NCSBA Legislative Update – February 10, 2023


This week, both the House and Senate took floor votes for the first time this session. The Senate passed SB 49: Parents’ Bill of Rights and the House passed HB 26: Education Omnibus. See more on those two bills below. According to a news source, House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, explained that the House and Senate will most likely continue addressing their own bills before dealing with bills from the other chamber.

Parents’ Bill of Rights

On Tuesday, SB 49: Parents’ Bill of Rights (primary sponsors: Senators Amy Galey, R-Alamance; Michael Lee, R-New Hanover; Lisa Barnes, R-Nash) passed the Senate on a 29-18 party-line vote. SB 49 was received by the House and has been referred to the House Rules Committee.

Democrats in each chamber filed a bill titled “Parents’ and Students’ Bill of Rights”. HB 58 (primary sponsors: Representatives Vernetta Alston, D-Durham; Allison Dahle, D-Wake; Rosa Gill, D-Wake; Terence Everitt, D-Wake) and SB 74 (primary sponsors: Senators Sydney Batch, D-Wake; Michael Garret, D-Guilford; Rachel Hunt, D-Mecklenburg) include rights regarding students’ safety, comfort, and health. NCSBA does not anticipate that either of these bills will have a committee hearing.

SB 49 creates additional rights for parents regarding their child’s education and lists numerous existing rights. Below are a few of the provisions included in the 11-page bill.

  • Establishes a process and timelines to address parental requests for information
  • Establishes a process and timelines for a parent to share concerns about a procedure or practice, as well as a process for resolving those concerns
  • Requires public school units (PSUs) to provide parents with a written annual parent’s guide for student achievement
  • Requires PSUs to develop policies to increase parental involvement in schools
  • Prohibits instruction on gender identity, sexual activity, or sexuality from being included in K-4 curriculum
  • Requires school staff to notify parents prior to any changes in a student’s name or pronouns or if a student seeks mental health services, with some exceptions, such as the belief that disclosure could result in child abuse or neglect

A few of the school requirements in SB 49 lack clarity and will create ambiguity and challenges with implementation. Also, there is no additional funding associated with the requirements of the bill. While bill sponsors say that SB 49 prioritizes parental involvement and increases transparency, critics claim the bill will cause harm to some students. Click here for an official bill summary. Click here for an article on SB 49’s passage in the Senate.

Bill to Elect SBE Members and Make State Superintendent SBE Chair

On Tuesday, the House Education K-12 Committee approved HB 17: Elect the SBE/SPI as SBE Chair (primary sponsors: Representatives Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; John Torbett, R-Gaston; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford; David Willis, R-Union) on a 16-9 vote. HB 17 is a constitutional amendment that requires 14 State Board of Education (SBE) members to be elected to four-year terms from districts established by the General Assembly. The bill also makes the State Superintendent the chair of the SBE.

The SBE currently has 11 members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the General Assembly for eight-year terms (eight members are from each of the State’s education regions and three members are at-large). Currently, the State Superintendent is elected to a four-year term and is the Secretary and Chief Administrative Officer of the SBE.

A 3/5 vote in each chamber is required for this constitutional amendment to be put on the ballot for consideration by North Carolina’s voters.

HB 17 is scheduled to be heard in the House Judiciary 3 Committee meeting on Tuesday, February 14, at 3:00 pm (click here for the livestream). Click here for an official bill summary. Click here for an article on HB 17’s approval by the House Education K-12 Committee.

Bill to Potentially Reform School Accountability Model

On Wednesday, the House approved HB 26: Education Omnibus (primary sponsors: Representatives John Torbett, R-Gaston; Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; Mike Clampitt, R-Swain) on a 75-42 vote. This bill requires the State Superintendent to study and evaluate school achievement scores and metrics and report back to the General Assembly by April 15, 2023. It also requires DPI to submit a report to the General Assembly by February 15, 2024, on suggested changes to the school accountability model. In addition to this section, HB 26 includes the following sections:

  • Revises the governance structure and admissions standards for the North Carolina Center for Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT)
    • Puts the State Superintendent in charge of the powers and duties of NCCAT
  • Requires DPI to enter into a contract with Gooru, Inc., for up to three years to evaluate and improve student learning and performance, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Clarifies language related to the purchase of data from the National Student Clearinghouse

HB 26 was received by the Senate and referred to the Senate Rules Committee. Click here for an official bill summary.

School Calendar Bills

So far during this legislative session, two statewide and three local school calendar bills (one of which was filed last week) have been filed. These bills give more control to the local boards of education to create a school calendar that better fits the needs of their students and community. These local school calendar bills would affect nine school districts. Below are summaries of each school calendar bill that was filed this week.

Statewide Bills

  • HB 62: An Act to do School Calendars Better (primary sponsor: Representative Terence Everitt, D-Wake)
    • Gives local school boards authority to determine school year start and end dates
  • HB 86: School Calendar Flex/Statewide (primary sponsors: Neal Jackson, R-Moore: Brian Biggs, R-Randolph; Sarah Stevens, R-Surry; Donnie Loftis, R-Gaston)
    • Allows LEAs to open as early as the Monday closest to August 10 and close no later than the Friday closest to June 11
    • Allows LEAs that implement a school calendar that ends the fall semester prior to December 31 to administer assessments prior to the conclusion of that semester

Local Bills

  • HB 51: School Calendar Flex/Multiple Counties (primary sponsors: Representatives Neal Jackson, R-Moore; Brian Biggs, R-Randolph; Sarah Stevens, R-Surry; Donnie Loftis, R-Gaston)
    • Provides local control over the school calendar for Moore County, Randolph County, Asheboro City, Gaston County, Surry County, Mount Airy City, and Elkin City schools
  • HB 70: School Calendar Flexibility/Halifax (primary sponsor: Representative Michael Wray, D-Northampton)
    • Allows Halifax County Schools to open as early as the Monday closest to August 10 and close no later than the Friday closest to June 11

House and Senate Joint Education Appropriations Committee Meeting

The House and Senate Education Appropriations Committees held a joint meeting on Thursday morning for the first time during the 2023 legislative session. The two appropriations committees are charged with developing the budget for public schools, community colleges, and the UNC System. During the meeting, the Fiscal Research Division (FRD) provided an overview of budgeting practices, process, and policies, followed by a presentation on public school funding. The public school funding presentation includes information about the following:

  • The funding structure
  • How the funding is generated, distributed, and utilized
  • Recent developments to help contextualize hot topics

The Committee is scheduled to reconvene next Tuesday, February 14, at 8:30 am (click here for the livestream) where FRD will discuss part two of the public schools funding presentation.

House Education K-12 Committee Meeting

In addition to approving HB 17: Elect the SBE/SPI as SBE Chair (see above), the Committee heard a presentation from State Superintendent Catherine Truitt about her Operation Polaris 2.0. The mission of Operation Polaris has remained the same – every student deserves a highly qualified, excellent teacher in every classroom – but the framework for reaching that goal has been updated. Superintendent Truitt provided an update on each of Operation Polaris’ priorities (see slides 2-11):

  1. Human capital
  2. Accountability and testing
  3. Literacy
  4. Competency-based education
  5. District and regional support
  6. Student support services
  7. Office of Learning Recovery and Acceleration

Superintendent Truitt also presented a different approach to how DPI supports low-performing schools (see slides 12-21), which she presented to the State Board of Education last week. The Superintendent’s plan includes reorganizing the current structure of district and regional support to provide more coordinated support from the federal, state, and regional levels.

Finally, Superintendent Truitt listed legislative and budget priorities of Operation Polaris 2.0 (see slides 22-23), which include:

  • Career development plans
  • School performance grade redesign
  • New teacher licensure/salary model
  • Elimination of the child nutrition co-pay
  • School safety/Center for Safer Schools grants


The following are additional education-related bills that were filed this week.

Statewide Bills

  • HB 60: SUDEP Awareness Week (primary sponsors: Representatives Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance; Keith Kidwell, R-Beaufort; Ken Fontenot, R-Wilson; Ben Moss, R-Richmond)
    • Encourages local school boards to develop and provide seizure awareness training for all teachers and school personnel who may be responsible for students with epilepsy or students that are predisposed to seizures
  • HB 67: Encourage Healthy NC Food in Schools (primary sponsors: Representatives Julia Howard, R-Davie; Mitchell Setzer, R-Catawba; Jimmy Dixon, R-Duplin)
    • Requires 100% muscadine grape juice to be available to K-12 students in public school units as a part of a school’s nutrition program or through the operation of the school’s vending facilities
  • SB 83: No TikTok on Government Devices (primary sponsors: Senators Timothy Moffit, R-Henderson; Jim Perry, R-Lenoir; Bobby Hanig, R-Currituck)
    • Prohibits the use of TikTok and WeChat on government-issued devices and during participation in any program or activity funded in whole or in part by State, federal, or local funds
      • Applies to any “employee of the State or of a local political subdivision of the State, or any person contracting with the State or with a local political subdivision of the State”
    • SB 87: State Emps./No Payroll Dues Deduction (primary sponsors: Senators Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell; Joyce Krawiec, R-Forsyth; Todd Johnson, R-Union)
      • Repeals statutory language that
    • SB 90: Searches of Student’s Person (primary sponsors: Senators Michael Lazzara, R-Onslow; Amy Galey, R-Alamance; Vicki Sawyer, R-Iredell)
      • Standardizes the procedures for searching students in public school units                                                         

Local Bills


As DPI continues its work on the State Portrait of a Graduate, K-12 educators are needed to help create a rubric for implementation. The Portrait identifies seven competencies that students need for success after high school (click here for the list). State Superintendent Catherine Truitt has said the Portrait is needed because employers are seeking durable skills (personal qualities and traits) almost four times more than the top five technical/hard skills.

One of the next steps of statewide implementation of the Portrait is creating a rubric that will measure how the seven competencies are guiding the work of schools. The deadline to apply for the rubric writing team is February 15. Click here to apply. Applicants will be notified of their selection on February 24, and the first meeting will be on March 7. Additionally, click here for the Portrait Playbook, which is meant to familiarize school districts with the seven competencies and allow educators to provide feedback.


In November 2022, the NCSBA Delegate Assembly approved NCSBA’s 2023-2024 Legislative Agenda, which is used to guide the Association’s advocacy efforts. To provide additional background information on each item in the Legislative Agenda, including NCSBA’s position, the Governmental Relations team published issue briefs, which are linked below. You can also access the issue briefs on NCSBA’s website.


The following is the Consortium of State School Boards Association’s (COSSBA) most recent federal education report.

February 6, 2023, Report

Headlines for this edition include:

  • US Department of Education Briefs LEAs on Maximizing Education Technology Investment
    • The Office of Educational Technology at the US Department of Education has issued a “Dear Colleague” letter for states, school districts, and other grantees on ways to maximize their investment in technology-based learning strategies. The letter provides an overview of the federal funds available to support digital learning.


On Monday, myFutureNC held a forum on “The State of Educational Attainment in North Carolina”. Speakers included Governor Roy Cooper, Senate leader Phil Berger, and House Speaker Tim Moore. The goal of myFutureNC is to ensure that by 2030, 2 million North Carolinians have a high-quality credential or a postsecondary degree to meet the need of a majority of new jobs in the State. As of 2022, 1.55 million North Carolinians have acquired a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree. Monday’s forum highlighted success stories and focused on what needs to be done to achieve this 2030 goal. Click here to watch the forum recording.


The following are recent news articles and reports on state and national education-related issues.

State News

National News


Tuesday, February 14

8:30 am – Joint Meeting of House and Senate Education Appropriations Committees – Legislative Offices Building, rm 423 (livestream)

10:00 am – House Local Government Committee – Legislative Building, rm 1228/1327 (livestream)

1:00 pm – House Education K-12 Committee – Legislative Offices Building, rm 643 (livestream)

3:00 pm – House Judiciary 3 Committee – Legislative Offices Building, rm 421 (livestream)



If your school board is planning to have a function with your legislative delegation, we would be happy for a member of the NCSBA Governmental Relations team to attend. Just let us know! Also, if your school board adopts its own legislative agenda, please forward it to




Bruce Mildwurf
Director of Governmental Relations
NC School Boards Association

Rebekah Howard
Advocacy Coordinator
NC School Boards Association

Madison Skeens
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association

Rob Black
Assistant Director of Governmental Relations
N.C. School Boards Association


Ramona PowersNCSBA Legislative Update – February 10, 2023