Bill Summary for H 315 (2019-2020)

Printer-friendly: Click to view

Summary date: 

Mar 7 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 315 (Public) Filed Thursday, March 7, 2019
Intro. by Elmore, Arp, Johnson.

View: All Summaries for BillTracking:

Bill summary

Repeals Part 3 of Article 8 of GS Chapter 115C concerning general education textbooks.

Enacts Part 3C to Article 8, Selection of Instructional Material.

Provides definitions for Part 3C, including defining the terms health and safety programs, instructional materials, local committee, parent, State Committee, supplemental materials, and unfit materials

Directs local boards of education to select and adopt instructional materials for each standard course of study at each instructional level in the elementary school and the secondary school adopted by the State Board of Education (State Board). Allows local boards to require certified expert employees evaluate materials being considered for adoption, as specified. 

Directs local boards to adopt written policies for the selection and procurement of supplemental materials. Grants local boards the sole authority regarding selection and procurement of supplemental materials. Specifies that supplemental materials cannot displace or be used to the exclusion of instructional materials. 

Requires local boards to hold a public hearing after at least 10 days' public notice when adopting, modifying, or amending a health and safety program and its instructional and supplemental materials. Further, requires 60 days' electronic and written notice to all parents and students in the local school administrative unit (local unit) of the hearing and the opportunity to review the materials in the program repository. Details parental notice requirements.

Requires State Board allocation and appropriations in the current expense or capital outlay budgets of local units to be used by local boards for the purchase, lease, or rental of instructional or supplemental materials and for hardware, software, or other equipment necessary for the use of the materials. Vests the title of the materials with the local board. Encourages partnership with other local boards or public schools to jointly purchase materials. Includes conditions for the purchase of instructional materials. Requires local board to publish on the local unit's website the title, author, and publisher of all materials purchased.

Requires public elementary and secondary school students be provided with free instructional materials, with proper care and return. Further details the provision and maintenance of instructional and supplemental materials. Authorizes the assessment of damage fees against a student's parent or legal guardian for abuse or loss of instructional or supplemental materials or equipment necessary for the use of the materials under rules adopted by the local board.

Requires local boards to maintain a continuous repository of currently purchased instructional supplemental materials, maintained at a central location for in-person review upon request, with the names of the materials posted to the local unit's website for review. Details requirements regarding the maintenance of a continuous repository of current objectives, entire curricula, texts, and all other materials used in any health and safety program. Requires 14 days' electronic and written notice each school year to parents of students participating in a health and safety program of the right to review the objectives, complete materials, and entire curriculum of the program in the repository. Details further requirements for the parental notice. 

Authorizes any parent, guardian, or person in the place of the parent to purchase any instructional material needed for any public school student from the local board in which the student is enrolled. Authorizes local boards to dispose of discontinued instructional or supplemental materials. 

Requires every local board to establish a local community media advisory committee to investigate and evaluate challenges to instructional and supplemental materials on the grounds that they are unfit. Requires the local committee to include a principal, teacher, and parent each from a high school, middle school, and elementary school. Provides for submitting challenges to materials, hearings on challenges, recommendations from the committee on the material's retention or removal, and the local board's subsequent determination. Limits the local committee's determination to considering whether the material is unfit on the grounds of being educationally unsuitable; pervasively vulgar; or inappropriate to the age, maturity, or grade level of the students. Provides for an appeal to the State Community Media Advisory Committee if the local board determines the challenged material will be retained.

Establishes the State Community Media Advisory Committee to review challenged material appeals. Provides for the Committee's membership and member recusal. Requires the State Board to designate the form and manner for appeals. Provides for an appeal hearing to be held within four weeks of filing. Limits the Committee's determination to considering whether the material is unfit on the grounds of being educationally unsuitable; pervasively vulgar; or inappropriate to the age, maturity, or grade level of the students. Requires the Committee to make a recommendation to the State Board within two weeks of the hearing. Requires the State Board to make a final determination, not subject to appeal, as to the challenged material at the next meeting following the receipt of the Committee's recommendation. Requires the local board to remove the material if that is the decision of the State Board. 

Amends GS 115C-11, changing the voting requirements for the adoption of textbooks by the State Board. Now requires the majority of State Board members present and voting to carry a motion, with a roll call vote on each motion (previously, required majority vote of the whole membership). Makes conforming changes. 

Makes conforming repeal of GS 115C-12(9)b., which required the State Board to adopt and supply textbooks.

Makes conforming changes to GS 115C-12(9c)c, GS 115C-12(18)d., GS 115C-47(6), GS 115C-47(33), GS 115C-47(33a), GS 115C-75.10(c)., GS 115C-81.25(d), GS 115C-242(3), GS 115C-271(d)(2), GS 115C-384(c), GS 115C-390.2(l)(1), GS 115C-390.5(c)(1), GS 115C-398, and GS 143C-9-7(b).

Makes conforming repeals of GS 115C-81.5(b)(3) and GS 115C-81.25(b)(3). Repeals GS 143A-48, which transferred the Textbook Commission to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

Effective July 1, 2019, designates the existing Textbooks and Digital Resources funding allotment in the State Public School Fund as the Instructional Materials funding allotment in the Fund. Directs the State Board to establish the purposes for which re-designated funds can be used, as specified. 

Makes conforming changes to GS 115C-105.25(b)(12) and GS 115C-81.30(c). 

Prohibits the State Board from renewing contracts or entering new contracts for textbooks or instructional materials. Requires the State Board make any textbooks or instructional materials available through existing contracts available to local boards for purchase.

Authorizes local boards, by resolution, to continue use of previously adopted State textbooks for a standard course of study until the course is revised by the State Board. 

Specifies that no local board is required to hold a public hearing pursuant to the act for any health and safety program in use prior to the 2018-19 school year until that program is amended, modified, or replaced. Requires all local boards to establish a program repository of current health and safety programs for access to parents prior to the start of the 2019-20 school year. Prohibits implementation of any program until the current program is included in the repository. 

Effective July 1, 2019, and applies beginning with the 2019-20 school year.