AN ACT TO EXEMPT CERTAIN SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS FROM NORTH CAROLINA PSYCHOLOGY BOARD LICENSURE; TO CLARIFY USE OF DIGITAL LEARNING PLAN FUNDS; TO MAKE MODIFICATIONS TO THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL CALENDAR REQUIREMENTS TO EXPAND THE USE OF REMOTE LEARNING DAYS AND ALLOW MODIFICATIONS FOR SINGLE-TRACK YEAR-ROUND SCHOOLS; TO CLARIFY THAT SCHOOL NUTRITION FUNDS FROM THE CORONAVIRUS RELIEF FUND ARE FOR EMERGENCY SCHOOL NUTRITION SERVICES, AUTHORIZE THE USE OF THESE FUNDS FOR THE SUMMER FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM, AND EXTEND THE PERIOD OF USE FOR THESE FUNDS UNTIL DECEMBER 30, 2020; TO ALLOW LME/MCO REINVESTMENT PLANS TO INCLUDE PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO PUBLIC SCHOOL UNITS; TO CHANGE A CHARTER SCHOOL REPORT DATE; TO DESIGNATE THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION AS AN APPROVER OF PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS; TO REVISE THE CALCULATION OF THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR INTERN STIPEND; TO EXTEND THE GRANT TERM FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA TRANSFORMING PRINCIPAL PREPARATION PROGRAM; AND TO PROVIDE IMMUNITY FOR NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS FOR CLAIMS RELATED TO COVID-19 CLOSURES FOR 2019-2020.
House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes. Deletes the content of the previous edition and replaces it with the following.
Amends GS 90-270.4(c) to provide an exemption to licensure requirements under Chapter 90 for school psychologists licensed by the State Board of Education. Exemption applies to both employees and contractors of the Department of Public Instruction or public school units.
Amends Section 3.3 of SL 2020-4 (2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act) to allocate an additional $1 million to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to implement the School Psychologists Recruitment and Retention Pilot Program in Section 4.2E of that act, as enacted. Reduces the allocation to DPI for contracted school health personnel by $1 million.
Enacts Section 4.2E to SL 2020-4 to require the State Board to establish the 2020 School Psychologists Recruitment and Retention Pilot Program (program) using the funds allocated in Section 3.3 of that act, as amended. Details the program's purposes and defined terms. Requires the DPI recruitment and retention coordinator to coordinate with qualifying local school administrative units to allocate funds and administer the program subject to five requirements, including capping bonuses for a school psychologist at $30,000 and requiring high-need qualifying local school administrative units as a first priority in allocating funds. Defines a qualifying local school administrative unit as one that either (1) employed two or fewer full-time school psychologists in the prior school year or (2) had a ratio of school psychologists to students that was at one school psychologist for every 1,900 students in the prior school year. Defines high-need qualifying local school administrative unit to mean one that employed zero full-time school psychologists in the prior school year. Requires the DPI retention and recruitment coordinator to report to the Senate Pro Tempore, the Speaker of the House, and the specified NCGA committee and division by September 20, 2020, and every subsequent three months in which funds are awarded in the program, as specified. Allows DPI to use up to $100,000 of the funds allocated to the program to establish the recruitment and retention coordinator position.
Amends SL 2020-3, Section 2.1, to limit the definition of year-round school to schools with calendars adopted prior to March 1, 2020. Modifies the attendance requirement for one of the permitted plans for a year-round school to include an average of 44 to 46 days (was, fixed at 45) followed by an average of 15 to 20 days of vacation (was, fixed at 15).
Changes 2020-21 school calendar provisions in SL 2020-3, Section 2.11(b)(2), to authorize local school boards to change adopted calendars of single-track, year-round schools to vary from the permitted plan requiring 44 to 46 attendance days followed by 15 to 20 vacation days if necessary to ensure health and safety of students so long as the other existing requirements are met.
Limits flexibility for local school boards to use remote instruction days as teacher workdays to those five days originally planned as part of 190-day annual calendar.
Authorizes further remote instruction days that a governing board determines it needs for health and safety reasons, provided the public school unit ensures compliance with COVID-19 guidance from State health and education agencies.
Amends SL 2020-4, Section 3.3(6), to provide that funding provided to the Department of Public Instruction for nutrition services provided in response to COVID-19 may also be allocated to the Summer Food Service Program. More specifically requires the funding to be used to provide emergency school nutrition services to students, including innovative school meals. Extends the availability of funding until December 30, 2020 (was, end of the 2019-20 school year).
Amends GS 122C-125.2(a)(6), which specifies the types of activities an LME/MCO may include in a plan for reinvesting profits, to include assistance to public school units within the LME/MCO’s catchment area for student behavioral health needs.
Amends GS 115C-218-110(b), which requires charter schools to file annual reports related to educational effectiveness, to extend the reporting date from February 15 to June 15.
Enacts new GS 115C-218.37 to authorize the Superintendent of Public Instruction to approve the issuance of private activity bonds to finance or refinance a charter school after a public hearing. The Superintendent determines the procedures for the hearing and either the Superintendent or a designee conducts the hearing.
If S 818 becomes law (presented to Governor on 6/17/2020), amends Section 6(c) to change options for the calculation of a stipend for a school administrator intern. The stipend may be either the beginning salary of an assistant principal or, for a teacher who becomes an intern, at least as much as that person would earn as a teacher.
Amends GS 116-74.46(c)(1) to extend the grant term for the North Carolina Transforming Principal Preparation Program from five to six years. Applies to grants awarded or renewed on or after July 1, 2020.
Provisions are effective when they become law, unless otherwise specified.
Makes conforming changes to the act's titles.
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