Bill Summary for H 149 (2023-2024)

Printer-friendly: Click to view

Summary date: 

Feb 20 2023

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
House Bill 149 (Public) Filed Monday, February 20, 2023
Intro. by Elmore, Hardister, Paré.

View: All Summaries for BillTracking:

Bill summary

Adds new Part 7, Remote Charter Academies, in Article 14A of GS Chapter 115C, providing as follows. 

Allows a nonprofit, as a part of an application or modification of a charter, to apply to the State Board of Education (Board) for approval to include a remote charter academy that meets the Part's requirements as part of the nonprofit's charter. Allows a charter that includes a remote charter academy to enroll students for both in-person instruction and in the remote charter academy. Requires the nonprofit to designate which of the following enrollment areas the remote charter academy will use, a statewide remote charter academy that admits students in accordance with charter school admission requirements in GS 115C-218.45, or a regional remote charter academy that admits students only from the county in which the charter school is located and the counties geographically contiguous to that county. Provides that a remote charter academy provides instruction primarily online using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction delivered to students in a remote location outside of the school facility. Allows a remote charter academy to include any combination of grade levels. 

Requires parental consent for a student to be assigned to attend a remote charter academy. Requires a remote charter academy to identify characteristics for successful remote learning and establish criteria for admittance, with this information provided to parents. Prohibits denying admission on the basis of disability. Requires an admitted student's IEP team to plan for a successful student entry and for accommodations necessary to provide for a free appropriate public education in the remote charter academy. Allows a charter school providing in-person instruction to reassign a student to in-person instruction if it is determined by the board of directors that in-person instruction would better ensure the student's academic success.

Specifies, that except as provided, a remote charter academy must meet the same requirements as for other charter schools. Requires a remote charter academy to provide enrolled students with (1) needed hardware and software; (2) access to a learning management platform that enables monitoring of student performance and school-owned devices, and allows video conferencing and supervised text-based chat; (3) internet access during instructional hours, evenings, and weekends; (4) technical support during instructional hours; (5) for children with an IEP, adaptive or assistive devices, transportation, and in-person services as required by that program or plan. Allows requiring students to attend in person to fulfill State-mandated student assessments and allows optional in-person meetings between students and instructors or parents and instructors. Requires remote charter academy employees to meet the same licensure and evaluation requirements as required for in-person employees of charter schools. Requires sufficient digital teaching and learning support staff, including specified individuals. 

Set out information that a nonprofit seeking to provide a remote charter academy must submit to the Board as part of its application. Requires the Board to review and approve a charter or modification for the creation of a remote charter academy that meets the Part's requirements for a term of five years. Requires approval of at least two statewide remote charter academies.

Requires an approved remote charter academy to adhere to the plan approved by the Board unless the board of trustees obtains a charter modification. Allows applying for renewal of the remote charter academy for additional terms of five years. Requires the Board, in considering a renewal, to consider compliance with this Part and the remote charter academy's success in the prior five years. 

Requires the Board to evaluate the success of approved remote charter academies, measured by school performance scores and grades, retention rates, attendance rates, and, for grades 9-12, high school completion and dropout rates. Requires the Board to report annually in November to the specified NCGA committee on the academies and on any recommended statutory changes.

Makes organizational changes to GS Chapter 115C by moving the specified statutes into Part 1 of Article 14A, Governance and Applications for Charter Schools; into Part 2 of Article 14A, Operation of Charter Schools; into Part 3 of Article 14A, Evaluation of Charter Schools; into Part 4 of Article 14A, Funding of Charter Schools; into Part 5 of Article 14A, Reporting on Charter Schools; and into Part 6 of Article 14A, Charter Schools Pre-K Programs.

Amends Section 8.35 of SL 2014-100, as amended, by extending the length of the Board's pilot program that authorizes the operation of two virtual charter schools serving students in K-12 by one year so that it now ends with the 2025-26 (was, 2024-25) school year. Also amends the maximum enrollment of schools participating in the pilot for 2023-24 so that the maximum is the authorized student enrollment for that participating school for the 2021-22 school year plus enrollment growth of up to 20% of that enrollment; provides that for the remaining years of the pilot, the participating schools may increase enrollment in accordance with GS 115C-218.7(b) (which specifies that enrollment growth of greater than 20% is considered a material revision of the charter if the charter is currently identified as low-performing while greater than 30% is considered a material revision of the charter for any charter school that is not identified as low-performing. Prohibits approving a material revision for enrollment growth of greater than 20% for a low-performing charter and allows additional enrollment growth of greater than 30% for schools that are not low-performing only if specified findings are made.) Amends the provisions governing funding provided to the schools participating in the pilot to: (1) no longer exclude the allocation for low-wealth counties supplemental funding and the allocation for small county supplemental funding from the amount allocated that is based on the average per pupil allocation for average daily membership from the local school administrative unit allotments in which the charter school is located and (2) no longer set the amount of local funds provided to participating schools under GS 115C-218.105(c) at the lesser of $790 per pupil or the amount computed in accordance with GS 115C-218.105(c). Allows a virtual charter school that participated in the pilot program to be eligible to apply to the Board for a charter renewal as a remote charter academy. Applies beginning with the 2023-24 school year.

Applies to applications for new charters and charter modifications beginning with the 2023-24 school year.