Bill Summary for H 1129 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

May 18 2020

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 1129 (Public) Filed Thursday, May 14, 2020
AN ACT TO CREATE NEW PROGRAMS AND MAKE CHANGES TO THE LAWS RELATED TO ELEMENTARY, SECONDARY, AND POSTSECONDARY PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS.
Intro. by Meyer, Clemmons, Ball, R. Smith.

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Bill summary

Part I.

Appropriates $2.1 million in nonrecurring funds for 2020-21 from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for the purposes described in this act. Allocates: (1) $1.5 million in additional recurring funds to DPI to expand the Advanced Teaching Roles Program in accordance with this act; and (2) $600,000 in recurring funds to DPI for the establishment and operation of the Office of Equity Oversight as provided in this act.

Provides that the provisions of the State Budget Act are reenacted and incorporated into the act by reference.

Provides that except where expressly repealed or amended by this act, the provisions of other legislation enacted during the 2019 Regular Session expressly appropriating funds to an agency, department, or institution covered in this act, remain in effect.

Provides that if H966 (2019 Appropriations Act) becomes law and if there is a conflict with that act or the Committee Report, then this act controls.

Effective July 1, 2020.

Part II.

Section 2.1

Effective June 30, 2021, repeals the following laws related to the pilot program established to develop advanced teaching roles and organizational models that link teacher performance and professional growth to salary increases in selected local school administrative units for classroom teachers: Section 8.7 of SL 2016-94; Section 7.11(a) of SL 2017-57; Section 7.15(b) of SL 2017-57; and Section 7.9 of SL 2018-5.

Instead enacts GS 115C-311 with substantively similar provisions to the laws repealed. Directs the State Board of Education (State Board) to develop advanced teaching roles and organizational models that link teacher performance and professional growth to salary increases for classroom teachers in selected local school administrative units. Defines classroom teacher as 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, borrowing the identical language of Section 8.7 of SL 2016-94, as repealed. Requires the State Board, by September 15, 2020, and annually thereafter, to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the program, and requires local boards to submit their proposals by October 15. Details information the RFP must require of proposals, borrowing much of the substantive requirements from Section 8.7 of SL 2016-94, as repealed, including descriptions of the program structure, descriptions of the advanced teaching roles and minimum qualifications, specified job responsibilities, notification requirements for local administrative units to inform employees and the public, the process for voluntary relinquishment of an advanced teaching role, salary supplement information, the implementation plan, plans for long-term financial sustainability, and a description of possible partnerships with local programs and institutions.

Requires the State Board to review the proposals and select local school units to participate in the program by December 15, 2020, and annually thereafter. Details criteria for the State Board's review and selection, to include the prioritization of available funds to a specified number of units with an average daily membership (ADM) from the previous year of 4,000 or fewer students, from 4,001 - 20,000 students, and more than 20,001 students. Requires approval of a proposal of any unit which is participating in an approved advanced teaching roles program pursuant to Section 8.7 of SL 2016-84 in the 20120-21 school year and whose application is not inconsistent with the statute. Requires all selected units to meet minimum criteria established by the State Board consistent with the statute. Designates selected units as Advanced Teaching Roles units, and grants class size flexibility pursuant to subsection (i) of the statute to such units. Allows selected units to exceed the maximum class size requirements for grades K-3 subject to approval of the State Board.

Authorizes material revisions to a plan submitted by an Advanced Teaching Roles unit to the State Board only upon approval of the State Board.

Requires initially selected units to implement their approved plans beginning with the 2021-22 school year. Requires the State Board to review the unit for compliance every five years after the unit begins implementation. Grants the State Board authority to renew or terminate the plan and the unit's designation after its review and in its discretion. Requires the unit to provide any information or access requested by the State Board or a State Board selected independent research organization throughout the program.

Provides funds awarded to units are subject to availability and awarded for a term of up to three years at the discretion of the State Board. Limits eligibility to receipt of funding to one term. Details the restricted use of the funds, including use for the development of advanced teaching role plans, the development of specified professional development courses for teachers, transition costs associated with designing and implementing advanced teaching role models, and the development of the design and implementation of specified compensation plans.

Provides for the State Board to evaluate the program against six specified goals, at a minimum, through a contracted independent research organization during the first two years of the program and report on October 15, 2021, and October 15, 2022. Thereafter, requires the State Board to complete the program evaluation and provide the report annually, beginning October 15, 2023. Specifies NCGA offices and committees to which the State Board must provide the reports. 

Allows the State Board to authorize local boards participating in the program to use any available State funds to provide salary supplements to classroom teachers in an advanced teaching role so long as the unit complies with specified policies.

Amends GS 115C-105.25 to require that DPI's report to the specified NCGA committee and division also include information on the use of the budget flexibility provided to Advanced Teaching Roles schools.

Requires that funds appropriated to DPI by this act for the 2020-21 fiscal year be used to (1) support teacher compensation models and advanced teaching roles pursuant to Section 8.7 of SL 2016-94, as amended, and (2) develop implementation plans for teacher compensation models and advanced teaching roles pursuant to GS 115C-311, as enacted. Specifies that the funds do not revert at the end of the fiscal year and remain available until expended.

Requires that beginning with the 2021-22 fiscal year, funds appropriated DPI for the advanced teaching roles program be used to support teacher compensation models and advanced teaching roles, and to develop implementation plans for teacher compensation models and advanced teaching roles, pursuant to GS 115C-311, as enacted. Provides that, beginning in the 2021-22 fiscal year, funds appropriated to DPI for the program and for the evaluation of the program do not revert at the end of the fiscal year and remain available until expended.

Beginning in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, of the funds appropriated to DPI by the act, authorizes DPI to use up to 4% each fiscal year to evaluate the program, contract with an independent research organization to evaluate the program, or continue any preexisting contract with an independent research organization formed pursuant to Section 8.7 of S.L. 2016-94, as repealed. Provides that any remaining funds may be awarded to selected local units in accordance with the act to support teacher compensation models and advanced teaching roles and to develop associated implementation plans.

Effective July 1, 2020.

Section 2.2

Creates a 14-member Opportunity Gap Task Force (Task Force). Members are to include three representatives and three senators appointed by the Speaker of the House and President Pro Tem respectively, with other members named. Directs the Task Force to study the opportunity gap, approaches to closing the gap in grades K-12, and plans to reduce it for described subgroups by July 1, 2031. Enumerates 13 elements to be considered in the study, including teacher development and innovative budgeting. Lists 13 entities invited to provide input to the Task Force, including parents, principals, and teachers affected by the opportunity gap and organizations that have demonstrated success in dealing with the opportunity gap. Sets out meeting, quorum, and other administrative requirements. Requires that the Task Force report to the specified NCGA committee by December 1, 2021. The Task Force is to terminate on the earlier of the filing of the final report or December 1, 2021.

Section 2.3

Requires SBOE to consult with DPI in developing a plan to establish a statewide leadership academy to provide, at a minimum, mentoring and coaching services for in-service principals. Requires a report to the specified NCGA committee by January 15, 2021.

Section 2.4

Requires the SBOE to develop a plan to reduce the percentages of the following categories of teachers and school-based administrators employed in high-poverty schools to the following levels within five school years: (1) Lateral entry teachers and teachers with an emergency license, limited license, residency license, or who are otherwise unlicensed, to less than 5% of all teachers in the school; (2) school-based administrators with less than full licensure, to less than 5% of all administrators in the school; (3) teachers with fewer than three years of teaching experience to less than 10% of all teachers in the school; and (4) administrators with fewer than three years of experience as a school-based administrator to less than 10% of all administrators in the public school unit. Defines high-poverty school as a public school that has 75% or more students that are eligible for federally subsidized free or reduced-cost school meals. Requires SBOE to report its plan to the specified NCGA committee by January 15, 2021. 

Section 2.5

Requires the SBOE to develop a plan to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of teachers in public schools to accurately reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the student population. Requires a report to the specified NCGA committee by January 15, 2021.

Section 2.6

Amends GS 115C-83.15(d) to increase the weight of the school growth score in calculating the total school performance scores that are used to determine school performance grades. Changes the school achievement score to account for 51% (was 80%), and school growth score to account for 49% (was, 20%) of the total school performance score. 

Applies beginning with the 2021-22 school year. 

Section 2.7

Amends GS 115C-84.2(d) to allow a local board of education to align the school calendar with the calendar of a community college serving the city or county in which the unit is located.

Applies beginning with the 2021-22 school year.

Section 2.8

Enacts new Article 6E, Office of Equity Oversight, in GS Chapter 115C. Establishes the Office of Equity Oversight (Office) within DPI to provide internal oversight within DPI and SBOE specific to compliance with the State's constitutional role to provide each child the opportunity to receive a sound basic education. Requires the Office to review educational policies, programs, and initiatives and provide an independent, objective source of information to be used in evaluating substantial compliance with sound basic education standards. Gives the Office authority to obtain full and unrestricted access to all records, information, and data in the possession of or legally available to DPI or SBOE. Requires the Office to report on specified information by January 15, 2021, and semiannually thereafter, to the specified NCGA committee. Requires the Office, prior to reporting any deficiencies in progress, to give DPI and SBOE ample notice of the deficiencies and an opportunity to correct or improve the deficiencies and requires the Office to report on any efforts to do so. Creates the Deputy Superintendent of Equity Oversight to serve as the chief officer of the Office of Equity Oversight. Sets out procedures for appointing and removing the Deputy Secretary. Expires July 1, 2031.

Provides that of the funds appropriated in Section 1.2(2) of this act, the Deputy Superintendent of Equity Oversight may appoint up to four full-time, 10-year time-limited positions to staff the Office and assist in the administration of the Deputy Superintendent's duties. Sets out additional provisions governing these positions.

Effective July 1, 2020.

Section 2.9

Requires the SBOE to develop and establish an advisory committee to provide a specific recommendation for an expanded school accountability model that accurately reflects the effectiveness of each North Carolina public school. Requires the advisory committee to ensure compliance with requirements upon which federal funds are conditioned and consider the five specified additional accountability measures. Requires the advisory committee to begin its work by June 1, 2021. Requires SBOE to submit a final report to the specified NCGA committee by June 15, 2022.

Section 2.10

Effective July 1, 2020, amends GS 115C-105.25 to no longer prohibit local boards of education from transferring funds out of the teacher assistants allotment category. No longer prohibits positions from being transferred out of the allocation for program enhancement teachers for kindergarten through fifth grade. Now allows funds in the driver education allotment category to be transferred to another allotment category. Allows funds allotted for textbooks and digital resources to only be used to acquire textbooks and digital resources and related technology, including any hardware, software, or equipment or devices necessary for the use of the digital resources (was, to purchase textbooks and digital resources only).

Repeals Section 4(b) of SL 2018-2 (which effective July 1, 2021 would have prohibited transferring positions out of the allocation for classroom teachers for kindergarten through twelfth grade, except as specified).

Section 2.11

Requires SBOE, by July 1, 2021, in coordination and cooperation with the UNC Board of Governors and the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, to revise its standards for school administrator preparation programs so that the standards align with National Educational Leadership Preparation Program Recognition Standards.

Section 2.12

Repeals the following, effective July 1, 2020, related to the Opportunity Scholarship Grant Program for scholarships grants to attend nonpublic schools: (1) GS 115C-562.2 (Scholarship grants);  (2) GS 115C-562.3 (Verification of eligibility); (3) GS 115C-562.4 (Identification of nonpublic schools and distribution of scholarship grant information); (4) GS 115C-562.7(c) (concerning annual reporting requirements); and GS 115C-562.8(b) (appropriating specified amounts to the Opportunity Scholarship Grant Fund Reserve).

Effective July 1, 2021, repeals the following additional statutes related to the Opportunity Scholarship Grant Program: (1) GS 115C-562.1 (Definitions); (2) GS 115C-562.5 (Obligations of nonpublic schools accepting eligible students receiving scholarship grants); (3) GS 115C-562.6 (Scholarship endorsement); (4) GS 115C-562.7 (Authority reporting requirements); and (5) GS 115C-562.8 (The Opportunity Scholarship Grant Fund Reserve).

Effective July 1, 2020, decreases the funds appropriated to the Board of Governors for the Opportunity Scholarship Grant Fund Reserve as part of the base budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year by $74,840,000.

Amends GS 115C-112.6 and GS 115C-595 by making conforming changes, effective July 1, 2021.

Part III.

Effective when the act becomes law, except as otherwise indicated.

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