A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF CHILDREN IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BY INCREASING THE NUMBER OF SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS, BY ENHANCING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS, AND BY IMPLEMENTING OTHER CRITICAL MEASURES TO ENHANCE CAMPUS SAFETY.
Identical to H 452 filed on 3/27/13.
Section 1 of this act appropriates $10 million for the 2013-14 fiscal year and $10 million for the 2014-15 fiscal year from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction to provide grants to local school administrative units (LEAs) for school resource officers (SROs) in elementary and middle schools. Permits LEAs to use the funds to employ or train SROs or to do both. Provides that the appropriated funds will be matched on the basis of $2.00 in state funds for every $1.00 in local funds and must be used to supplement, not supplant, state, local, and federal funds for SROs. Requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to include need-based considerations in its criteria for awarding the grants to LEAs. Also directs the SBE to give lower priority to the LEAs that have received grants for additional school psychologists, guidance counselors, and social workers under Section 2 of this act.
Section 2 of this act appropriates $5 million for the 2013-14 fiscal year and $5 million for the 2014-15 fiscal year for grants to LEAs to fund additional school psychologists, guidance counselors, and social workers. Requires that these funds be matched on the basis of $1.00 in state funds for every $1.00 in local funds, and must be used to supplement, not supplant, state, local, and federal funds used for school psychologists, guidance counselors, and social workers. Requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to include need-based considerations in its criteria for awarding these grants to LEAs. Also directs the SBE to give lower priority to the LEAs that have received grants for additional SROs under Section 1 of this act.
Enacts new GS 115C-316.1. Subsection (a) requires that school counselors implement a comprehensive developmental school counseling program in their schools and spend at least 80% of their time providing direct services to their students. Specifies that coordination of standardized testing is not a direct service. Identifies activities, services, and interactions with students and parents that constitute direct services.
Subsection (b) directs counselors to spend the remainder of their work time on school counseling program support activities consisting of professional development, consultation, collaboration, training, and program management and operations. Declares that counseling support activities does not include the coordination of standardized testing. Does provide that school counselors may assist other staff with the coordination of standardized testing.
Directs each local board of education to develop a transition plan for implementing subsection (b) before the 2013-14 school year using existing resources and reassigning duties within its schools. Directs the SBE to distribute guidelines to all LEAs on the implementation of subsection (b) of this section.
Appropriates $2 million for the 2013-14 fiscal year and $2 million for the 2014-15 fiscal year to provide grants to LEAs for the costs of placing panic alarm systems in schools. Calls for these funds to be matched on the basis of $1.00 in state funds for every $1.00 in local funds, and requires that these funds be used to supplement and not to supplant state, local, and federal funds for panic alarm systems. Directs the SBE to include need-based considerations in its criteria for awarding these grants to LEAs. Requires every public school to have a panic alarm system that connects with the nearest local law enforcement agency in the school's emergency response plan, effective July 1, 2015.
All of the following provisions apply beginning with the 2013-14 school year.
Enacts new GS 115C-105.49, requiring that at least every two years, each LEA is to conduct a system-wide school safety and school lockdown exercise with the local law enforcement agencies that are apart of the LEAs safety plan. Enumerates the purposes of this exercise. Requires that each school hold a full, school-wide school safety and lockdown exercise with the local law enforcement agencies that are part of the school's safety plan.
Enacts new GS 115C-105.50 to require each LEA to prepare schematic diagrams of its school facilities and provide the diagrams and keys to the main entrance of each school to local law enforcement agencies before January 1, 2014. Requires the LEAs to supply local law enforcement agencies with updates when substantial modifications to their facilities are made. Directs the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to develop, in consultation with the Department of Public Safety, standards and guidelines for the preparation and content of the schematic diagrams and any necessary updates. Declares that the schematic diagrams are not public records under GS Chapter 132.
Enacts new GS 115C-105.51 to require each LEA to develop and operate an anonymous tip line. Directs DPI to develop standards and guidelines for the development, operation, and staffing of tip lines in consultation with the Department of Public Safety. Directs DPI to provide information on grants available for this purpose.
Amends GS 115C-105.27. Provides that school improvement team meetings are open meetings under the open meeting requirements of Article 33C of GS Chapter 143; however, requires that the school safety components of the plan be in closed session in accordance with GS 143-318.11(a)(8) and directs the school principal to ensure this requirement is met.
Provides that although the school improvement plan is a public record subject to GS Chapter 132, the school safety components of the improvement plan are not a public record subject to GS Chapter 132. Requires that the school safety components of the school improvement plan be reviewed by the superintendent, and by the local board of education in closed session before there is a vote to accept the school's improvement plan under GS 115C-105.25(d). Prohibits including the local board's findings on the safety components of the plan or the safety components of the plan in the minutes of the board. Provides that any employee, parent, or other interested person or organization is encouraged to notify the superintendent of any concerns with compliance with this section. Provides that the superintendent will make a good faith effort to investigate the concern and provide a written response to the concern if so requested. Makes additional organizational and technical changes.
Makes a conforming change to GS 143-318.11(a)(8) to add the formulation and adoption of school safety components of a school improvement plan to those activities by a public body that may be conducted in a closed session.
Enacts new GS 115C-105.53 to direct DPI, in consultation with the Department of Public Safety through the NC Center for Safer Schools to adopt policies regarding the placement of school crisis kits in schools and on the content of those kits. Specifies the minimal contents of the kits. Requires the principal to coordinate with law enforcement agencies that are a part of the school's safety plan to determine appropriate placement of one or more crisis kits in the school.
Directs the Department of Public Safety, through the NC Center for Safer Schools, and in partnership with the Department of Justice and DPI, to develop school emergency training programs for school employees and provide them to schools as soon as practical.
This act becomes effective July 1, 2013.
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