AN ACT TO ALIGN THE SELECTION OF INNOVATIVE SCHOOLS WITH THOSE IDENTIFIED BY THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION FOR COMPREHENSIVE SUPPORT AND IMPROVEMENT, TO EXPAND OPTIONS FOR THE INNOVATIVE SCHOOL DISTRICT, TO REQUIRE LOCAL BOARDS OF EDUCATION TO INFORM BOARDS OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF ACADEMIC PROGRESS, TO REQUIRE FURTHER STUDY OF REFORMS FOR ASSISTANCE TO LOW-PERFORMING SCHOOLS, TO ELIMINATE THE CAP ON LOCAL BOARDS OF EDUCATION THAT CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE ADVANCED TEACHING ROLES PILOT PROGRAM, AND TO EXEMPT ADVANCED TEACHING ROLES SCHOOLS FROM CLASS SIZE REQUIREMENTS.
House committee substitute adds the following to the 4th edition.
Amends GS 115C-390.2, regarding student conduct policies and procedures. Requires local boards of education to consult with teachers, school-based administrators, parents, and local law enforcement agencies when adopting the required policies to govern student conduct and disciplinary procedures for school officials to follow in disciplining students. Requires the policies to be based on local standards of conduct and developed within local guidelines for school safety (previously, required consistency with Article 27, Discipline, and the constitutions, statutes, and regulations of the United States and the State). Establishes a new requirement for local boards to annually provide the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) with a copy of its current student discipline policies by September 1 of each year. Additionally, adds a new requirement for local boards to notify parents or guardians of expected standards of student behavior. Permits local boards to require students and parents or guardians to sign an acknowledgement that they have received a copy of the Code of Student Conduct. Now requires school officials to inform the student's parent or guardian before using the range of responses encouraged to violations of disciplinary rules which do not remove the student from the classroom or school building. Clarifies that the statute and the Chapter do not regulate a local board's ability to devise, impose, and enforce personal appearance codes.
Moves the substantive language of GS 115C-390.2(f), concerning minimizing the use of long-term suspension and expulsion, to new GS 115C-390.8(a1), with the following changes. Now allows local boards to adopt policies that minimize the use of long-term suspension and expulsion by restricting the availability of long-term suspension or expulsion those violations deemed to be serious violations of the board's Code of Student Conduct that either threaten the safety of students, staff, or school visitors or threaten to substantially disrupt the educational environment, subject to the principal's discretion (previously, required local boards to adopt such policies in their student conduct policies and disciplinary procedures). No longer provides examples of conduct that would not be deemed serious violations (previously, examples included the use of inappropriate or disrespectful language, noncompliance with a staff directive, dress code violations, and minor physical altercations that do not involve weapons or injury). Eliminates the more specific provision allowing principals to determine that aggravating circumstances justify treating a minor violation as a serious violation in their discretion.
Applies beginning with the 2019-20 school year.
Makes conforming changes to the act's titles and effective date provisions.
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