Bill Summary for H 968 (2021)

Summary date: 

May 13 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 968 (Public) Filed Tuesday, May 11, 2021
AN ACT TO IMPLEMENT VARIOUS INITIATIVES AND PROGRAM EXPANSIONS TO PROMOTE TEACHER DIVERSITY AND INCREASE TEACHER RECRUITMENT, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE GOVERNOR'S DRIVE TASK FORCE REPORT, AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR THESE PURPOSES.
Intro. by Hawkins, Gailliard, Hurtado.

View: All Summaries for BillTracking:

Bill summary

Part I. 

Appropriates $2 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to support the Grow-Your-Own and 2+2 teacher recruitment education programs.

Amends Section 8.29 of SL 2016-94 by increasing from five to 10 the number of teacher assistants that local boards of education participating in the pilot program (under the program school administrative units provide tuition assistance awards to part-time or full-time teacher assistants working in those local school administrative units to pursue a college degree that will result in teacher licensure) may select to receive an award of up to $4,600 per semester for up to four years towards the cost of tuition and fees for attending an educator preparation program.

Part II.

Requires the State Board of Education (State Board), in consultation with the Office of the Governor, The University of North Carolina System Office, and the Community College System Office, to establish a grant program to support strategic partnerships committed to increasing the pipeline of educators of color across the State. Requires the grants to be provided to local school administrative units, institutions of higher education, and community organizations to implement innovative initiatives that support the recruitment, preparation, support, and retention of racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse educators. Sets out the purpose of the program. Requires grant applicants to demonstrate at least: (1) a partnership between at least two of the following: local school administrative units, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Historically Minority-Serving Institutions, educator preparation programs, alternative certification programs, public and private colleges and universities, community colleges, and community or nonprofit organizations; (2) proposals for strategies that address one or more of the specified components of the educator development continuum as highlighted by the DRIVE Task Force's 2021 Report to the Governor. Allows grant funds to be used for: (1) strengthening existing high school dual enrollment programs to offer education-based college credit or honors courses as streamlined pathways for future careers in education; (2) implementing targeted school system–level and community-based recruitment programs for aspiring educators of color interested in traditional and alternative educator preparation programs; (3) using and leveraging existing financial aid programs that reduce the disproportionate financial burden incurred by aspiring candidates of color; (4) increasing preparation and supporting preservice educators of color through paid clinical learning experiences, with a commitment to teaching in North Carolina public schools; (5) offering support for job placement and licensure for candidates of color after completing their educator preparation program; (6) providing induction and mentoring programs that address the needs of educators of color that include sustaining networking and professional learning communities or affinity groups; and (7) encouraging and financially supporting educators of color interested in joining national professional organizations or attending national conferences. Requires the State Board, by October 1, 2021, to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the grant program and for applicants to submit proposals by December 1, 2021. Requires that the RFP require proposals to include specified information, including plans for financial sustainability once grant money is no longer available. Requires a selection committee, by February 1, 2022, to select up to five grantees. Allows grants to be spent over a five-year period. Requires grant recipients to report annual to the State Board on the implementation of the program. Allows the State Board to use up to $300,000 to contract with an independent research organization to evaluate the impact of this grant program and then report to the specified NCGA committee and division and the Office of State Budget and Management by September 1, 2023. Requires DPI to report annually on program implementation, beginning January 1, 2023. Appropriates $2 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to the DPI to implement the grant program. Allows unexpended funds to remain available instead of reverting to the General Fund.

Part III.

Requires the State Board to establish a grant program to assist local school administrative units in providing multiyear recruitment bonuses to certified teachers who commit to teach multiple years in a low-performing or high-needs school. Requires bonuses to include at least: (1) awards over multiple years with a requirement that teachers remain in the school over multiple years to receive the bonus; (2) awards to licensed teachers who commit to teach in a school identified as low-performing, a school identified as continually low-performing, or a school where 75% or more of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Requires the State Board annually, beginning by September 1, 2021, to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the grant program. Requires local boards of education to submit their proposals by December 1, 2021. Requires that the RFP require proposals to include specified information, including plans for financial sustainability once grant money is no longer available. Requires the State Board, by February 15, 2022, to review the proposal and select up to 10 local school administrative units for grants. Allows making grant awards for up to three years. Caps the grant amount to a local school administrative unit at $500,000 in a single fiscal year. Allows the State Board to use up to $300,000 to contract with an independent research organization to evaluate the impact of this grant program and then report to the specified NCGA committee and division and the Office of State Budget and Management by September 1, 2024. Requires DPI to report annually on program implementation, beginning March 15, 2022. Appropriates $3 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $6 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to DPI for the grant program; allows unexpended funds to remain available for these purposes instead of reverting back to the General Fund.

Part IV.

Requires the State Board to establish a grant program to assist local school administrative units in the development of teacher preparation residency pilot programs. Requires teacher preparation residency programs eligible to receive grant funding through this program to include at least: (1) coursework in the candidate's area of licensure; (2) tuition and stipends; (3) faculty advising; (4) clinical training experiences; and (5) ongoing induction support. Allows programs to include partnerships between local school administrative units, educator preparation programs, local community colleges or universities, and other community organizations. Requires grant funds to be matched by the local school administrative units on the basis of $1 in nongrant funds for every $1 in grant funds. Requires the State Board, by October 1, 2021, to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the grant program and requires local boards of education to submit their proposals by January 15, 2022. Requires the RFP to require that proposals include specified information, including plans for financial sustainability once grant money is no longer available. Requires the State board to review proposals and select up 10 local school administrative units as grant recipients by April 15, 2022. Allows making grant awards for up to three years. Caps the grant amount to a local school administrative unit at $500,000 in a single fiscal year. Allows the State Board to use up to $300,000 to contract with an independent research organization to evaluate the impact of this grant program and then report to the specified NCGA committee and division and the Office of State Budget and Management by September 1, 2025. Requires DPI to report annually on program implementation, beginning March 15, 2023. Appropriates $5 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to DPI to implement the grant program; allows unexpended funds to remain available for these purposes instead of reverting back to the General Fund.

Part V.

Amends GS 116-209.45(e) [Forgivable Education Loans for Service (FELS) Program eligibility] by making individuals holding a bachelor’s degree and seeking preparation for teacher licensure eligible for the FELS Program.

Amends GS 116-209.45(g) (FELS Program advisory group) by directing the advisory group to recommend strategies to the State Education Assistance Authority to encourage participation in the FELS Program by individuals of color, particularly those seeking teacher licensure. 

Part VI.

Removes the term STEM from the definitions under GS 116-209.60, which defines terms for use in Part 3 of Article 23 of GS Chapter 116, which governs the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program (Program). No longer limits the Program to providing loans to individuals interested in preparing to teach in the State's public schools in STEM or special education licensure areas, instead opening it more broadly to those preparing to teach in the State's public schools. Makes changes throughout the Part by removing references to "STEM" and "special education." Requires specified amounts be transferred from the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program Trust Fund to the UNC System Office instead of General Administration. Requires Program recruitment efforts to include identifying and encouraging students of color and students who may not otherwise consider a teaching career to enter the program. Requires the recruitment activities to include a strategy that attracts a diverse pool of applicants. Removes the cap on the number of participating institutions and the requirement to adopt selection standards (including the specified standards) and instead more generally requires the Program to be administered in cooperation with any institution of higher education with a State Board of Education approved educator preparation program selected by the Commission that represents a diverse selection of postsecondary constituent institutions of UNC and private postsecondary institutions in the State. Pushes back the date of the annual reporting to January 1, 2022. Applies beginning with the 2022-23 academic year. Appropriates $1 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $4.7 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program Trust Fund to support an additional 490 teacher licensure candidates.

Part VII.

Amends GS 115C-269.35(b) [Educator preparation program (EPP) annual performance reports] by adding the percent of students of color (students identifying as Asian, African-American, Native-American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, or two or more races) enrolling in and completing the EPP to the indicators required in EPP annual reports to the State Board.

Amends GS 115C-269.50 (EPP report cards) by requiring EPPs to submit to the State Board annual diversity reports, including the following information on the diversity of identified persons disaggregated by race, ethnicity, age, sex, and disability status: (1) total number of identified persons; (2) retention rates of identified persons who are employees of the EPP; (3) number of students who complete the EPP, become licensed in North Carolina, and become employed in a public school unit; (4) qualitative data on diversity of the EPP from identified persons, including information on recruitment, retention, mobility, and turnover; and (5) recommendations to improve diversity of the EPP, including strategies to recruit and retain diverse identified persons. Also amends the statute to direct the State Board to collect information from the annual EPP diversity reports and report the information, disaggregated by the above diversity categories, to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by June 15, 2022, and by that date each year after. Specifically requires the reports from the Board to include statewide data for each EPP, and recommendations from the Board to improve EPP diversity, including strategies to recruit and retain diverse individuals.

Part VIII.

Appropriates $1.9 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to DPI for the application fees for first time candidates applying for certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Requires that same amount of funding be transferred to State Education Assistance Authority each fiscal year to administer the payment of fees under GS 115C-296.2.

Amends GS 115C-296.2 by requiring the State to pay teachers the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards participation fee (was, lend teachers the fee) for those teachers who participate in the program and meet the already stated qualifications. Makes conforming changes.

Part IX.

Effective July 1, 2021.

© 2021 School of Government The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This work is copyrighted and subject to "fair use" as permitted by federal copyright law. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the express written permission of the publisher. Distribution by third parties is prohibited. Prohibited distribution includes, but is not limited to, posting, e-mailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, installing on intranets or servers, and redistributing via a computer network or in printed form. Unauthorized use or reproduction may result in legal action against the unauthorized user.

Printer-friendly: Click to view