Bill Summary for H 79 (2021-2022)

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Summary date: 

Feb 11 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 79 (Public) Filed Thursday, February 11, 2021
Intro. by Blackwell, Clemmons, Elmore, Hurley.

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Bill summary

Enacts GS 115C-102.9 to require the State Board of Education (SBE) to establish and maintain an electronic dashboard to publicly display information related to digital learning. Prescribes required information to be included, related to issues of available digital devices to students, out-of-school internet connectivity for students, and available digital devices to students outside of school. Requires public school units to annually update all categories of information by November 15. Directs SBE to annually report to the specified NCGA committee by February 15 on statewide trends and recommendations, as specified. Amends GS 115C-75.9, GS 115C-218.75, GS 115C-238.66, GS 115C-239.8, and SL 2018-32, to require innovative schools, charter schools, regional schools, laboratory schools (appears to intended) and renewal school systems to also annually update their respective information to the digital learning dashboard. Applies beginning with the 2021-22 school year.

Requires the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Department of Information Technology (DIT) to conduct a statewide data assessment of out-of-school internet and device access for students obtained during the physical school closure and at-home learning due to COVID-19 during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school year. Requires DPI and DIT to collaborate with NC State University’s Friday Institute for Educational Innovation and identify the scope of students lacking out-of-school internet access or devices at home, reasons for such lack of access or devices, and methods used during the described period to address the lack of access or devices. Requires public school units to provide requested relevant data. Requires DPI and DIT to recommend programs and policies to close the gap and maintain data on the gap. Directs the Superintendent of Public Instruction to coordinate data access and reporting, and report to the specified NCGA committee on the assessment by October 15, 2021.