Bill Summary for S 354 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

May 6 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

Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

Deletes the previous provisions and now provides the following.

Enacts GS 115C-218.9 to require a charter school board of directors to notify parents of enrolled students at least seven days prior to meeting to consider requesting a material revision of the charter. Requires the notice to be by email or the parent's preferred communication method and include the details of the meeting and a description of the proposed material revision. Encourages charter school boards to notify parents of enrolled students of the final action by the State Board of Education (State Board) regarding such a request. 

Enacts GS 115C-218.97 to establish a new requirement for the Office of Charter Schools (Office) to provide for a public hearing as part of the review of the operations of a continually low-performing charter school. Provides for the location of the hearing and requires the hearing to include a presentation on the academic performance of the school and an opportunity for public comment. Mandates that at least one State Board member and one member of the Advisory Board attend the hearing. Requires the Office to give at least 20 days' notice of the hearing to the continually low-performing charter school of the date, time, location, and methods for parents, teachers, and community members to submit comments. Requires that the State Board review and consider a record of the public hearing in addition to any supporting documentation before taking final action not to renew the charter of a continually low-performing charter school. Requires a continually low-performing charter school to notify parents of enrolled students by email or the parent's preferred communication method within five days of receipt of notice that the Office scheduled a public hearing and the State Board taking final action not to renew the charter, as specified.

Enacts GS 115C-218.98 to establish notice and hearing requirements prior to termination of a charter. Requires the Advisory Board to give the charter school at least 20 days' notice of a public hearing on a proposed recommendation to terminate a charter. Requires the notice to include the date, time, location, and methods for parents, teachers, and community members to submit comments. Requires the hearing to include a presentation on the academic performance of the charter school and an opportunity for public comment. Permits the Advisory Board to direct the Office to conduct the hearing. Requires at least one State Board member and one Advisory Board member to attend the hearing. Details five considerations the Advisory Board must address prior to making its final determination, including a record of the public hearing and supporting documentation, and the capital needs of the public school(s) where students will be assigned if the charter school ceases operation. 

Requires the State Board to give a charter school at least 20 days' notice prior to meeting to take final action on a recommendation of the Advisory Board to terminate the charter. Requires the State Board to review the evidence from the Advisory Board meeting and the information the Advisory Board considered prior to making its recommendation, as required. 

Requires the charter school to notify parents of enrolled students by email or the parent's preferred communication method within five days of receipt of notice that the Advisory Board scheduled a public hearing or the State Board scheduled a meeting to take final action, as specified. 

Details exceptions to the requirements when the Advisory Board's proposed or final recommendation or the State Board's final action to terminate the charter is based on failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management or violations of law. In these instances, requires the State Board to give the charter school 20 days' notice prior to scheduling a meeting to take final action to terminate the charter and requires the charter school to notify parents of enrolled students of the scheduled meeting within five days of receipt of the State Board's notice and notify parents of enrolled students of the State Board's final action at the scheduled meeting.

Enacts GS 115C-218.100(c) to require a charter school board to notify the parents of enrolled students by email or the parent's preferred communication method within five days of passing a resolution to voluntarily dissolve. Requires the notice to include a timeline for the dissolution of the school.

Enacts GS 115C-47(64) to add to the powers and duties of local boards of education the duty to submit a statement to the State Board upon request on the capital impact a charter school closure would have on schools within the local unit. Requires the statement to be submitted within 30 days of the State Board's request.

Amends GS 150B-1 to exempt the State Board of Education's disapproval, termination, or nonrenewal of charters under Article 14A of GS Chapter 115C from the APA's contested case provisions. 

Defines the scope of the act to include virtual charter schools authorized under Section 8.35 of SL 2014-100, as amended. Prohibits the termination of a virtual charter school's charter prior to the end of the pilot program unless the requirements of GS 115C-218.98, as enacted, are met. 

Applies to actions commenced to voluntarily dissolve, terminate, not renew, or materially revise a charter on or after July 1, 2019.

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