NCSBA Legislative Update – July 15, 2022

 

On his last day to take action on the 2022-2023 fiscal year State budget (Monday, July 11), Governor Roy Cooper signed the budget into S.L. 2022-74 and released this statement: “Today, I signed the State budget (HB 103) that includes critical investments in education, economic development, transportation and the state workforce…Negotiations are occurring now and we are closer than ever to agreement on Medicaid Expansion, therefore a veto of this budget would be counterproductive.”

The total General Fund allocation for the 2022-2023 fiscal year is $27.9 billion, which is said to be a 7.2% increase from the 2021-2022 fiscal year. For K-12 public education, the budget appropriates $11.3 billion, which is a 6.4% increase from the 2021-2022 fiscal year and 3.2% increase from the 2022-2023 fiscal year budget certified in the 2021 Appropriations Act.

The budget provides raises for all school staff, including teachers, noncertified personnel, and principals. Teachers in their earlier years will be getting higher percentage increases than veteran teachers, with the exception of teachers in their 25th year. The budget also includes appropriations for school safety grants, school capital, and broadband expansion. For more information on education provisions included in the budget, click here to access NCSBA’s summaries.

In the press release about signing the budget, it was announced that Governor Cooper’s COVID-19 State of Emergency will be lifted on August 15, 2022. “The budget includes the changes in the law requested by the NC Department of Health and Human Services to ensure flexibility that is currently made possible by the Governor’s COVID-19 State of Emergency.”

Additional State budget links:

  • Click herefor the education appropriations from the budget money report
  • Click herefor the full budget money report
  • Click herefor the budget bill (HB 103)
  • Click here for House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger’s joint statement on the governor’s approval of the budget

 

During the last week of session, the legislature sent dozens of bills to Governor Cooper for his signature. Since last Friday, July 8, he has signed 21 bills into law (including the State budget), vetoed four bills, and let one bill become law without his signature. The following are three education bills that were signed into law.

SB 671: Virtual Educ./Remote Acad./Virtual Charters (sponsored by Representative Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes) was signed into S.L. 2022-59 on Friday, June 8, and includes language that is identical to a provision included in the State budget, which was signed into law on Monday, July 11. SB 671 does the following:

  • Allows public school units (PSUs) to continue providing remote instruction for severe weather and other emergencies, using the same number of maximum days allowed during the 2021-2022 school year
  • For the 2022-2023 school year,
    • Allows PSUs assigned a separate school code by May 1, 2021, to continue providing virtual instruction
    • Allows PSUs that submitted a virtual instruction plan to DPI for the 2021-2022 school year to continue providing virtual instruction according to that plan
  • Beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, if a LEA provides virtual/remote instruction, it is required to be provided through a new type of remote academy
    • Each approved remote academy will receive a separate school code
    • Students can only be enrolled with parental consent
    • Lists requirements for these remote academies and remote academy plans
  • Extends the pilot program for the State’s two virtual charter schools from eight to 10 years, ending the pilot with the 2024-2025 school year
    • At the end of the pilot program, allows the two virtual charter schools to apply to the State Board of Education (SBE) for a charter renewal

Click here for an official bill summary.

HB 159: Education Law Changes was signed into S.L. 2022-71 on Friday, July 8. HB 159 makes various changes to education laws, including extending the principal licensure waiver from August 31, 2022, to August 31, 2024. This extension was a request of DPI based on a 2021 session law that provided the waiver for certain individuals in the process of becoming a licensed principal and exempted principals granted a license for any school year from 2010-2011 to 2020-2021 from certain statutory licensure requirements.

HB 159 also requires all PSUs to submit a school threat assessment survey to DPI’s Center for Safer Schools by November 15, 2022. The language in this section was also included in the State budget that was signed into law on Monday, July 11. Click here for an official bill summary.

HB 177: Extend Spiking Moratorium/LGERS Surety was signed into S.L. 2022-70 on Friday, July 8. HB 177 was requested by NCSBA and the State Treasurer’s Office. The bill extends the pension-spiking litigation pause and the report deadline established in a 2021 session law. It is our goal that the report will include recommendations from NCSBA, the State Treasurer’s Office, and other organizations that will reduce the number of pension spiking cases and lawsuits. The bill does not allow the Treasurer’s Office to intercept funds during the litigation pause that would have otherwise been directed to a LEA. Click here for an official bill summary.

For more information on the other bills that Governor Cooper took action on, click here and here to access press releases. The General Assembly is scheduled to return on July 26 for a couple of days. During this time, they could take votes on overriding some of the governor’s vetoes, or they may take no legislative action at all.

 

 

 

Bruce Mildwurf
Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association
bmildwurf@ncsba.org

Rebekah Howard
Governmental Relations Research Specialist
N.C. School Boards Association
rhoward@ncsba.org

Rebekah HowardNCSBA Legislative Update – July 15, 2022