Yesterday Governor Cooper signed the budget, HB 103–2022 Appropriations Act. He made the following statement about HB 103, now Session Law 2022-74:
“Today, I signed the state budget (HB 103) that includes critical investments in education, economic development, transportation and the state workforce. This budget does not include Medicaid Expansion, but the leadership in both the House and Senate now support it and both chambers have passed it. Negotiations are occurring now and we are closer than ever to agreement on Medicaid Expansion, therefore a veto of this budget would be counterproductive.”
Highlights on education spending with impacts for charters
- Teacher pay raises (Section 7A.1, pp. 43-48): Includes a 4.2% average increase in teachers’ salaries for FY 22-23.
- School lunches (Section 7.4, p. 29): Appropriates $3.9 million for student co-pays to cover reduced price school lunches.
- School Business System Modernization (Section 7.1, p. 28): Requires LEAs and charter schools to store school business data off-site by June 30, 2023. DPI will establish a grant program to help with the transition to an internet-based school business system.
- Interoperable and Interconnected Student Data Systems Study (Section 7.11, pp. 39-40): Applies to public school units (PSUs) as well as community colleges and universities.
- Feminine Hygiene Products Grant Program (Section 7.10, p. 39): Codifies and extends this program, which applies to PSUs. Grants are provided on a first come, first served basis, and are capped at $5,000.
- Standards of student conduct (Section 7.7, pp. 30-37): Amends standards that were previously adopted, requiring them to apply to PSUs.
- School Resource Officer Grant Match in Low-Wealth Counties (Section 7.2, p. 28): Increases the grant match and includes all PSUs.
- School Threat Assessment Survey (Section 7.9, pp. 38-39): Requires completion of the survey from all PSUs. Schools must report data to the Center for Safer Schools.
- Virtual education, remote academies, and virtual charter school education (Section 7.13, pp. 40-43): Incorporates the House Proposed Committee Substitute for SB 671. The Governor signed SB 671 into law last week as well.
The budget also appropriates $32 million for School Safety Grants (for students in crisis, school safety training, and more). And it funds two additional positions within the Office of Charter Schools.
Read more about the budget from WRAL here.
Charter school enrollment priority
On Friday, the Governor also signed HB 159–Education Law Changes/SL 2022-71, which extends charter school enrollment priority to the grandchildren or employees of board members (Section 2.3). The Coalition worked hard to get this provision passed and we are pleased to see it become law.