2020 Short Session Education Legislation

By Brian Gwyn

The General Assembly convened its short session on April 28, 2020, and adjourned sine die on Thursday, September 3. This means any additional legislative sessions for the year would require either the Governor to call the legislature back in session or three-fifths of the legislators in each chamber to request to come back for an extra session.

This blog post reflects legislation ratified before September 2, 2020, so it does not include information on S.L. 2020-97 (HB 1005). Click here for more information about the provisions of that bill.


S.L. 2020-3 (SB 704) (COVID-19 Recovery Act)

Addresses statutory issues that had to be temporarily modified due to COVID-19, such as the school calendar, standardized testing, and licensure issues.

S.L. 2020-4 (HB 1043) (2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act)

Appropriates funds for COVID-19 support including school nutrition services, a supplemental summer learning program, and electronic devices to support student learning.

S.L. 2020-7 (SB 476) (School-Based Mental Health)

Requires schools to adopt and implement a school-based mental health plan that includes a mental health training program and a suicide risk referral protocol.

S.L. 2020-13 (HB 1199) (Graduating Sr. Numeric Grade) (local bill only affecting Union County Public Schools)

Allows graduating seniors to choose whether to receive numeric grade or pass/withdraw for the spring 2020 semester.

S.L. 2020-27 (HB 1071) (Funds to DPI for ADM Growth)

Appropriates funds to DPI for increased average daily membership in public schools.

S.L. 2020-30 (HB 158) (COVID-19 New Driver Response)

Requires DMV to temporarily waive the road test for level two limited provisional licenses with later testing for level three provisional licenses and provides accommodations for driver education coursework interrupted by school closures in spring 2020.

S.L. 2020-31 (HB 1136) (Funds for NCSSM-Morganton Campus)

Appropriates funds to establish and operate the Morganton campus of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.

S.L. 2020-34 (SB 796) (Carteret Co. Bd. of Educ. Districts) (local bill)
Aligns the districts and election methods for the Carteret County Board of Education to be the same as those for the Carteret County Board of Commissioners.

S.L. 2020-45 (SB 818) (Compensation of Certain School Employees)

Sets salary schedules for teachers, principals, and assistant principals for the 2020-21 school year.

S.L. 2020-49 (SB 113) (Education Omnibus)

Addresses a variety of issues related to education, including modifying the 2020-21 school calendar requirements and school nutrition clarifications. Provides immunity for nonpublic schools for tuition/fees claims related to nonpublic schools for claims related to COVID-19 closures for 2019-2020.

S.L. 2020-55 (HB 1050) (PED/Low-Performing School Districts)

Requires improvement plans and comprehensive needs assessments for low-performing school districts to address early childhood learning.

S.L. 2020-64 (SB 816) (CC Funds/CIHS Funds/CR Funds and Offsets)

Appropriates funds for community colleges and cooperative innovative high schools. Also places a one-year moratorium on new cooperative innovative high schools.

S.L. 2020-78 (SB 681) (Agency Policy Directives/2019-2020)

Makes several changes, including creating an arts education graduation requirement, broadening charter school enrollment priorities as it relates to siblings and children of employees and codifying the advanced teaching roles grant program.

S.L. 2020-80, Sec. 4.2D (HB 1023) (Coronavirus Relief Fund/Additions and Revisions)

Establishes a pilot program for the 2020-2021 school year to promote access to innovative digital and personalized learning solutions for high school students that bridge the gap between chemistry and physical science classes and career and technical education (CTE) career pathways.

S.L. 2020-81, Sec. 10 (SB 212) (Capital Appropriations/R&R/DIT/Cybersecurity)

Codifies definition of a year-round school.

Higher Education

S.L. 2020-20 (HB 1151) (Asheville-Buncombe Bd. of Trustees)(local bill)

Clarifies the appointments made by the boards of education to the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Board of Trustees.

S.L. 2020-26 (HB 472) (NCSU/NC A&T Matching Funds/Umstead Act)

Appropriates funds to match federal funding for certain programs at NC State and NC A&T and permits NC A&T to sell dairy products at university-owned facilities to support the agricultural research program at the university.

S.L. 2020-33 (SB 806) (Capital Appropriation – Western Carolina Univ.)

Appropriates funds for certain capital improvements at Western Carolina University.

S.L. 2020-43 (SB 814) (NC Promise Tuition Plan Funds)

Appropriates funds for the NC Promise Tuition Plan.

S.L. 2020-54 (HB 463) (Education in Prisons)

Removes the restriction on use of funds appropriated for community college courses to allow prison inmates to earn Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of General Education degrees.

S.L. 2020-56 (HB 1096) (UNC Omnibus Changes/UNC Lab School Funds)

Makes various changes to the University of North Carolina System, including changes to the University of North Carolina laboratory schools. Also provides more funding for laboratory schools.

S.L. 2020-70 (SB 208) (COVID-19 Immunity/IHEs)

Provides immunity for institutions of higher education for certain claims related to COVID-19 closures for spring 2020.