Bill Summary for H 159 (2021-2022)

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Summary date: 

Feb 25 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 159 (Public) Filed Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Intro. by Torbett, Blackwell.

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Bill summary

Part I.

Requires the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to pay a one-time lump sum bonus of $350 by April 30, 2021, to every teacher who, as of April 1, 2021, is employed as a teacher in a school for students with visual and hearing impairments. Specifies the intent that these bonuses complement the bonuses provided to other teachers in Section 2 of SL 2020-45. Defines teacher as teachers and instructional support personnel. Excludes the bonuses from compensation under Article 1 (Retirement System for Teachers and State Employees) of GS Chapter 135. Excludes from the bonus any teacher no longer employed as a teacher due to resignation, dismissal, reduction in force, death, or retirement or whose last workday is prior to April 1, 2021. Specifies that funds provided in this section supplement the compensation of a public school employee and not supplant local funds. Appropriates $55,000 for 2020-21 from the General Fund to DPI to provide the bonuses. 

Part II.

Amends GS 115C-302.1 to allow individual teachers who are not employed in a year-round school to be paid in 12 monthly installments when requested by the teacher (removes the requirement that the teacher make the request on or before the first day of the school year). Makes conforming changes to GS 115C-316. Removes the provision prohibiting teachers employed for less than 10 months from receiving their salary in 12 installments.

Part III.

Amends Section 2.3 of SL 2020-80 to extend the due date of the State Board of Education's (SBE) report to to the specified NCGA committee on unpaid meal charges in local school administrative units from October 15, 2021, to October 15, 2022. Effective June 30, 2021, allows the funds transferred from the School Bus Replacement Fund to the State Public School Fund to provide free school lunches to students of all grade levels qualifying for reduced-price meals to be used in 2021-22 in addition to 2020-21. Makes conforming changes. 

Part IV.

Amends GS 115C-450 as follows. Requires school nutrition services to be included in the budget of each public school unit providing school nutrition services (was, required school food services to be included in the budget of each local school administrative unit) and requires the SBE to provide for school nutrition services in the uniform budget format. Prohibits public school units that provide school nutrition services from assessing indirect costs to a school nutrition program unless the program has an operating balance of at least three months (was, local school administrative units were prohibited from assessing indirect costs to a child nutrition program unless the program has a minimum of one month's operating balance). Deletes the formula for calculating operating balance, and instead requires DPI to calculate the operating balance of a school nutrition program of a public school unit that provides school nutrition services. Amends the definition of indirect costs. Makes additional conforming and technical changes. Effective July 1, 2021.

Part V. 

Makes, for the 2020-21 school year, any student in the 12th grade who has not completed instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation eligible to graduate if: (1) instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation cannot be completed due to the COVID-19 emergency and (2) the student is eligible to graduate in all other respects, as determined by the principal of the school to which the student is assigned.

Part VI. 

Amends GS 115C-105.57 to require that public school units report to the Center for Safer Schools (Center) annually by January 15 on the specified information regarding school resource officers, as part of the Center's annual census of school resource officers. The information to be reported by schools is the same as that previously required to be included in the Center's annual report. Makes conforming changes. Requires the Center to compile the information submitted by the public school units and report that information at the statewide and local levels to the already specified entities.

Part VII.

Amends GS 115C-218.1 to set the fee for initial and renewal charter applications at $1,000 (was, a reasonable fee of no less than $500 and no more than $1,000).

Part VIII.

Amends GS 115C-270.20 to require that a professional educator who meets the requirement of the statute for a lifetime license as a professional educator be issued a lifetime license.

Part IX.

Amends Article 6C (concerning the Education and Workforce Innovation Program) of GS Chapter 115C as follows. Adds the CTE Grade Expansion Program to the scope of the Article. Makes changes throughout to combine the Education and Workforce Innovation Program and CTE Grade Expansion Program, now known as the Education and Workforce Innovation and CTE Grade Expansion Program (Program). Allows up to 10% of the funds appropriated for the Education and Workforce Innovation and CTE Grade Expansion Program to be used by DPI for technical and administrative assistance. No longer prohibits members of the North Carolina Education and Workforce Innovation Commission (Commission) from sending designees to meetings. Requires the Program to prioritize the inclusion of students in sixth and seventh grades through grant awards provided to selected local school administrative units. Requires Program funds to be used to award competitive grants depending on the State's needs, determined by the Commission, by dividing the grants between each type as innovation grants or as grants for grade expansion for career and technical education. Amends the innovation grant provisions to requires the grants to be used to advance comprehensive, high-quality education that equips teachers and other hired personnel (was, teachers) with knowledge and skill required to succeed with all students. Requires innovation grant recipients to provide a description of the funds that will be used and a proposed budget for each of the grant years (was, for five years). Amends GS 115C-64.17 by making conforming changes to make those provisions applicable to grants for career and technical education grade expansion. Makes additional conforming, technical, and clarifying changes.

Requires that of the funds appropriated to DPI from the General Fund for 2021-22 for the North Carolina Education and Workforce Innovation Commission for the Education and Workforce Innovation Program and for the Career and Technical Education Grade Expansion Program, beginning in 2021-22, to instead  appropriate $3,171,118 in recurring funds to DPE for the Commission for the Program. 

Effective July 1, 2021.