AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR VIRTUAL EDUCATION IN PUBLIC SCHOOL UNITS IN EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES, TO EXTEND PLANNED VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION FOR THE 2022-2023 SCHOOL YEAR FOR ALL PUBLIC SCHOOL UNITS, TO PROVIDE FOR REMOTE ACADEMIES IN LOCAL SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS BEGINNING WITH THE 2023-2024 SCHOOL YEAR, TO EXTEND PLANNED VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS THROUGH THE 2023-2024 SCHOOL YEAR, AND TO EXTEND THE VIRTUAL CHARTER SCHOOL PILOT THROUGH THE 2024-2025 SCHOOL YEAR.
Conference report makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.
Amends Part 3A, Remote Academies, in Article 16, GS Chapter 115C, as follows. Allows for a local school administrative unit (was, public school units) to apply to the State Board of Education (State Board) for approval of remote academies. Makes changes throughout the part to refer to "local school administrative units" instead of "public school units." Specifies that the instruction provided by a remote academy is to be delivered to students in a remote location outside of the school facility. Provides that a remote academy approved by the State Board may satisfy the minimum required number of instructional days or hours for the school calendar through remote instruction, notwithstanding GS 115C-84.3 (previously prevented a public school unit from providing the majority of instructional hours through remote instruction in a public school except as provided in this Part).
Amends proposed GS 115C-23.5 by removing the 15% cap a local school administrative unit was required to place on total enrollment in all remote academies.
Amends proposed GS 115C-234.10 to provide that except as provided in this Part, a remote academy must meet the same requirements in GS Chapter 115C as other public schools governed by the local boards of education (was, remote academy must meet all requirements for that type of public school that are in GS Chapter 115C).
Amends proposed GS 115C-234.15 to require the State Board to review and approve a plan for the creation of a remote academy that meets the requirements established in this Part for a term of five years (previously no term was specified).
Amends proposed GS 115C-234.20 by adding that a local board of education may apply for renewal of approval as a remote academy for additional terms of five years. Requires that the State Board consider compliance with the Part's requirements and success of the remote academy in the prior five years in determining whether to approve a renewal request.
Deletes the provisions of Part III and instead provides as follows.
Allows a charter school that submitted a virtual instruction plan for the 2021-22 school year to the Department of Public Instruction to continue to provide virtual instruction in accordance with that plan for for the 2023-24 school year.
Amends Section 8.35 of SL 2014-100, as amended, to extend the length of the pilot program that authorized the operation of two virtual charter schools serving students in K-12, to a period of ten school years instead of eight, with the program now ending with the 2024-25 school year. Allows a virtual charter school that participated in this pilot program to be eligible to apply to the State Board for a charter renewal as provided in GS 115C-218.6.
Amends the act's long title.