Bill Summary for H 644 (2021-2022)

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Summary date: 

Apr 21 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 644 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Intro. by Elmore, Saine, Torbett.

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Bill summary

Enacts Part 3A, Remote Academies, to Article 16, GS Chapter 115C, as follows. Allows for local boards of education to apply to the State Board of Education (State Board) for approval of remote academies, defined as a public school that provides a majority of instructional hours through remote instruction (as defined) to all students enrolled in the school. Caps total enrollment in remote academies to no more than 10% of the total student enrollment in that unit. Establishes caps for the number of remote academies per local school administrative unit based on student enrollment at the time of application, ranging from one to five remote academies authorized. Prohibits a local board from providing a majority of instructional hours through remote instruction in a school except as in provided in new Part 3A. Requires remote academies to meet all other requirements of public schools, except as provided in new Part 3A. Does not require remote academies to provide transportation or food services to enrolled students. Permits a remote academy to include any combination of grade levels. Details student eligibility to attend a remote academy, with an emphasis on parent commitment to provide connectivity for an accepted student. Requires the remote academy to provide needed hardware and software for participation at no cost except for damage or loss. Provides for limited in-person requirements, such as State-mandated student assessments. Directs the State Board to establish minimum requirements for student monitoring by rule as specified.

Details the remote academy approval process, including submission of a plan that addresses ten required components, review by the State Board and approval for a period of five years, with renewals permitted in five-year terms upon resubmission of an application. Grants the State Board authority to revoke approval for substantial noncompliance with the Part or the approved plan. Requires State Board written approval for plan modifications. Requires approved remote academies to be receive a school code and an assigned principal. Provides for annual evaluation of remote academies by the State Board; directs the State Board to annually report to the specified NCGA committee on the evaluations. 

Requires the State Board to adopt emergency implementing rules for the 2021-22 school year only. Directs the State Board to make its first evaluation report by November 15, 2022.

Applies beginning with the 2021-22 school year.