Bill Summary for S 354 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

Mar 25 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 354 (Public) Filed Monday, March 25, 2019
AN ACT, CONSISTENT WITH HOUSE BILL 966 OF THE 2019 REGULAR SESSION, TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR LEGISLATIVELY MANDATED COMPENSATION INCREASES FOR CERTAIN PUBLIC SCHOOL PERSONNEL AND, CONTINGENT UPON THE PASSAGE OF HOUSE BILL 966 OF THE 2019 REGULAR SESSION, TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR LEGISLATIVELY MANDATED COMPENSATION INCREASES FOR CERTAIN EDUCATIONAL EMPLOYEES AND INCREASED FUNDING FOR TUITION GRANTS FOR GRADUATES OF THE NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS. APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR LEGISLATIVELY MANDATED COMPENSATION INCREASES FOR CERTAIN EDUCATIONAL EMPLOYEES AND INCREASED FUNDING FOR TUITION GRANTS FOR GRADUATES OF THE NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS.
Intro. by Ballard, Edwards, Harrington.

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Bill summary

Amends GS 115C-218, which sets forth the purpose of charter schools and establishes the NC Charter Schools Advisory Board and the NC Office of Charter Schools. Adds new subsection (a1) to define the terms impact statement, notice, parent, and significant restructuring, as the terms are used in Article 14A.

Enacts GS 115C-218.98, requiring that fair and timely notice be provided to parents of students at a charter school in the event of a proposal to involuntarily or voluntarily dissolve or significantly restructure the charter school. Defines significant restructuring to mean any action that requires the charter school to change the curriculum, enrollment, grade, or programs offered; leadership; governing board composition; employment of more than one-third of its teaching staff, or contractors for educational services. Requires a Student and Family Impact Statement to be prepared by the State Board of Education or the charter school intending to take the action in accordance with GS 115C-218.99, enacted by this act.

Requires a charter school to provide notice to parents of all impacted students within 10 days of receiving any communication from the State Board of Education initiating a process that could lead to the dissolution, termination, revocation, nonrenewal, or significant restructuring as a condition of continued operation. Requires the notice to include a copy of the communication received from the State Board, any reasons or data used to support the communication, and provide detailed information on the subsequent process, including statutory requirements, related to operation of the charter school.

Requires a charter school to provide notice to parents of all impacted students within 10 days of the board of directors' resolution to dissolve and surrender its charter or amend the charter to significantly restructure the school. Requires the notice to include reasons for the decision to dissolve and surrender the charter or significantly restructure and provide detailed information on the subsequent process, including statutory requirements, related to the operation of the charter school.

Enacts GS 115C-218.99, requiring the State Board or the charter school to prepare a Student and Family Impact Statement (Impact Statement) within 60 days of providing notice to parents in accordance with GS 115C-218.98 (1) if the State Board has commenced an action against the charter school to involuntarily dissolve or significantly restructure the charter school (in which case the State Board prepares the Impact Statement) or (2) if the charter school intends to dissolve and surrender its charter or amend the charter to significantly restructure the charter school (in which case the charter school prepares the Impact Statement). Directs the Impact Statement be prepared after a mandatory survey of the parents of all students enrolled in the charter school. Requires the survey to be conducted in a manner that maximizes parental participation. Requires the study to seek the input of the parents on all issues that the Impact Statement must address pursuant to subsection (b) of the statute. Directs the State Board to cooperate with the board of directors of the charter school when the State Board is preparing the Impact Statement.

Requires the Impact Statement to concisely describe and analyze the proposed action that has been noticed that may have a significant impact on students and families. Requires the Impact Statement to be made available to the public for information and comment. Details eleven informational components that must be included in the Impact Statement, at minimum, including: (1) a description of the proposed action, including the charter school's needs and benefits related to the action; (2) if the charter school were to close, a full review of the public school that each student will be assigned to; and (3) identification of ways to reduce or avoid an adverse impact on students and families, with the analysis including a separate section on the impact on students with disabilities. 

Requires a notice and a copy or readily available access to a copy of the Impact Statement to be provided to the parents of all impacted students. Provides that within 60 days after providing notice of the completed Impact Statement, but no sooner than within 15 days of the delivery of the notice, the State Board or the charter school, as applicable, is required to hold a public hearing where the specified interested parties must be allowed to present testimony on the findings of the Impact Statement, as well as expert testimony. Requires that, when the State Board prepared the Impact Statement, the board of directors of the charter school must be allowed to present for consideration a student and school improvement plan in place of the proposed action by the State Board.

Prohibits, until at least 30 days after the public hearing, except in the presence of imminent health or safety issues, the State Board from taking final action to dissolve, terminate, revoke, nonrenew, or significantly restructure a charter school, and the charter school from dissolving and surrendering its charter or amend its charter to significantly restructure.

Applies to actions commenced to involuntarily or voluntarily dissolve or significantly restructure a charter school on or after the date the act becomes law.

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