AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE SMART SCHOOL BUS SAFETY PILOT PROGRAM.
Directs the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to establish the Smart School Bus Safety Pilot program (program), beginning with the 2020-21 school year and ending no later than December 31, 2022.
Requires participating local school administrative units to contract with qualifying vendors for specified school bus technology services. Authorizes only Johnston County Schools and Wayne County Public Schools to participate in the program. Permits DPI to authorize a replacement local school administrative unit to participate in the program for each authorized local school administrative unit that elects not to participate.
Grants participating local units discretion over the specific technology and services provided by a contracted vendor so long as six requirements are met, including (1) improvement of overall communications and reporting on school buses, (2) inclusion of automated bus safety cameras and on-board integration of the cameras, and (3) enabling of employee time tracking and student rideship tracking.
Requires participating units to include in the program every school bus designed for the transportation of children with disabilities. Deems all hardware provided to a participating unit to be property of the unit at the program's conclusion.
Directs DPI to report specified program information to the specified NCGA committees and division by November 1, 2021, and March 1, 2022, including an itemized list of technology and a description of services provided by vendors under the program.
Appropriates from the General Fund to DPI $1.4 million in nonrecurring funds for the 2020-21 fiscal year to implement the program. Requires allocation of the funds to participating local units based on the average number of students transported in the 2019-20 school year, as specified.
Reenacts and incorporates by the reference the State Budget Act, GS Chapter 143C.
Provides for the continued validity of 2019 legislation appropriating funds to an agency covered by the act unless expressly repealed or amended.
Deems the act to supersede any conflicting provision of HB 966 (2019 Appropriations Act) or the specified Committee Report.
Effective July 1, 2020.
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