K-12 Education Legislative Update - Friday, February 15, 2019

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K12 Education Legislation Update

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

February 15, 2019       

The Week In Review and Looking Into Next Week

Things Are Ramping Up at the Legislature

This week over 100 House and Senate bills were filed (including over 20 regarding education) and sent to committees for vetting. Committees are getting into their routines and bills are moving quickly through the legislative process. Multiple school safety bills were introduced this week as well as more school calendar flexibility bills. The budget process will get underway next week as Joint Appropriation committees deliberate to learn about the budget system.


For a current list of relevant education bills click here. For up-to-date information on next week's committee meetings and other legislative happenings, please refer to the Calendar portion of our update.

State of the State

Governor's State of the State Address: Monday, February 25, 2019, @ 7:00 p.m.

The Governor will deliver his biennial address Monday, February 25, at 7 p.m. Historically, a Governor will use this moment to highlight their state's accomplishments and outline their priorities. This year, the Governor will speak in front of a joint session of the NCGA in the House Chamber per HJR 36.

Relevant Bills with Action


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SB 5: Building North Carolina's Future 

This week, SB 5 (the Senate school construction and repair proposal) was unanimously approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. This Senate bill would allow the K-12, UNC, and Community College systems to each receive about $2.03 billion for school renovation and construction. DPI would be tasked with giving priority to applicants with the greatest need.



Another focus of the bill would be to increase the revenue directed to the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) from 4 to 4.5 percent to pay down the state’s debt faster than the current rate. That money would also be used for capital projects relating to state government, as well as the UNC System. During committee debate, it was mentioned that the bill would begin to eliminate state debt and would provide for a pay-as-you-go system.


This bill will be heard on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Rules and Operations Committee. It is the only bill on that committee's calendar.


(Photo courtesy of Education NC)



SB 38: Class Size Reporting/Principal

This bill would amend G.S. 115C-47 to erase the provisions requiring teachers to report when class size requirements have not been met. The bill would direct school principals to report class size noncompliance to system superintendents. The superintendent would then notify the local board of education regarding the class size noncompliance. The bill would apply these changes beginning with the 2019-20 school year.


SB 60Restore Educational Sales Tax Holiday

This bill would reenact G.S. 105-164.13C, the sales and use tax holiday for school supplies.


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SB 64: DPI/EC Div. Feedback/DIT Study/PED report

This bill would direct the Exceptional Children Division of DPI to incorporate an evaluation system of the Divisions support programs into its policies and procedures. The bill also would direct the Government Data Analytics Center of DIT to study the feasibility of local education agencies participating in the NC Health Information Exchange Network (also known as NC Health Connex). 


HB 56: Arts Education Requirement

This bill would direct the SBE to change state graduation requirements to include a required arts education credit. The requirement must be completed any time throughout grades 6 through 12. This bill would allow this requirement to take effect in 2022 and would exempt students who transfer into a NC public school in or after the ninth grade.



HB 57: Create Term for Public Schs. & Codify NCVPS

This bill would codify the NCVPS legislation and add the phrase public school unit to the "defined terms" section of G.S. 115, to include all types of public schools in the state.

HB 61: Omnibus Gun Changes

HB 61 would set new provisions relating to the carrying of handguns. The bill would enact a new G.S. 115C-81.90 that requires the SBE, in consultation with law enforcement agencies, to develop a firearm education course that can be offered as a high school elective. HB 61 also requires a person to carry a valid identification while carrying a concealed weapon, as well as amends various general statutes. 



HB 72: Support Multiple Recesses For Lincoln Co Schl

This local bill would allow school administrative units to be flexible in structuring their school days. Applicable only to Lincoln County, Lincoln County Board of Education would be able to add to their schools days in order to have multiple shorter recess periods.


School Safety Bills

School Safety

On Thursday of this week, the 1-year anniversary of the Parkland, FL School shooting, four school safety bills were heard in the House and all passed their first reading. They are as follows: 


HB 73: Civic Responsibility Education

This bill would direct the SBE to require schools to teach about civic responsibility, with emphasis on school safety, good citizenship, and respect for school personnel. 


HB 74: 2019 School Safety Grants Program

This bill would increase the amount of NC school safety grants from $30 million (last year) to $53.19 million for this year.  The money would cover school safety trainings, school support staff, and school resource officers.


HB 75: School Mental Health Screening Study

This bill would develop a statewide process for the mental health screening of students. 


HB 76: School Safety Omnibus

This bill would require public schools to ensure school safety training standards and complete vulnerability assessment for school buildings.

School Calendar Flexibility Bills


Overview: Last week, lawmakers began considering school calendar flexibility bills. Currently, due to tourism industry interests, state law prevents the school year from beginning any earlier than the Monday closest to Aug. 26. The total number of school calendar flexibility bills is now over 20.


Below are the School Calendar Flexibility bills filed this week:


SB 37 (Companion Bill is HB 48): School Calendar Flexibility/Certain Systems

Sponsor: Britt

Counties: Columbus and Robeson


SB 48: Permit Align School/Comm. College Calendar

Sponsor: Smith 

Counties: Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Tyrrell, Vance, Warren, Washington, Wilson


SB 72School Calendar Flex/Charlotte-Mecklenburg

Sponsors: WaddellMohammedMarcus 

County: Mecklenburg 


HB 45: School Calendar Flex./Forsyth County 

Sponsors: Lambeth; Conrad

County: Forsyth


HB 47: School Calendar Flex./Charlotte-Mecklenburg

Sponsors: Alexander; Belk; AutryBeasley 

County: Mecklenburg


HB 48: (Companion Bill is SB 37): School Calendar Flexibility/Certain Systems

Sponsor: Jones

Counties: Columbus and Robeson


HB 58: School Calendar Flex./Granville & Person

Sponsor: Yarborough 

Counties: Granville and Person


HB 71: Permit Lincoln Co Schools & Com College Align

Sponsors: Saine

County: Lincoln 


HB 78: Academic Alignment/Certain School Systems

Sponsors: Horn; Rogers; Fraleyand Arp 

Counties: Cleveland, Iredell, Rutherford, Union 


HB 79: Academic Alignment/Boards of Education & CC

Sponsors: Horn; Johnson; Elmore; Strickland 

Counties: ALL


HB 83: School Calendar Flex/Certain School Systems

Sponsors: Potts; Jarvis

County: Davidson


HB 88: School Calendar Flex/Certain School Systems

Sponsors: Barnes; Gailliard

Counties: Franklin and Nash 


i cream

Official State Treat!

Rep. John Torbett (R-Gaston) recently introduced a bill in the General Assembly (HB 30) that would declare ice cream NC's official frozen treat. This week, it received a favorable report in the House Committee on State and Local Gov't and is now headed to the House Committee on Health.


The bill's process started last October when fourth-grade students from Gaston Day School appealed to the Gaston County commissioners. The students, taught by Josie Conner, declared their love of Tony’s Ice Cream in Gastonia, NC. Torbett asserts that ice cream is very important to the NC dairy industry and is "consumed by approximately 90% of the population of the United States..."

Regional Wells Fargo Principals of the Year Named

Wells Fargo

Eight School Leaders Vying for State Title


Eight outstanding public school principals have been selected as regional Wells Fargo North Carolina Principals of the Year and will now compete for the state title of 2019 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year. The winner will succeed the 2018 recipient, Tabari Wallace, principal of West Craven High (Craven County Schools).


The regional principals of the year are:

  • Northeast: Melissa Fields, Perquimans Central (Perquimans County Schools);
  • Southeast: Elizabeth P. Pierce, Frink Middle (Lenoir County Schools);
  • North Central: Matthew Bristow-Smith, Edgecombe Early College High (Edgecombe County Public Schools);
  • Sandhills: James “Bo” Mullins, Clement Elementary (Sampson County Schools);
  • Piedmont-Triad: Sean Gaillard, Lexington Middle (Lexington City Schools);
  • Southwest: Dr. Timisha Barnes-Jones, West Charlotte High (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools);
  • Northwest: Michelle Baker, Eastfield Global Magnet (McDowell County Schools); and
  • Western: Brandon Sutton, Swain Middle (Swain County Schools).


The Wells Fargo Principal of the Year Award was introduced in 1984 to recognize the critical role of the principal in establishing a culture that supports the pursuit and achievement of academic excellence in North Carolina schools. The 2019 Wells Fargo North Carolina Principal of the Year will be announced on May 10.


Learn more about the program here. Follow us at #NCTOYPOY

Legislative Info and Acronyms 

This section includes details pertaining to acronyms and bill information referenced throughout the K-12 Education Legislative Update newsletters.


Biennium- A two-year term of legislative activity

Public Bill- Legislation enacted into law that applies to the public at large

Local Bill- Legislation put into law that has limited application (How many counties)- Local bills do not have to be signed by the governor

Sponsor- The legislator who presents a bill or resolution for consideration

Resolution-  A document that expresses the sentiment or intent of the legislature or a chamber. Resolutions, when finalized, go to the Secretary of State


DPI = NC Department of Public Instruction

NCGA North Carolina General Assembly

LB/LOB = Legislative Building/Legislative Office Building 

SBE = North Carolina State Board of Education


HB/SB = House Bill/Senate Bill

JR = Joint Resolution

SL = Session Law

GS = General Statute 

PCS = Proposed Committee Substitute 

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2019 Long Session link for bills impacting K-12 education.

Legislative Calendar

Monday, February 18, 2019 

     2:00 p.m.: Session Convenes (Senate)                                                                             Senate | Audio

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



Tuesday, February 19, 2019 


     8:30 a.m.: House and Senate: Joint Appropriations General Government                                425 LOB

     9:00 a.m.: Senate: Rules and Operations                                                               1027/1128 LB | Audio


Wednesday, February 20, 2019 


     8:30 a.m.: House and Senate: Joint Appropriations/Base Budget                                 643 LOB | Audio

                      Agenda: Consensus revenue forecast/budget outlook presentation by Dr. Barry Boardman

   11:00 a.m.: Senate: Education/Higher Education                                                    1027/1128 LB | Audio

North Carolina General Assembly 



To view previous 2019 Weekly Legislative Updates click here.

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