Bill Summary for H 75 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

Sep 10 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 75 (Public) Filed Wednesday, February 13, 2019
AN ACT TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR SCHOOL SAFETY, REQUIRE AN ANNUAL REPORT ON SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS, ESTABLISH CERTAIN SCHOOL SAFETY GRANTS PROGRAMS, REQUIRE THE DEVELOPMENT OF A RECOMMENDED SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS RESPONSE PROGRAM, REQUIRE ANNUAL REPORTS ON SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT PERSONNEL, EXPRESS THE INTENTION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY THAT ADDITIONAL FUNDS PROVIDED FOR INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT PERSONNEL BE USED TO FUND ADDITIONAL SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT PERSONNEL, REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION TO STUDY AND REPORT ON SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST AND SCHOOL COUNSELOR POSITIONS, AND PROVIDE FOR EIGHT ADDITIONAL AGENTS OF THE STATE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION TO SUPPORT THE BEHAVIORAL THREAT ASSESSMENT PROGRAM, CONSISTENT WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE AND COMMITTEE REPORT FOR HOUSE BILL 966 OF THE 2019 REGULAR SESSION.
Intro. by Torbett, Lewis, Dobson, Bell.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute deletes all provisions of the 4th edition and instead provides the following.

Changes the act's titles.

Part I.

Appropriates from the General Fund for the 2019-21 fiscal biennium $38,833,333 and $29,800,000 for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years for the costs associated with implementing the school safety provisions of the act. Allocates the funds in specified nonrecurring and recurring amounts to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Deems departmental receipts appropriated for the fiscal biennium as provided. 

Part II.

Amends GS 115C-105.57, concerning the Center for Safer Schools (Center), to establish a new requirement for the Center to conduct an annual census of school resource officers located in each public school unit and report to the specified NCGA committee and the State Board of Education (State Board) by March 1 of each year. Details seven minimum content requirements of the report, including data regarding school resources officers' education levels, years as sworn law enforcement officers, and years as school resource officers. 

Part III.

Enacts GS 115C-105.60 to direct the Superintendent of Public Instruction (Superintendent) to establish the School Resource Officer Grants Program (Program) to provide grants for school resource officers to the extent funds are made available for the Program. Sets forth guidelines for grant applications, awards, and reporting. Allows any qualifying school unit, defined as a local administrative unit, regional school, innovative school, laboratory school, or charter school, to apply to the Superintendent for one or more grants, and requires identifying current and ongoing safety improvements needed and the estimated costs of those needs. Requires the Superintendent to develop criteria and guidelines for the administration and use of grants, by November 1, 2019, and August 1 of each year thereafter in which funds are available, including any documentation required of applicants. Requires the Superintendent to consider the level of resources available to the qualifying public school, receipt of other grants, and the overall impact on student safety if the identified needs are funded, in assessing grant applications. Limits grants to elementary and middle schools, and requires matching of State funds on a 2:1 basis. Allows the funds to be used for employment or training of school resource officers. Details required training, and allows the training to be provided by a community college, a local law enforcement agency, or the NC Justice Academy. Requires the grant supplement and not supplant other funding. Requires the Superintendent to annually report on the Program, beginning by April 1, 2020, to the specified NCGA committees and division, identifying grant recipients, amounts, uses, and other recommendations. 

Directs DPI to administer specified school safety grants for the 2019-20 fiscal year as follows. Directs the Superintendent to establish the 2019 School Safety Grants Program (2019 Program) to provide grants for services for students in crisis, school safety training, and safety equipment in schools. Allows any qualifying school unit, defined as a local administrative unit, regional school, innovative school, laboratory school, or charter school, to apply to the Superintendent for one or more grants, and requires identifying current and ongoing safety improvements needed and the estimated costs of those needs. Similarly to the Program administered under GS 115C-105.60, requires the Superintendent to develop criteria and guidelines for the administration and use of grants under the 2019 Program, by November 1, 2019, including any documentation required of applicants. Requires the Superintendent to consider the level of resources available to the qualifying public school, receipt of other grants, and the overall impact on student safety if the identified needs are funded, in assessing grant applications. Regarding grants for services for students in crisis, provides for the award of grants, in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), to qualifying public school units to contract with community partners to provide or pay for the provisions of specified crisis services, including therapy services. Defines a community partner to mean a public or private entity, including but not limited to, a nonprofit corporation or a local management entity/managed care organization (LME/MCO), that partners with a qualifying school unit to provide services or pay for the provision of services for the unit. Restricts grants for "any other crisis service" to no more than 10% of the funds appropriated for students in crisis. Regarding grants for training to increase school safety, provides for the award of grants, in consultation with DHHS, to qualifying public school units to contract with community partners to address school safety by providing training to help students develop healthy responses to trauma and stress. Requires training to be targeted and evidence-based, and include any of the identified services, such as training on community resilience models. Restricts grants for "any other training" to no more than 10% of the funds appropriated for training to increase school safety. Regarding grants for safety equipment, provides for the award of grants to qualifying public school units for the purchase of safety equipment for school buildings and associated training. Specifically allows charter schools to receive grants for school safety equipment. Clarifies that the grants under the 2019 Program are to supplement rather than supplant other funding. Authorizes the Superintendent to retain up to $100,000 of the funds appropriated for the 2019 Program for administrative costs. Requires the Superintendent to report on the 2019 Program, by April 1, 2020, to the specified NCGA committees and division, identifying grant recipients, amounts, uses, and other recommendations. 

Repeals Section 7.27 (School Safety Grants Program) of SL 2018-5 (Appropriations Act of 2018).

Makes the following allocations of the funds appropriated to DPI by the act: 

  • $6.1 million in nonrecurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year for the purchase of safety equipment for school buildings and related training,
  • $4.5 million in nonrecurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year to allow qualifying public school units to contract with community partners that provide training to help students develop healthy responses to trauma and stress,
  • $4.5 million in nonrecurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year to allow qualifying public school units to contract with community partners that provide evidence-based crisis services to students, and
  • $3 million in recurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year and $6 million in recurring funds for the 2020-21 fiscal year for the employment and training of school resource officers. 

Part IV. 

Directs DPI and the Center, in consultation with DHHS and DPS, Division of Emergency Management, to develop a recommended program for facilitating the temporary transfer of school mental health support personnel from a participating unit, as defined, to a requesting unit, as defined, during or after a crisis. Requires DHHS to report by March 15, 2020, to the specified NCGA committees on the recommended program, outlining the program and meeting the specified content requirements, including a suggested protocol for receiving and relaying requests, and anticipated costs associated with temporary transfers during or after a crisis. 

Part V.

Enacts GS 115C-316.2 to require superintendents of every local school administrative unit to annually report, by February 15, to the local board of education the total number of each category of school mental health support personnel employed in the unit, and the difference from the previous year in the total number of each category of school mental health support personnel. Defines school mental health support personnel (personnel) to mean school psychologists, school counselors, school nurses, and school social workers. Directs the Superintendent to annually report, by March 15, to the specified NCGA committee and division the difference from the previous school year in the total number of each category of personnel funded exclusively from the instructional support allotment in each local school administrative unit. 

Allocates $20 million in recurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year and $23 million in recurring funds for the 2020-21 fiscal year of the funds appropriated to DPI by the act, to the Instructional Support Allotment. States the legislative intent that additional funds provided are to be used to increase the number of school mental health personnel in each local administrative unit for the fiscal biennium.

Part VI.

Directs DPI to study and report on school psychologist and school counselor positions, including a review of seven described elements. Requires DPI to employ a survey for local school administrative units by November 1, 2019, to answer any identified topics applicable to the study by January 31, 2020. Directs DPI to consolidate the reported information, provide any necessary context and analysis, and report the results of the study to the specified NCGA committee and division by April 1, 2020.

Part VII.

Directs that funds appropriated to DPS by the act must be used to fund eight full-time equivalent positions for sworn agents at the State Bureau of Investigation to support the Behavioral Threat Assessment program and work to identify potential threats to schools and houses of worship. Effective January 1, 2020.

Part VIII.

Repeals Sections 7.13(b) (Annual Census of School Resource Officers), 7.36 (School Safety Grants Programs), 7.47 (School Mental Health Crisis Response Program), 7.50 (School Mental Health Support Personnel Reports and Funds), and 7B.11 (School Psychologist and School Counselor Position Study) of HB 966 (Appropriations Act of 2019) if that act becomes law.

Provides that if any provision of this act and GS 143C-5-4 (enactment deadline; procedures to be followed when the Current Operations Appropriations Act does not become law prior to the end of certain fiscal years) are in conflict, the provisions of this act prevail. Provides that the appropriations and the authorizations to allocate and spend funds which are set out in this act remain in effect until the Current Operations Appropriations Act for the applicable fiscal year becomes law, at which time that act becomes effective and governs appropriations and expenditures. 

Part IX.

Effective July 1, 2019.

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