Bill Summary for S 654 (2021)

Summary date: 

Aug 25 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
Senate Bill 654 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 6, 2021
AN ACT TO PROVIDE RELIEF TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19) PANDEMIC.
Intro. by Ballard, Davis, Lee.

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Bill summary

Conference report makes the following changes to the 5th edition.

Part I.

Makes a technical correction to a statutory cross-reference.

Part III.

Makes a technical change to proposed GS 115C-84.3, which grants remote instruction authority to public school units in a county that has received a good cause waiver from the school calendar opening and closing dates under GS 115C-84.2(d). Eliminates authority for a local board of education to provide virtual instruction as provided in previously proposed Part 3A, Article 16, GS Chapter 115C, now deleted from the act.

Part VIII.

Further extends the proposed extension for a continuing professional license applicant whose license expires June 30, 2021, to meet the exam requirements established by the State Board as of June 30, 2021, applicable to applicants holding a current initial professional license, residency license, lateral entry license, or limited license expiring June 30, 2021, and those who who have not met the coursework requirements established by the State Board as of June 30, 2021, now granting an extension until December 31, 2021 (was, September 30, 2021).

Deletes the following content from the act: Part IIIB. (enacting new Part 3A, Article 16, GS Chapter 115C, providing for local boards of education to apply to the State Board of Education for approval of virtual academies, with related authorities and restrictions for local units and charter schools); Part VIII. (setting specified social studies standards for the 2022-23 school year); Part XI. (setting certain class size requirements for the 2021-22 school year); and Part XII. (amending SL 2021-25 to revise and add to the allocation of federal funds received under the American Rescue Plan Act from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund).

Adds the following new content.

Part IIIB.

Authorizes public school units to provide virtual instruction during the 2021-22 school year to a student with the consent of the student's parent or legal guardian in accordance with a virtual instruction plan so long as the plan is submitted by the governing board to DPI by October 1, 2021. Directs DPI to make available a copy of each governing board's virtual instruction plan to the specified NCGA committee and the Working Group on Virtual Academies by October 15, 2021. Lists 14 components required to be included in a virtual instruction plan, including (1) the range of grades for which virtual instruction will be offered and the differences in delivery for elementary, middle, and high school students; (2) whether the virtual instruction will be offered through a school whose primary means of instruction is virtual instruction, a school within a school, or customized offering unique to specific students; (3) the estimated numbers of students to be served with virtual instruction; (4) participation requirements; and (5) the methods by which enrollment, daily attendance, course credit accrual, progress toward graduation, and course completion will be monitored for students receiving virtual instruction. Prohibits public school units from using virtual instruction to satisfy the minimum required number of instructional days or hours after June 30, 2022, without express legislative authorization, except for local units that were assigned a school code to operate a school with virtual instruction as the primary means of instruction as of May 1, 2021. 

Part IIIC.

Directs the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish a Working Group on Virtual Academies with specified stakeholders, including parents and the State Board of Education, to make recommendations on identified components related to virtual academies, such as required authorization and infrastructure and instructional requirements, to the specified NCGA committee by March 15, 2022. 

Part X.

Requires all public school units to adopt a policy regarding the use of face coverings by employees and students for the 2021-22 school year. Requires the governing body of the public school unit to vote at least monthly on whether the policy should be modified.

Part XI.

Requires a person required to sign a driving eligibility certificate to issue the certificate without requiring the person to whom it is issued to be making progress toward obtaining a high school diploma or its equivalent, and no school authority shall notify the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that a person no longer meets the requirements for a driving eligibility certificate because the person is not making progress toward obtaining a high school diploma or its equivalent. Expires January 30, 2022. 

Part XII.

Directs the DMV to restore the permit or license if revoked under GS 20-13.2(c1) due to ineligibility for a driving eligibility certificate under GS 20-11(n) at no charge, and expunge any record of revocation from the person's driving record. Applies to revocations resulting from notifications of ineligibility received by the DMV dated on or after March 1, 2020, through the date the act becomes law. 

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