Bill Summary for H17 (2016 Extra 4)

Summary date: 

Dec 14 2016

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2016 Extra Session 4
House Bill 17 (Public) Filed Wednesday, December 14, 2016
AN ACT TO CLARIFY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION'S ROLE AS THE ADMINISTRATIVE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION, TO CHANGE THE APPOINTMENTS PROCESS FOR THE BOARDS OF TRUSTEES FOR THE CONSTITUENT INSTITUTIONS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, TO MODIFY THE APPOINTMENT OF HEADS OF PRINCIPAL STATE DEPARTMENTS, AND TO ESTABLISH TASK FORCE FOR SAFER SCHOOLS.
Intro. by Lewis, Bryan, Horn, Ross.

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Bill summary

Part I makes the following changes to the powers and duties of the Superintendent, the Department of Public Instruction, and the State Board of Education. Effective January 1, 2017, amends GS 115C-11 to authorize the Superintendent of Public Instruction (Superintendent) to appoint two high school students enrolled in public schools as advisors to the State Board of Education (Board); previously, authorized the Governor). Clarifies language for staggered appointments of the student advisors. Authorizes the Superintendent (previously, the Governor) to appoint a superintendent of a local school administrative unit as an advisor to the Board. Provides that current student advisors and local superintendent advisor members of the Board are to serve the remainder of their terms as of the effective date of the act, and as terms expire or vacancies occur, the Superintendent is to appoint advisor members under the statute as amended by the act. Adds a new subsection to require the Superintendent to provide technical and administrative assistance to the Board through the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Amends GS 115C-12 to require the Board to establish all needed rules and regulations for the system of free public schools. Makes conforming changes. Requires the Superintendent to administer all needed rules and regulations adopted by the Board through the DPI. Amends GS 115C-19 to establish the Superintendent as an elected officer and Council of State member and require the Superintendent to carry out the duties of GS 115C-21 as the administrative head of DPI. Eliminates language subjecting the Superintendent to the direction, control, and approval of the Board. Makes conforming changes to GS 143-745(a)(1), GS 143A-44.1, GS 143A-44.2, and GS 143A-44.3.

Effective January 1, 2017, amends GS 115C-21, which sets out the powers and duties of the Superintendent, by eliminating language subjecting the Superintendent to the direction, control, and approval of the Board throughout the statute. Adds to the Superintendent's powers the authority to administer funds appropriated for the operation of DPI and enter contracts for the operations of DPI. Places all appointments of administrative and supervisory personnel to the staff of DPI, including staff serving the Board, under the control and management of the Superintendent, who may terminate these appointments as provided under GS Chapter 126, the North Carolina Human Resources Act (previously, appointments were subject to the approval of the Board). Places all matters relating to the direct supervision and administration of the public school system under the Superintendent's direction and control (previously, matters as the Board delegates to the Superintendent). Provides that the Superintendent is to create and administer special funds within DPI to manage funds received as grants from nongovernmental sources in support of public education (previously, the fund was transferred to the Board and administered by the Board). Adds to the powers and duties of the Superintendent the duty to administer all needed rules and regulations established by the Board, through DPI, and the authority to direct and control all matters relating to the provision of staff services and support to the Board, including implementation of federal programs on behalf of the Board. Makes conforming changes. Adds the duty to administer funds appropriated for the operations of the Board and for aid to local school administrative units. 

Effective January 1, 2017, amends GS 115C-408(a) to direct the Superintendent to administer any available educational funds through DPI in accordance with all needed rules and regulations adopted by the Board. Amends GS 115C-410 to authorize the Board to adopt all needed rules and regulations related to the creation and administration of special funds within DPI to manage funds received as grants from nongovernmental sources. Authorizes DPI to create and administer those special funds and accept, receive, use, or reallocate, as specified. 

Effective when the act becomes law, amends GS 126-5(d), which exempts certain Cabinet Department positions from the North Carolina Human Resources Act, by reducing the number of positions the Governor may designate as exempt positions from the specified departments and offices from 1,500 to 300. Removes the Office of State Budget and Management and the Office of State Human Resources from the specified departments and offices from which the Governor may designate as exempted positions. Increases the number of exempt policymaking positions in each department headed by an elected department head, as specified, from the current limit of 20, to 25 exempt positions, or from 1% to 2% of the total number of full-time positions in the department, whichever is greater. Makes conforming changes to exempt managerial positions. Exempts DPI from the above limitations, and instead provides that the number of exempt policymaking positions designated by the Board is limited to 70 exempt policymaking positions or 2% of the total number of full-time positions in the department, whichever is greater. Makes conforming changes to exempt managerial positions designated by DPI. Adds new subsubsection to deem an employee occupying a position that is designated exempt and later made subject to the Human Resources Act a career State employee under GS 126-1.1(a) upon the effective date of the change in designation if the employee held the permanent position for the immediate 12 preceding months.

Effective January 1, 2017, again amends GS 126-5(d) to add the Superintendent to the specified heads of departments who may designate exempt positions in Council of State Departments and Offices. Removes the Board's authority to designate exempt positions and makes conforming changes. Repeals GS 14-234(d6), which exempts employment contracts between the Board and its chief executive office from the statute (Public officers or employees benefiting from public contracts; exceptions). Amends GS 115C-75.5(4) to provide that the superintendent of the Achievement School District (ASD) is appointed by the Superintendent (previously, by the Board). Amends GS 115C-75.6 to place the ASD under the administration of the Board and the Superintendent (previously, only under the Board). Makes conforming changes. Requires the Superintendent to report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee on ASD operations by January 15 annually. Amends GS 115C-150.11 to place the administration of the Governor Morehead School for the Blind, the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, and the North Carolina School for the Deaf with the Superintendent. Changes the membership of the North Carolina Charter School Advisory Board by transferring three members appointed by the Governor to instead be appointed by the General Assembly and the State Board of Education. Provides that the Advisory Board is to elect a chair annually (previously, Governor appointed). Directs that the executive director of the Office of Charter Schools is to be appointed by the Superintendent (previously, the Board). Makes conforming changes. Provides that current members serving the Advisory Board are to serve the remainder of their terms, and as terms expire and vacancies occur, the Superintendent is to appoint members pursuant to the statute as amended by the act. Provides that if a vacancy occurs in a Governor-appointed seat, the Board is to fill the vacancy, and upon the expiration of that term, the member is to be appointed pursuant to the statute, as amended.

Adds the Superintendent to the following immunity statutes, and expands the immunity to members of the Board, individually and collectively: GS 115C-218.20(b), GS 115C-238.73(g), GS 115C-332(g), GS 115C-333(e), GS 115C-333.1(g), GS 115C-390.3(c), GS 116-239.12(g), and GS 143B-146.16(g). Places the approval of the erection of school buildings with the School Planning Division of DPI (previously, the Board). Makes conforming changes in GS 115C-521. Amends GS 115C-535 to place the authority to establish a division to manage and operate an insurance system for public school property with the Superintendent (previously, the Board). Amends Section 8.37 of SL 2015-241 (2015 Appropriations Act), as amended, regarding budget reductions in DPI to direct the Superintendent, rather than the Board, to implement the budget reductions, as specified. Requires the Board to revise, as necessary, any of its rules and regulations to comply with Part I of the act by May 15, 2017. Directs DPI to review all state laws and rules and regulations governing the public school system to ensure compliance with the intent of act to restore authority to the Superintendent. Requires DPI to report to the 2017 General Assembly on the results of its review by April 15, 2017. Effective January 1, 2017.

Part II modifies appointments to the Boards of Trustees of constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina by amending GS 116-31 to repeal the Governor’s authority to appoint four members of the Boards of Trustees of each institution and establishing four appointments by the General Assembly (two upon recommendation of the Speaker and two upon recommendation of the President Pro Tempore) to the Boards of Trustees of each institution.  GS 116-233 is amended in similar fashion for appointments to the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics by repealing the Governor’s authority to appoint two members of the Board and increasing the members appointed by the General Assembly by two, bringing the total members appointed by the General Assembly to six (three upon the recommendation of the Speaker and three upon the recommendation of the President Pro Tempore).

Part III amends GS 143B-9 by establishing a new requirement that the Governor’s appointees as heads of principal state departments (cabinet secretaries) be confirmed by the Senate. The Governor is required to submit the names of the nominees to the President of the Senate, and the appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate unless confirmation is waived by act of the General Assembly or a vacancy in office occurs when the General Assembly is not in regular session.  If an individual is appointed to fill a vacancy while the General Assembly is not in regular session, the individual may serve for no longer that the earlier of (1) the date on which the Senate adopts a resolution disapproving the nomination, or (2) the date on which General Assembly adjourns for a period of longer than 30 days without the Senate approving the nomination.

Part IV amends Section 36.19A(a) of S.L. 2016-94 (the Appropriations Act of 2016) to require the Office of State Human Resources to begin implementation of the Statewide Compensation System Project by December 31, 2016 (previously, the Office was directed to begin implementation after February 1, 2017).

 Part V contains a severability clause.

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