K-12 Education Legislative Update - Monday, June 8, 2020

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K12 Education Legislation Update

State Board of Education Vision: Every public school student in North Carolina will be empowered to accept academic challenges, prepared to pursue their chosen path after graduating high school, and encouraged to become lifelong learners with the capacity to engage in a globally-collaborative society
State Board of Education Mission: The mission of the North Carolina State Board of Education is to use its constitutional authority to guard and maintain the right of a sound, basic education for every child in North Carolina Public Schools. 

June 8, 2020

The Week In Review and Looking Forward into Next Week



March 13th - June 8th, 2020


Welcome back to this week's edition of the NC State Board of Education's "K-12 Education Legislative Update."


It is with a great deal of angst, anxiety, exhilaration, and hope, that we begin this update. So much has occurred within our state, across our nation, and throughout the world, since March 13th, that when we look back at our last time together, it is hardly recognizable. We entered into a COVID-19 Response back in late March. Our time and efforts, our focus and determination, were deliberately attuned to transcending the impact of this global pandemic and serving our students, schools, and communities. Recently, our daily lives and the socio-cultural fragility that has held our country together, in regards to equality and equity, was shaken to its core with the killing of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. And as the NC General Assembly reconvened, on May 18th, it was amidst the background of uncertainty, questions, and fear for the future of how our state, our communities, and NC Public Education will return to its former self, if it could, if it should.


But within these moments, there is the opportunity for reflection, contemplation, and action, and this update is aimed to provide information as we are seeking to understand further. We are committed to our constitutional duty to provide access to a sound and basic education for each and every NC Public School student and to supporting our General Assembly in that process. We are answering the call, remembering, at its core “Education is Soulcrafting,” and until OUR soul is well, we will not rest, we cannot return to The Shire . . .


"We Strive and Rise, Together." Freebird McKinney


Soul Crafting


Moving on to the Legislative Update:


As our state has endured the last few months of COVID-19's impact, we have united and continue to prevail against this pandemic's effects on our schools, our students, and our communities. We understand that the majority of North Carolina is focused on building REENTRY plans in response to COVID-19 as we move forward, particularly after Governor Cooper's Executive Order 141, moving into Phase 2.


To this end, the NC State Board of Education, in conjunction with the NC Department of Public Instruction, the Governor's Office, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the NC General Assembly, all continue to work tirelessly to provide up-to-date information and guidance as to how to manage the growing list of concerns and responsibilities of our local school districts and state-wide support programs.


This particular NC SBE Legislative Update will attempt to provide a comprehensive look at the "Response" to COVID-19, both in legislation and policy, as well as recommendations and guidelines from the aforementioned groups. We will also attempt our attempts to provide information on the beginning of Short Session, Monday, May 18th, 2020, and the education-related bills that have been filed during its first few weeks.


We continue to advise all readers to first consult "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Response in North Carolina" for the most pertinent information from the NC Department of Health and Human Services in regard to health and safety concerns. Below you will also find a list of COVID-19 resources which could provide more information and perspective as you and your organizations have discussions as how to best serve our state's students, schools, and communities.  

Staying ahead of the Curve

NC State Board Addresses Death of George Floyd

Meeting while demonstrations nationwide continue over the death of George Floyd, members of the N.C. State Board of Education today issued an urgent call to action to eliminate inequities and racism from the state’s public schools. Board Chairman Eric Davis opened the board’s regular monthly meeting by invoking Floyd’s name as an alarming wake-up call that exposes the “systemic practices which continue to plague our nation and result in the physical and mental deaths many black and brown citizens experience every day.”   The entire Press Release can be read here.


Critical Conversations about Systemic Racism: Educators, Students, Policymakers Share Their Voices from EdWeekly by EdNC can be read here


New Task Force on Justice, Law Enforcement, and Community Relations Announced by NC Speaker Time Moore here.


Executive Order on Addressing the Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Communities of Color Signed by Governor Cooper here.


Remarks by Freebird McKinney, SBE Director of Legislative and Community Affairs here.




NC State Board of Education

May monthly meeting: Wednesday, May 6th, and Thursday, May 7th.

Called meeting of the NC SBE: Thursday, May 21st

June monthly meeting: Wednesday, June 3rd, and Thursday, June 4th. 


The agendas, COVID-19 Response and Legislative Update can be found through the links below:

  • Agenda for May 6th located here.
  • Agenda for May 7th located here.
    • Freebird McKinney's May Legislative Update here.
  • Agenda for May 21st located here.
  • Agenda for June 3rd located here.
  • Agenda for June 4th located here.
    • Freebird McKinney's June Legislative Update here.
  • COVID-19 Response For North Carolina Public Schools here.
  • Remote Instruction Plans in Response to COVID-19 Crisis here
    • Remote Learning Resources here.
  • SBE approves Allocation of $70 million from CARES Act Funds for Remediation and Summer Bridge Programs here.
  • Final Remediation & Summer Jump Start Guidance in Response to COVID-19 Crisis here.

Live Audio Streaming of SBE meetings are available at this link.

Statement from Eric Davis, Chairman of the State Board of Education, on Gov. Roy Cooper's Decision to Keep Schools Closed for 2019-20 LINK

Only Time Will Tell
SBE Student Advisors

A Senior's Perspective on COVID-19 from Ms. Meredith Gaskill (SBE Senior Student Advisor- pictured with fellow advisor, Nate Kolk-Tomberlin) 

LINK (Ms. Gaskill's comments begin at 7:45 of the recording)

Education Matters - NC Public School Forum: 

Perspective | COVID-19 Budget and State Decisions Update- LINK

Rep. Craig Horn
Tabari Wallace

Principal Tabari Wallace Made Sure Each Senior Had Their Own Personal Parade: 485 sq. miles, 220 students, 14 routes- "A Bridge to Get Them to Graduation"- LINK

NC State Board of Education - Legislative Priorities

  • Early Grades Literacy
  • Teacher and Principal Preparation, Professional Learning Opportunities, and Compensation 
  • School Accountability and Teacher Effectiveness Models
  • School and District Assistance and Turnaround
  • Connecting High School Students to Post-secondary and Career Opportunities
  • Supporting the Whole Child, including Social/ Emotional and Mental Health Support, as well as Child Nutrition programs (Second Chance Breakfast)

NC Joint Priorities: NC State Board of Education and the NC Department of Public Instruction

  1. Sustaining Child Nutrition Programs and Supplemental Pay for Essential Employees
    • Securing meals for food-insecure children
    • Using transportation flexibility to deliver meals and non-digital resources to students
    • Supplemental Pay for Essential Child Nutrition and Transportation employees
  1. Student Support Staff and Resources for the Physical and Mental Well-Being of Students
    • Support for school staff that support physical and mental health
    • Direct services to students
    • Bonus pay for low wealth/ hard to staff districts
  1. Continued Services for Our Exceptional Children
    • Requirements are governed by federal law. While federal funds may be used as well, there are requirements for State match and maintenance of effort, and non-supplant rules.
    • Students who do not receive any/appropriate services will most likely qualify for some Extended School Year and/or Future Services if there were documented lapses in their skills at the point of schools being closed.
  1. Resources for Digital and Remote Teaching and Learning
    • Different connectivity areas- bus connectivity, long-term connectivity
    • Devices and online resources for continued learning
    • Non-digital instructional resources
  1. “Jump Start”- Summer Bridge Program
    • Concerns about lost instructional time for disadvantaged students calls for a “jump start” for the following school year
    • Requirements are governed by federal law. While federal funds may be used as well, there are requirements for State match and maintenance of effort, and non-supplant rules.
    • Additional funds for literacy coaches, professional learning opportunities for training in "Science of Reading" and curriculum purchases for "Science of Reading“

Relevant Bills with Action

Mental Health

S476 | School-Based Mental Health | Bill Summary 



Overview: Requires the State Board of Education to create a school-based mental health policy and requires K-12 schools to adopt and implement this plan.

  • The plan has to include a mental health training program and a suicide risk referral protocol
  • The mental health training program will include: youth mental health, suicide prevention, substance abuse, sexual abuse prevention, sex trafficking prevention, and teenage dating violence
  • Model suicide risk referral protocol will be provided to school personnel in grades six through twelve
  • These programs (Mental health training and suicide risk referral) will be at no cost to employees
  • These required trainings can be delivered electronically, through videoconferencing, in-person, or through a self-study
  • Beginning August 1, 2025 and every 5 years after, the Superintendent of Public Instruction will review the minimum requirements of these programs
  • By September 15 of each year, every K-12 school will report to DPI about content and prior compliance, which will then be reported to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee and the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services
  • These statements apply to charter schools, regional schools, and laboratory schools

NC Elementary Students

H1071Funds to DPI for ADM Growth

An Act to Appropriate Funds to the Department of Public Instruction for Increased Average Daily Membership in Public Schools


06/04/2020 S Special Message Received From House

06/04/2020 S Passed 1st Reading

06/04/2020 S Referred To Senate Committee On Rules and Operations of the Senate

  • Directs the State Controller to transfer, by August 15, 2020, $75 million in nonrecurring funds from the Civil Penalty and Forefeiture Fund to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for 2020-21 to fund an increase in Average Daily Membership (ADM) for 2020-21.
  • Requires DPI, by August 15, 2020, to transfer for 2020-21, $3,923,230, in recurring funds from the cash balance in the School Bus Replacement Fund to fund an increase in ADM for 2020-21.
  • Requires that State Controller to transfer $22 million from the Coronavirus Relief Reserve to the Coronavirus Relief Fund (both established in SL 2020-4). Appropriates the transferred funds on a nonrecurring basis to the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) for 2020-21 to be allocated to DPI to fund an increase in ADM for low-wealth counties due to the impacts of COVID-19. Specifies that the requirements and limitations in Part I of SL 2020-4 apply to these funds and requires OSBM to include the funds in its required report.
  • Effective July 1, 2020.

Driver Education

H1189Driver Education COVID-19 Response

An Act to Provide Accommodations for Driver Education

Coursework Interrupted by School Closures in the Spring Semester of 2020 and to Require the Division of Motor Vehicles to Temporarily Waive the Road Test Requirement.


06/04/2020 S Special Message Received From House

06/04/2020 S Passed 1st Reading

06/04/2020 S Referred To Senate Committee On Rules and Operations of the Senate

  • Modifies the proposed accommodations for interrupted driver education coursework. Now, deems students enrolled in classroom driver education between January 2020 and March 16, 2020, in a public school or a licensed commercial driver training school to have completed all driver education classroom instruction requirements if the student completed at least 15 hours, rather than 20 hours, of classroom instruction before March 16, 2020.
  • Requires giving students who have not completed at least 15 hours of classroom instruction the opportunity to take and pass the proficiency exam developed by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), as provided in specified State Board of Education policy (previously not included), to waive the classroom instruction requirement.
  • Adds a new provision authorizing public schools to resume driver education programs consistent with DPI guidance.
  • Deletes the act's provisions in Section 2 about waiving the road test requirement for a regular driver’s license or limited provisional license and requiring the issuance of a temporary license. Instead, requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to waive the road test requirements for applicants for a limited provisional license if the applicant meets all other requirements for the license. Expires when DMV resumes administering regularly scheduled road tests but no later than 180 days from the act's effective date.
  • Appropriates $10,000 in nonrecurring funds for 2020-21 from the General Fund to the DMV to develop and maintain a list of individuals issued a limited provisional license following waiver of the road test. Effective July 1, 2020.

Education Bills with Movement This Week

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act: 

  • CARES Act will provide $1.4 billion in federal COVID-19 relief in the state budget.
  • The $2 trillion economic relief package provides assistance to workers, small businesses, families and state and local governments.

Governor Cooper’s proposal for the federal aid to North Carolina:

  • $740.4 million for education and state government services
  • •$375 million for small business and local government assistance
  • •$313 million to public health and safety

LINK: Recommendations to Address COVID-19’s Immediate Needs- Office of State Budget Management

DPI Financial and Business Services

State COVID Appropriations and Provisions

Federal CARES Act

Funding and Allocations - PRC154 COVID-19 Supplemental Funds - State


North Carolina State Board of Education
State of the Shire”—Community Affairs Update

SBE Region Map



The State Board of Education approved SPLN-006 on May 21 addressing the required Remote Instruction Plans for all public school units, due to NCDPI by July 20.

The Remote Instruction Plans will have 15 required elements and will follow a template and process for submission outlined by NCDPI. 

To support the development of PSU Remote Instruction Plans, please see the following resources:

June 9:  Webinar  2:00-3:30, event password: remote2020

Components:  Technology (4, 5, 7, 11, 13, 15)

Communication (1, 3, 8, 12),  Prof Dev. (2)

June 23:  Webinar  2:00-3:30, event password: remote2020

Components:  Instructional Planning (6, 7, 8, 9)

Diverse learners (10,14)

Limitations (15) 

               June 30, July 7, July 14:  Office Hours 2:00-3:00pm

                        June 30 Registration, event password: remote2020

                        July 7 Registration, event password: remote2020

                        July 14 Registration, event password: remote2020

NOTE:  Submissions directions and template have been sent to each Remote Instruction Plan Contact. 

  • For LEAS:  Superintendent designee
  • For Charters/Regional/Lab Schools:  Principals

NCDPI looks forward with working with you to develop a framework for quality remote instruction for the 2020-21 school year, in the event of COVID-19 disruptions.

Questions for NCDPI?  Contact Workgroup Leaders:

Vanessa Wrenn  Vanessa.wrenn@dpi.nc.gov

Sneha Shah-Coltrane  sneha.shahcoltrane@dpi.nc.gov  


DPI Logo

2020 Short Session link for bills impacting K-12 education - Week of June 5

Legislative Calendar



Monday, June 8, 2020

 2:00 PM House: Session Convenes                                                                  Video | House Audio

 2:00 PM Senate: Session Convenes                                                                 Senate Audio

 4:00 PM House: Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House                      1228/1327 LB 

               H1053: PED/Military OL & Audiology Interstate Compct.

               S719: Retirement Tech./Protect./& Other Changes.


Wednesday, June 10, 2020                                                                               Location TBD

11:00 AM Senate: Education/Higher Education

                S847: UNC Laboratory School Modifications.


Monday, June 22, 2020

10:00 AM North Carolina Child Well-Being Transformation Council                  1228/1327 LB


NC DPI Legislative Liaison: Karson Nelson

Karson Nelson

Karson started her first week as DPI's new Legislative Liaison this week, directly following the last year she spent at the Department as a Legislative Assistant under the previous liaison. Karson is originally from Madison, Mississippi, and she attended the University of Mississippi to study Public Policy Leadership and Education. Having always loved working with kids, Karson worked in communities around Mississippi to alleviate poverty through education. She taught ACT preparation classes, mentored high schoolers on getting to college, led afterschool tutoring programs, created curriculum for middle school leadership development, and co-founded and facilitated a summer learning program.


Karson saw that meaningful work could be done at the policy level, and translated her passion of working with children into her experiences working for the Mississippi Secretary of State and her former U.S. Senator. To further dive into the policy- and decision-making in education, Karson came to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to attend the UNC School of Government. While there, she served as the Chief of External Relations for graduate students and served on a student committee that advised the Chancellor. On May 9th, she graduated with a Master of Public Administration. In her year at the Department, she has enjoyed learning every single day from the teachers, parents, and students that our schools serve. Furthermore, Karson is encouraged by our state leaders' demonstrated commitment to our education system, and is particularly excited to work with the General Assembly in her new role to continue their long-term efforts in modernizing our schools and providing opportunities for all students. 

NC SBE Intern Perspective: Collyn Smith


My experience in this internship has been a whirlwind since I stepped. At the start, the General Assembly passed both SB704 and HB1043—both bills related to the COVID-19. I have seen incredible work in ensuring the people of North Carolina are being thought of and taken care of by their representatives. The General Assembly has been especially attentive to the specific needs of school staff and students alike in these unprecedented times. Through the collaborative work between the State Board of Education, the Department of Public Instruction, the General Assembly, and many others, innovative solutions for problems students are facing in these times were created, refined, and approved. For example, improving internet access for students is of critical need right now. In response, the General Assembly provided funding for school bus hotspots and  improving student access to connectivity, a success for schools all across North Carolina.


The work done in the General Assembly is neither a beginning nor an end—it is another step that is necessary in ensuring equitable education for all of North Carolina’s students. From my experience as a former K-12 student less than 2 years ago, I believe we are now moving into a time of being proactive instead of reactive. All of us in education are anticipating the challenges that we will have to face and thinking of how we can tackle those head on before they become issues. I also believe that we are becoming more forward thinking and long-term oriented because of the times we are in now. It is becoming more clear that what we do in education has far reaching impacts on students. Educators, administrators, legislators, and public servants alike are being afforded the once in a life time opportunity to see directly the impact that they all have on students. Students need them but they also need students.
Through this opportunity interning with the State Board of Education as a legislative policy intern, I hope to continue my deep dive into North Carolina’s education system in order to start my path to becoming an advocate for students. I know that I have so much to learn from the teachers, the staff, the legislators, and so many more players in the great state of North Carolina’s education system and to those lessons, I welcome with open arms.


Key COVID-19 Resources:

Drill down through these links for valuable information and tools


  • If you have questions or concerns, call the COVID-19 Helpline toll free at 1-866-462-3821. To submit questions online, go to ncpoisoncontrol.org and select “chat.”

North Carolina General Assembly 


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

Glossary of Legislative Terms- LINK


DPI = NC Department of Public Instruction

LEA = Local Education Agency

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 


  • Freebird McKinney –  Director of Legislative and Community Affairs  |  984-236-2248    
  • Anne Murtha  –  Legislative Specialist  |  984-236-2256
  • Collyn Smith – Legislative Policy Intern


To view previous Weekly Legislative Updates click here.

 The NC Department of Public instruction offers a number of topics for subscription.

  • To subscribe to the Weekly Legislative Update, click here.
  • To subscribe to other NC Department of Public Instruction topics, click here.