Bill Summary for H 159 (2021)

Summary date: 

Jul 1 2022

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 159 (Public) Filed Wednesday, February 24, 2021
AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO EDUCATION LAWS.
Intro. by Torbett, Blackwell.

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Bill summary

Conference committee substitute to the 8th edition makes the following changes. 

Makes organizational changes.

Part I.

Adds the following provisions.

Requires the North Carolina Child Care Commission (Commission) to adopt a rule to amend the Credential Rule, 10A NCAC 09 .0102(32), consistent with the following and to implement the Credential Rule as follows until the effective date of that revised rule. Specifies that the North Carolina Early Childhood Credential (NC ECC) means the State early childhood credential that is based on any of the following: (1) an NC ECC based upon  completion of required early childhood coursework taken at any State community college; (2) a currently active Child Development Associate Credential from the Council for Professional Recognition, a Certified Child Care Professional Credential from the  National  Early Childhood Program Accreditation, or a Montessori Credential from any of the the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education, American Montessori Society, National Center for Montessori Education, or Association Montessori Internationale; (3) a passing score on a test developed by the early childhood faculty of the NC Community College System designed to demonstrate an individual's mastery of the concepts taught in early childhood coursework taken at any State community college; or (4) other equivalencies as determined by the Division of Child Development and Early  Education, Department  of  Health  and  Human  Services (previously, allowed for an NC ECC based on completion of required early childhood coursework at any State community college; a Child Development Associate Credential from the Council for Professional Recognition; or a passing score on a test approved by the Commission to demonstrate mastery of early education concepts taught at any State community college). Deems other equivalencies earn the same education points in the Quality Rating Improvement System toward a Star Rating as the NC ECC.

Prohibits the Division of Child Development and Early Education, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) from requiring an individual working towards an associate degree to complete a minimum number of semester hours per year in order to be eligible for employment as a teacher assistant in the NC Pre-K program. Sunsets this provision on December 31, 2023. 

Directs the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to use funds received from the identified section of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act to add a minimum of 13 full-time employee positions to provide professional development and support to teachers in public schools who work with students with disabilities ages 3 through 5.

Part II.

Adds the following provisions.

Amends GS 115C-218.45 regarding enrollment priority for charter school admissions to include grandchildren of the charter school's board of directors in addition to the children of board members, and adds grandchildren, in addition to children, of employees or those working full time in the daily operation of the school, capped at 15% of the school's total enrollment unless waived by the State Board of Education (State Board). Applies beginning with applications and enrollments for the 2022-23 school year.

Enacts the following provisions to Article 29B, GS Chapter 115C, now titled Educational Opportunities for Military Children. Puts the existing provisions in Part 1 and adds Part 2 which provides as follows. Defines inactive members to include inactive members of the National Guard or Reserves of any branch of US uniformed services. Requires local education authorities to provide the same services to children of inactive members  when there is an intrastate transfer, as those provided to military children under the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, when the inactive member is required to move to perform military service-related responsibilities and provides a copy of the relevant military order. Excepts interstate transfers, for which the local authority is required to attempt coordination of services with local authorities outside of the State, but cannot require such authorities outside of the state to provide service to children of inactive members transferring to or from the State. Applicable beginning with the 2022-23 academic school year.

Amends Section 3.5, SL 2021-25, as enacted in SL 2021-180, providing that of the funds appropriated to the Department of Public Instruction, of the $18 million of the funds allocated to provide coaching support and professional development for principals and school improvement leadership teams in local school administrative units, up to 25% (was up to $2 million) of the funds can be used for 28 (was, 20) time-limited or full-time equivalent positions for DPI to support the activities described. 

Revises the proposed changes to GS 116-233, which increased membership of the Board of Trustees for the NC School of Science and Math from 30 to 31 members, to provide for 14 members appointed by the UNC Board of Governors from each of North Carolina's congressional districts, accounting for the State's additional congressional district following the decennial census. Eliminates these changes and instead requires Board membership to include the number of members equal to the membership of the US House of Representatives apportioned to the State by federal law, and eliminating the stated total membership required of the Board. Authorizes shorter initial terms for appointees of positions created by Congressional reapportionment in order to maintain staggered terms for appointments. Effective July 1, 2023. Provides for the person appointed to the position created to be appointed for a term ending June 30, 2027. 

Makes technical changes to incorporate amendments made to Sections 8.3 and 8.19 of SL 2021-180 by Section 2.8, SL 2022-6.

Part IV.

Adds the following provisions. 

Establishes mandatory reporting requirements for public school units, requiring all units to report information described to the Center for Safer Schools by November 15, 2022, including the unit's system to identify threats, the number and nature of any identified threats, and responses and results of such responses to identified threats. Requires the Center for Safer Schools to consult with DPI to report to the specified NCGA committee by February 15, 2023, on legislative recommendations on a system to identify and address threats in schools that could be implements by public school units statewide and any addition funding such system would require. Details information units and the Center are required to report. 

Part V.

Adds the following provisions. 

Amends GS 115C-311 to extend the deadlines for the reports evaluating the advanced teaching roles and new compensation plans, now requiring reports by independent contractors during the first two years of the program by October 15, 2022, 2023, and 2024, with the State Board required to perform the evaluation and provide the reports beginning October 15, 2025, and annually thereafter (currently, provides for the independent reports to be made on October 15, 2021, and October 15, 2022, with the State Board to perform the evaluation and provide the report beginning October 15, 2023). Directs DPI to use $200,000 of the funds appropriated to the DPI by SL 2021-180 for each year of the biennium, in each fiscal year for the State Board to contract for the program evaluations as required by GS 115C-311. Effective June 30, 2022. 

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