What did the NC General Assembly do to [for?] charter schools in the last session?

The 2018 Summer Session—A record breaking short session!
Public Charter Schools 2018 Impact

Lindalyn Kakadelis: Senior Policy Consultant

Background: The General Assembly Short Session of 2018 was perhaps an historical record setting session, lasting only six weeks instead of the typical 12-16 weeks.  But a great number of items will impact charter schools. Below is a comprehensive summary of the numerous changes in law that impact public charter schools. Four weeks concentrated on public statewide legislation, while two weeks were dedicated to local legislation and the passage of six constitutional amendments that will appear on your November ballot.  SB99 was the designated budget bill and was passed in another record of one week.

While a record setting short session, 2018 has proved to be successful for public charter schools.  The work with interim study committees started in August, 2017 and continued thru April, 2018 in preparation of the session; so while the planning and committee work was months in preparation, the session was lightning fast.

In short, many of us worked “fast and furious” to get public charter school initiatives passed and, most importantly, to prevent adversarial agenda items from passing with language that would have negatively impacted our schools.

So here is an annotated listing that we with The Roger Bacon Academy team compiled of most of the changes that will impact the charter community.


S99 – Appropriations Act of 2018

Session Law – 2018-5

Page 23 – Section 7.13   Extend Pilot/Virtual Charter Schools

This extends the virtual charter pilot until 2022-23 – 4 more years.

Page 25 – Section 7.18  Permit Military children to Enroll Prior to Residency in NC

A student who is not living in NC shall be permitted to register to enroll in a charter school & participate in a lottery for admissions. Parent must be active duty and pending transfer to the state.

Page 27 – Section 7.19  Charter School Transportation Grant Pilot Program Report

No extra funds or change of eligibility – Report due Dec. 2018 with various data requested.  NO reoccurring funding. This pilot ends. May be taken up next year.

Page 32 – Section 7.24  Clarify Reporting Requirements for Read to Achieve Data

Charter school shall annually publish on website and written report to SBE By Sept the following year’s data:

  • Number & percentage of 3rd graders demonstrating and not demonstrating reading proficiency
  • Number & percentage of 3rd graders no demonstrating reading proficiency and do not return to the charter school the following school year
  • Number & percentage of 3rd graders who take & pass an alternative assessment – the name of each alternative assessment used and number of students who passed
  • Number & percentage of third grade students retained for not demonstrating reading proficiency
  • Number & percentage of 3rd grade students exempt from mandatory retention

Page 33 – Section 7.25  Schools that Lead Pilot Program

DPI will contract with Schools That Lead, Inc., to provide professional development to teachers and principals in up to 60 schools beginning with the 2018-19 school year. District & Charter schools may apply.  The Superintendent in consultation with Schools That Lead, Inc., will determine which schools are eligible to participate.

Page 33-34 – Section 7.26(a)  Statewide Anonymous Safety Tip Line Application

Charter Schools serving grades 6 & higher are required to: develop & operate an anonymous tipline – or use the one developed by the state – SPKUP NC Schools must inform students of the application and provide opportunities for students to learn about its purpose and function.

Page 35 – 37  – Section 7.27.(a)  School Safety Grants Program

All under the Superintendent – his department will direct Grant applications. Criteria & Guidelines by Aug 1, 2018

Section 7.27.(e) – Charter Schools Eligible  Grants for School Resource Officers  – $12M

Section 7.27.(f) – Charter Schools Eligible  Grants for Students in Crisis – $2M

– Services for parents – training for foster care families – peer to peer mentoring

Section 7.27.(g) – Charter Schools Eligible  Grants for Training to Increase School Safety – $3M

Training for school mental health support personnel

Section 7.27.(h) – Charter Schools NOT Eligible  Grants for Safety Equipment – $3M

Section 7.27(i) – Charter Schools Eligible  Grants for School Mental Health Support Personnel – $10M

Pages 44-48 – Section 8.10.(b) –  Revise Certain Teacher Bonus Programs

Charters are mentioned in (3) and (4) – bonus awarded can be paid in Jan from previous school year –

Page – 59 – Section 10A.1.(d) –  The reporting of students leaving charters to use an Opportunity Scholarship

NC State Education Assistance Authority responsible for reporting. No action needed by Charter Schools.

Page 64-70 – Section 10A.4.(b)  Principal Prep Program Changes

This has to do with the Transforming Principals Preparation Grant Program – Competitive grant program for eligible entities to elevate educators by transforming the preparation

Charter Schools are eligible:  High-need school – Title I

Persistently low-achieving school

Page 183   – Section 34.18(a)  Limitation on City requirements for street improvements

City may not condition the approval of any zoning, rezoning, or permit request on the waiver or reduction of any provision of this section.

Page 257-258 – Section 38.8  Allow Cities to use Revenues for Public Education

Before this bill, cities were not allowed to give money to district and charter schools.  Schools must request funding.

Page 259-260 – Section 38.10.(d)  Applications for property tax exemptions or exclusion; annual review of property exempted or excluded from property tax.

Charter School property owner must file only one initial application for the tax exemption.  Must file again only if additional property is acquired or improvements are added or removed, necessitating a change in the valuation of property.

The budget provides an additional $168M of educational funding  ($11.8M of that total dealing with teacher compensation). We do not know yet how this will affect ADM and charter funding.


H374 – Regulatory Reform Relief to the Citizens of NC

Session Law – 2018-114 

Page 16 – Section 25.(a)  Exempt Personal Property of Charter Schools From Property Tax

All real & personal property used by a charter school is now exempt.  See specifics in Session Law.

Reaction to Supreme Court Decisions:

Page 17 – Section 27.(a)  Repeal State Board of Education Policies inconsistent with state Law, as Affirmed by NC Supreme Court

Gives clarification to authority of Superintendent and repeals two SBE policies.

Page 17 – Section 27.(b)  State Board of Education Interim Rules

Requires SBE to send all policies to NC Rules Review Commission.  SBE has not been sending policies/rules to this commission – for years.  SBE now has until May 2019 to submit any policies that have not gone through this process to publish a notice of text in the NC Register and begin the rules process. Any policy that has not gone through the policy by May 2020 will become null & void.

This is very important to charter schools


S-335 – Technical Corrections Bill

Session Law 2018-97 

Page 3 – Section 2.1  “Section 7.28”  New Dimensions Charter School/Use of Funds

Congrats! School received $25,000 for operation expenses! Wish all charters got this extra funding!

Page 3 – Section 2.4(a)  Center for Safer Schools moved to be under DPI

No action for schools. 

Page 3 – Section 2.4(c)  School Crisis Kits

The language is “may”  – so school action is determined at school level.

Page 3 – Section 2.4(d)  Center For Safer Schools – Policy & Protocol

No action for schools.

Page 4 – Section 2.5 – added Section 7.7.(b1) of budget bill  No budget transfers from or reductions to the Office of Charter Schools

No action from charter schools. This refers to the Office of Charter Schools being protected by this statute.

Page 4 – Section 2.6 – added Section 8.7.(b) & (c) Has to do with SBE reporting RFP for adjusting agency’s budget

No action needed by schools.


H986 – Various Changes to Education Laws

Session Law 2018-32

Page 1 – Part I – Cursive Writing & Multiplication Report

Charters do not have to comply with statute – new various reporting requirements for LEAs

Page 1 – Part II – Enrollment in Advanced Mathematics Courses

Charters do not have to comply with statute

Page 2 – Part III  – Educator Preparation Program Report Cards

SBE must create a user-friendly report card for EPPs. No action for schools.

Page 2 – Part IV  – State Superintendent Testing Study

Superintendent will make recommendations to reduce testing – present to General Assembly Jan 15, 2019. – No action for schools.

Page 2 – Part V – DPI develop Health training program & Suicide Risk Referral Protocol

This repeals SBE Mental Heal policy SHLT-003, but requires the Superintendent to: (1) Develop content standards for a mental health training program that includes
all of the following topics:

a. Youth mental health.
b. Suicide prevention.
c. Substance use.
d. Sexual abuse prevention.
e. Sex trafficking prevention

No schools will be required to implement any mental health training or suicide prevention at this time.

Page 3 – Part VI – Renewal School System

The district with the highest percentage of “Restart Schools” can apply for all schools in district to become restart and therefore become a “renewal system.”


H670 – Protect Educational Property

Session Law – 2018-72 

Page 1 – Section 1

If someone communicates a threat to commit mass violence on educational property they will be guilty of a Class H Felony.

Section 3

See law for specifics of “conditional discharge for first offenders under the age of 20.”


H977 – Administrative Changes Retirement System/Treasurer

Session Law – 2018-72

Page 4 – Section 3.(a)

Board of Directors of a charter school may stop participation in the Retirement System. This outlines the process.

Page 8 – Section 11.(a)

Optional Participation for a charter school in the Retirement System is extended to two years after SBE approves the charter.

Page 8 – Section 11.(b)

Any current charter school not in the state retirement system may choose to participate within the next two years.


H514 – Permit Municipal Charter School/Certain Towns – Local Bill

Session Law – 2018 -3

A still requires the same authorization process through the Charter School Advisory Board & State Board of Education.   This allows 4 towns to open & operate charter schools.  Also, a provision in the new state budget allows any municipality to use property taxes to fund public schools, including charters.


The Roger Bacon Academy Team with Superintendent Johnson

The RBA team with Superintendent Johnson

Left to Right:  Lindalyn Kakadelis with NC Ed Strategies, Superintendent Johnson, RBA President Baker Mitchell, RBA Senior Policy Analyst Dr. Erik Root

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