Bill Summary for H 97 (2023-2024)

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Summary date: 

Jun 13 2024

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
House Bill 97 (Public) Filed Monday, February 13, 2023
Intro. by Gillespie, Willis, Torbett, Hardister.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute replaces the 1st edition in its entirety with the following.

Part I

Reorganizes Article 1 of GS Chapter 115D (concerning general provisions for State administration of community colleges) as follows. Divides the article into four parts: (1) Establishment and Administration of the NC Community Colleges System, (2) Administration of Local Community Colleges by the State Board of Community Colleges (SBCC), (3) Community College Programs, (4) Students.

Reorganizes GS 115D-1.3 (accreditation of NC secondary schools not a factor in admissions, loans, scholarships, or other educational policies) to new GS 115D-10.65, located in Part 4.

Reorganizes GS 115D-4.1 (college transfer program approval, standards for program reporting requirements) to new GS 115D-10.10, located in Part 3.

Reorganizes GS 115D-5 (pertaining to various components of the administration of institutions by the SBCC) as follows, with the following changes as appropriate:

  • GS 115D-5.5 (concerning the Board Reserve Fund) in Part 1;
  • GS 115D-6.1 (concerning the administration of institutions) in Part 2;
  • GS 115D-9.5 (concerning Bookstore sales) in Part 2;
  • GS 115D-9.10 (concerning exchange of information with UNC and NC public schools) in Part 2;
  • GS 115D-9.15 (concerning lease purchase and installment contracts) in Part 2;
  • GS 115D-9.20 (concerning compliance review and requested information) in Part 2;
  • GS 115D-9.25 (concerning multicampus centers) in Part 2;
  • GS 115D-9.30 (concerning service areas). Imposes 60-day deadline from the date the revisions are made for the SBCC to report any revisions to its service areas to the specified NCGA committee, in Part 2;
  • GS 115D-9.35 (concerning athletic teams) in Part 2;
  • GS 115D-10.40 (concerning American Sign Language courses) in Part 3;
  • GS 115D-10.45 (concerning adult high school equivalency diploma tests) in Part 3;
  • GS 115D-6.2 (concerning accreditation policies), and reorganizes the existing provisions of GS 115D-6.2 to new GS 115D-21.2 in Article 2 of GS Chapter115D;
  • GS 115D-10.30 (concerning correction education programs) in Part 3;
  • GS 115D-10.35 (concerning teacher residency licensure courses) in Part 3;
  • GS 115D-10.70 (driving eligibility certificates) in Part 4;
  • GS 115D-10.75 (excused absences for religious observance) in Part 4;
  • GS 115D-10.76 (excused absences for National Guard servicemembers) in Part 4;
  • GS 115D-21.10 (concerning curriculum courses taught throughout the year) in Article 2;
  • GS 115D-30.5 (concerning evaluation of career and college promise program) in Article 2;
  • GS 115D-30.20 (Gateway to College program) in Article 2;
  • GS 115D-39.2 (Pro-rata tuition and uniform registration fees) in Part 2 of Article 3; and
  • GS 115D-39.5 (tuition waivers) in Part 2 of Article 3.

Appears to intend to reorganize GS 115D-5(g) into GS 115D-10.5 (concerning program funding) in Part 3. Reorganizes GS 115D-5.1 (workforce development programs) into new GS 115D-10.15 and GS 115D-10.17 (concerning customized training program) in Part 3. Now requires the President of the NC Community College System to also determine what worker skills will be enhanced by the workforce, in addition to the other three factors, before a business or industry qualifies to receive assistance under GS 115D-10.17.

Reorganizes GS 115D-5.1A (short-term workforce development grant programs) into new GS 115D-10.19 in Part 3.

Repeals GS 115D-44 and reorganizes the provisions into new GS 115D-10.21 (concerning training programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities) in Part 3.

Repeals Article 6A of GS Chapter 115D (concerning motorcycle safety instruction) and reorganizes those provisions into new GS 115D-10.50.

Reorganizes GS 115D-5.2 (concerning commercial fishing and aquaculture classes) into new GS 115D-10.25 in Part 3.

Makes technical changes to GS 115D-6 (concerning withdrawal of State support). Clarifies that the residency requirements of GS 115-6.5 (appointment of interim board of trustees) do not apply to ex officio nonvoting members who are either the president of student government or the chair of the executive board of the student body.

Reorganizes provisions of GS 115D-20(4)(a) addressing academic transition pathways and college transfer pathways into new GS 115D-30.1, establishing the Career and College Promise Program to allow pathways for qualified high school students to take community college courses without paying tuition. Reorganizes GS 115D-20(4)(a1) (concerning cooperative innovative high schools) into new GS 115D-30.10 in Article 2. Reorganizes GS 115D-(4)(b)-(e) into new GS 115D-30.15 (concerning noncredit courses).

Repeals GS 115D-21.5 and reorganizes those provisions into new GS 115D-30.25 (NC Career Coach Program).

Organizes Article 3 of GS Chapter 115D into two parts: Tuition and Fees, and Funding of Community Colleges.

Recodifies GS 115D-41 (pertaining to contract restrictions with local school administrative units) as GS 115D-38.5.

Recodifies GS 115D-43 (pertaining to funds for intercollegiate athletics programs) as GS 115D-38.10.

Makes technical and organizational changes.

Part II

Makes conforming changes to the following statutes to account for the reorganization described in Part I: GS 20-11(n) (pertaining to eligibility for a driving eligibility certificate); GS 20-13.2(c1) (DMV’s process when receiving notification from a school authority that a person no longer meets the requirements for a driving eligibility certificate); GS 90-631(b) (accreditation of massage and bodywork therapy programs); GS 93A-4(a2) (real estate education); GS 93A-38.5(e) (course fees charged by the NC Real Estate Commission [Commission]); GS 93E-1-7(b2) (course fees charged by the NC Real Estate Appraisal Board [Board]); GS 93E-1-8 (education program approval and fees by the Board); GS 95-25.5 (concerning youth participation in fire fighting courses); GS 115C-84.3 (remote instruction); GS 115C-238.55 (evaluation of cooperative innovative high schools); GS 115D-2(2) (definition of community college); GS 115D-39 (student tuition and fees); GS 115D-41 (restrictions on contracts with local school administrative units, use of community college facilities by public school students pursuant to cooperative programs); GS 116-201 (definitions pertaining to the State Education Assistance Authority); GS 116-280 (definitions pertaining to need-based scholarships for students attending private institutions of higher education); GS 126-5 (employees subject to the State Human Resources Act); and Section 6.9(b) of SL 2023-134 (concerning funds appropriated to the Community Colleges Systems Office for the 2023-25 fiscal biennium). 

Makes technical changes.

Part III

Amends GS 115D-89.1 (State Board of Proprietary Schools [SBPS]) so that one of the two appointees by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the President Pro Tem of the Senate and the Speaker of the House is a director or owner of a proprietary school or group of proprietary schools licensed in the state with a 100 or more total annual enrollment of students (was, 750 or more annual enrollment of student--Senate and owner or director of a proprietary school--House). Changes the other appointee upon recommendation of the Speaker of the House so that person is an owner or director of a proprietary school in the state with less than 100 total annual enrollment of students (was, between 100 and 750 students annually enrolled). Applies beginning with appointments made on or after the date the act becomes law.

Expands the refund provisions of GS 115D-90’s required refund policy for proprietary school licensure to require that the school provide for a full refund if the school causes the student to be withdrawn before the first day of school. Now requires 75% refund if the student withdraws or the school causes the student to be withdrawn before completing 25% of the period of enrollment, excluding any disclosed nonrefundable fees (currently, just if the student withdraws and no exclusion of nonrefundable fees). Effective July 1, 2024, and applies to licenses issued or renewed on or after that date.

Amends the bond requirements under GS 115D-95 (applicants for licensure as a proprietary school) as follows. For schools licensed for one year and less than six years, requires the bond amount be evaluated by the school quarterly and reported to the State Board. Removes the bond evaluation process for schools in operation for more than five years. Instead, if the school has been licensed for six years or more, specifies that if the SBPS deems an evaluation necessary, the SBPS may require the bond amount to be evaluated by the school quarterly and reported to the SBPS or its representative. Makes conforming and technical changes. Increases the amount of the catastrophic loss amount in GS 115D-95.1 (student protection fund) so that it is $1.5 million (currently, $1 million). Increases the fund cap amount from $1.5 million to $2 million.  Requires the SBPS to suspend payments into the fund when: (1) the Student Protection Fund balance is equal to or exceeds the catastrophic loss amount, for schools currently licensed in the State; and (2) the Student Protection Fund balance is equal to or exceeds the fund cap amount, for schools applying for initial licensure with the State requires when the Student Protection Fund balance decreases below the catastrophic loss amount that the State Board reinstate payment requirements. (Currently, the SBPS suspends payments for schools that have been continuously licensed in the State for more than eight years if the fund balance is equal to or exceeds the fund cap amount.) Makes organizational changes. Effective July 1, 2025, and applies to licenses issued or renewed on or after that date.

Part IV

Amends Section 10.13 of SL 2015-241, as amended, to expand the college developmental math and developmental reading and English curriculums to include the summer immediately preceding the senior year of high school.

Part V

Requires the State Board of Community Colleges (SBCC) by April 1, 2025, to conduct a competitive solicitation, including a request for information or request for proposals, to provide a learning management system to all community colleges. Directs that the answers must include information on how the learning management system would align with the learning management systems (1) offered by the Department of Public Instruction to local school administrative units and (2) used by the constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina. Requires the SBCC to report on the information received to the specified NCGA committees and the Fiscal Research Division by April 1, 2025.

Part VI

Authorizes the Board of Trustees of Fayetteville Technical Community College (Board of Trustees) to enter into a public/private partnership with an automotive services company (Company) to provide for construction on or renovations to real property located in Fayetteville, North Carolina (Facility) to be used for the Company’s retail facility (25%) and to expand employment pathways that prepare students for high demand employment positions in the auto technology repair and maintenance sector (75%). Requires the public/private partnership to adhere to six listed terms, including that title to the real property remain with the Board of Trustees, that the Company must incur at least 80% of the cost of constructing or renovating the Facility, and that the Board of Trustees is authorized to lease the Facility to the Company for a term of ten years without a monthly rental rate. 

Part VI.1

Amends Section 7.36(h) of SL 2023-134 (the Artificial Intelligence [AI] Pilot Program [Program]) as follows. Requires that Davidson County contract with Vyze by Eviden to conduct the Program.  Changes types of technology covered by the school safety system so that AI technology is now integrated into cameras, video management systems, and alerting protocols (was, access controls, alerting protocols, and intercom management systems). Requires the proposed school safety solution to offer eight listed performance capabilities including intruder detection, facial recognition, license plate reader, and forensic face search.

Amends Section 7.53 of SL 2023-134 to change the school districts under the pilot program for a special education digital intervention software platform from Alamance County Schools, Catawba County Schools, and Nash County Schools to Cabarrus County Schools, Union County Schools, and Vance County Schools.  Requires the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to provide results of the program to the specified NCGA committees by June 30, 2025. Requires a final report from DPI to the specified NCGA committees by October 15, 2027 (was, October 15, 2025).

Part VI.3

Extends the training requirements for licensure as massage and bodywork therapist to 650 in-class hours (currently, 500 in-class hours) under GS 90-629 (requirements for licensure). Applies to applicants for licensure whose applications are received on or after July 1, 2024.