Weekly Legislative Update - Friday, May 25, 2018

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K12 Education Legislation Update

Vision Statement:  Every public school student, through access to needed resources and rigor, will graduate ready for post-secondary education and work, prepared to be a globally engaged and productive citizen.

Mission Statement: The State Board of Education will use its constitutional authority to lead and uphold the system of public education in North Carolina that guarantees every student in this state an opportunity to receive a sound basic education.

May 25, 2018

The Week In Review and Looking Forward into Next Week


Many education-related bills continued to move through the General Assembly this week, as the Short Session of the 2018 General Assembly continued into its second week. The bulk of the legislative week was marked by committee meetings and the introduction of new bills. Many education bills were the result of recommendations made by Joint Legislative Committees, as mentioned below. 


Speaker of the House, Tim Moore announced that SB 99 will be the vehicle used for the 2018-19 expansion budget.  The original intent of the bill was based on the topic of insurance and is a bill eligible for the Short Session; however, it has been stripped of the original language and will serve as a conference report for the budget.    


The members of the Conference Committee, also known as conferees, were reassigned this week.  Based on currently scheduled Committee meetings, it appears the budget will be released sometime over the holiday weekend.  A Joint Appropriations Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday morning followed by a Finance Committee meeting expected to be held on Wednesday.  From there, it will likely move to the House and Senate Floor Thursday or Friday for any final steps to be taken. It will then go to the Governor for approval; however, if vetoed by the Governor, the bill will go back to the General Assembly for modifications or a veto override.  


Relevant Bills with Action

SB 720 / HB 962: Expand Use/School Risk Management Plans

SB 720 / HB 962, companion bills filed this week in both chambers, are similar to HB 938, which was filed last week and summarized in last week's Update. In contrast to HB 938, the new companion bills require, rather than encourage, nonpublic schools accepting eligible students who receive scholarship grants to establish School Risk Management Plans. The new companion bills come as recommendations of the Joint Legislative Emergency Management Oversight Committee. SB 720 currently sits in the Senate Rules Committee, while the House version of the bill was referred to the Committee on Education (K-12). If the House version is approved by the Education (K-12) Committee, it will be considered by the House Judiciary IV Committee.

SB 745: Fully Fund School Counselors & Psychologists

SB 745 which was filed Thursday, would appropriate funding for the instructional support allotment, andwould phase in new statewide per pupil ratios specific to the number of school counselors and psychologists over the next 3 years. The bill also would also alter the duties of school counselors in statute to add "preventative" services in addition to the currently required "responsive services."

SB 756: School Security Act of 2018

SB 756 creates the position of “teacher resource officer” in statute. Under the bill, current teachers could apply to become teacher resource officers, which are teachers who are also sworn law enforcement officers with limited jurisdiction. Employing public education entities would decide on an individual basis the extent to which each individual teacher resource officer is required to carry his or her handgun in an open or concealed manner, and whether each individual teacher resource officer is required to carry a handgun on his or her person at all times or is permitted to sometimes stow the handgun in a locked gun safe. The bill would require teacher resource officers to complete “all applicable in‑service training required of a law enforcement officer” and additional training as described in the bill. 


The bill would establish a grant program for prospective teacher resource officers to pay for Basic Law Enforcement Training, and would provide for a 5% salary supplement for teacher resource officers. The bill would also encourage private schools to coordinate with local law enforcement agencies to adopt school risk management plans, and would provide that certain employees and volunteers at private schools may carry certain weapons on educational property when authorized by the school Board of Trustees or school Administrative Director. The bill also provides that a person who has a concealed handgun permit may carry certain weapons on educational property that is the location of both a school and a place of religious worship, when the person is attending worship services and other sacerdotal functions at the place of religious worship as long as students are not attending class. The bill was filed on Thursday.

HB 933Reciprocity/School Psychologist Licensure

School psychologist talking to children

HB 933, which passed through the House last week, went to the Senate this week, and was referred to the Senate Rules Committee. The bill, as summarized in last week's Update, would require the State Board of Education to issue a school psychologist license within 60 days to any individual who holds the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential issued by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Having passed the House last week, it was referred to the Senate Rules Committee this week.

SB 730: Cross-Training DPI Licensure Section Staff

SB 730 was filed this week as a recommendation of the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee. The bill would direct the Section Chief of the Licensure Section of the Department of Public Instruction to establish a cross-training program for employees within the Licensure Section, to make effectiveness and efficiency improvements within the section. The bill was referred to the Senate Rules Committee.

HB 982: IDD Data Sharing/Longitudinal Data System

 HB 982 directs the Government Data Analytics Center to establish a task force to study the collection and use of data among State agencies and stakeholders to evaluate education, employment programs, and services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The task force will include representatives from various state agencies, including DPI. The bill was filed this week and referred to the House Committee on Health. If passed by that committee, it will be considered by the Education (Universities) Committee.

HB 984: Oversight IDD Employment/Educ. Programs

HB 984 establishes the position of Director of Education and Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities within the Department of Health and Human Services. The Director would be the coordinator and point of contact for access to education, as well as employment programs and services, for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The bill was filed this week and referred to the House Committee on Health. If approved by that committee, it will head to the House Appropriations Committee.

SB 715Various Changes to Revenue Laws

SB 715 which would make changes to the State’s revenue laws, was filed last week and passed through the Senate Finance and Rules Committees this week. The Fiscal Research Division of the General Assembly has released a Fiscal Note to the bill that examines the fiscal impact of the changes. The bill will next be heard by the full Senate on May 29. 

SB 726: Go Big for Early Childhood

Early Childhood Reading

SB 726 would increase funding for Early Childhood education and provide tax credits to eligible early education staff that would continue through 2022. The bill was filed this week and referred to the Senate Rules Committee.

SB 731 / HB 988: Extend Pilot/Virtual Charter Schools

As recommended by the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee, SB 731 and HB 988 extend a pilot program that allowed the State Board of Education to approve two virtual charter schools, to operate in the state an additional four years. The pilot was slated to end with the 2018-2019 school year, but this bill would allow the program to continue through the 2022-2023 school year. The bills were both filed this week. The Senate version was referred to the Senate Rules Committee, and the House version was referred to the House Committee on Education (K-12).

SB 732 / HB 986: Revise Cursive and Multiplication Report

Cursive writing on paper

S.L. 2017-126 became law in the 2017 Long Session of the General Assembly, and introduced requirements into the Course of Study that public schools provide instruction in cursive writing and that public school students memorize multiplication tables.


SB 732 and HB 986 comes as a recommendation of the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee (JLEOC) and would require a permanent annual report from the Department of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education on the implementation of the cursive writing and multiplication provisions at the local level. The bills were both filed this week and the House version was referred to the House Committee on Education (K-12), while the Senate version was referred to Rules and Operations of the Senate.

As noted by Education Commission of the States, in the past few years, some states have moved toward a cursive requirement in their English/Language Arts (ELA) curriculums through legislative action. There are additional states that include cursive writing instruction in their state ELA standards through action by the State Board of Education or state education agency. Many states with cursive requirements specify a certain elementary grade level by which cursive should be taught. The Center on Standards & Assessment Implementation (CSAI) released a memorandum on cursive writing standards in 2015.  This year, several additional states are currently considering or have considered bills that either require cursive instruction or include cursive in the states' curriculum.

HB 965: National and State Mottos in Schools Act

North Carolina State Seal

HB 965 would require the display of the national motto, "In God We Trust," and the State motto, "To Be Rather Than to Seem," in at least one prominent location of each school, such as an entry way, cafeteria, or other common area. It was filed this week, and referred to the House Education Committee (K-12). If approved by that Committee, it will next be heard in the Appropriations Committee. 

Local Bills with Action

SB 725: Allow Durham Public Schools to Provide Housing

SB 725 is a companion to HB 936, which was summarized in last week's Update. The bill was filed this week and referred to the Senate Rules Committee.

SB 746: Expand Local Option Sales Tax for Education

Filed Thursday, SB 746 would allow Cabarrus County to institute a sales and use tax to be used solely for public education. The tax would require a referendum to be held in the county. 

In the News

NCGA Press Conference

Rep. Lewis and Other House School Safety Committee Leaders Hold Press Conference on School Safety Items in Expansion Budget 

On Thursday, Rep. David Lewis, Chair of the House Select Committee on School Safety, held a press conference with other members of the committee to discuss how the committee's priorities will materialize in the expansion budget.  Rep. Linda Johnson said that many of the Committee's recommendations, found in its interim report, will be included in the budget, including current standalone bills. 

Expansion Budget Graphic by NCGA School Safety Committee Members

They announced a $35M commitment in the expansion budget for school safety, with funding for 6 different areas, as shown in the School Safety graphic.


$5M is slated to fund a statewide Anonymous Tip App, similar to what is currently being piloted in a few NC schooldistricts.  This would allow for the App to be made available to every middle and high school in the state,positioning students to anonymously report things such as suicide threats, bullying, underage drinking, drugs, etc.Rep. Donna White said "90% of the students that we have interviewed over the last several years, when we've had this pilot going forth have said that they would definitely use an anonymous tip app." 


$10m is planned to go to grants that fund personnel that provide mental health related care to students. Rep. Donny Lambeth said "We'll build on that [the grants] as we receive additional funding next year." 

$3M will be set aside in the budget for training for school based mental health professionals.  $2M will go to various community partners to provide grants for students in crisis. $3M in grant funding will go to updating school equipment and facilities to improve security.  $12M in grant funding will go toward School Resource Officers in schools.


The group announced that due to changes in Medicaid, the State may bill Medicaid for additional medical services currently being provided to students in schools. The State will receive an estimated $30M-$90M in reimbursements for services already provided to students by taking advantage of the changes. 

General Assembly Members Hold Press Conference on HB 514 with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Officials 

Senators Jeff Jackson and Joyce Waddell, along with Representative John Autry, held a Press Conference Monday with officials from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the North Carolina School Boards Association on their positions opposing HB 514. The bill would allow certain municipalities to operate charter schools.

Discussion surrounding HB 514 led to the creation of a Joint Legislative Study Committee during the 2017 Long Session to study the division of local school administrative units. HB 514 passed the House on April 26, 2017 and is currently in the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee. The bill met the crossover deadline, and therefore could be considered in the Short Session. Gerry Cohen, a former legislative attorney, presented a report that he authored on the legislation at the press conference.

DPI Logo

2018 Short Session link for bills impacting K-12 education. 

2017 Long Session link for a complete list of bills impacting K-12 education including budget items.

Legislative Calendar

Mon, May 28, 2018 

7:00 p.m. Session Convenes (House)                                                       House | Audio

7:00 p.m. Session Convenes  (Senate)                                                    Senate | Audio


Tue, May 29, 2018 10:00 a.m.

10:00 a.m. House Appropriations (Joint)                                               643 LOB Audio
10:00 a.m. Senate Appropriations (Joint)                                              643 LOB | Audio


Wed, May 30, 2018 10:00 a.m.

11:00 a.m. State and Local Government II (House)                              544 LOB | Audio

                     Rockingham County School Board/Chair Term. (H954)

11:00 a.m. Health (House)                                                                     643 LOB | Audio

                    Oversight IDD Employment/Educ. Programs. (H984)
                    Telemedicine Policy. (H967)
                    IDD Data Sharing/Longitudinal Data System. (H982)
                    ABLE Act Changes/Study. (H983)

North Carolina General Assembly 



    • Cecilia Holden  –  Director of Legislative Affairs and Special Initiatives  |  919-807-3406
    • Anne Murtha  –  Legislative Specialist  |  919-807-3403
    • Dylan Blackburn – Legislative Intern | 919-807-3407
    • David Smith –  Legislative Intern  |  919-807-3407

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