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  • Summary date: May 15 2014 - View Summary

    Repeals subsections (a) through (k) of Section 7.22 of SL 2011-145, as amended, regarding North Carolina Virtual Public Schools (NCVPS) and Section 8.9(b) of SL 2013-360, regarding implementing an allotment formula for NCVPS.

    Codifies the North Carolina Virtual Public School Program (NCVPS) adding a new Part 11, North Carolina Virtual Public School Program, to Article 16 of GS Chapter 115C. Defines the following terms as they apply in this Part: (1) Average Daily Membership (ADM), (2) NCVPS, (3) nonpublic school student, and (4) out-of-state.

    Directs the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to administer the NCVPS program under this Part. Declares that NCVPS is responsible for (1) ensuring access toe-learning course offerings for students in rural and low-wealth county local school administrative units; (2) providing e-learning instructional opportunities for courses required as part of the standard course of study for graduation and for Advanced Placement (AP) offerings not otherwise available to students; (3) establishing course quality standards for e-learning that meet standards set by the State Board of Education (SBE); (4) eliminating course duplication by consolidating e-learning opportunities but provides that consolidation doesn't apply to e-learning opportunities only offered to students enrolled in a single school; and (5) aligning all courses offered through NCVPS with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.

    Directs NCVPS to use available funds to offer NCVPS courses at no cost to all North Carolina's students enrolled in public schools, Department of Defense schools, and schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Additionally directs NCVPS to implement a plan, approved by SBE, to generate revenue from the sale of courses to out-of-state educational entities. Provides that revenue collected under this section be used to offset instructional costs to local school administrative units and charter schools under GS 115C-238.76(d)(3).

    Assigns responsibility to the SBE to implement an allotment formula for NCVPS and delineates the elements of the allotment formula to be developed and implemented by the SBE. Directs the SBE to make adjustments to other allotments, including reducing each local administrative unit's or charter school's classroom teacher allotment on the basis of ADM in grades six through 12, in order to support the state-level operations and administration of NCVPS.

    Requires that the teacher allotment reduction to support operations and administration of NCVPS be adjusted annually based upon percentage growth in NCVPS enrollment to ensure that services are expanded to support increased enrollment in NCVPS courses. Requires that at least $2 million be maintained in an NCVPS enrollment reserve fund (reserve fund). Directs the SBE to reduce each local unit's or charter school's classroom teacher allotment, or other allotment based on ADM in grades six through 12 by an amount that is the difference between $2 million and the balance of the NCVPS enrollment reserve.

    Provides that the funds in the enrollment reserve do not revert and directs that they be used to cover the NCVPS instructional costs of students enrolled in (1) traditional public schools or charter schools with enrollments above the projected NCVPS enrollment, (2) nonpublic schools under GS 115C-238.77(b), (3) Department of Defense schools, and (4) schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

    Provides that only the following funds can be used to cover the instructional costs of NCVPS: (1) funds provided through the NCVPS Allotment Formula; (2) funds provided through the NCVPS enrollment reserve; (3) funds from the sale of courses to out-of-state educational entities; (4) local funds, including funds from private sources; (5) federal funds; (6) the Special State Reserve Funds for Children and Youth with Disabilities; and (7) the ADM Contingency Reserve.

    Directs the SBE to establish a separate per student tuition rate for out-of-state students and nonpublic school students and specifies that the tuition rates be adjusted upward by an amount determined by the SBE from the in-state student fee structure, as established under GS 115C-238.76(a)(3). Directs the SBE to consider input from the NCVPS Advisory Board and the Office of the Governor's eLearning Commission in establishing student tuition rates.

    Waives tuition for nonpublic school students for a maximum of two courses each school year. Requires nonpublic school students taking more than two NCVPS courses in a school year to pay tuition for the the additional courses at the rates for nonpublic school students established by the SBE under this section. Provides that the tuition waiver is not available to a nonpublic school student if the course or a substantially similar course is offered at the school attended by the student in the current or prior school year or the student attends a nonpublic school that delivers instruction only in an online format. Directs DPI to require a parent seeking to enroll a nonpublic student and requesting a waiverto demonstrate that the student is eligible for a waiver.

    Directs the SBE to establish the NCVPS Advisory Board. Provides general guidelines as to the purpose and tasks of the Advisory Board. Provides that the membership of the Board is to consist of key stakeholders, appointed by the SBE, from across the state and with expertise in online learning from a variety of fields.

    Requires DPI to submit an annual report on the operation of NCVPS to the SBE no later than December 1 of each year. Provides guidelines as to the methodology to be used in gathering data for the report and the content to be covered in the report.

    Amends GS 115C-551 and 115C-559, making conforming changes regarding eligibility for a tuition waiver for a maximum of two courses offered by the NCVPS. Enacts new GS 115C-565.1 to provide that a homeschooled student is eligible for the tuition waiver for a maximum of two courses offered via the NCVPS.

    Appropriates $2,655,000 in recurring funds from the General fund to DPI for the 2014-15 fiscal year for increased enrollment in the NCVPS by nonpublic school students and to cover the instructional costs for up to two NCVPS courses per nonpublic school student for the school year, as provided in this act.

    Directs the allotment reduction to support state-level operations and administration of the NCVPS required by GS 115C-238.76(b), as enacted by this act, is to be at least $2,866,923, as was effective for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

    Effective July 1, 2014, and applies beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

  • Summary date: May 14 2014 - View Summary

    To be summarized.