Bill Summary for H 849 (2023-2024)

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Summary date: 

Apr 24 2023

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
House Bill 849 (Public) Filed Monday, April 24, 2023
Intro. by Ball, Elmore, von Haefen, Longest.

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Bill summary

Includes whereas clauses. 

Amends the NC Teaching Fellows Program (Program) set forth in Part 3, Article 23, of GS Chapter 116 as follows. Changes the Program's purpose to no longer focus on recruiting, preparing, and supporting students residing in or attending institutions of higher education in the State for preparation as highly effective STEM or special education teachers in the State's public schools. Instead broadens the Program's stated purpose to include preparing these students to be highly effective teachers in the State's public schools. Removes STEM from the Part's defined terms. Makes conforming changes throughout the Part to remove references to STEM and special education positions, candidates, and licensure, making the Program generally applicable to all public school teachers meeting the Program's requirements.

Amends GS 116-209.62. Modifies the use of the Program's Trust Fund, now authorizing up to an additional $600,000 to be used for extracurricular enhancement activities of the Program, such as summer programs and alumni programs, and up to another $500,000 to be used for the Director of the Program to implement recruitment activities required by subsection (d) of the statute, annually. Maintains the current authority to use the greater of $600,000 or 10% of available funds for administrative costs and the salary of the Director and other Program staff (previously, this amount was to also cover expenses of the Teaching Fellows Commission and for the Commission to fund extracurricular activities).

Now requires the Program to be administered in cooperation with each constituent institution of UNC and up to four institutions of higher education with approved educator preparation programs (EPPs) selected by the Teaching Fellows Commission, representing a diverse selection as specified (currently, the Program is limited to eight institutions of higher education selected by the Commission from both constituent institutions of UNC and private postsecondary institutions operating in the State). Makes conforming changes to subsection (g) regarding award of forgivable loans to reflect these changes to institutions eligible under the Program. Increases the forgivable loan award under the Program  from $4,125 per semester to $6,000 per semester; maintains existing semester limits based on the individual seeking licensure. Makes technical and conforming changes. 

Amends GS 116-209.63 to provide for forgiveness of the loan and any interest accrued on the loan if the recipient serves as a teacher in an NC public school, within 10 years after graduation from a program leading to licensure, for every year the teacher was awarded the forgiveable loan, in any combination of (1) six months (was, one year) at an NC public school identified as low-performing either at the time the teacher accepts employment or transfers to another school identified as low performing and/or (2) one year (was, two years) at an NC public school not identified as low-performing. Requires forgiveness if the State Education Assistance Authority finds it impossible for the recipient to work up to four years (was, eight years), within 10 years of completing a program leading to licensure, at an NC public school because of the death or permanent disability of the recipient.

Effective July 1, 2023, and applies to applications for the award of funds beginning in the 2024-25 academic year.