board of trustees of a residential school in the definition of the governing body of a public school unit. Makes further conforming changes. Makes similar changes to GS 115C-105.51 to explicitly include a residential school in the definition of a public secondary school serving grades six or higher. Makes conforming changes. 

    Makes conforming changes to GS 150B-1 to exclude the ENCSD and the NCSD from the scope of the APA.

    Revises Section 5 of the act, making conforming technical changes to the initial appointments to the residential school boards of trustees. Adds new provisions to specify initial appointments and terms, creating staggered terms. Provides for the director of each school to call an initial meeting of each board upon appointment of a majority of the boards of trustees of each residential school. 


  • Summary date: May 11 2021 - More information

    The House committee substitute to the 1st edition is to be summarized. 


  • Summary date: May 7 2021 - More information

    Amends GS 115C-150.11 to change the governance and administrative structure of the Eastern NC School for the Deaf and the NC School for the Deaf (hereinafter Schools for the Deaf). Provides for general supervision of the Schools for the Deaf by the State Board of Education (State Board), which currently is the sole governing agency of the Schools. Provides for the Schools for the Deaf to be administratively housed within the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), but operate independently through a board of trustees as the governing body for each residential school established under specified state law. Requires each board of trustees to appoint a director for the school to act as secretary of the board and manage school personnel, day-to-day operations, and the school's operating budget at the direction of the board (currently the Superintendent of Public Instruction is charged with administration of the Schools for the Deaf, including appointment of staff and oversight of the school). Makes conforming changes to the current provisions of the act, limiting the provisions to the governance and administration of the Governor Morehead School for the Blind. Makes conforming changes to the section title.

    Enacts GS 115C-150.11A, establishing membership for each School's board of trustees, with four members legislatively appointed and one gubernatorial appointment. Provides for ex officio, nonvoting members of each board. Provides for staggered six-year terms and provides for terms of initial members. Sets parameters for vacancies, meetings, and board procedures. 

    Enacts GS 115C-150.11B, detailing the powers and duties of a board of trustees of a residential school as a body politic and corporate, among those to receive donations from any source and to acquire and dispose of real property.

    Amends GS 115C-150.12 to specify that each residential school with a board of trustees established pursuant to GS 115C-150.11A is considered a local school administrative unit for purposes of federal law and the administration of state law. 

    Amends GS 115C-150.13 to direct each board of trustees for the residential schools for students with hearing impairments to adopt necessary administrative rules to implement the Article's requirements, including eligibility for admission criteria that accounts for four specified factors, such as parental input and choice and recommendations of the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP). Provides that these boards of trustees are subject to rules of the State Board adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, GS Chapter 150B. Makes conforming changes to limit the applicability of the existing provisions of the statute to administrative rules required to be adopted by the State Board for the Governor Morehead School for the Blind.

    Amends GS 115C-150.14 to require a residential school for students with hearing impairments which seeks to enroll a foreign exchange student to submit a plan to the school's board of trustees prior to enrollment. 

    Repeals Section 10 of SL 2013-247, which allowed DPI to reorganize, if necessary, staffing of the Governor Morehead School and the Schools for the Deaf to meet needed functions.

    Amends Section 8.15 of SL 2013-360 to no longer provide for DPI to retain the proceeds generated from the rental of building space on the residential school campuses of the Schools for the Deaf to staff and operate those Schools. 

    Instead, beginning with 2022-23, directs DPI to retain all proceeds generated from the rental of building space on the residential school campuses of the Schools for the Deaf and allocate all respective receipts to each board of trustees to supplement funds to staff and operate that school. Prohibits using the funds to support administrative functions of DPI. 

    Permits DPI to continue its administration of the Schools for the Deaf as of June 30, 2022, until the board of trustees for each school has transitioned into the administrative role required by the act, by October 1, 2022. 

    Makes the above provisions effective July 1, 2022. 

    Requires legislative appointments to the Schools' boards of trustees by May 1, 2022, for members to take office effective July 1, 2022. 

    Directs DPI to collaborate with the personnel from the Schools for the Deaf to develop a transition plan for the change in administration pursuant to the act to be effective July 1, 2022. Directs DPI to report to the specified NCGA committee on the transition plan by December 15, 2021. 


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