AN ACT TO ENACT THE NORTH CAROLINA GREEN SCHOOLS ACT OF 2019.
Adds new Article 37A, Green Schools, to GS Chapter 115C, providing as follows.
Sets out legislative findings.
Requires, when it is economically feasible, that all elementary and secondary public schools, including charter schools, and all elementary and secondary nonpublic schools with 50 or more students establish (1) a green cleaning policy to exclusively purchase and use environmentally sensitive cleaning products and (2) a green food service policy to exclusively purchase and use biodegradable single-use food service products, if single-use food service products are purchased and used. Requires public schools to provide annual notice when adopting such policies is not economically feasible (meaning that adopting the policy would result in an increase in the cleaning costs or school food service costs of the school).
Requires the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Public Instruction (DPI), State Board of Education, and interested stakeholders to establish and annually amend guidelines and specifications for health and environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products and for biodegradable single-use food services products for use in schools. Requires the guidelines and specifications to be posted on DPI's website.
Sets out provisions requiring the dissemination of the guidelines and specifications, and updates, to schools. Requires the local boards of education, DPI, and the Division of Nonpublic Education to provide assistance to schools in carrying out the requirements.
Requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules to implement the new Article.
Amends GS 115C-218.75 to make charter schools subject to the new Article.
Enacts new GS 115C-566.5 to encourage, when it is economically feasible, nonpublic schools with 50 or more students to adopt a policy consistent with the new Article.
Allows a school to delete its existing cleaning and food service supply stocks and implement the requirements of the new Article in the procurement cycle for the following school year.
Requires DPI to establish initial guidelines and specifications after a review and evaluation of existing research that is to be completed no later than 180 days after the act's effective date.
Specifies that no state funds are to be appropriated and are not required to implement the new Article.
Enacts new GS 115C-524.5 to require local school administrative units and charter schools, by January 31 of each year, to report to DPI the amount of energy and water used at each building during the previous year. Requires DPI to publish the reported data by March 1 of each year, categorizing the information in the specified ways. Requires local school administrative units to use the publication in the following ways: (1) using the most recent two years of published data, to establish energy and water efficiency improvement goals for facility operations and maintenance and (2) using those goals, to set minimum efficiency requirements for all new construction and major renovations performed on school facilities. Allows a county that has a revolving loan fund to use the fund to provide loans to local school administrative units for qualifying uses (including acquisitions for new construction and major renovation projects that meet federal programmatic requirements and the minimum benchmark requirements, energy modeling fees, performance contracting, infrastructure supporting electric or hybrid-electric buses, and buses powered by electricity or compressed natural gas). Requires DPI to work with local school administrative units in applying for a loan. Makes conforming changes to GS 115C-521. Amends GS 115C-218.36 requiring charter schools to submit annual reports on energy and water use to DPI under new GS 115C-524.5.
Applies beginning with the 2019-20 school year.