Bill Summary for H 91 (2021)

Summary date: 

Sep 1 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 91 (Public) Filed Tuesday, February 16, 2021
AN ACT TO RESTRUCTURE OVERSIGHT OF PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETICS TO ENSURE ACCOUNTABILITY AND FAIR PLAY.
Intro. by Bell, Lambeth, K. Baker, Saine.

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Bill summary

Senate amendment makes the following changes to the 6th edition. 

Part I.

Amends the gameplay rules requirements in GS 115C-407.55 to no longer specify that for charter or nonpublic schools, the rules must classify those schools into the next largest conference than the school would be assigned to based solely on average daily membership.

Amends the appeals process in GS 115C-407.55 to now require the State Board of Education (State Board) to require an appeals process for enforcement of rules that provides for an independent appeals board, notice of the infraction and the appeals process to the party that receives the penalty, and an opportunity to be heard before the independent appeals board. Requires a student and that student's parent to be allowed to appeal a penalty resulting from the application of any rule that restricts an individual student from participating in a season, game, or series of games, and requires providing a written copy of the rule that is the basis for the penalty. Requires the State Board to appoint the independent appeals board.

Amends GS 115C-407.60 to require public school units to purchase (was, obtain) catastrophic insurance for interscholastic athletic activities.

Enacts new GS 115C-407.72, which provides as follows. Requires the State Board to adopt rules related to enrollment and transfer of students between public school units that include the following: (1) a student who is not domiciled in a local school administrative unit but enrolls in that unit pursuant to GS 115C-366(d) is not eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics in that unit if the student's enrollment in that unit is solely for athletic participation purposes and (2) a student who receives priority enrollment as the child of a full-time employee of a charter school pursuant to GS 115C-218.45(f)(3) is not eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics for that charter school if the Office of Charter Schools determines that the parent's employment was a fraudulent basis for the student's priority enrollment. Requires the State Board to require that any school enrolling a student determined to be ineligible under these circumstances be ineligible to participate in postseason play for one year following discovery of the violation.

Amends GS 115C-407.75 by amending the requirements to be met if the State Board enters into a memorandum of understanding with a nonprofit organization, to require agreement not to prohibit or restrict a participating school from scheduling a non-conference game during the regular season, or taking a portion of ticket sales from those games. Corrects an internal cross-reference.

Amends Section 1(b) of the act to also prohibit public school units, in addition to the State Board, from requiring students to meet any academic requirements for participation and provide for hardship waivers for age eligibility requirements for the 2021-22 school year only. Adds that for the 2021-22 school year, no changes are to be made to existing divisions and conferences.

Amends Section 1(f) of the act to provide that if the State Board enters into a memorandum of understanding with the organization currently authorized to apply and enforce the State Board's rules governing participation in high school interscholastic athletic activities (was, with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association) for the 2021-22 school year, a condition of the memorandum must be that the organization (was, NCHSAA) waive collection of all fees for participating schools for the 2021-22 school year, except for fees associated with postseason conference games, in recognition of decreased access to interscholastic sports for participating schools in the 2020-21 school year due to COVID-19.

Makes a clarifying change in Section 1(g) of the act.

Part II.

Amends GS 115C-218(c)(3) by adding to the duties of the Office of Charter Schools, investigating fraudulent priority enrollments under GS 115C-218.45 and reporting the findings to the State Board.

Make a clarifying change in the heading of Part III of the act.

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