AN ACT TO ENACT THE 2018 HURRICANE FLORENCE DISASTER RECOVERY ACT.
Establishes the following calendar flexibility for time missed during September and October 2018 in schools closed by the governing body of a public school unit (local school administrative unit, regional school, innovative school, laboratory school, charter school, or residential school for the deaf or the blind) due to weather conditions related to Hurricane Florence: (1) if the school is in a public school unit located in a county designated before, on, or after the effective date of this act under a major disaster declaration by the President under the Stafford Act (PL 93-288) as a result of Hurricane Florence, at the governing body's discretion, the public school unit may (a) make up any number of the instructional days or equivalent hours missed, (b) deem as completed any number of the instructional days or equivalent hours missed up to a total of 20 days, or (c) any combination of the above; (2) if the school is in a public school unit that is not located in a county designated under a major disaster declaration by the President under the Stafford Act as a result of Hurricane Florence, then, (a) if the public school unit's scheduled calendar will already meet 185 instructional days or 1,025 instructional hours, no additional days or hours are required; (b) for all other schools, for days missed in excess of two days, in the discretion of its governing body, the public school unit may do either or a combination of the following: 1. make up any number of the instructional days or equivalent hours missed or 2. deem as completed any number of the instructional days or equivalent hours missed.
Deems public school unit employees (except for in the case of a charter school) to have been employed for any scheduled instructional days that were missed due to Hurricane Florence during September and October 2018 that a public school unit has deemed completed and is not required to make up. Requires that employees be compensated as they would have had they worked missed days. Allows, but does not require, the board of directors of a charter school to provide such compensation. Requires that up to $6.5 million in nonrecurring funds of the funds allocated to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) from the Hurricane Florence Disaster Recovery Fund in 2018-19 be used for the authorized compensation to public school unit employees of schools participating in the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program for scheduled instructional days when compensation would have been provided by school meal receipts or by federal funds. Requires these employees to be compensated in the same manner they would have had they worked on the days missed. Requires DPI to develop criteria to be used to allocate funds in the event that the funds are insufficient to provide compensation to public school unit employees in schools participating in the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program for scheduled instructional days when compensation would have been provided by school meal receipts or by federal funds, with priority given to public school units with greatest economic need.
Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to report to the chairs of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee, the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee, and the Fiscal Research Division on the implementation of this act by March 15, 2019, and to provide any additional reports requested by the Fiscal Research Division. Specifies information that is to be included in the report. Requires public school units to provide implementation information to the Superintendent by February 15, 2019.
Allows a student enrolled in an educator preparation program (EPP) that is assigned the status of initially authorized or authorized by the State Board of Education to have the clinical internship requirements deemed completed if the student (1) is enrolled in an EPP located in a county declared a major disaster by the President under the Stafford Act as a result of Hurricane Florence or has been placed with an elementary or secondary partner school located in a county declared a major disaster by the President under the Stafford Act as a result of Hurricane Florence, (2) has completed as much time in a clinical internship as practicable in the 2018 fall semester, and (3) cannot graduate in December 2018 from the EPP without the clinical internship requirement being deemed completed. Requires that any EPP with an enrolled student who has his or her clinical internship requirement deemed completed to report specified information by February 1, 2019, to the State Board of Education. Requires the State Board of Education to report on this information to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by March 15, 2019.
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