Bill Summary for H 1096 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

May 15 2020

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 1096 (Public) Filed Thursday, May 14, 2020
AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES RELATED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SYSTEM; TO DIRECT THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA TO STUDY THE FEASIBILITY OF OFFERING ACCELERATED UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMS AT CONSTITUENT INSTITUTIONS; AND TO PROVIDE FUNDS FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA LABORATORY SCHOOLS.
Intro. by Fraley, Clemmons, Horn.

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Bill summary

Part I

States legislative intent to appropriate additional funds from the General Fund to the UNC Board of Governors (BOG) to buy down financial obligations of Elizabeth City State University, UNC at Pembroke, and Western Carolina University for the NC Promise Tuition Plan established by specified state law. Provides for specified amounts of recurring funds for the 2021-22, 2022-23, 2023-24, and 2024-25 fiscal years. States legislative intent that the net appropriation for the described buy down of financial obligations for these institutions be capped at $81.4 million in recurring funds for the 2024-25 fiscal year and subsequently thereafter.

Part II

Repeals GS 116-17.3, which required the BOG to monitor (1) nonlegislative annual employee salary increases of 5 percent or more granted at constituent institutions or within the UNC System Office to employees having annual salaries of $100,000 or greater, or that would result in an annual employee salary of $100,000 or greater and (2) new personnel positions created at constituent institutions or within the UNC System Office having annual salaries of $70,000 or greater.

Part III

Amends GS 116-239.5 to require the BOG to designate constituent institutions to submit proposals to establish a total of at least nine laboratory schools (currently, required the BOG to designate at least nine constituent institutions to submit proposals to establish laboratory schools). Adds coordinating new authority to allow the BOG's Subcommittee on Laboratory Schools (Subcommittee) to select a constituent institution to operate more than one laboratory school.

Amends GS 116-239.5 to extend the specific immunities provided for the State Board of Education, the Superintendent, local boards of education, local school administrative units, and their members and employees under GS Chapter 115C to the Subcommittee, chancellor, the constituent institution, an advisory board, and a laboratory school, and their members, employees, and agents. Limits immunity to exclude gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing. Deems the immunity waived to the extent of indemnification and to the extent sovereign immunity is waived under specified state law. Applies to an action or omission of an action occurring on or after the date the act becomes law. 

Amends GS 116-239.7 regarding the selection and creation of laboratory schools. Eliminates the restriction of the Subcommittee to limit selection to a maximum of one laboratory school per qualifying local school administrative unit. Allows for waiver of the minimum threshold for low-performing schools in a  local school administrative unit for the location of a laboratory school for six rather than three laboratory schools, if existing criteria are met. Modifies the provisions regarding renewal of the term of operation for laboratory schools. Now requires, rather than permits, the Subcommittee to renew the term of operation for an additional five-year period if the laboratory school is located in a local school administrative unit that meets the low-performing schools threshold, or has a waiver of the threshold requirement renewed. Additionally, now permits the Subcommittee to renew the term of operation for another five-year period for laboratory schools that are no longer located in a qualifying administrative unit or meeting the Article's purposes under a waiver at the end of five years if it finds the school is meeting its mission to improve student performance and provide valuable training to teachers and principals in the constituent's educator preparation program (previously, did not provide for renewal and required notice to the BOG at the end of the term to request designation of additional constituent institutions to establish laboratory schools). Adds authority for the Subcommittee to terminate laboratory school operation during the initial term or renewal period if it finds the school is failing to meet expected progress in meeting the mission required of the Article. Requires the Subcommittee to notify the BOG at the end of operation of a laboratory school and request designation of additional constituent institutions to establish a laboratory school. Makes further conforming changes.

Amends GS 116-239.8 to require the local school administrative unit in which the laboratory school is located to provide transportation to students who reside in the unit and attend the laboratory school, including any students who are homeless and require assistance pursuant to federal law (currently, more broadly requires transportation to attending students, but does not specifically include homeless students). Adds that the transportation requirement applies regardless of where a student resides in the unit or how the unit's transportation policies and practices are applied to other students, and includes providing transportation of students and personnel to extracurricular activities and educational trips of the school in the same manner as other schools in the unit for that year. Specifies that the unit is responsible for the cost of administration of the National School Lunch Program for the laboratory school. Applies beginning with the 2020-21 school year.

Amends GS 116-239.9 to expand the eligibility of laboratory admission to include children of a laboratory school employee if the child resides in the local school administrative unit in which the laboratory school is located. Additionally, adds new authority for laboratory schools to admit students who reside in the unit but do not meet eligibility requirements if the school has not reached enrollment capacity in a program, class, grade level, or building by March 1, prior to the start of the next school year, up to 20 percent of the respective capacity. Adds a new requirement for the laboratory school to make reasonable efforts to reflect the composition of the general population of students residing in the unit in which the school is located within one year of operation. Explicitly prohibits unlawful discrimination in making admissions determinations. Applies beginning with the 2020-21 school year.

Amends Section 11.6 of SL 2016-94, as amended, to require at least six, rather than nine, laboratory schools to be established and in operation by the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. Adds a new requirement for at least three laboratory schools to be established and in operation by the beginning of the 2022-23 school year.

Appropriates $500,000 in recurring funds from the General Fund to the BOG for the 2020-21 fiscal year for administrative and technical assistance related to the UNC Teacher and Principal Preparation Laboratory School Program for support services. Bars use of the funds to create new positions or hire additional consultants for the UNC System Office. Effective July 1, 2020.

Part IV

Amends Section 36.6 of SL 2018-5, which establishes the UNC BOG Planning Task Force and requires the Task Force to report to the specified NCGA committee and division on the compiled UNC System Plan, to extend the deadline for submission of the Task Force's report from April 1, 2019, to July 30, 2020.

Part V

Directs that $779,000 of the unexpended and unencumbered funds appropriated to the UNC BOG for the BOG Planning Task Force for the 2018-19 fiscal year in SL 2018-5 be allocated to UNC-Asheville for the 2020-21 fiscal year to cover the expenses incurred related to meeting the building requirements imposed by the Department of Insurance to allow students to occupy the University's newly constructed Woods Residence Hall for the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year. Effective June 30, 2019.

Part VI

Restructures the Future Teachers of North Carolina (FTNC) program, set forth in Part 4B, Article 1, GS Chapter 116, as follows. Establishes FTNC as a selective, application-based symposium for high school juniors and seniors, offering a challenging introduction to teaching as a profession (previously, offered to all high school students). Adds to the FTNC courses to include instruction on pedagogy, ethics and professionalism, child development, successful teaching strategies and classroom management practices, effective lesson planning, assessment and intervention, and teacher licensure requirements (previously, provided for instruction on pedagogy and the profession of teaching and field experiences generally). Adds new requirements for FTNC to provide practical benefits which may include interaction with current educators, administrators, and educator preparation program faculty members; a stimulated student teaching experience; and information about financial aid and scholarship opportunities. No longer characterizes FTNC as a program offered by high schools in conjunction with college partners. 

Maintains FTNC administration through the UNC System Office. Rather than requiring the System President to select three constituent institutions for collaboration on curricula development and faculty support networks, now requires the President to establish an FTNC Advisory Council (FTNC Council) to oversee the program. The FTNC Council, at the President's discretion, is charged with oversight of coordination among constituent institutions to design the agenda and instructional content for the FTNC symposium. Requires the FTNC Council to ensure diverse representation of educator preparation programs. Requires the FTNC to create an application process for interested students, application review, student selection, and student recruitment and outreach efforts. Eliminates provisions concerning FTNC site applications and constituent institution partners. 

Changes the annual reporting requirements to now only require the following information in the System Office's report on FTNC: (1) list of high school students and local administrative units represented by participating students; (2) number of students who submitted an application to attend the FTNC symposium; (3) the number of attending students, including regional distribution; (4) demographic information of attending students; (5) description of the event agenda and content; and (6) percentage of attending students who report plans to choose the teaching profession or who plan to enroll in higher education, effectiveness of FTNC in formulating a positive perception of the profession, and increased knowledge of the profession and education careers. Delays the starting date of the reporting to 2021.

Part VII

Amends GS 66-58, which prohibits the sale of merchandise or services by governmental units, to allow NC A&T University to sell dairy products and by-products of heavy cream at University-owned facilities that are produced at the University Farm at NC A&T, so long as any profits are used to support the Agricultural Research Program and the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at the University.

Part VII

Enacts Part 6, Tuition Grants for Graduates of the NC School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM), to Article 23 of GS Chapter 116.

Establishes the Tuition Grant for Graduates of NCSSM Program (Program) to provide for a tuition grant for resident graduates from the NCSSM who enroll as full-time students in a constituent institution of the UNC System, within the funds available for the Program, beginning with the 2020-21 school year. Allows for students who receive initial tuition grants as a cohort of a graduating class to also be eligible to apply for tuition grants for subsequent academic years for up to four academic years.

Provides for grant administration by the State Education Assistance Authority (Authority) pursuant to guidelines and procedures consistent with its practices for administering State-funded financial aid. Details the required guidelines and procedures. Requires the Authority to receive proper certification from the appropriate eligible institution of higher education prior to approving grants. Provides for remittance to the appropriate eligible institution of higher education, and refunds by the institution as specified. Provides for grant amounts to cover the tuition costs at the constituent institution in which the student is enrolled for the student's first academic year. Also provides for the reduction of grants if an eligible student receives a scholarship or grant covering the cost of attendance at the eligible institution of higher education for which the grant was awarded, as specified. Requires available funds to be divided between eligible students pro rata in the event the Program has insufficient funds for each eligible student to receive the full tuition grant for that academic year. Requires continuous enrollment to be eligible for tuition grants for subsequent academic years; allows for waiver for substantial disruption or interruption due to military service or obligation, serious medical debilitation, short- or long-term disability, or other extraordinary hardship, determined at the Authority's discretion.

Establishes the NC Tuition Grant Reserve Fund (Reserve) to hold all monies appropriated to the Authority to provide the tuition grants, all returned tuition grant monies, and all interest earned, to be used for tuition grants for the academic year that begins in the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the appropriation is made to the Reserve, and up to 5 percent of the funds appropriated each fiscal year to cover the Authority's administrative costs.

Appropriates from the General Fund to the the BOG for the Reserve for the 2020-21 fiscal year $3,374,850 for the award of grants. States legislative intent to appropriate $4,499,800 for the same purpose for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Appropriates from the General Fund to the BOG for the 2020-21 fiscal year $2 million in nonrecurring funds to provide tuition grants for the 2020-21 academic year to be awarded by the Authority for students graduating from NCSSM at the end of the 2019-20 school year, and those who graduated from NCSSM at the end of the 2018-19 school year and were awarded a tuition grant for the 2019-20 academic year pursuant to SL 2018-5. Specifies that grant recipients for the 2020-21 academic year are eligible for grants for subsequent academic years beginning with the 2021-22 academic year.

Effective July 1, 2020.

Part IX

Amends GS 116-209.62, which establishes and provides for the administration of the NC Teaching Fellows Program (Program). Expands cooperation of higher education institutions from five to eight institutions with approved educator preparation programs, and calls for the institutions to represent a diverse selection of constituent institutions of UNC and private postsecondary institutions in the state. Makes conforming changes concerning forgivable loans for students at selected institutions. Applies to the award of forgivable loans beginning with the 2021-22 academic year.

Changes the required allocations for mentoring and coaching support for forgivable loan recipients through the NC New Teacher Support Program to require up to $2,200 for each Program recipient, with funds prioritized for teachers serving in low-performing NC public schools (previously, required up to $2,000 for recipients serving as teachers in low-performing NC public schools, and up to $1,000 for recipients serving as a teacher in other NC public schools not identified as low-performing). Effective July 1, 2020.

Makes forgivable loans of up to $4,125 per semester for up to four semesters available for students matriculating at institutions of higher education who are changing to an approved program of student at a selected educator preparation program (was, changing to enrollment in a selected educator preparation program), so long as requirements are met.

Part X

Directs the BOG to provide a directed grant to the National College Advising Corps Inc. (CAC) to support expansion of the placement of college advisors in NC public schools through its program over a three-year period. Describes CAC and the role of near-peer college advisors. Appropriates $1,881,861 in recurring funds from the General Fund to the BOG for the 2020-21 fiscal year to be provided to CAC to expand the placement of college advisors as described in the act.

States legislative intent to appropriate from the General Fund to the BOG funds in specified amounts to be provided to CAC to expand the placement of college advisors statewide by the third year of expansion of the CAC program for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years.

Requires CAC to match funds made available by the act at a $2 match for every $1 of State funds. Deems the funds non-reverting.

Details restrictions on use of the funds, including placement of college advisors in tier one and tier two counties during the first two years, with statewide expansion during the third year. Requires CAC to designate at least three postsecondary institutions to partner with to increase the number of graduates working as near-peer college advisors to meet program expansion needs. Once statewide placement goals have been reached, requires funds to be used to continue the mission of the program.

Requires CAC to annually report on State funds spent to the specified NCGA committee and division, as well as the progress of expansion, and the effectiveness of the program.

Part XI

Amends GS 143C-8-13 to authorize the chancellor of a constituent institution of UNC to pay for capital improvement projects with funds available to the institution whereby (1) the total project costs do not exceed $1 million and the projects are of the 13 types permitted under the statute, regardless of whether the facilities and related infrastructure are supported form the General Fund or the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund; (2) the institution reports to the BOG on projects and specified NCGA division on projects undertaken pursuant to this authority, with specified content included, on a quarterly basis; and (3) funds from a General Fund appropriation that are contractually obligated for a project pursuant to this authority remain available to fund the completion of the project. Requires the BOG to negatively weight the availability of non-State resources and carryforward funds available for repairs and renovations in making campus allocations of funds for capital improvements, and include information about the manner of compliance of this provision with any reporting required by the statute. Makes conforming changes.

Part XII

Amends GS 115C-5 to no longer include schools operated by UNC providing elementary or secondary instruction in the definition of public school unit as the term applies to GS Chapter 115C.

Part XIII

Enacts GS 126-5(c16) to exempt commissioned police officers and police telecommunicator positions of UNC from the provisions of the Chapter (the NC Human Resources Act), except for Articles 6 (concerning equal employment and compensation opportunity), 7 (concerning the privacy of state personnel records), and 8 (concerning employee appeals of grievances and disciplinary action). Deems such employees eligible for all employment and retirement benefits provided to State law enforcement officers subject to the Chapter. 

Part XIV

Amends GS 116-143.10 to bar the inclusion of debt service fees in the cumulative total of all undergraduate student fees with regards to the 3 percent cap on the increase of student fees at constituent institutions per academic year.

Part XV

Amends GS 116-198.33 to include affiliated institutions of UNC in the definition of the defined terms institution and millennial campus as those terms are used in Article 21B, which authorizes the BOG to issue revenue bonds  to pay the cost of buildings, structures, or other facilities for the Centennial Campus, located at North Carolina State University at Raleigh, for the Horace Williams Campus located at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and for any Millennial Campus. 

Amends GS 116-198.34 to include in the BOG powers the power to act on recommendations made by the President with the chief executive officer or equivalent for an affiliated institution to designate real property as a Millennial Campus. Makes conforming changes.

Part XVI

Establishes a special registration plate for the North Carolina Arboretum under GS 20-63(b1). Exempts the plate from the threshold and application requirements of GS 20-79.3A.

Part XVII

Repeals specified sections of HB 966 (Appropriations Act of 2019) if HB 966 becomes law.

Provides that the act's provisions supersede any conflicting provisions of HB 966 or the specified Committee Report.

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