Bill Summaries: S220 THE REOPEN OUR SCHOOLS ACT OF 2021. (NEW)

  • Summary date: Mar 11 2021 - More information


  • Summary date: Mar 10 2021 - More information

    Senate committee substitute deletes the content of the 1st edition and instead provides the following. 

    Mandates that all local school administrative units provide in-person instruction to K-12 students of their unit for the remainder of the scheduled 2020-21 school year beginning no later than the first instructional day scheduled in the adopted school calendar that occurs 21 days following the date the act becomes law. Defines in-person instruction to require meal service and transportation services.

    Details criteria for the provision of in-person instruction, including compliance with the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit, as it existed on March 4, 2021, for implementation of Plan A (Minimal Social Distancing) and Plan B (Moderate Social Distancing) as appropriate for reopening. Requires instruction under Plan A to all students enrolled in grades K-5. Requires instruction under Plan A or Plan B to all students enrolled in grades 6-12, at the discretion of the local board, except that local boards are required to offer instruction under Plan A to students with individualized education program (IEPs) or a section 504 plan at the discretion of the student's parent or guardian. Requires prior notification of the Department of Health and Human Services and a description of a plan to move to Plan A by local boards to offer Plan A to students enrolled in grades 6-12. Requires partnering with the ABC Science Collaborative of the School of Medicine at Duke (ABC Collaborative) to collect and analyze data from units for students in Plan A in grades 6-12, with contact tracing and reporting as specified. Mandates that local boards continue to provide remote instruction options for all students to elect to participate in at the parent or guardian's discretion. Authorizes local boards to revise the 2020-21 school calendar to reschedule teacher workdays to be used to prepare for a return to Plan A instruction prior to the date in-person instruction is required by the act. Grants local boards flexibility in day-to-day shifts from in-person instruction to remote instruction due to COVID-19 exposures resulting in insufficient school personnel or required student quarantines. Requires a local board to report any shift by a school or classroom to remote instruction to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) within 72 hours of the shift.

    Requires DPI to contract with the ABC Collaborative within federal funds available to provide data collection, analysis and interpretation of COVID-19 related metrics of student, teacher, and staff safety for local units providing in-person instruction under Plan A for middle and high school students. Requires the contract to allocate $500,000 to Duke University for these services. Details actions the ABC Collaborative must take under the contract. Requires the ABC Collaborative to report to the specified NCGA committees, DPI, the State Board of Education, DHHS, and the Governor, with an interim report due by the last calendar day of March, April, and May of 2021, and the final report due by June 30, 2021. Specifies content requirements. 

    Directs DPI to execute the contract by the fifteenth day after the act becomes law, and disburse the funds allocated to Duke by the contract within five days of execution. Requires the contract to terminate by September 15, 2021. Exempts the contract from initial purchase and contract requirements.

    Subject to HB 196 of the 2021 Regular Session (2021 COVID-19 Response and Relief) becoming law, amends Section 5A of SL 2020-1 (2020 COVID Relief Bill Modifications), as amended by that act, to account for the allocation of funds in the contract with Duke within federal funds required to be reserved by DPI after DPI allocated federal funds to public school units made available from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief II (ESSER II) Fund. Requires $500,000 of the reserved ESSER II Fund funds to be used to contract with Duke for the ABC Collaborative.

    Authorizes the Governor to order, during the remainder of the 2020-21 school year, individual local school administrative units to close full-time in-person instruction and provide hybrid or remote learning options or to close, restrict, or reduce operations within schools of that unit by executive order stating the reasoning for requiring closure, restriction, or reduction in operation. Prohibits the Governor from issuing a statewide executive order for school closure, restriction, or reduction in operation, and prohibits the Governor from using any other authority to do so.

    Makes conforming changes to the act's titles.

  • Summary date: Mar 9 2021 - More information

    Allows for any student in grade 12 for the 2020-21 school year who has not satisfied the requirement for completion of CPR instruction to be eligible for graduation if CPR instruction cannot be completed due to the COVID-19 emergency and the student is eligible to graduate in all other respects as determined by the student’s principal.

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