Legislative Blog Detail

March 25

Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013

HB 117: Unoccupied School Buses

Would enumerate in law that unoccupied school buses and activity buses (i.e., no children on board) shall not be driven over the posted speed limit on highways or public vehicular areas. Also, enumerates that the bus driver does not have to use hazard lights when traveling on the interstate. Effective when it becomes law. Referred to Transportation Committee.

HB 144: Homeschool Education Income Tax Credit

Would give a $2,500 tax credit to parents of homeschooled children for each child they homeschool. Children must be homeschooled for at least 70 school days and if the child spends one day in public school, the parents are not eligible for the credit that year. Effective for the 2013 tax year starting with semesters that begin after July 1, 2013. Referred to Education Committee.

HB 146: Back to Basics

Requires the State Board of Education to require instruction in cursive handwriting so that students are able to write cursively and legibly by the end of the fifth grade. Also requires mandatory memorization of multiplication tables as part of the standard course of study. Referred to Education Committee.

HB 45: Internet Access for Public Schools

Appropriates $100,000 to DPI to study what areas of the state have good internet access and connections and which areas do not. State Board must report back its findings to Joint Legislative Committee on IT by 12/1/13. Referred to the Appropriations Committee.

HB 57: Child Nutrition Program Solvency and Support

Prohibits LEAs from assessing indirect costs to a child nutrition program unless the program is financially solvent. Appropriates $80,000 to promote optimal pricing for child nutrition-program foods and supplies. Referred to Education Committee.

HB 235: Parent's Consent Required to Quit School

Would effectively raise the age at which students may drop out to 18 years old, with the caveat that students between the ages of 16 and 18 may drop out with parental consent. Referred to the Education Committee.

SB 14: High School Endorsements

Mandates one of three endorsements on high school diplomas starting with the 2014-15 school year: "college-ready," "career-ready," and "college and career ready.” Endorsements must reflect courses completed, overall GPA and other criteria that the State Board develops. Signed into law by the governor.

SB 27: Public School Protection Firearm Amendments

Allows local school boards and charter school boards of directors to designate certain individuals as school safety marshals. These individuals would have to go through firearms training and emergency/crisis management training by the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. Can be a school volunteer, school employee or contracted person. Effective August 1, 2013. Referred to the Committee on Rules and Operations.

SB 59: Armed Security Guards in All K-12 Schools

Encourages local boards to provide armed security guards at all K-12 schools so long as those guards meet selection and training requirements for state law enforcement officers by the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. Security guard may be a SRO, volunteer, school employee or other qualified person. Effective Dec. 1, 2013. Referred to the Committee on Rules and Operations.

SB 68: Arts Education Requirement

Would change NC high school graduation requirements to include at least one credit in arts education. Referred to the Education Committee.

SB 236: County Takeover of School Property

At the resolution of each individual board of county commissioners, counties would be able to take over construction, improvement, ownership, and acquisition of public school property, while leaving repair and maintenance to schools. Referred to Education Committee.

HB 258: School Calendar Flexibility

Would expand school start and end date flexibility, establishing that school may not start before Aug. 15 of every year and that first-semester examinations must be taken before winter break. Referred to Committee on Commerce.

SB 337: NC Public Charter Schools Board

Creates an 11-member Charter Schools Board housed under the State Board of Education but with independent powers to govern charter schools across the state. Eliminates charter applicants applying to local school boards and community college boards by channeling all applications to Charter Schools Board. Charter Schools would apply only to the Charter Board, which would have final approval. Charter Board would include three members appointed by governor and three by president pro tem. of the North Carolina Senate and three by the speaker. Remaining two members would be the state treasurer and lieutenant governor. State superintendent serves as secretary and a non-voting member. Encourages the Charter Schools Board to give preference to applicants showing they can best meet needs of at-risk students. Inserts a $1 requirement for local boards to lease any available building to a charter startup approved in the district, unless LEA shows that the lease is not economically or practically feasible, or that there is no space available. Eliminates all teacher licensing requirements for teachers employed by charter schools (i.e., no more 50 percent requirement for high school or 75 percent for elementary/middle school). Effectively eliminates the requirement of having to have a student population that reflects the surrounding community population. If charter is dissolved or non-renewed, net assets would go to the state’s general fund, not the LEA in which the charter sits. Filed.

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