Bill Summary for S 621 (2019-2020)

Printer-friendly: Click to view

Summary date: 

Aug 21 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 621 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Intro. by Tillman, Ballard, Sawyer.

View: All Summaries for BillTracking:

Bill summary

Conference report makes the following changes to the 5th edition.

Part I.

Now requires the State Board of Education (State Board) to eliminate the use of the NC Final Exam as part of the statewide testing program to assess teacher performance and professional growth beginning with the 2020-21 school year (previously, applicable beginning with the 2019-20 school year). Adds a new directive requiring the State Board and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to submit to the specified NCGA committee a plan on how to use other means to accomplish the purposes for which data is collected by the NC Final Exam, no later than March 15, 2020.

Part II.

Eliminates the previous provisions of Part II (directing the State Board to eliminate the use of End-of-Grade tests for grades three through eight and to adopt a policy to require administration of a through-grade assessment model). Instead, provides the following in Part II.

States the legislative intent to move toward a through-grade assessment model.

Directs the Superintendent of Public Instruction (Superintendent) to annually report, beginning November 15, 2020, until November 15, 2024, to the specified NCGA committee regarding the progress of the NC Personalized Assessment pilot. Details eleven required elements of the report, including progress in developing a plan to replace all end-of-course assessments with through-grade assessments for State-mandated high school assessments after the completion of the pilot. Authorizes the State Board and Superintendent to supervise and administer the pilot in fulfillment of the State's Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority granted by the US Department of Education.

Part III.

Eliminates the previous provision of Part II (directing the State Board to eliminate the use of End-of-Course tests for grades nine through twelve and to administer a nationally recognized assessment of high school achievement and college readiness).

Makes organizational changes to move proposed changes to GS 115C-174.12, regarding the review of local standardized testing, from Part IV to Part III.

Part IV.

Makes organizational changes to move the proposed changes in previous Part V to Part IV. Amends GS 115C-12 to allow local boards of education to require their students to complete a high school graduation project as provided in new GS 115C-47(54a) (previously, removed existing language authorizing local boards to require their students to complete a high school graduation project). Amends proposed GS 115C-47(54a) to allow local boards to require a high school graduation project as a condition of graduation if the board provides from local funds a method of reimbursement of up to $75 for related expenses for any student identified as an economically disadvantaged student.

Part V.

Maintains the directive set forth in previous Part VI regarding examination of third grade English language arts. 

Part VI.

Directs the State Board to determine and analyze the steps necessary to transition to a competency-based assessment and teaching model for all elementary and secondary students. Sets out objectives that must be met by the transition steps. Requires a report to the specified NCGA committee by May 15, 2020.

Part VII.

Amends GS 115C-302.4, as amended, to modify the criteria of a high-need retired teacher to include being reemployed by a local board of education to provide classroom instruction as a teacher employed on an annual contract to provide classroom instruction exclusively at (a) high-need school(s) (was, reemployed by a local board to teach at a high-need school).

Makes conforming changes to GS 135-3, concerning postretirement earnings of a beneficiary of the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System, to specify that a beneficiary employed as a high-need teacher, as now defined in GS 115C-302.4, cannot be restored to service as a teacher or employee. Adds a new requirement for a local board to annually inform the Retirement System by September 15 if it will not employ high-need retired teachers for that school year. Establishes that the retirement allowance of a beneficiary who retired on an early or service retirement does not cease due to reemployment as a high-need retired teacher. Makes further technical and clarifying changes.

Amends Section 5 of SL 2019-110, directing the State Treasurer to seek a private letter ruling from the IRS to determine if the provisions of the act, rather than the section, relating to the computation of postretirement earnings of retired teachers jeopardize the status of the Retirement System. Makes conforming changes. Adds that if the private letter ruling determines the Retirement System to be in jeopardy by the computation, the entire act, rather than the section, is repealed on the last day of the month following the month of receipt (was, 30 days from receipt) of that determination by the State Treasurer. Repeals Part VII of this act if SL 2019-110 is repealed pursuant to the provisions of Section 5 of that act. Repeals Section 38.25 of HB 966 (Appropriations Act of 2019), concerning high-need retired teachers, if that bill becomes law. 

Effective July 1, 2019, and expires June 30, 2021.

Part VIII.

Amends GS 115C-270.15, as amended by Section 1.1 of SL 2019-71, concerning teacher examination requirements for initial professional licenses (IPLs). Expands the statute's provisions to apply to a residency license (RL).

Amends GS 115C-270.20(a)(4a), as enacted by Section 2.1 of SL 2019-71, concerning a limited license. Amends the criteria for in-state licensees to receive a limited license, now requiring the individual to have been issued an IPL or RL and having failed to fulfill the examination requirements under GS 115C-270.15, as amended, after three years of licensure. 

Deems a lateral entry licensee to meet the limited license criteria set forth in GS 115C-270.20(a)(4a), as amended, if two criteria are met: (1) the individual would have been issued a continuing professional license (CPL) but for the failure to fulfill examination requirements set by the State Board and (2) the local board of education submits to the State Board an affidavit, signed by the appropriate principal and superintendent, stating the teacher is currently employed by that local board, is an effective teacher, and will be encouraged to continue to pursue a CPL (similar to the in-state licensee limited license criteria).

Amends Section 1.2 of SL 2019-71 to now grant an extension until June 30, 2020, for elementary education or special education general curriculum teachers with an IPL, lateral entry license, or residency license set to expire June 30, 2019, due to failure to fulfill licensure examination requirements, effective June 30, 2019 (previously, was limited to only IPLs set to expire and did not include an effective date). 

Amends Section 1.3 of SL 2019-71, adding that GS 115C-270.15(c), as amended (which requires the State Board to permit an applicant to fulfill exam requirements before or during the third year of IPL licensure so long as the applicant took the exam at least once during the first year of licensure), applies to individuals holding an IPL on or after the date that act became law.

Amends Section 6 of SL 2019-71, making SL 2019-71 apply beginning with the eighteenth day following the date that act became law (was, beginning with applications for teacher licensure submitted on or after the eighteenth date following the effective date of the act).

Applies to individuals holding or seeking licensure on or after the date the act becomes law.

Part IX.

Maintains the act's effective date provisions.

Makes conforming changes to the act's long title.