Weekly Legislative Update - Friday, September 15, 2017

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Legislative Update

September 15, 2017 

Applications for Funding from the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund Now Available

School Construction

The 2017 state budget (S.L. 2017-57) creates the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund, a $30 million fund designed to assist school districts in lower-wealth counties with their critical public school building capital needs.  Counties designated as tier one by the NC Department of Commerce have priority for the funding.  (A list of counties and their tier designations can be accessed here.)

The law requires that the funds are capped at $15 million per project in tier one counties and $10 million per project in tier two counties, as well as a local match of $1 for every $3 in grant funds. The fund is restricted to new capital projects, and cannot be used for real property acquisition or for operational lease agreements, unless the lease agreement was executed on or before June 30, 2017.  Furthermore, the county cannot have received more than $8.75 million from the Public School Building Capital Fund from fiscal years 2012-13 to 2016-17.

The funds provided by revenue from the state lottery will be a minimum of $30 million this fiscal year and $75 million in the 2018-19 fiscal year. Under the law, awards will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Counties designated as development tier 1 areas;
  2. Counties with greater need and less ability to generate sales tax and property tax revenue;
  3. Counties with a high debt-to-tax revenue ratio;
  4. The extent to which a project will address critical deficiencies in adequately serving the current and future student population.

Applications are available online at www.schoolclearinghouse.org and are due to the Department of Public Instruction by Oct. 11, 2017.  Awards will be announced by Nov. 1, 2017.

SBE Approves Digital Learning Initiative Grant Program

NC Student in a Digital Learning Environment

The State Board of Education (SBE) approved the Digital Learning Initiative (DLI) Grant Program during their September meeting last week.  These competitive grants are intended to support North Carolina LEAs and charter schools as they address challenges, harness opportunities, and leverage resources for digital-age, personalized teaching and learning.

Under Section 8.23 of Session Law 2016-94 (the 2016 state budget), the SBE is charged with continued progress in implementing the Digital Learning Plan in North Carolina Public Schools. One goal identified in the Plan is to have effective digital learning practices spread across all North Carolina K-12 public schools. In an effort to accomplish this goal, the grant program was created to support the development and dissemination of local innovative digital learning models.  

The 2017-18 DLI Grant is a competitive grant program available to all school districts and charter schools and the deadline for application is October 23, 2017 at 5:00 P.M.  For more information or to access the application, visit DPI’s Division of Digital Teaching and Learning website at this link.

DPI Logo

See this link for a complete list of bills impacting K-12 education.

Legislative Calendar

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


1:00 PM:  House Select Committee on Judicial Redistricting                                  544 LOB | Audio


North Carolina General Assembly 



    • Cecilia Holden  –  Director of Legislative Affairs and Special Initiatives  |  919-807-4035
    • Robb Jansen  –  Policy Development Analyst  |  919-807-3407
    • Anne Murtha  –  Legislative Specialist  |  919-807-3403

    To view previous 2017 Weekly Legislative Updates click here.

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