GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SESSION LAW 2020-55
HOUSE BILL 1050
AN ACT to require CONSIDERATION OF EArly childhood learning in improvement plans for low‑performing local school administrative units and to require that comprehensive needs assessments for low‑performing local school administrative units include analysis of early childhood learning.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. G.S. 115C‑105.39A reads as rewritten:
"§ 115C‑105.39A. Identification of low‑performing local school administrative units.
(a) Identification of Low‑Performing Local School Administrative Units. – The State Board of Education shall identify low‑performing local school administrative units on an annual basis. A low‑performing local school administrative unit is a unit in which the majority of the schools in that unit that earned an overall school performance grade and school growth score as provided in G.S. 115C‑83.15 have been identified as low‑performing schools, as provided in G.S. 115C‑105.37.
(b) Plan for Improvement of Low‑Performing Local School Administrative Units. – Once a local school administrative unit has been identified as low‑performing under this section, the following actions shall be taken:
(1) The superintendent shall proceed under G.S. 115C‑105.39.
(2) Within 30 days of the identification of a local school administrative unit as low‑performing by the State Board, the superintendent shall submit to the local board of education a preliminary plan for improving both the school performance grade and school growth score of each low‑performing school in the unit, including how the superintendent and other central office administrators will work with each low‑performing school and monitor the low‑performing school's progress and how current local school administrative unit policy should be changed to improve student achievement throughout the local school administrative unit. The plan shall also include specific strategies to improve early childhood learning along with measurable goals.
(3) Within 30 days of its receipt of the preliminary plan, the local board shall vote to approve, modify, or reject this plan. Before the local board votes on the plan, it shall make the plan available to the public, including the personnel assigned to each low‑performing school and the parents and guardians of the students who are assigned to each low‑performing school, and shall allow for written comments.
(4) The local board shall submit a final plan to the State Board within five days of the local board's approval of the plan. The State Board shall review the plan expeditiously and, if appropriate, may offer recommendations to modify the plan. The local board shall consider any recommendations made by the State Board and, if necessary, amend the plan and vote on approval of any changes to the final plan.
(5) The local board of education shall provide access to the final plan on the local school administrative unit's Web site. The State Board of Education shall also provide access to each low‑performing local school administrative unit plan on the Department of Public Instruction's Web site.
SECTION 2. When providing intensive support for low‑performing local school administrative units through Regional Support Teams, the Department of Public Instruction shall ensure that the comprehensive needs assessment tool includes an examination of early childhood learning. The assessment shall examine, at a minimum, the following for preschool through third grade:
(1) Training levels of early childhood teachers and support staff.
(2) The ratio of students to teachers.
(3) Alignment of preschool curricula to curricula for kindergarten through third grade.
(4) Kindergarten transition supports, including collaboration with preschool educators.
(5) Kindergarten preparedness.
SECTION 3. This act is effective when it becomes law and applies beginning with plans of improvement and comprehensive needs assessments for local school administrative units identified as low‑performing based on data from the 2020‑2021 school year.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 23rd day of June, 2020.
s/ Philip E. Berger
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
s/ Tim Moore
Speaker of the House of Representatives
s/ Roy Cooper
Approved 12:20 p.m. this 30th day of June, 2020