Bill Summary for H 946 (2021)

Summary date: 

May 13 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 946 (Public) Filed Tuesday, May 11, 2021
AN ACT TO ADDRESS CRITICAL NEEDS IN PUBLIC EDUCATION AND TO PROVIDE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR A SOUND, BASIC EDUCATION TO EVERY CHILD IN THE STATE.
Intro. by von Haefen, Hunt, R. Smith, Hurtado.

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Bill summary

Part I.

Appropriates $200,000 in recurring funds from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for two additional positions for the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission to increase the Commission’s capacity to coordinate efforts to recruit, prepare, retain, and support the State’s teaching workforce.

Requires the State Board of Education (State Board) to develop a plan for implementing a teacher licensure and compensation reform model designed to meet the specified objectives. Requires the plan to, at least: (1) offer early, inclusive, and clear pathways into the profession; (2) reward excellence and advancement among teachers; and (3) encourage retention in the profession. Requires the State Board to provide plan details and recommended legislative changes to the specified NCGA committee and division and the Office of State Budget and Management by March 15, 2022. Appropriates $50,000 for 2021-22 from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction to develop the plan.

Requires the State Board, in consultation with UNC System Office, to identify the resources and structures that educator preparation programs at UNC constituent institutions need in order to increase capacity in educator preparation programs to recruit, prepare, support, and graduate annually (1) at least 5,000 in-State trained teachers annually; and (2) more educators of color. Requires the State Board to report on the findings to the specified NCGA committee, division, and the Office of State Budget and Management by March 15, 2022. Appropriates $25,000 for 2021-22 from the General Fund to DPI to conduct this study.

Appropriates $880,000 in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to DPI for the TeachNC centralized online teacher recruitment tool to improve the recruitment process and to support a TeachNC Administrator position.

Appropriates $2 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to DPI to support the Grow-Your-Own and 2+2 teacher recruitment education programs.

Requires the State Board to develop a plan to implement and fund a statewide system or entity to coordinate, enhance, and evaluate efforts to recruit, place, and retain teacher candidates and beginning teachers between institutions of higher education and local school administrative units. Sets out issues the study is to focus on. Requires the State Board to submit plan details and recommended legislation to the specified NCGA committee and division and the Office of State Budget and Management by March 15, 2023. Appropriates $25,000 for 2022-23 from the General Fund to DPI to support the development of the plan.

Removes the term STEM from the definitions under GS 116-209.60, which defines terms for use in Part 3 of Article 23 of GS Chapter 116, which governs the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program (Program). No longer limits the Program to providing loans to individuals interested in preparing to teach in the State's public schools in STEM or special education licensure areas, instead opening it more broadly to those preparing to teach in the State's public schools. Makes changes throughout the Part by removing references to "STEM" and "special education." Requires specified amounts be transferred from the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program Trust Fund to the UNC System Office instead of General Administration. Requires Program recruitment efforts to include identifying and encouraging students of color and students who may not otherwise consider a teaching career to enter the program. Requires the recruitment activities to include a strategy that attracts a diverse pool of applicants. Removes the cap on the number of participating institutions and specifies that the diverse selection of participating programs is to include minority-serving institutions. Adds the requirement that the Program provide planning, training, and ongoing support for Program leaders and recipients, including training on culturally responsive teaching, teaching students with disabilities, and trauma-informed teaching. Pushes back the date of the annual reporting to January 1, 2022. Applies beginning with the 2022-23 academic year. Appropriates $1 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $4.7 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program Trust Fund to support an additional 490 teacher licensure candidates.

Requires the State Board to establish a grant program to assist local school administrative units in providing multiyear recruitment bonuses to certified teachers who commit to teach multiple years in a low-performing or high-needs school. Requires bonuses to include at least: (1) awards over multiple years with a requirement that teachers remain in the school over multiple years to receive the bonus; (2) awards to licensed teachers who commit to teach in a school identified as low-performing, a school identified as continually low-performing, or a school where 75% or more of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Requires the State Board annually, beginning by September 1, 2021, to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the grant program. Requires local boards of education to submit their proposals by December 1, 2021. Requires that the RFP require proposals to include specified information, including plans for financial sustainability once grant money is no longer available. Requires the State Board, by February 15, 2022, to review the proposal and select up to 10 local school administrative units for grants. Allows making grant awards for up to three years. Caps the grant amount to a local school administrative unit at $500,000 in a single fiscal year. Allows the State Board to use up to $300,000 to contract with an independent research organization to evaluate the impact of this grant program and then report to the specified NCGA committee and division and the Office of State Budget and Management by September 1, 2024. Requires DPI to report annually on program implementation, beginning March 15, 2022. Appropriates $3 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $6 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to DPI for the grant program; allows unexpended funds to remain available for these purposes instead of reverting back to the General Fund.

Requires the State Board to establish a grant program to assist local school administrative units in the development of teacher preparation residency pilot programs. Requires teacher preparation residency programs eligible to receive grant funding through this program to include at least: (1) coursework in the candidate's area of licensure; (2) tuition and stipends; (3) faculty advising; (4) clinical training experiences; and (5) ongoing induction support. Allows programs to include partnerships between local school administrative units, educator preparation programs, local community colleges or universities, and other community organizations. Requires grant funds to be matched by the local school administrative units on the basis of $1 in nongrant funds for every $1 in grant funds. Requires the State Board, by October 1, 2021, to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the grant program and requires local boards of education to submit their proposals by January 15, 2022. Requires the RFP to require that proposals include specified information, including plans for financial sustainability once grant money is no longer available. Requires the State board to review proposals and select up 10 local school administrative units as grant recipients by April 15, 2022. Allows making grant awards for up to three years. Caps the grant amount to a local school administrative unit at $500,000 in a single fiscal year. Allows the State Board to use up to $300,000 to contract with an independent research organization to evaluate the impact of this grant program and then report to the specified NCGA committee and division and the Office of State Budget and Management by September 1, 2025. Requires DPI to report annually on program implementation, beginning March 15, 2023. Appropriates $5 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to DPI to implement the grant program; allows unexpended funds to remain available for these purposes instead of reverting back to the General Fund.

Appropriates $200,000 in recurring funds from the General Fund to the UNC Board of Governors to expand Partnership Teach to up to two additional hub sites.

Requires the State Board, in consultation with the Office of the Governor, The University of North Carolina System Office, and the Community College System Office, to establish a grant program to support strategic partnerships committed to increasing the pipeline of educators of color across the State. Requires the grants to be provided to local school administrative units, institutions of higher education, and community organizations to implement innovative initiatives that support the recruitment, preparation, support, and retention of racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse educators. Sets out the purpose of the program. Requires grant applicants to demonstrate at least: (1) a partnership between at least two of the following: local school administrative units, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Historically Minority-Serving Institutions, educator preparation programs, alternative certification programs, public and private colleges and universities, community colleges, and community or nonprofit organizations; (2) proposals for strategies that address one or more of the specified components of the educator development continuum as highlighted by the DRIVE Task Force's 2021 Report to the Governor. Allows grant funds to be used for: (1) strengthening existing high school dual enrollment programs to offer education-based college credit or honors courses as streamlined pathways for future careers in education; (2) implementing targeted school system–level and community-based recruitment programs for aspiring educators of color interested in traditional and alternative educator preparation programs; (3) using and leveraging existing financial aid programs that reduce the disproportionate financial burden incurred by aspiring candidates of color; (4) increasing preparation and supporting preservice educators of color through paid clinical learning experiences, with a commitment to teaching in North Carolina public schools; (5) offering support for job placement and licensure for candidates of color after completing their educator preparation program; (6) providing induction and mentoring programs that address the needs of educators of color that include sustaining networking and professional learning communities or affinity groups; and (7) encouraging and financially supporting educators of color interested in joining national professional organizations or attending national conferences. Requires the State Board, by October 1, 2021, to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the grant program and for applicants to submit proposals by December 1, 2021. Requires that the RFP require proposals to include specified information, including plans for financial sustainability once grant money is no longer available. Requires a selection committee, by February 1, 2022, to select up to five grantees. Allows grants to be spent over a five-year period. Requires grant recipients to report annual to the State Board on the implementation of the program. Allows the State Board to use up to $300,000 to contract with an independent research organization to evaluate the impact of this grant program and then report to the specified NCGA committee and division and the Office of State Budget and Management by September 1, 2023. Requires DPI to report annually on program implementation, beginning January 1, 2023. Appropriates $2 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to the DPI to implement the grant program. Allows unexpended funds to remain available instead of reverting to the General Fund.

Enacts new GS 115C-299.7, providing as follows. Requires education entities (public school units and educator preparation programs) to annually, beginning July 30, 2022, report to DPI on the following regarding diversity of educators and future educators in the entity from the previous school year: (1) total number of educators and future educators; (2) the number of persons who apply to work in or attend the education entity as an educator or future educator;  (3) the number of educators and future educators who are employed by or enrolled in an education entity; (4) retention rates of educators; (5) mobility rates of educators between schools in a public school unit; (6) the number of future educators who complete an educator preparation program, become licensed in North Carolina, and become employed in a public school unit; (7) qualitative data from educators and future educators on the diversity and inclusiveness of the education entity; and (8) recommendations from the entity to improve diversity of educators and future educators. Requires DPI to report annually, beginning October 15, 2022, on the information collected above to the specified NCGA committee, including the specified information. Requires DPI to include the collected information in the statistical profile of public schools on its website. Specifies that this statute does not require an education entity or DPI to report any data that reveals confidential or personally identifiable information about an educator or future educator. Makes conforming changes to GS 115C-12 by requiring the State Board to compile a report on the diversity of educators and future educators in the State.

Enacts new Article 6E, Office of Equity Affairs in GS Chapter 115C, providing as follows. Establishes the Office of Equity Affairs (Office) within DPI to provide internal oversight within DPI and the State Board specific to compliance with the State's constitutional role to provide each child the opportunity to receive a sound basic education and to direct the recruitment and retention of a diverse educator workforce. Requires the Office to review educational policies, programs, and initiatives and to provide an independent, objective source of information to be used in evaluating substantial compliance with sound basic education standards and the goal of recruiting and retaining a diverse educator workforce, with special attention and consideration to outcomes for at-risk students. Allows the Office to suggest adjustments to the content and delivery of educational policies, programs, and initiatives. Gives the Office authority to obtain full and unrestricted access to all records, information, and data available to DPI or the State Board. Requires a semi-annual report, beginning no later than January 15, 2022, to the specified NCGA committee on the implementation of the Article, DPI’s and the State Board’s progress in effectively providing each child the opportunity to receive a sound basic education, and the diversity of the educator workforce. Requires giving DPI and the State Board notice before the reporting of deficiencies and an opportunity to correct or improve them; requires reporting any efforts to do so. Creates the Deputy Superintendent of Equity Affairs to serve as the chief officer of the Office. Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to recommend the individual to be appointed as the Deputy with the recommended appointee appointed upon approval by the State Board. Sets out who the Deputy reports to and provides the process for removal. Appropriates $400,000 in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to DPI to permit the Deputy Superintendent of Equity Affairs to appoint up to four full-time staff to assist in the administration of the Deputy Superintendent's duties. Requires one of the positions to be an administrative assistant position and at least one to be an attorney position.

Appropriates $2.2 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $5 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to the UNC Board of Governors to provide mentoring and coaching support to beginning teachers employed in public school that are identified as low-performing or high-poverty.

Amends GS 115C-311 to allow, with the State Board’s approval, Advanced Teaching Roles schools selected to participate in the program to develop advanced teaching roles and organizational models that link teacher performance and professional growth to salary increases for classroom teachers, to exceed the maximum class size requirements for grades K-3 (exceeding the limit was previously limited to up to three years in which State funds are awarded to the local school administrative unit where the school is located, with class size flexibility expiring at the conclusion of the term). Appropriates $3 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to DPI to support teacher compensation models and advanced teaching roles and to develop implementation plans; funds remain available until expended. Allows DPI to use up to 4% of these funds to evaluate the program, as specified.

Establishes the Educator Professional Development Allotment in the State Public School Fund, effective July 1, 2021. Requires the State Board to establish the purposes for which the funds may be used, including at least: (1) educator professional development for targeted public school units and school requiring multitiered support for Pre-K through 3rd grade; (2) implementation of literacy training; and (3) mentoring programs for beginning educators. Appropriates $10 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $20 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to DPI to fund the Educator Professional Development Allotment.

Requires the State Board to conduct a wage comparability study to determine competitive pay for public school employees in comparison to salaries in similar professions in the State. Sets out what must be included in the study and requires the State Board to report to the specified NCGA committee and division and the Office of State Budget and Management by March 1, 2022. Appropriates $200,000 from the General Fund to DPI to conduct the study.

Sets a monthly teacher salary schedule for "A" teachers for 2021-22 for licensed public school personnel classified as teachers, based on years of experience, ranging from $3,625 for teachers with 0 years of experience to $5,460 for 25 or more years of experience. Provides for a 12% salary supplement for licensed teachers who have National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification; a 10% salary supplement for licensed teachers classified as "M" teachers; a $126 salary supplement for licensed teachers with licensure based on academic preparation at the six-year degree level, in addition to the "M" teachers salary supplement; a $253 salary supplement for licensed teachers with licensure based on academic preparation at the doctoral degree level, in addition to the "M" teachers salary supplement; and a 10% salary supplement for certified school nurses. Requires that the first step of the salary schedule for school psychologists, school speech pathologists licensed at the master's degree level or higher, and school audiologists licensed at the master's degree level or higher, must be equivalent to the sixth step of the "A" salary schedule. Provides for a 10% salary supplement. Deems these employees eligible to receive salary supplements equivalent to those of teachers for academic preparation at the six-year degree level or the doctoral degree level. Requires that the twenty-sixth step of the salary schedule for school psychologists, school speech pathologists licensed at the master's degree level or higher, and school audiologists licensed at the master's degree level or higher must be 7.5% higher than the salary received by these same employees on the twenty-fifth step of the salary schedule. Provides that in lieu of the amounts of annual longevity payments to teachers paid on the teacher salary schedule, beginning with the 2014-15 fiscal year, the amounts of those longevity payments are included in the monthly amounts under the teacher salary schedule. Details teacher compensation for the 2021-22 school year based on either (1) the applicable salary schedule; (2) the sum of the salary the teacher received in 2013-14, longevity pay for the 2013-14 school year, and annual bonus provided in SL 2014-100; or (3) the sum of the salary and annual bonus the teacher received in the 2014-15 school year, with the compensation amount determined to be equal to the greater of those amounts. Provides that teacher includes instructional support personnel. Appropriates $318 million in recurring funds from the General Fund to DPI to increase salaries for teachers and support personnel. States the NCGA’s intent to adjust compensation for teachers in 2022-23 and subsequent fiscal years according to the educator wage comparability study. Effective July 1, 2021. 

Amends GS 115C-296.2 to require the State to provide payment of NBPTS participation fees as grants from DPI for the full participation fee for up to 1,000 teachers each fiscal year. Appropriates $1.9 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to DPI for the participation fee grants. Requires that same amount of funding be transferred to State Education Assistance Authority each fiscal year to administer the payment of fees.

Part II.

Appropriates $7 million in recurring funds from the General Fund to the North Carolina Principal Fellows and TP3 Trust Fund for the 2021-22 fiscal year to provide forgivable loans to an additional 100 new principal candidates through principal preparation program provided grants under the North Carolina Principal Fellows and Transforming Principal Preparation Program (Program) (see GS Chapter 116, Article 5C). Provides unexpended funds do not revert, but remain available for this purpose.

Directs the State Board to develop a plan for the creation of a School Leadership Academy that supports local school administrative units and school leaders that includes: (1) equity training for all local school administrative units and school leaders; (2) training and ongoing support for local board of education members focused on the needs of successful and turn-around schools; (3) mentorship and support for novice principals and for experienced principals in high needs schools focused on dismantling impediments to student success; (4) peer support networks such as facilitated partnership networks and rapid response hotlines to provide immediate assistance; and (5) aligned, ongoing, research-driven professional learning. Directs the State Board to report to the specified NCGA committee and division and the Office of State Budget and Management by February 15, 2022, on its proposal for the School Leadership Academy, including the plan for implementation and estimated costs.

Sets an annual principal salary schedule consisting of a base schedule and a complementary schedule, applicable to the 2021-22 fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021. Sets out the base schedule  based on years of experience, ranging from $75,330 for 0 years of experience to $100,413 for 20 or more years of experience. Sets out a complimentary schedule based on average daily membership (ADM) with amounts ranging from $0 for an ADM of 0-400 to $7,000 for an ADM of 1,601 or more. Provides for a $126 monthly salary supplement for those with licensure based on academic preparation at the six-year degree level and a $253 salary supplement for those with licensure based on academic preparation at the doctoral degree level. Provides that in lieu of the amounts of annual longevity payments, beginning with the 2017-18 fiscal year, the amounts of those longevity payments are included in the salary. Details principal compensation for the 2021-22 school year based on (1) the applicable salary schedule, (2) the sum of the salary received in 2016-17 and longevity pay for the 2016-17 school year, (3) the salary received in 2016-17 if not eligible for longevity at that time, or (4) the salary received in 2020-21. Appropriates $12 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to DPI for the salary increases. States the NCGA’s intent to adjust compensation for principals in 2022-23 and subsequent fiscal years according to the educator wage comparability study.

Provides that for 2021-22, beginning July 1, 2021, assistant principals are to receive a monthly salary based on the "A" teacher salary schedule plus 19%, with placement based on total years the assistant principal has spent as a certified employee. Requires assistant principals with certification based on academic preparation at the six-year degree level to be paid a salary supplement of $126 per month, and at the doctoral degree level to be paid a salary supplement of $253 per month. Provides for a 10-month stipend for participants in an approved full-time master's in-school administration program. Details limitations and required certification. Provides that in lieu of the amounts of annual longevity payments to assistant principals paid on the assistant principal salary schedule, beginning with the 2017-18 fiscal year, the amounts of those longevity payments are included in the monthly amounts provided to assistant principals pursuant to the act. Requires assistant principals paid under the salary schedule provided for the 2021-22 fiscal year to receive the greater amount of (1) the applicable amount provided in the salary schedule by the act, (2) the salary the assistant principal received in the 2016-17 school year under Sections 9.1 or 9.2 of SL 2016-94 plus the longevity that would have been received, or (3) the salary received in 2016-17 if not eligible for longevity at that time. Appropriates $18.6 million for 2021-22 from the General Fund to DPI for the salary increases. States the NCGA’s intent to adjust compensation for assistant principals in 2022-23 and subsequent fiscal years according to the educator wage comparability study.

Requires the State Board, by March 15, 2022, to develop and report to the specified NCGA committee and division on a plan to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of incentive programs to encourage well-qualified principals and assistant principals to work in high-need schools. Sets out components that may be included in the plan. States the NCGA’s intent to implement advisable components of the plan in the 2022-23 fiscal year and subsequent fiscal years.

Requires DPI, by November 15, 2021, to survey local school administrative units on recommendations to increase autonomy and resources for principals and superintendents and report responses by February 15, 2022, to the specified NCGA committee and division. States the NCGA’s intent to implement advisable recommendations in the 2022-23 fiscal year and subsequent fiscal years.

Part III.

Amends GS 115C-105.25 to no longer prohibit local boards of education from transferring funds out of the: (1) children with disabilities allotment, (2) out of the academically or intellectually gifted child allotment category, or (3) limited English proficiency allotment category. No longer prohibits positions from being transferred out of the allocation for classroom teachers for K-12 grades; makes conforming changes. No longer prohibits positions from being transferred out of the allocation for program enhancement teachers for kindergarten through fifth grade. No longer limits the use of funds allotted for textbooks and digital resources to being used to purchase textbook and digital resources and no longer prohibits transferring those funds out of the allotment for other purposes. Applies beginning with the 2021-22 school year.

Requires the State Board to allocate additional funds for children with disabilities on the basis of up to $4,549.88 per child for fiscal year 2021-22 and up to $4,704.28 per child for fiscal year 2022-23. Requires each local school administrative unit to receive funds for the total number of children identified as children with disabilities and requires adjusting the amount allocated in accordance with legislative salary increments, retirement rate adjustments, and health benefit adjustments for personnel who serve children with disabilities. Appropriates $40 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $70 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to DPI to implement this section.

Requires that funds appropriated in this section for disadvantaged student supplemental funding (DSSF) be used only to: (1) provide instructional positions or instructional support positions; (2) provide professional development; (3) provide intensive in-school or after-school remediation, or both; (4) purchase diagnostic software and progress-monitoring tools; and (5) provide funds for teacher bonuses and supplements. Allows the State Board to require local school administrative units receiving funding under the Disadvantaged Student Supplemental Fund to purchase the Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS), with data to be used only for instructional and curriculum decisions made in the best interest of children and for professional development for their teachers and administrators. Requires DSSF to be allotted to a local school administrative unit based on the unit's eligible DSSF population and the difference between a teacher-to-student ratio of 1:21 and the listed teacher-to-student ratios that vary depending the county's wealth. Provides that if a local school administrative unit's wealth increases to a level that adversely affects the unit's DSSF allotment ratio, the DSSF allotment for that unit is maintained at the prior year level for one additional fiscal year. Requires the State Board for 2022-23 to transfer the At-Risk Student Services/Alternative Schools allotment into the DSSF allotment and allocate these additional funds to local school administrative units under a formula that reallocates At-Risk Student Services funding as an independent supplement to existing DSSF funds and expands the allowable uses of the DSSF allotment to incorporate activities allowed under the current At-Risk Student Services allotment and provides that no local administrative unit receives a decrease in combined funding. Appropriates $35 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $70 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to DPI to implement this section.

Requires funds received in this section to be used only: (1) to provide the specified types of positions, instructional supplies and equipment, staff development, and textbooks and digital resources and (2) salary supplements for instructional personnel and instructional support personnel. Encourages local board of education to use at least 25% of the funds to improve academic performance of children performing at Level I or II on the reading or math end of grade test in 3-8th grades. Defines numerous terms used in this section. Requires the State Board to allocate funds in this section to local school administrative units located in counties where the county wealth (to be computed as specified) as a percentage of the state average wealth is less than 100%. Sets out provisions governing the calculation of how much funding is to be given for a county. States the NCGA’s intent to incrementally increase appropriations for the low-wealth allotment to provide eligible counties supplemental funding equal to 110% of the statewide local revenue per student by fiscal year 2027-28. Requires the State Board to adjust the formula to ensure each local school administrative unit receives a pro rata share of the additional funds appropriated for the low-wealth allotment in this section for supplemental funding. Provides that to receive full funding, a county must maintain: (1) an effective county tax rate (calculated as specified) that is at least 100% of the effective state average tax rate in the most recent year for which data are available or (2) a county appropriation per student to the school local current expense fund of at least 100% of the current expense appropriations per student to the school local current expense fund that the county could provide given the county's wealth and an average effort to fund public schools. Sets out funding guidelines for a county that maintains a county appropriation per student to the school local current expense fund of less than 100% of the current expense appropriations per student to the school local current expense fund that the county could provide given the county's wealth and an average effort to fund public school. Requires a county in which a local school administrative unit receives funds under this section to use the funds to supplement and not supplant local current expense funds; sets out criteria to be used by the State Board in making a finding that a county has used these funds to supplant local current expense funds, thereby prohibiting allocating funds to the county. Sets out provisions for determining how much funding is to be given, for 2021-23, to counties with a US Armed Forces base that have an average daily membership of more than 17,000 students. Allows local school administrative units to use funds allocated in this section to purchase services for the extraction of data from the Education Value-Added Assessment System. Requires the State Board to report, for 2021-23, to the specified NCGA division annually if it determines counties have supplanted funds. Requires the Department of Revenue to give DPI annual preliminary reports and final reports of the assessed value of the property tax base for each county; sets out what is to be included in these reports. Appropriates $20 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $40 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to DPI to implement this section.

Requires the State Board to allocate funds for services to students with limited English language proficiency to local school administrative units and charter schools based on the three-year weighted headcount of students with limited English proficiency. Requires the adoption of a formula to compute the allotments that does not put a cap on the funds. Appropriates $10 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $20 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to DPI to implement this section.

Repeals Section 8.47(b) of SL 2015-41 (appears to intend SL 2015-241, which provided local school administrative units the dollar equivalent of teacher assistant positions based on specified ratios). Enacts new GS 115C-316.5 to require the State Board to establish a funding allotment for teacher assistant positions. Requires funds to be distributed based on: (1) an estimated statewide average salary and benefits per teacher assistant position and (2) the requirements of (d) of the statute, which requires funds to be allocated to increase positions for teacher assistants according to the specified schedule setting out the ratio of teacher assistant to students in grades K-3 for fiscal years 2021-22 through 2027-28 and thereafter. Appropriates from the General Fund to DPI the specified amounts for fiscal years 2021-22 through 2027-28 and thereafter, with amounts beginning at $20 million, increasing to $217,700,000.

Enacts GS 115C-316.5, providing as follows. Appropriates from the General Fund to DPI the specified amounts for fiscal years 2021-22 through 2027-28 and thereafter, with amounts beginning at $40 million, increasing to $743,200,000. Requires the funds to be allocated to increase positions for: (1) school counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists, according to the specified schedule setting out the ratio of each of those types of positions to students in fiscal years 2021-22 through 2027-28 and thereafter and (2) school nurses and school media coordinators according to the specified schedule setting out the ratio of each of those types of positions to students in fiscal years 2021-22 through 2027-28 and thereafter, or in an amount necessary to provide at least one school nurse per 100 or more students and one school media coordinator per school with 200 or more students.

Part IV.

Amends GS 115C-83.15(d), which sets out guidelines to calculate overall school performance scores and grades, by requiring that the school achievement score account for 51% (was, 80%) and the school growth score account for 49% (was, 20%) of the total sum. Requires DPI to amend the State plan to reflect this change. Applies beginning with school performance scores issued based on data from the 2021-22 school year.

Requires the State Board, in consultation with DPI, to study methods of adding to the State school accountability system indicators that provide information on the opportunity of students to access a sound basic education. Requires a report with recommended changes to the specified NCGA committee by June 15, 2022.

Part V.

Appropriates $10 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $19 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to DPI to continue to implement the District and Regional Support Model developed by the State Board to support the improvement of low-performing and high-poverty schools. Sets out further requirements for implementation.

Requires the State Board, by March 15, 2022, to review, update, and strengthen the state-level process for reviewing and adopting core curriculum resources. Requires providing support, resources, and professional learning opportunities to assist schools and districts in selecting and employing the specified types of resources and practices to assist educators in applying innovative practices promoting continuous improvement. Requires DPI, by June 30, 2022, to provide a model implementation plan.

Enacts new GS 115C-209.2 requiring DPI to establish a program to support high-poverty schools that adopt a community school model or other evidence-based models to address out-of-school barriers to learning. Sets out deadlines for distributing an application form, for schools that use a community school model or other evidence based model, to address out-of-school barriers to learning to apply to participate, and for selecting participants. Gives priority to schools with high rates of student poverty. Requires each participating local school administrative unit to hire one full-time school-based coordinator per participating school. Sets out assessments the coordinator must make and requires the coordinator to submit to DPI a funding request for goods or services beneficial to meeting the goals of the community school model or other evidence-based model. Sets out the deadline by which DPI must evaluate the request and allocate funds. Requires DPI, in consultation with the coordinators, to report annually to the specified NCGA committee on six specified items, including the amount of funds allocated to each school and the use of those funds, and any effects of the model on school outcomes.  Appropriates $1.5 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $6 million in in 2022-23 from the General Fund to DPI to implement the program. Applies beginning with the 2021-22 school year.

Appropriates $3.9 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to DPI to fund the reduced-price lunch copays for students who qualify under the National School Lunch Program. Enacts new GS 115C-264.5 requiring the State Board to report annually, beginning in 2023, to the specified NCGA committee on unpaid meal charges in local school administrative units. Sets out items that must be included in the report.

Part VI.

Appropriates $26.5 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $45.4 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child Development and Early Education (Division), to expand the NC Prekindergarten (NC Pre-K) program for eligible children who are 4 years old by allocating funds to: (1) begin incrementally increasing State funding for each NC Pre-K slot with the goal of paying 100% of the actual cost by the end of the 2027-28 fiscal year; (2) gradually increasing the number of eligible children with the goal of reaching at least 75% of eligible children in each county by the end of the 2027-28 fiscal year; (3) raising the rate for the county administrator to provide oversight, monitoring, enrollment, and support by 10% by the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year; and (4) phasing-in extension of the NC Pre-K program year from 10 to 12 months in accordance with this section. Amends Section 11B.1 of SL 2017-57 requiring the Division to develop and implement a plan that includes a pilot program to extend the NC Pre-K program year from 10 to 12 months and is based on county capacity to implement the extension. Sets out requirements for selecting three counties to participate in the pilot. Requires a report to the specified NCGA committee by December 31, 2023, and sets out required report content.

Appropriates $10 million in recurring funds for each year of the 2021-23 biennium from the General Fund to the Division to increase funds for the child care subsidy program and provide for program improvements.

Appropriates $7.7 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $10 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to the Division of Public Health for the North Carolina Infant-Toddler Program to take steps toward: (1) increasing State and local staffing in the provision of services to families with infants and toddlers with developmental delays and established medical conditions who are eligible for the NC Infant-Toddler Program, (2) expanding funding for interpreter services, (3) establishing a centralized provider network system, (4) providing professional development focused on early childhood mental health, and (5) addressing salary inequities affecting provider retention and recruitment. Appropriates $250,000 for 2021-22 from the General Fund to the Division of Public Health to be allocated in the specified amounts to: (1) conduct a feasibility study to examine eligibility criteria and cost implications for expansion of the NC Infant-Toddler Program and (2) conduct a system and infrastructure readiness assessment to determine areas of need and system challenges that need to be addressed before expanding the NC Infant-Toddler Program.

Appropriates $20 million for each year of the 2021-23 biennium from the General Fund to the Division to gradually increase funding for the North Carolina Partnership for Children Inc. (Smart Start), with the goal of full funding by the end of the 2027-28 fiscal year. Sets out provisions governing the allocation of the funds.

Appropriates $10 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $26 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to the Division to increase funding for and expand participation in the Child Care WAGE$ program and the Infant-Toddler education AWARD$ program. Appropriates $500,000 in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $1.25 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to the Division to implement strategies to recruit early childhood educators and provide ongoing professional development.

Appropriates $1.2 million for 2021-22 and $500,000 for 2022-23 from the General Fund to the Division to develop and implement a real-time workforce data system that supports building a pipeline of early childhood educators. Requires the Division, within existing funds appropriated to the Division for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium, to expand and improve the North Carolina Early Childhood Integrated Data System (NC ECIDS) and the North Carolina Early Childhood Action plan data dashboards to track child outcomes and provide access to State data for users and researchers with the goal of connecting this data to the NC Longitudinal Data System (NCLDS). Requires the Division, within existing funds appropriated to the Division for the 2021-23 fiscal biennium, to collaborate with the Divisions of Social Services and Public Health in developing and implementing a plan to provide technical assistance to build local capacity to use quality early childhood data across child health, child welfare, and early childhood education for local planning.

Part VII.

Requires the State Board to consult with the UNC Board of Governors and the State Board of Community Colleges to study dual enrollment courses offered as part of the Career and College Promise Program that satisfy basic high school graduation requirements to ensure that the content and skills taught in those courses are aligned to the content and skills outlined in the Standard Course of Study for the requisite courses that meet graduation requirements. Requires identifying if dual enrollment courses are or are not aligned with the Standard Course of Study and, if not, what content or skills are not aligned. Requires a report to the specified NCGA committee and division and Office of State Budget and Management by March 15, 2022. Appropriates $50,000 for 2021-22 from the General Fund to DPI to conduct the study.

Appropriates $546,000 in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to DPI to provide funds for the NROC Project subscription costs and for a staff member position at DPI to support the Career and College Ready Graduate Program in collaboration with the Community College System.

Appropriates $2,185,000 in recurring funds for 2021-22 from the General Fund to DPI to be allocated to local school administrative units, based on the development tier area designation, in amounts consistent with those in Section 7.22 of SL 2017-57, as supplemental funding for the eight specified cooperative innovative high schools, beginning with the 2021-22 school year.

Appropriates $1.5 million in recurring funds for 2021-22 and $3 million for 2022-23 from the General Fund to DPI to offset the costs for local administrative units and charter schools to remove barriers to student participation in North Carolina Virtual Public Schools. Gives priority to covering the costs of courses for students enrolled in public schools in low-wealth counties.

Appropriates $6.5 million in recurring funds from the General Fund to DPI to expand support for credentials and certifications for career and technical education program students.

Amends GS 115C-84.2 by allowing a local board of education to align the calendar of schools in the local school administrative unit with the calendar of a community college serving the city or county where the unit is located. Applies beginning with the 2021-22 school year.

Requires the State Board, in collaboration with the Office of State Budget and Management, to study examining the barriers and supports impacting all students' ability to complete high school courses leading to college credit, an associate degree, or a career-ready credential, including an examination of access, equity, resources, fees, and personnel. Requires a report to the specified NCGA committee and division and Office of State Budget and Management by March 15, 2022. Appropriates $50,000 from the General Fund to DPI to conduct the study.

Requires that from the funds appropriated in this section, that the UNC Board of Governors make funds available to the National College Advising Corps Inc. (CAC) to support an expansion of the placement of college advisers in North Carolina public schools through its program over a three-year period. Provides more information about CAC. Appropriates the following from the General Fund to the UNC Board of Governors to be provided each fiscal year of the 2021-23 fiscal biennium to CAC: (1) for the 2021-22 fiscal year, $2,415,000 in recurring funds and (2) for the 2022-23 fiscal year, an additional $2,572,000 in recurring funds. State the NCGA’s intent to appropriate an additional $333,333 in recurring funds for a net appropriation of $5,320,333 in recurring funds to be provided to CAC for the 2023-24 fiscal year and subsequent fiscal years for expanding the placement of college advisers to all 100 counties in the third year of the expansion of the CAC program. Sets out matching fund requirements. Requires CAC to focus the first two years of the expansion by placing college advisers in counties designated as tier one and tier two. For the third year of the expansion, requires CAC to use the funds provided to it to place college advisers in the remaining counties designated as tier three. Also requires CAC to select at least three additional postsecondary institutions to partner with in order to increase the number of recent graduates working as near-peer college advisers to meet the needs of the program expansion. Requires CAC to report in each year in which CAC spends State funds made available to it under this section to the specified NCGA committee and division on the progress of expanding the placement of college advisers, data on the effectiveness of the program in increasing access for students to postsecondary education, and the use of State funds.

Appropriates $100,000 in recurring funds for 2021-22 form the General Fund to DPI for a Career and Postsecondary Planning Director position to focus on career planning in grades 5-12 and $10 million in recurring funds for 2022-23 to increase the number of school-based career development coordinators for grades 6-8 and 9-12.

Part VIII.

Reenacts the provisions of the State Budget Act, GS Chapter 143C, and incorporates them into this act by reference.

Explains the effect of the act’s headings.

Includes a severability clause.

Effective July 1, 2021.

© 2021 School of Government The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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