AN ACT stating the intent of the general assembly to transition from funding textbooks to funding digital learning in the public schools, as recommended by the legislative research commission study Committee on DIGITAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.


Whereas, local school administrative units (LEAs) have used a number of approaches to provide or access digital learning devices; and

Whereas, these approaches include the diversion and restructuring of current funding, use of private grants, parental contributions, local funding, and "bring-your-own-device" policies; and

Whereas, educational materials in the form of digital textbooks and instructional resources have also become increasingly available and can benefit North Carolina students in elementary, middle, and high school grades by providing high-quality, up-to-date information that can be customized for individual students throughout their educational experience; and

Whereas, LEAs may currently use textbook funding for digital instructional materials and digital textbooks; and

Whereas, digital textbooks and instructional resources have proven to be tools that, when used effectively, can raise the level of academic performance of the State's students; and

Whereas, the use of online and blended courses can provide greater access to courses for students in subject areas that might otherwise be unavailable in many regions of the State; and

Whereas, online courses and blended instruction may also provide students with opportunities for credit recovery, earning college credit, and coursework in career and technical education; and

Whereas, LEAs should explore the competitive environment for innovative practices, including virtual learning, that blend technology, digital devices, online learning, and traditional resources in classroom instruction; and

Whereas, LEAs should implement available and appropriate high-quality virtual, digital, and instructional resources that align with the curriculum; Now, therefore,


The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:


SECTION 1.  It is the intent of the General Assembly to transition from funding for textbooks, both traditional and digital, to funding for digital materials, including textbooks and  instructional resources, to provide educational resources that remain current, aligned with curriculum, and effective for all learners by 2017.

SECTION 2.  This act is effective when it becomes law.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 11th day of March, 2013.



                                                    s/  Daniel J. Forest

                                                         President of the Senate



                                                    s/  Paul Stam

                                                         Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives



                                                    s/  Pat McCrory




Approved 2:44 p.m. this 15th day of March, 2013