AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT FUNDS IN THE CLASSROOM MATERIALS, INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPLIES, AND EQUIPMENT ALLOTMENT FOR THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS SHALL BE USED FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA CLASSROOM SUPPLY PROGRAM TO PERMIT TEACHERS TO PURCHASE CLASSROOM SUPPLIES THROUGH AN ELECTRONIC ACCOUNT.
Establishes the North Carolina Classroom Supply Program (Program) to provide $400 to each eligible classroom teacher, as defined, to purchase classroom supplies, out of funds appropriated to the Department of Public Instruction's (DPI) classroom materials allotment. Defines eligible classroom teacher and public school unit.
Directs each local school administrative unit to transfer from the specified fund $400 per eligible teacher to teacher electronic accounts, beginning with the 2019-20 school year. Allows public school units, other than local administrative units, to opt in to the Program by August 1 of the fiscal year. Exempts local school administrative units operating a renewal school system plan pursuant to Section 6 of SL 2018-32 from participation but allows those units to opt in.
Requires DPI to use the same administrative system to manage funds as the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (Authority) for the Personal Education Savings Account. Requires DPI to model its contract to meet the act's requirements, including capabilities to (1) restrict purchases, (2) automate the capture of purchase receipts, and (3) allow teachers to crowd-fund for certain products.
If the vendor currently used by the Authority is unable to meet the act's requirements, DPI must contract with a vendor that provides a virtual e-wallet platform and an e-commerce marketplace.
Mandates the funds be used to supplement the materials and supplies otherwise available to classroom teachers. Excludes from use the purchase of electronic devices or software or for administrative purposes. Classifies supplies purchased by these funds as school property. Directs unused supplies to be made available for the following school year or for other eligible classroom teachers. Directs unexpended funds to revert to the General Fund at the end of each fiscal year.
Effective July 1, 2019, and applies beginning with the 2019-20 school year.
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