NCSBA Legislative Update – February 3, 2023


Legislators have wasted no time getting to work since returning to Raleigh on January 25. More than 100 bills have already been filed in the first eight working days of this “long” legislative session. Many of those bills directly or indirectly impact K-12 education. Most notably, Chairs of the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee filed Senate Bill 49, also known as the “Parents’ Bill of Rights.”

Parents’ Bill of Rights

SB 49: Parents’ Bill of Rights (primary sponsors: Senators Amy Galey, R-Alamance; Michael Lee, R-New Hanover; Lisa Barnes, R-Nash) was filed late in the afternoon on Tuesday and, less than 20 hours later on Wednesday morning, it was introduced in a press conference and presented in the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee meeting. The bill creates additional rights for parents regarding their child’s education and lists numerous existing rights.

SB 49 was approved by the Education Committee and, on Thursday, was approved by the Senate Health Care Committee. SB 49 was fast tracked to the Senate Rules Committee, which will meet at 5:30 pm on Monday, February 6. Following approval by the Senate Rules Committee, SB 49 will be sent to the Senate floor for a vote. 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

SB 49 includes “rights” and school requirements that lack clarity, which will undoubtedly cause subjective interpretation and challenges with implementation. There is also 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 article on the press conference and the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee meeting, which includes quotes from bill sponsors and critics. Click here for an official bill summary.

According to news outlets, a similar or identical “Parents’ Bill of Rights” is expected to be filed in the House in the coming weeks. SB 49 is similar to a bill introduced during the 2022 session that was approved by the Senate on a party-line vote but was never heard in the House.

House Education K-12 Committee Meeting

The Committee met on Tuesday and approved HB 26: Education Omnibus (primary sponsors: Representatives John Torbett, R-Gaston; Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; Mike Clampitt, R-Swain), which includes the following provisions:

  • Requires the State Superintendent to study and evaluate school achievement scores and metrics and report back to the General Assembly by April 15, 2023
    • Requires DPI to submit a report to the General Assembly by February 15, 2024, on suggested changes to the school accountability model
    • (See more about the work being done to redesign the school accountability model under the State Board of Education Meeting section)
  • 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 has been referred to the House Rules Committee, but a committee hearing has not been scheduled. Click here for an official bill summary.

Additionally, during the meeting, Jamey Falkenbury, Director of Government Affairs for the Office of the State Superintendent, presented a computer science legislative brief, which included the following recommendations:

  • Require computer science to count as a “science credit”
    • HB 8 includes this requirement, as well as a provision that requires students to complete a computer science course to graduate
  • Require middle schools to offer exploratory computer science courses
  • Continue to fund stipends and professional development for computer science

Click here for an article on the Committee meeting.

Bill to Require Acceptance of Cash for Admission to High School Athletic Events

HB 38: Entry Fees for High School Interscholastic Events (primary sponsors: Representatives Reece Pyrtle, R-Rockingham; Jason Saine, R-Lincoln; Ben Moss, R-Richmond; Charles Miller, R-Brunswick) was filed on Tuesday and requires cash to be an accepted form of payment when there is a fee to attend a high school interscholastic athletic event. The bill also requires the acceptance of a senior citizen’s “Tar Heel Card”, which is issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, for free admission to high school interscholastic athletic events.

If this cash admission requirement would cause a potential burden on your school district, please email Rebekah Howard at with more information.


The State Board of Education (SBE) met this week on February 1 and 2 for its monthly meeting. Board members were presented with the following:

2021-22 State of the Teaching Profession report: Board members were presented with teacher attrition data, which showed a slight decrease in teachers who left the profession from 8.2% in 2020-21 to 7.8% in 2021-22. Attrition remains high for teachers with 0-2 years of experience at 13.1%, which is almost double the 6.9% attrition rate for teachers with 3+ years of experience. Dr. Tom Tomberlin, DPI’s Senior Director of Educator Preparation, Licensure, and Performance, noted this beginning teacher attrition rate is problematic for the future of the teacher pipeline. State Superintendent Catherine Truitt stated that the beginning teacher attrition rate has been in double digits for many years, and the new teacher licensure/salary model aims to provide the necessary support for beginning teachers.

Teacher vacancy rates were also presented, which show a drastic increase in teacher vacancies from the 2020-21 school year to the 2021-22 school year. Dr. Tomberlin explained that this increase could be attributed to the methodology prescribed in law, which does not count retired teachers, long-term substitutes, interim teachers, and teachers with a permit to teach or provisional license as a permanent placement. Dr. Tomberlin stated, “I think it’s very unfortunate that this may be construed as there’s this massive increase in the number of vacancies across the state. What has changed is we’ve enforced the methodology that’s prescribed in law.”

  • Click here for the presentation
  • Click here for the draft report
  • Click here for DPI’s press release on the report
  • Click here and here for articles on the presentation

2021-22 Educator Preparation Program (EPP) performance report: Following the presentation on the state of the teaching profession, Board members were presented with EPP performance data that showed a 42% drop in new enrollments between 2021 and 2022, falling back to 2017 levels. This decrease in new enrollment was common among all license groups, including elementary, secondary, Exceptional Children, and Career and Technical Education. Dr. Andrew Sioberg, DPI’s Director of Educator Preparation, said this decline in enrollment will have a moderate impact on employment in the 2023-24 school year, with higher enrollment rates during COVID years mitigating some of that impact. Greater impact will occur in the 2024-25 and 2025-26 school years. Board members expressed concern about this huge drop in enrollment and highlighted the need to improve the teaching profession to recruit and retain high-quality educators. Click here and here for articles on the presentation.

School performance grade redesign update: Board members were provided with an update on the work of DPI’s Testing and Accountability Working Group to redesign the State’s school accountability model. An initially long list of potential indicators to measure school performance have been reduced to four academic indicators and four school quality indicators.

Work will continue to be done to ensure indicators have “valid and reliable measurements.” The Working Group is also considering how to weigh proficiency versus growth, which is currently 80% student achievement and 20% school growth. Click here for an article on the Working Group’s January 31 meeting, which includes a definition of each indicator.

State Superintendent’s district and regional support plan: Superintendent Truitt presented the Board with a “different approach to how NC DPI supports all schools with an equity lens on low performing schools.” 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. The presentation listed 2023 budget requests to carry out this plan, including:

  • $10 million for professional development that can be targeted to specific needs of schools and districts through the North Carolina Center for Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT)
  • $2 million for 17 principal coaches to serve 51 low-performing-designated schools that are not currently being served
  • $4.5 million unobligated federal COVID relief funds for immediate hiring of principal coaching and teacher professional development.

Click here to access all meeting materials.


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 the North Carolina School Boards Action Center website.


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

Statewide Bills

  • HB 28: Managing Environmental Waste Act of 2023 (primary sponsor: Representative Harry Warren, R-Rowan)
    • Requires LEAs to annually report on the amounts and types of supplies with recycled content purchased and amounts and types of materials collected for recycling
  • HB 46: Eliminate Tax on Government Retirees (primary sponsors: Representatives George Cleveland, R-Onslow; Frank Iler, R-Brunswick; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford; Donna White, R-Johnston)
    • Allows a taxpayer to deduct from their adjusted gross income the income received from a North Carolina State or local retirement plan or a federal government retirement plan
  • HB 47: School Protection Act (primary sponsors: Representatives Jake Johnson, R-Polk; Neal Jackson, R-Moore; Brian Biggs, R-Randolph; Bill Ward, R-Pasquotank)
    • Allows security guards to carry firearms on nonpublic educational property
  • HB 49: Protect Religious Meeting Places (primary sponsors: Representatives Jeffrey McNeely, R-Iredell; Carson Smith, R-Pender; Allen Chesser, R-Nash; Neal Jackson, R-Moore)
    • Identical to SB 41
    • Allows guns on property that is both a school and place of religious worship during certain hours
      • This does not include property owned by a local board of education or county commission
    • SB 41: Protect Religious Meeting Places (primary sponsors Senators Danny Britt, R- Robeson; Warren Daniel, R-Burke; Jim Perry, R-Lenoir)
      • Identical to HB 49
      • Allows guns on property that is both a school and place of religious worship during certain hours
        • This does not include property owned by a local board of education or county commission
      • SB 52: Open Meetings/Administering Organizations (primary sponsors: Senators Vickie Sawyer, R-Iredell; Todd Johnson, R-Union; Tom McInnis, R-Moore)
        • States that an administering organization of high school interscholastic athletics is subject to the provisions of the open meetings law
      • SB 62: Schools for the Deaf and Blind (primary sponsors: Senators Buck Newton, R-Wilson; Warren Daniel, R-Burke)
        • Identical to HB 11
        • Upon request, for a student who has applied to a school for the deaf or blind, requires the local superintendent to share current evaluation data and the current or proposed individualized education plan for any child enrolled in that superintendent’s public school unit
        • Establishes Boards of Trustees to govern the State’s schools for the deaf or blind, taking away the State Board of Education’s authority as the sole governing agency and DPI’s administrative responsibilities and oversight of these schools                                         

Local Bills


The Union County Board of Education voted to rescind its decision to make August 9 the start date for the 2023-24 school year, news outlets reported. This follows the filing of a lawsuit on January 9 by two Union County parents alleging the Board adopted a school calendar in violation of State law. Click here for an article on the issue.


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

January 30, 2023, Report


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

State News

National News


Monday, February 6

5:30 pm – Senate Rules Committee – Legislative Building, rm 1027/1128 (livestream)

Tuesday, February 7

1:00 pm – House Education K-12 Committee – Legislative Offices Building, rm 643 (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 3, 2023