AN ACT TO REQUIRE COMPLETION OF AN ECONOMICS AND PERSONAL FINANCE COURSE AS A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENT IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, TO CLARIFY REQUIREMENTS FOR HIGH SCHOOL CIVIC LITERACY, AND TO REQUIRE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR ECONOMICS AND PERSONAL FINANCE TEACHERS.
Amends GS 115C-81.65, by directing the State Board of Education (State Board) to require that all students are taught a full course credit focused solely on Economics and Personal Finance (EPF) during the high school years (previously directed personal financial literacy instruction for all students with content not statutorily required to be determined by the State Board). Requires the content of the course to align with specified standards developed by the Council for Economic Education. Requires a passing grade in the course for graduation. Directs the State Board to review the high school course of study to determine grade levels during which the EPF course can be completed and reorganize other courses as appropriate. Requires each EPF course to provide instruction on economic principles and provide personal financial literacy instruction that includes but is not limited to the true cost of credit, choosing and managing a credit card, borrowing money for an automobile or other large purchase, home mortgages, credit scoring and credit reports, planning and paying for postsecondary education, and other relevant financial literacy issues (all but planning and paying for postsecondary education were included in the previous requirements for financial literacy instruction).
Further amends GS 115C-81.65, directing the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to require that EPF teachers receive the professional development necessary to ensure that the intent and provisions of the statute, as amended, are carried out. Requires the State Board to require local boards (including innovative school districts and renewal school systems, charter schools, lab schools, and regional schools) to make available to EPF teachers and prospective EPF teachers the EPF professional development course provided by the NC Council on Economic Education (NCCEE), to the extent funds are made available to this purpose. Requires teachers to complete the EPF professional development course prior to teaching the EPF course in public schools when practicable, but allows for teachers to begin teaching the EPF course while awaiting the next possible opportunity to complete a session of the EPF professional development course. Provides for the EPF professional development course to be taken at the NCCEE -approved location most conveniently located to the public school. Appropriates $1,063,800 as grant-in-aid for 2019-20 from the General Fund to The North Carolina Council on Economic Education to provide for completion of the required professional development course for EPF teachers. Sets out required uses of the fund, including a $500 stipend to each teacher upon completion of the Test of Economic Literacy and the Working in Support of Education personal finance test if the teacher attends the course on weekends or during a time outside the teacher's school year. Requires that any funds remaining at the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year of the funds appropriated be used to provide professional development for public school EPF teachers. Requires an annual report beginning September 1, 2020, and any fiscal year that NCCEE uses State funds, to the specified NCGA committee and division on the activities described by this section and the expenditure of State funds. Effective July 1, 2019.
Amends GS 115C-81.45 to direct the State Board to require the teaching of the Founding Principles of the United States and North Carolina during high school, as specified. Removes the requirements that the teaching be a semester course and a passing grade be required for high school graduation. Makes conforming changes.
Amends GS 115C-218.85 (concerning charter schools), GS 115C-238.66 (concerning regional schools), and GS 116-239.8 (concerning laboratory schools) to require the provision of financial literacy instruction as required by the State Board pursuant to GS 115C-81.65, as amended.
Amends Section 6(d) of SL 2018-42, adding the provisions of GS 115C-81.65 to which renewal school systems are subject.
Applies beginning with the 2020-21 school year.
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