AN ACT TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO REFORM THE PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM.
Enacts GS 135-5.5, permitting any member of the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS) who became a member before July 1, 2020, who is a teacher, assistant principal, or principal, to make an irrevocable election to be compensated on the same salary schedule as a teacher, assistant principal, or principal hired on or after July 1, 2020, classified as a contemporary salary educator for benefit purposes.
Amends GS 135-1 to define a contemporary salary educator as (1) a member of TSERS who became a member on or after July 1, 2020, and who is a teacher, assistant principal, or principal or (2) a member of TSERS who became a member before July 1, 2020, who is a teacher, assistant principal, or principal, who elected to be compensated on the same salary schedule as a teacher, assistant principal, or principal hired on or after July 1, 2020.
Amends GS 135-5, setting TSERS retirement benefit guidelines for members who are contemporary salary educators. Permits the members to retire and receive an unreduced retirement allowance upon electronic submission of a written application to the Board of Trustees if the member is at least 65 and has at least five years of membership service, and sets a date for retirement in the application. Requires the date of retirement to be the first day of a calendar month and be at least one day and no more than 120 days subsequent to the application’s filing. Sets the retirement benefit for contemporary salary educator members at an allowance equal to 1.82% of the member’s average final compensation, multiplied by the number of years of creditable service. Makes conforming and clarifying changes to distinguish provisions regarding other members’ retirement. Further amends GS 135-5 to exclude contemporary salary schedule educator members from the early service retirement benefit provisions. Makes language gender-neutral.
Effective July 1, 2020.
Sets a monthly salary schedule for licensed public school personnel who are classified as teachers and contemporary salary schedule educators for the 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 fiscal years, based on years of experience, ranging from $3,936 to $5,596 for 2020-21, $4,426 to $6,292 for 2021-22, and $4,977 to $7,076 for 2022-23. Additionally sets forth salary supplements for licensed teachers who have NBPTS certification (12%), are classified as "M" teachers (10%), have licensure based on academic preparation at the six-year degree level ($126 over the supplement provided to "M" teachers), have licensure based on academic preparation at the doctoral degree level ($253 over the supplement provided to "M" teachers), and certified nurses (10%), as specified.
Requires that the first step of the salary schedule for school psychologists, school speech pathologists licensed at the master's degree level or higher, and school audiologists licensed at the master's degree level or higher, must be equivalent to the sixth step of the "A" salary schedule. Provides for a 10% salary supplement. Deems these employees eligible to receive salary supplements equivalent to those of teachers for academic preparation at the six-year degree level or the doctoral degree level.
Requires that the twenty-sixth step of the salary schedule for school psychologists, school speech pathologists licensed at the master's degree level or higher, and school audiologists licensed at the master's degree level or higher, must be 7.5% higher than the salary received by these same employees on the twenty-fifth step of the salary schedule.
Sets annual longevity payments for teachers, payable in one lump sum, at 1.5% of base salary for 10-14 years’ service, 2.25% of base salary for 15-19 years’ service, 3.25% of base salary for 20-24 years’ service, and 4.5% of base salary for 25 or more years’ service.
Repeals Section 9.1(d) of SL 2014-100, which deemed longevity pay to be included in the salary schedule beginning with the 2014-15 fiscal year.
Requires teachers paid under the salary schedule provided for the 2020-23 fiscal years to receive the greater amount of (1) the applicable amount provided in the salary schedule by the act or (2) the sum of the salary and annual bonus the teacher received in the 2014-15 school year under Section 9.1 of SL 2014-100.
Specifies that “teacher” includes instructional support personnel.
Appropriates from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) $748 million, $1.6 billion, and $2.6 billion in recurring funds for the 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 fiscal years to implement the above provisions.
Sets an annual salary schedule for principals classified as contemporary salary schedule educators for the 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 fiscal years, beginning July 1,2020, based on the school’s average daily membership with increases for meeting or exceeding growth, ranging from $75,914 to $109,316 for 2020-21; $85,624 to $123,299 for 2021-22; and $95,334 to $137,281 for 2022-23. Details placement based on the average daily membership of the respective school and school growth scores in two of the last three school years. Details parameters for determining average daily membership and growth scores.
Sets a monthly salary supplement for principals with certification based on academic preparation at the six-year degree level at $126 and at the doctoral degree level at $253.
Provides for longevity pay for principals as provided for State employees under the Human Resources Act.
Requires principals paid under the salary schedule provided for the 2020-23 fiscal years to receive the greater amount of (1) the applicable amount provided in the salary schedule by the act or (2) the salary the principal received in the 2016-17 school year under Section 9.1 or 9.2 of SL 2016-94.
Appropriates from the General Fund to DPI the following recurring funds: $33 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year, $68 million for the 2021-22 fiscal year, and $103 million for the 2022-23 fiscal year to implement the above provisions.
Provides for the following salary provisions applicable to assistant principals who are classified as contemporary salary schedule educators, applicable for the 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 fiscal years.
Provides that for each of the 2020-23 fiscal years, assistant principals are to receive a monthly salary based on the "A" teacher salary schedule plus 19%, with placement based on total years the assistant principal has spent as a teacher, assistant principal, or both. Deems an administrator with a one-year provisional assistant principal's certificate equivalent to an assistant principal.
Requires assistant principals with certification based on academic preparation at the six-year degree level to be paid a salary supplement of $126 per month, and at the doctoral degree level to be paid a salary supplement of $253 per month.
Provides for a 10-month stipend for participants in an approved full-time master's in-school administration program. Details limitations and required certification.
Provides that in lieu of the amounts of annual longevity payments to assistant principals paid on the assistant principal salary schedule, beginning with the 2017-18 fiscal year, the amounts of those longevity payments are included in the monthly amounts provided to assistant principals pursuant to the act.
Requires assistant principals paid under the salary schedule provided for the 2020-23 fiscal years to receive the greater amount of (1) the applicable amount provided in the salary schedule by the act or (2) the salary the assistant principal received in the 2016-17 school year under Sections 9.1 or 9.2 of SL 2016-94.
Appropriates from the General Fund to DPI the following recurring funds: $21 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year, $45 million for the 2021-22 fiscal year, and $71 million for the 2022-23 fiscal year.
Directs the State Board of Education (State Board) to adopt a minimum salary grade and range for permanent, full-time teacher assistants whose salaries are supported from State funds that is at least $10,000 higher than the current minimum salary grade and range for teacher assistants, beginning July 1, 2020. Provides the same for part-time employees pro rata.
Appropriates from the General Fund to DPI $250 million in recurring funds for the 2020-21 fiscal year to implement this provision.
Amends GS 115C-302.1 to require teachers to be paid on a monthly basis as much as he or she would earn as a principal employed by the local school administrative unit if the teacher declines an offer as principal of a school in the unit. Applies to offers for employment as principal extended on or after July 1, 2020.
Repeals the following session laws relating to teacher compensation models and advanced teaching roles: Section 8.7 of SL 2016-94, Section 7.11(c) of SL 2017-57, Sections 7.15(a) and (b) of SL 2017-57, Section 7.9 of SL 2018-5, and Section 2.6 of SL 2018-97. Replaces these provisions as follows.
Enacts GS 115C-311 directing the State Board to establish a statewide program for implementation in all local school administrative units that uses 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. Requires the State Board to include nine components in the program’s implementation, including (1) descriptions of advanced teaching roles, including the minimum qualifications for the positions as specified; (2) processes for local units to inform employees and the public of the criteria and selection for advanced teaching roles and role relinquishment; and (3) salary supplement information, up to 30% of the teacher salary schedule. Allows for funds awarded to local units to be used for salary supplements for advanced teaching roles, development of advanced teaching role plans, development of professional development courses, transition costs for designing and implementing the models in schools, and development of the design and implementation of plans that focus on professional growth and students outcomes and the transition costs to new plans. Allows for local units receiving funding pursuant to the statute to exceed the maximum average and individual class size requirements for grades K-3.
Appropriates from the General Fund to DPI $416 million in recurring funds for the 2020-21 fiscal year to implement the above provisions and to provide at least seven advanced teaching roles for each local unit.
Repeals Section 8.22 of SL 2013-360 and Section 8.3 of SL 2014-100, which phase out certain education-based salary supplements.
Restricts those teachers and instructional support personnel who can be paid on the “M” salary schedule or receive a salary supplement for academic preparation at the six-year degree level or at the doctoral degree level for the 2019-20 school year and subsequently thereafter to: certified school nurses and instructional support personnel in positions that require a master’s degree for licensure; teachers and instructional support personnel who were paid on that salary schedule or received that salary supplement prior to the 2014-15 school year; teachers and instructional support personnel who complete a degree at the master’s, six-year, or doctoral level with at least one course completed prior to August 1, 2013, and who have qualified for the salary supplement under the specified State Board policy that was in effect on June 30,2013; and other teachers and instructional support personnel who spend at least 70% of their work time in either classroom instruction related to graduate preparation in their area of licensure or work within the employee’s area of graduate academic preparation, with this class of teachers and instructional support personnel salary schedule determinations made on an annual basis. Excludes those with an advanced degree in school administration, unless qualified under the second or third described classes.
Appropriates from the General Fund to DPI the following recurring funds: $8 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year, $9 million for the 2021-22 fiscal year, and $10.5 million for the 2022-23 fiscal year.
Enacts GS 115C-302.5, directing the State Board to establish rules for local school administrative units to grant interval educational sabbatical leave to classroom teachers according to years of service in State public schools. Allows for request of up to six months’ leave between seven to ten years of service, 12 to 15 years of service, and 20 to 25 years of service. Allows for a one-year request after 25 years of service. Prohibits leave more frequently than every five years. Excludes instructional support personnel. Requires enrollment in an accredited institution of higher education for at least one course for an educational research project related to the classroom teacher’s job, as specified, and requires the classroom teacher to file a copy of the completed research project with the school and superintendent.
Appropriates from the General Fund to DPI $150 million in recurring funds for the 2020-21 fiscal year to implement the above provisions.
Effective July 1, 2020, and applies beginning with the 2020-21 school year.
Amends GS 115C-300.1 to require the State Board to include in its new teacher guidelines provisions to require each new teacher with an initial professional license to have one mentor, with each mentor limited to one mentee, and to require each mentor to prepare all of the mentee’s lesson plans while the mentee has fewer than two years of experience. Requires the mentor to observe and counsel the mentee during the two-year period, and requires the mentor to refer a mentee to the Teacher Support Program if he or she believes necessary. Mandates that DPI provide any referred teacher to the Teacher Support Program with weekly access to a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker for six months. Allows mentors to rerefer a mentee as necessary. Requires compensation of mentors to the extent funds are appropriated for that purpose.
Appropriates from the General Fund to DPI $170 million in recurring funds for the 2020-21 fiscal year to provide a monthly stipend of $1,500 for each mentor.
Appropriates $5 million in recurring funds from the General Fund to DPI for the 2020-21 fiscal year to provide support to the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching for professional development programs for principals and assistant principals with a focus on the principal’s role in recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers. Details required uses of the funds to prepare school leaders for the responsibility of providing teacher support and promoting teacher success, including creating a collaborative learning environment for teachers.
Directs DPI to report to the specified NCGA committee by September 15, 2021, and annually thereafter on the delivery and outcome of the program.
Amends Part 3 of Article 23 of GS Chapter 116, the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program (Program), as follows. Amends GS 116-209.62, expanding the purpose of the Program to now be to recruit, prepare, and support students residing in or attending higher education institutions in the state for preparation as highly effective teachers in the State's public schools, rather than specifically targeting STEM or special education teachers. Makes conforming changes throughout Part 3 to remove references limiting the provisions' application to STEM or special education teachers. Expands the Program to include participation by any HBCU that is a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina with an approved educator preparation program (EPPs) (previously, limited participation to five institutions of higher learning with approved EPPs selected by the Commission that represents both postsecondary constituent UNC institutions and private postsecondary institutions operating in the state that meet the specified standards for selection, adopted by the Commission, as specified). Defines HBCUs as institutions of higher education designated as Historically Black Colleges and Universities located in North Carolina. Specifically requires Program recruitment to include including attracting candidates attending HBCUs. Requires that the Program provide forgivable loans of up to $1,875 per semester for students enrolled at a participating HBCU, to be awarded in addition to any other forgivable loans available under the Program. Requires information in the annual report on the Program to include data reported by overall students and by students who were enrolled in a participating HBCU. Makes technical and conforming changes.
Appropriates $3,250,000 in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to the Program for additional forgivable loans under the Program beginning with the 2021-22 academic year.
Effective July 1, 2020, and applies beginning with forgivable loans awarded for the 2021-22 academic year.
Adds new Article 35, Loan Repayment Assistance Program for Teachers, in GS Chapter 116, providing as follows. Requires the State Education Assistance Authority (Authority) to administer the Loan Repayment Assistance Program for Teachers (Assistance Program). Allows eligible teachers to apply for a repayment assistance loan to repay all or a portion of the teacher's eligible debt. Loans are available 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 an eligible teacher as a classroom teacher currently licensed in North Carolina who is rated as "highly effective" (as defined) 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. 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 (specifically excludes loans made by a private individual or family member). Requires an eligible teacher to have been employed in a local school administrative unit in the state for a least one year before applying and requires signing a letter of intent to remain employed in North Carolina public schools for at least four years following each year that the teacher receives a repayment assistance loan. Requires repayment in full, with interest, if the teacher fails to complete the repayment assistance period due to voluntarily leaving employment in a North Carolina public school and fails to secure other qualifying employment.
Sets loan amounts at up to $8,500 per calendar year for an eligible teacher whose eligible debt was accrued toward an undergraduate or graduate degree at an institution of higher education designated as an HBCU at the time of enrollment and $6,500 per calendar year for other eligible teachers. Requires forgiving the repayment assistance loan in the amount of each annual disbursement once the eligible teacher remains employed in a North Carolina public school for four years following the receipt of funds. Sets out requirements for documenting that funds were applied toward loan repayment. Sets out conditions under which an eligible teacher is no longer eligible for the program but is not required to repay the loan. Establishes the Teachers' Loan Repayment Assistance Fund (Fund), consisting of funds appropriated to or received by the Authority to provide repayment assistance loans through the Assistance Program, all funds received as repayment of loans, and all earned interest. Limits the use of the Fund to repayment assistance loans and the Authority’s administrative costs. Requires the Authority annually, with the first report due by December 1, 2021, to the specified NCGA committee on the Fund and repayment assistance loans awarded from the Fund.
Appropriates $7,310,000 in recurring funds for 2020-21 from the General Fund to the UNC Board of Governors to implement the provisions of this section. Allows the Authority to use up to $810,000 of these funds in each fiscal year for administration of the program.
Enacts GS 115C-269.53 to establish the Regional Education Task Force (Task Force) to study educator preparation programs at constituent institutions to assist in evaluating the programs. Requires the Task Force to consider data collected and published under GS 115C-269.50 for constituent institution educator preparation programs and any other data available on the effectiveness of the programs. Sets out membership appointment requirements, with members coming from specified constituents according to three geographical categories: Western, Piedmont, and Eastern regions. Membership terms are for one year. Sets out provisions governing filling vacancies, naming chairperson, establishing a quorum, and setting meeting requirements. Requires the Task Force to report annually to the specified NCGA committee on the data compiled and its evaluation of the educator preparation programs. Requires the first report by September 1, 2021.
Amends GS 115C-102.6A by requiring the State school technology plan to also include a plan to equip all students in grades 7-12 with personal learning technology. Requires the plan to include six specified elements, including: (1) support student achievement through the integration of personal learning technologies that are content-focused and add value to existing instructional methods; (2) provide effective preparation, professional development, and training programs for teachers and other educators in the use and integration of learning technology tools in curriculum development, instructional methods, and student assessment systems; and (3) estimate the level of expenditure for purchases of portable computing devices or the anticipated principal and interest costs for the year of allocation for leases and other appropriate financing arrangements.
Appropriates $50 million in recurring funds for 2020-21 from the General Fund to the State School Technology Fund for the State Board of Education (State Board) to implement the plan to equip all students in grades 7-12 with personal learning technology. Allows the State Board to phase in deployment of personal learning technology beginning with seventh and eighth grade students and then use available funds to deploy personal learning equipment to high school students in high school.
Effective July 1, 2020, and applies beginning with the 2021-22 school year.
States NCGA findings concerning the historical and continued inequality in funding provided to constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina designated as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and the need to increase funding.
Appropriates from the General Fund to the UNC Board of Governors specified amounts beginning at $15 million and increasing to $150 million over time beginning in the 2020-21 fiscal year and continuing to 2037-38 and subsequent years. Requires the funds to be in addition to any other State Fund appropriations and allocates the funds equally to: (1) North Carolina Central University, (2) North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, (3) Fayetteville State University, (4) Winston-Salem State University, and (5) Elizabeth City State University.
Requires each constituent institution receiving funds to establish a welcome center at the entrance of the institution's campus, or at another prominent campus location, dedicated to honoring the institution’s history. Requires at least the following to be displayed in the welcome center: (1) object of remembrance highlighting the great achievements of the institution despite the historical gross inequalities faced by the institution and its student population, (2) alumni hall of fame, and (3) mission statement incorporating the institution’s traditions into a future vision for the institution and the aspirations for its students.
Also requires each constituent institution receiving funds to establish a Department of Innovation offering a course of study and degree program to students seeking career paths where creativity and innovation are key to success and professional growth.
Sets out NCGA findings.
Requires the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child Development and Early Education (Division) to (1) continue implementing the prekindergarten (NC Pre-K) program and serve children who are 4 years of age; (2) extend the program beginning January 1, 2021, to cover 12 months of the program year; and (3) expand the program beginning January 1, 2023, to serve children who are 3 years of age and covering 12 months of the program year. Requires a child to be either 3 or 4 years old on or before August 31 of the program year. Sets out income eligibility requirements. Also makes eligible for the program any age-eligible child who is a child of either (1) an active duty member of the US Armed Forces of the United States who was ordered to active duty within the last 30 months or is expected to be ordered within the next 18 months or (2) a member of the US Armed Forces of the United States who was injured or killed while serving on active duty. Allows eligibility determinations to continue through local education agencies and local North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., partnerships. Prohibits considering the child’s health as a factor in determining eligibility, other than developmental disabilities or other chronic health issues.
Appropriates $36.9 million for 2020-21 from the General Fund to the Division for expanding the NC Pre-K program to eligible children who are 4 years of age to provide coverage for those children, without additional slots, for 12 months of the program year. States the NCGA’s intent to provide funding during the 2021-23 fiscal biennium to expand the NC Pre-K program to eligible children who are 3 years of age to provide coverage for those children for 12 months of the program year.
Enacts new GS 115C-300.5, requiring the State Board of Education (State Board) to establish the Teacher Support Program (Program) to help teachers cope with stress, exhaustion, and disillusionment related to the profession by providing counseling services. Requires the State Board to adopt rules for Program implementation, including rules on a referral system for the Program; staff professional and licensure requirements; and a toll-free, 24-hour hotline for use by teachers. Requires teacher participation records to be kept confidential. Prohibits employing entities from considering participation in the Program when evaluating a teacher's performance or making any employment decision.
Appropriates $1 million in recurring funds for 2020-21 from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction to establish and operate the Program.
Requires the Program Evaluation Division (PED) to conduct a measurability assessment of the State programs created by this act and the investment of State funds in raising teacher and principal salaries to determine whether these actions and programs are impacting student performance and outcomes, improving the retention and availability of employing high-quality teachers in the North Carolina public schools, and providing a return on investment of State funds. Requires PED to start the measurability assessment beginning in 2031 (appears to intend 2021) and compare data from the 2021-22 fiscal year to data collected up until the 2035-36 fiscal year. Requires PED to report the results of the measurability assessment to the NCGA.
Effective July 1, 2020, and applicable to sales made on or after that date, amends GS 105-164.4(a) to increase the privilege tax imposed on retailers from 4.75% to 5.35%. Effective July 1, 2021, and applicable to sales made on or after that date, increases the rate again to 5.5%. Effective July 1, 2022, and applicable to sales made on or after that date, increases the rate again to 5.75%.
Effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2021, amends GS 105-130.3 to increase the tax on class C corporations from 2.5% to 4.5%. Effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2022, increases the rate again to 5%. Effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2023, increases the rate again to 6%.
Effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2021, amends GS 105-153.7 to increase the individual income tax rate from 5.25% to 5.75%. Effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2022, increases the rate again to 5.8%.
Appropriates departmental receipts for the 2020-21 fiscal year up to the amounts needed to implement the provisions in this act for the fiscal year.
Provides that the provision 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 H 966 (2019 Appropriations Act) becomes law and if there is a conflict with that act or the Committee Report, then this act controls.
Except as otherwise provided, effective when the act becomes law.
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