AN ACT TO RAISE THE COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AGE TO EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD OVER A FIVE-YEAR PERIOD AND TO ESTABLISH A COMPLETION RATE INDICATOR FOR SCHOOL PERFORMANCE GRADES.
Amends GS 115C-378 to change the compulsory school attendance age in four stages, to (1) between seven and 16 years and six months for the 2022-23 school year, effective July 1, 2022, (2) between seven and 17 for the 2023-24 school year, effective July 1, 2023, (3) between seven and 17 years and six months for the 2024-25 school year, effective July 1, 2024, and (4) ultimately to between seven and 18 years old (currently, between seven and 16), effective July 1, 2025, applicable beginning with the 2025-26 school year. Clarifies that this is unless the child graduates from high school. Makes conforming changes to GS 115C-238.66 (applicable to regional schools); and GS 116-235 (applicable to NC School of Science and Math); GS 116-239.8 (applicable to laboratory schools). Amends in identical phases GS 7B-1501 and GS 143B-805 by amending the definition of an undisciplined juvenile to be a juvenile less than age 16 and six months, 17, 17 and six months, and ultimately 18 (was, 16), but at least six who is unlawfully absent from school; makes conforming changes.
Repeals Section 8.21 of SL 2016-94, which established a pilot program to increase the high school dropout age from 16 to 18, effective July 1, 2025.
Makes the following provisions effective on the date the act becomes law, applicable to school performance scores and grades issued based on data from the 2021-22 school year.
Adds to GS 115C-83.15(b)(2) to require the State Board of Education (State Board) to add one half a point to a 9-12 school's achievement score for each percent of students who graduate from high school, earn a high school diploma, or earn an adult high school equivalency diploma within five years of entering high school.
Adds to GS 115C-83.16(a)(2) to require the State Board to include in the 9-12 school student quality and student success indicator the percentage of students who graduate from high school, earn a high school diploma, or earn an adult high school equivalency diploma within five years of entering high school.
Adds to GS 115C-12 to require the State Board to annually provide the State Board of Community Colleges with identifying information for any student who is unenrolled from a public school unit before graduation or completion of a program of study without transferring to another secondary school, who entered high school no more than five years earlier. Additionally amends GS 115D-5 to require the State Board of Community Colleges to annually provide the State Board with the dates that students identified through the above requirement earned an adult high school equivalency diploma.