GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2017

H 1

HOUSE BILL 450

 

 

Short Title: Future Ready Student Act of 2017.

(Public)

Sponsors:

Representatives Horn, Johnson, Dixon, and Williams (Primary Sponsors).

For a complete list of sponsors, refer to the North Carolina General Assembly web site.

Referred to:

Education - K-12, if favorable, Education - Community Colleges

March 23, 2017

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT to make various changes to the general statutes providing for career and technical education.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. G.S. 115C‑47 reads as rewritten:

" 115C‑47. Powers and duties generally.

In addition to the powers and duties designated in G.S. 115C‑36, local boards of education shall have the power or duty:

(30) To Appoint Advisory Councils. Local boards of education are authorized to appoint advisory councils as provided in G.S. 115C‑55.G.S. 115C‑55 and Article 10 of this Chapter.

(34a) To Establish Work‑Based Opportunities and Encourage High School to Work Partnerships. Each local board of education shall offer at least two work‑based learning opportunities that are related to career and technical education instruction in the local school administrative unit as required by G.S. 115C‑157. Local boards of education shall also encourage high schools and local businesses to partner, specifically to target students who may not seek higher education, and facilitate high school to work partnerships. Local businesses shall be encouraged to work with local high schools to create opportunities for students to complete a job shadow, internship, or apprenticeship. Students may also be encouraged to tour the local business or clinic, meet with employees, and participate in career and technical student organizations. Waiver forms may shall be developed in collaboration with participating businesses for the protection of both the students and the businesses.

Each local board of education shall encourage high schools to designate the Career Development Coordinator or other designee of the local Career and Technical Education administrator to be the point person for local businesses to contact. If the person selected is a teacher, the teacher shall work with the principal and the local Career and Technical Education administrator to find time in the school day to contact businesses and develop opportunities for students. The high school shall include a variety of trades and skilled labor positions for students to interact with and shadow and shall encourage students who may be interested in a job‑shadowing opportunity to pursue and set up the job shadow.

Each local board of education shall develop a policy with provisions for students who are absent from school while doing a job shadow to make up the work. Students shall not be counted as absent when participating in these work‑based learning opportunities or in Career and Technical Education student organization activities. Local boards may determine maximum numbers of days to be used for job‑shadowing activities.

."

SECTION 2. G.S. 115C‑55 reads as rewritten:

" 115C‑55. Advisory councils.

A board of education may appoint an advisory council for any school or schools within the local school administrative unit. The purpose and function of an advisory council shall be to serve in an advisory capacity to the board on matters affecting the school or schools for which it is appointed. The Except as otherwise provided under Part 4 of Article 10 of this Chapter for business advisory councils, the organization, terms, composition and regulations for the operation of such advisory council shall be determined by the board."

SECTION 3. G.S. 115C‑81(a1) reads as rewritten:

"(a1) The Basic Education Program shall describe the education program to be offered to every child in the public schools. It shall provide every student in the State equal access to a Basic Education Program. Instruction shall be offered in the areas of arts, communication skills, physical education and personal health and safety, mathematics, media and computer skills, science, second languages, social studies, and vocational career and technical education.

Instruction in vocational career and technical education under the Basic Education Program shall be based on factors including:

(1) The integration of academic and vocational career and technical education;education.

(2) A sequential course of study leading to both academic and occupational competencies;competencies.

(3) Increased student work skill attainment and job placement;placement.

(4) Increased linkages, where geographically feasible, between public schools and community colleges, so the public schools can emphasize academic preparation and the community colleges can emphasize specific job training; andtraining.

(5) Instruction and experience, to the extent practicable, in all aspects of the industry the students are prepared to enter."

SECTION 4. G.S. 115C‑81.1 reads as rewritten:

" 115C‑81.1. Basic Education Program Funds not to supplant Local funds for schools.

It is the intent of the General Assembly that budget funds appropriated by the General Assembly for vocational career and technical education programs and clerical personnel to implement the Basic Education Program be used to supplement and not supplant existing State and local funding for the public schools. Therefore, to the extent that local school administrative units receive additional State funds for vocational career and technical education programs and clerical personnel positions that were previously funded in whole or in part with nonstate funds, the local governments shall continue to spend for public school operating or capital purposes in the local school administrative units the amount of money they would have spent to provide the vocational career and technical education programs and the school clerical personnel previously funded with nonstate funds.

Priority shall be given to funding capital needs, particularly those resulting from implementation of the Basic Education Program."

SECTION 5. Article 10 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes reads as rewritten:

"Article 10.

"Vocational Career and Technical Education.

"Part 1. Vocational Career and Technical Education Programs.

" 115C‑151. Statement of purpose.

It is the intent of the General Assembly that vocational career and technical education be an integral part of the educational process. The State Board of Education shall administer through local boards of education a comprehensive program of vocational career and technical education that shall be available to all students, with priority given to students in grades eight through 12, who desire it in the public secondary schools and middle schools of this State. The purposes of vocational career and technical education in North Carolina public secondary schools shall be:be as follows:

(1) Occupational Skill Development. To prepare individuals for paid or unpaid employment in recognized occupations, new occupations, and emerging occupations.

(2) Preparation for Advanced Education. To prepare individuals for participation in advanced or highly skilled vocational career and technical education.

(3) Career Development; Introductory. To assist individuals in the making of informed and meaningful occupational choices.

It is also legislative intent to authorize the State Board of Education to support appropriate vocational career and technical education instruction and related services for individuals who have special vocational career and technical education needs which can be fulfilled through a comprehensive vocational career and technical education program as designated by State Board of Education policy or federal vocational career and technical education legislation.

" 115C‑152. Definitions.

The State Board of Education shall provide appropriate definitions to vocational career and technical education programs, services, and activities in grades 6‑12 five through 12 not otherwise included in this Part. As used in this Part, the following definitions apply, unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) "Career development; introductory" introductory; or career awareness program" means an instructional program, service, or activity designed to familiarize individuals with the broad range of occupations for which special skills are required and the requisites for careers in such occupations. A career awareness program offered to elementary school students shall encourage students to explore career pathways and prepare students for the transition to middle school career planning.

(2) "Comprehensive vocational career and technical education" means instructional programs, services, or activities directly related to preparation for and placement in employment, for advanced technical preparation, or for the making of informed and meaningful educational and occupational choices.

(3) "Occupational skill development" means a program, service, or activity designed to prepare individuals for paid or unpaid employment as semiskilled or skilled workers, technicians, or professional‑support personnel in recognized occupations and in new and emerging occupations including occupations or a trade, technical, business, health, office, homemaking, homemaking‑related, agricultural, marketing, and other nature. Instruction is designed to fit individuals for initial employment in a specific occupation or a cluster of closely related occupations in an occupational field. This instruction includes education in technology, manipulative skills, theory, auxiliary information, application of academic skills, and other associated knowledges.abilities.

(4) "Preparation for advanced education" means a program, service, or activity designed to prepare individuals for participation in advanced or highly skilled post‑secondary and technical education programs leading to employment in specific occupations or a cluster of closely related occupations and for participation in vocational career and technical education teacher education programs.

" 115C‑153. Administration of vocational career and technical education.

The State Board of Education shall be the sole State agency for the State administration of vocational career and technical education at all levels, shall be designated as the State Board of Vocational Career and Technical Education, and shall have all necessary authority to cooperate with any and all federal agencies in the administration of national acts assisting vocational career and technical education, to administer any legislation pursuant thereto enacted by the General Assembly of North Carolina, and to cooperate with local boards of education in providing vocational career and technical education programs, services, and activities for youth and adults residing in the areas under their jurisdiction.

" 115C‑154. Duties of the State Board of Education.

In carrying out its duties, the State Board of Education shall develop and implement any policies, rules, regulations, and procedures as necessary to ensure vocational career and technical education programs of high quality. The State Board of Education shall prepare a Master Plan for Vocational Career and Technical Education. The plan, to be updated periodically, shall ensure minimally that:that, at a minimum, the following activities are accomplished:

(1) Articulation shall occur with institutions, agencies, councils, and other organizations having responsibilities for work force preparedness.

(2) Business, industrial, agricultural, and lay representatives, including parents of students enrolled in Vocational and Technical Education courses, representatives organized as business advisory committees councils under Part 4 of this Article have been utilized in the development of decisions affecting vocational career and technical education programs and services.

(3) Public hearings are conducted annually to afford the public an opportunity to express their views concerning the State Board's plan and to suggest changes in the plan.

(4) The plan describes the State's policy for vocational career and technical education and the system utilized for the delivery of vocational career and technical education programs, services, and activities. The policy shall include priorities of curriculum, integration of vocational career and academic education, technical preparation, and youth apprenticeships.

(5) A professionally and occupationally qualified staff is employed and organized in a manner to assure efficient and effective State leadership for vocational career and technical education. Provisions shall be made for such functions as: planning, administration, supervision, personnel development, curriculum development, vocational career and technical education student organization and coordination research and evaluation, and such others as the State Board may direct.

(6) An appropriate supply of qualified personnel is trained for program expansion and replacements through cooperative arrangements with institutions of higher education and other institutions or agencies, including where necessary financial support of programs and curriculums designed for the preparation of vocational career and technical education administrators, supervisors, coordinators, instructors, and support personnel.

(7) Minimum standards shall be prescribed for personnel employed at the State and local levels.

(8) Local boards of education submit to the State Board of Education a local plan for career and technical education that has been prepared in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Master Plan for Vocational Career and Technical Education.

(9) Appropriate minimum standards for vocational career and technical education programs, services, and activities shall be established, promulgated, supervised, monitored, and maintained. These standards shall specify characteristics such as program objectives, competencies, course sequence, program duration, class size, supervised on‑the‑job experiences, vocational career and technical education student organization, school‑to‑work transition programs, qualifications of instructors, and all other standards necessary to ensure that all programs conducted by local school administrative units shall be of high quality, relevant to student needs, and coordinated with employment opportunities.

(10) A system of continuing qualitative and quantitative evaluation of all vocational career and technical education programs, services, and activities supported under the provisions of this Part shall be established, maintained, and utilized periodically. One component of the system shall be follow‑up studies of employees and former students of vocational career and technical education programs who have been out of school for one year, and for five years to ascertain the effectiveness of instruction, services, and activities.

" 115C‑154.1. Approval of local vocational career and technical education plans or applications.

The State Board of Education shall not approve any local vocational board of education career and technical education plans or applications unless:unless the plan or application meets all of the following conditions:

(1) The programs are in accordance with the purposes of G.S. 115C‑151;G.S. 115C‑151.

(2) The vocational career and technical education programs and courses are not duplicated within a local school administrative unit, unless the unit has data to justify the duplication or the unit has a plan to redirect the duplicative programs within three years;years.

(3) For all current job skill programs, there is a documented need, based on labor market data or follow‑up data, or there is a plan to redirect the program within two years;years.

(4) New vocational career and technical education programs show documented need based on student demand, or for new job skill programs, based on student and labor market demand; anddemand.

(5) All programs are responsive to technological advances, changing characteristics of the work force, and the academic, technical, and attitudinal development of students.

(6) The local board of education establishes a business advisory council in accordance with Part 4 of this Article. The local board of education shall submit information regarding ongoing consultation with the advisory council as part of the career and technical education local planning system maintained by the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction.

Local programs using the cooperative vocational career and technical education method shall be approved subject to students enrolled being placed in employment commensurate with the respective program criteria.

" 115C‑154.2. Vocational Career and technical education equipment standards.

The State Board of Education shall develop equipment standards for each vocational career and technical education program level and shall assist local school administrative units in determining the adequacy of equipment for each vocational career and technical education program available in each local school administrative unit.

The State Board shall also develop a plan to assure that minimum equipment standards for each program are met to the extent that State, local, and federal funds are available for that purpose. The State Board shall consider all reasonable and prudent means to meet these minimum equipment standards and to ensure a balanced vocational career and technical education program for students in the public schools.

" 115C‑155. Acceptance of benefits of federal vocational career and technical education acts.

The State of North Carolina, through the State Board of Education, may accept all the provisions and benefits of acts passed by the Congress of the United States providing federal funds for vocational career and technical education programs: Provided, however, that the State Board of Education shall not accept those funds upon any condition that the public schools of this State shall be operated contrary to any provision of the Constitution or statutes of this State.

" 115C‑156. State funds for vocational career and technical education.

It is the intent of the General Assembly of North Carolina to appropriate funds for each fiscal year to support the purposes of vocational career and technical education as set forth in G.S. 115C‑151. From funds appropriated, the State Board of Education shall establish a sum of money for State administration of vocational career and technical education and shall allocate the remaining sum on an equitable basis to local school administrative units, except that a contingency fund is established to correct excess deviations that may occur during the regular school year. In the administration of State funds, the State Board of Education shall adopt such policies and procedures as necessary to ensure that the funds appropriated are used for the purpose stated in this Part and consistent with the policy set forth in the Master Plan for Vocational Career and Technical Education.

" 115C‑156.2. Industry certifications and credentials program.

(a) It is the intent of the State to encourage students to enroll in and successfully complete rigorous coursework and credentialing processes in career and technical education to enable success in the workplace. To attain this goal, to the extent funds are made available for this purpose, students shall be supported to earn State Board of Education approved industry certifications and credentials:credentials as follows:

(1) Students enrolled in public schools and in career and technical education courses shall be exempt from paying any fees for one administration of examinations leading to industry certifications and credentials pursuant to rules adopted by the State Board of Education.

(2) Each school year, at such time as agreed to by the Department of Commerce and the State Board of Education, the Department of Commerce shall provide the State Board of Education with a list of those occupations in high need of additional skilled employees. If the occupations identified in such list are not substantially the same as those occupations identified in the list from the prior year, reasonable notice of such changes shall be provided to local school administrative units.

(3) Local school administrative units shall consult with their local industries, employers, business advisory councils, and workforce development boards to identify industry certification and credentials that the local school administrative unit may offer to best meet State and local workforce needs.

(b) Beginning in 2014, the State Board of Education shall report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by September November 15 of each year on the number of students in career and technical education courses who earned (i) community college credit and (ii) related industry certifications and credentials.

" 115C‑157. Responsibility of local boards of education.

(a) Each local school administrative unit, shall provide free appropriate vocational career and technical education instruction, activities, and services in accordance with the provisions of this Part for all youth, with priority given to youth in grades eight through 12, who elect the instruction and shall have responsibility for administering the instruction, activities, and services in accordance with federal and State law and State Board of Education policies.

(b) Each local school administrative unit shall offer as part of its career and technical education program at least two work‑based learning opportunities that are related to career and technical education instruction. A work‑based learning opportunity shall consist of on‑the‑job training through an internship, cooperative education, or an apprenticeship program meeting the requirements of Chapter 94 of the General Statutes.

(c) Each local board of education is encouraged to implement a career awareness program for students in grade five to educate students on the career and technical education programs offered in the local school administrative unit. A local board of education that adopts a career awareness program for fifth grade students shall report on program activities and student outcomes from the prior school year to the State Board of Education by October 1 of each year. By November 15 of each year, the State Board shall submit a consolidated report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee on program outcomes and any legislative recommendations based on local board of education reports.

" 115C‑158. Federal funds division.

The division between secondary and post‑secondary educational systems and institutions of federal funds for which the State Board of Vocational Career and Technical Education has responsibility shall, within discretionary limits established by law, require the concurrence of the State Board of Education and the State Board of Community Colleges on and after January 1, 1981. The portion of the approved State Plan for post‑secondary vocational career and technical education required by G.S. 115C‑154 shall be as approved by the State Board of Community Colleges.

"Part 2. Vocational Career and Technical Education Production Work Activities.

" 115C‑159. Statement of purpose.

It is the intent of the General Assembly that practical work experiences within the school and outside the school, which are valuable to students and which are under the supervision of a teacher, should be encouraged as a part of vocational career and technical education instruction in the public secondary schools and middle schools when those experiences are organized and maintained to the best advantage of the vocational career and technical education programs. Those activities are a part of the instructional activities in the vocational career and technical education programs and are not to be construed as engaging in business. Those services, products, and properties generated through these instructional activities are exempt from the requirements of G.S. 115C‑518; the local board G.S. 115C‑518. Local boards of education shall adopt rules for the disposition of these services, products, and properties. Local boards of education may use available financial resources to support that instruction.

" 115C‑160. Definitions.

The State Board of Education shall provide appropriate definitions necessary to this part of vocational career and technical education instruction not otherwise included in this Part. As used in this Part, the following definitions apply, unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) The term "building trades training" means the development of vocational career skills through the construction of dwellings or other buildings and related activities by students in vocational career and technical education programs.

(2) The term "production work" means production activities and services performed by vocational students in career and technical education classes under contract with a second party for remuneration.

" 115C‑161. Duties of the State Board of Education.

The State Board of Education is authorized and directed to establish, maintain, and implement such policies, rules, regulations, and procedures not in conflict with State law or other State Board policies as necessary to assist local boards of education in the conduct of production work experiences performed in connection with approved State Board of Education vocational career and technical education programs.

" 115C‑162. Use of proceeds derived from production work.

Unless elsewhere authorized in these statutes, local boards of education shall deposit to the appropriate school account, no later than the end of the next business day after receipt of funds, all proceeds derived from the sale of products or services from production work experiences. These proceeds shall be established as a revolving fund to be used solely in operating and improving vocational career and technical education programs.

" 115C‑163. Acquisition of land for agricultural education instructional programs.

Local boards of education may acquire by gift, purchase, or lease for not less than the useful life of any project to be conducted upon the premises, a parcel of land suitable for a land laboratory to provide students with practical instruction in soil science, plant science, horticulture, forestry, animal husbandry, and other subjects related to the agriculture curriculum.

Each deed, lease, or other agreement for land shall be made to the respective local board of education in which the school offering instruction in agriculture is located; and title to such land shall be examined and approved by the school local board of education's attorney.

Any land laboratory thus acquired shall be assigned to the agricultural education program of the school, to be managed with the advice of an agricultural education advisory committee.committee or a specialized subcommittee of a business advisory council as provided under Part 4 of this Article.

The products of the land laboratory not needed for public school purposes may be sold to the public: Provided, however, that all proceeds from the sale of products shall be deposited in the appropriate school account no later than the end of the next business day after receipt of funds. The proceeds shall be established as a revolving fund to be used solely in operating and improving vocationalcareer and technical education programs.

" 115C‑164. Building trades training.

In the establishment and implementation of production work experience policies, the State Board of Education shall be guided as follows:

(1) Local boards of education may use supplementary tax funds or other local funds available for the support of vocational career and technical education to purchase and develop suitable building sites on which dwellings or other buildings are to be constructed by vocational career and technical education trade classes of each public school operated by local boards of education. Local boards of education may use these funds for each school to pay the fees necessary in securing and recording deeds to these properties for each public school operated by local boards of education and to purchase all materials needed to complete the construction of buildings by vocational career and technical education trade classes and for development of site and property by other vocational career and technical education classes. Local boards of education may use these funds to acquire skilled services, including electrical, plumbing, heating, sewer, water, transportation, grading, and landscaping needed in the construction and completion of buildings, that cannot be supplied by the students in vocational career and technical education trade classes.

(2) Local boards of education may, in conjunction with or in lieu of subdivision (1) of this section, contract with recognized building trades educational foundations or associations in the purchase of land for the construction and development of buildings: Provided however, that all contracts shall be in accordance with the requirements set forth by the State Board of Education.

" 115C‑165. Advisory committee on production work activities.

The local board of education of each local school administrative unit in which the proposed production work activities are to be undertaken shall appoint appropriate workforce production advisory committees of no less than three persons residing within that administrative unit for each program (or in the case of Trade and Industrial Education, for each specialty) for the purpose of reviewing and making recommendations on such production work activities. Workforce production advisory committees, including agricultural education advisory committees under G.S. 115C‑163, may be established as specialized subcommittees of the business advisory councils as provided under Part 4 of this Article. Respective advisory committee members shall be lay persons who are actively involved in the appropriate business or trade. No production work activity shall be undertaken without the involvement of the appropriate advisory committee.

"Part 3. Eye Safety Devices Required.

" 115C‑166. Eye protection devices required in certain courses.

The governing board or authority of any public or private school or educational institution within the State, wherein shops or laboratories are conducted providing instructional or experimental programs involving:programs, shall provide for and require that every student and teacher wear industrial‑quality eye protective devices at all times while participating in a program that involves any of the following:

(1) Hot solids, liquids or molten metals;metals.

(2) Milling, sawing, turning, shaping, cutting, or stamping of any solid materials;materials.

(3) Heat treatment, tempering, or kiln firing of any metal or other materials;materials.

(4) Gas or electric arc welding;welding.

(5) Repair or servicing of any vehicle; orvehicle.

(6) Caustic or explosive chemicals or materials,materials.

shall provide for and require that every student and teacher wear industrial‑quality eye protective devices at all times while participating in any such program. These industrial‑quality eye protective devices shall be furnished free of charge to the student and teacher.

" 115C‑167. Visitors to wear eye safety devices.

Visitors to such shops and laboratories subject to the requirements of G.S. 115C‑166 shall be furnished with and required to wear such industrial‑quality eye safety protective devices while such instructional or experimental programs are in progress.

"Part 4. Business Advisory Councils.

" 115C‑170. Business advisory councils established; members; selection; duties.

(a) Purpose. Each local board of education shall be assisted by a business advisory council in the performance of its duties to provide career and technical education instruction, activities, and services in accordance with this Article. The business advisory council shall serve local boards of education by identifying economic and workforce development trends related to the training and educational needs of the local community and advocating for strong, local career and technical education programs, including career pathway development that provides work‑based learning opportunities for students and prepares students for post‑secondary educational certifications and credentialing for high‑demand careers. A business advisory council established under this Part may serve more than one local board of education in a region of the State upon the agreement of the members of the council and all of the local boards of education to be served by that council.

(b) Workforce Production Subcommittees. A business advisory council may form a subcommittee of the council for the purposes of advising a local board of education on workforce production activities under Part 2 of this Article.

(c) Membership. Each business advisory council shall have at least nine members. The council shall be composed of members who reasonably reflect the education, business, and community makeup of the local school administrative unit that it serves. A majority of the membership of the council shall be composed of business, industry, and community members appointed in accordance with subdivision (2) of this subsection, and the remaining members shall consist of education representatives as follows:

(1) Education representatives. The following members shall serve ex officio on the council to represent each local school administrative unit that the council serves:

a. The superintendent of the local school administrative unit or his or her designee.

b. The career and technical education program director of the local school administrative unit as a nonvoting member.

c. The president of the community college that serves the area in which the local school administrative unit is located, in whole or in part, or his or her designee.

d. A principal of a school located within the local school administrative unit, as assigned by the superintendent.

(2) Business, industry, and community representatives. At least five other members shall serve on the council to represent business and industry located within each local school administrative unit that the council serves and the community. Members shall be business, industry, and workforce and economic development stakeholders in the community, and community members, including any of the following:

a. Local business and industry owners.

b. Representatives from local manufacturing centers and factories.

c. Human resource directors employed at businesses and industries in the community.

d. Representatives from community‑based organizations.

e. Representatives from economic and workforce development organizations.

f. Parents of students enrolled in career and technical education courses.

g. Representative or manager of the local apprenticeship coalition.

(d) Initial Terms and Appointments. Each local board of education shall make the initial appointment of members of the business advisory council under subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of this section for terms beginning January 1, 2018. The local board of education shall divide the initial appointments into three groups if there are only three appointments, and into four groups as equal in size as practicable if there are more than three appointments, and shall designate appointments in group one to serve four‑year terms, in group two to serve three‑year terms, in group three to serve two‑year terms, and in group four to serve one‑year terms.

(e) Subsequent Terms and Appointments. As terms expire for members appointed as provided in subsection (d) of this section, the business advisory council shall appoint subsequent members of the business advisory council under subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of this section for four‑year terms. The local board of education shall establish a policy on the appointment of subsequent members to the council, including procedures for increasing the number of members serving on the council. Any vacancies in seats appointed to the council shall be filled by the remaining members of the council.

(f) Council Secretary. The career and technical education program director shall serve as secretary to the council. If the council serves more than one local board of education, the program director of each local school administrative unit shall serve as secretary for a period of time as determined by the members of the council.

(g) Bylaws. Each business advisory council shall adopt bylaws establishing procedures for conducting the business of the council, which shall include at least the following:

(1) A chair of the business advisory council shall be elected annually by the members of the council from among the business and industry representative members of the council.

(2) A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum.

(3) The business advisory council shall meet at least biannually.

(4) The chair or three of the members may call a special meeting of the council.

(5) Procedures for appointing members to the council that are consistent with the policy adopted by the local board of education under subsection (d) of this section.

(h) Public Records. A business advisory council is subject to the Public Records Act, Chapter 132 of the General Statutes, and the Open Meetings Law, Article 33C of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes.

(i) Expenses. The local board of education shall provide for meeting space and assignment of necessary administrative staff to the business advisory council."

SECTION 6. G.S. 115C‑174.25 reads as rewritten:

" 115C‑174.25. WorkKeys.

To the extent funds are made available for this purpose, the State Board shall plan for and require local school administrative units to make available the appropriate WorkKeys tests for all students who complete the second level of vocational/career a concentration in career and technical education courses."

SECTION 7. G.S. 115C‑302.1 reads as rewritten:

" 115C‑302.1. Salary.

(b) Salary Payments. State‑allotted teachers shall be paid for a term of 10 months. State‑allotted months of employment for vocational career and technical education to local boards shall be used for the employment of teachers of vocational career and technical education for a term of employment to be determined by the local boards of education. However, local boards shall not reduce the term of employment for any vocational career and technical education agriculture teacher personnel position that was 12 calendar months for the 1982‑83 school year for any school year thereafter. In addition, local boards shall not reduce the term of employment for any vocational career and technical education agriculture teacher personnel position that was 12 calendar months for the 2003‑2004 school year for any school year thereafter. In addition, local boards shall not reduce the term of employment for any vocational career and technical education agriculture teacher personnel position that was 12 calendar months for the 2014‑2015 school year for any school year thereafter.

Each local board of education shall establish a set date on which monthly salary payments to State‑allotted teachers shall be made. This set pay date may differ from the end of the month of service. The daily rate of pay for teachers shall equal midway between one twenty‑first and one twenty‑second of the monthly rate of pay. Except for teachers employed in a year‑round school or paid in accordance with a year‑round calendar, or both, the initial pay date for teachers shall be no later than August 31 and shall include a full monthly payment. Subsequent pay dates shall be spaced no more than one month apart and shall include a full monthly payment.

Teachers may be prepaid on the monthly pay date for days not yet worked. A teacher who fails to attend scheduled workdays or who has not worked the number of days for which the teacher has been paid and who resigns, is dismissed, or whose contract is not renewed shall repay to the local board any salary payments received for days not yet worked. A teacher who has been prepaid and continues to be employed by a local board but fails to attend scheduled workdays may be subject to dismissal under G.S. 115C‑325 or other appropriate discipline.

Any individual teacher who is not employed in a year‑round school may be paid in 12 monthly installments if the teacher so requests on or before the first day of the school year. The request shall be filed in the local school administrative unit which employs the teacher. The payment of the annual salary in 12 installments instead of 10 shall not increase or decrease the teacher's annual salary nor in any other way alter the contract made between the teacher and the local school administrative unit. Teachers employed for a period of less than 10 months shall not receive their salaries in 12 installments.

Notwithstanding this subsection, the term "daily rate of pay" for the purpose of G.S. 115C‑12(8) or for any other law or policy governing pay or benefits based on the teacher salary schedule shall not exceed one twenty‑second of a teacher's monthly rate of pay.

(c) Vacation. Included within the 10‑month term shall be annual vacation leave at the same rate provided for State employees, computed at one‑twelfth of the annual rate for State employees for each month of employment. Local boards shall provide at least 10 days of annual vacation leave at a time when students are not scheduled to be in regular attendance. However, instructional personnel who do not require a substitute may use annual vacation leave on days that students are in attendance. Vocational Career and technical education teachers who are employed for 11 or 12 months may, with prior approval of the principal, work on annual vacation leave days designated in the school calendar and may use those annual vacation leave days during the eleventh or twelfth month of employment. Local boards of education may adopt policies permitting instructional personnel employed for 11 or 12 months in year‑round schools to, with the approval of the principal, take vacation leave at a time when students are in attendance; local funds shall be used to cover the cost of substitute teachers.

On a day that pupils are not required to attend school due to inclement weather, but employees are required to report for a workday, a teacher may elect not to report due to hazardous travel conditions and to take an annual vacation day or to make up the day at a time agreed upon by the teacher and the teacher's immediate supervisor or principal. On a day that school is closed to employees and pupils due to inclement weather, a teacher shall work on the scheduled makeup day.

All vacation leave taken by the teacher will be upon the authorization of the teacher's immediate supervisor and under policies established by the local board of education. Annual vacation leave shall not be used to extend the term of employment.

Notwithstanding any provisions of this subsection to the contrary, no person shall be entitled to pay for any vacation day not earned by that person.

."

SECTION 8. G.S. 115C‑426(f)(2) reads as rewritten:

"(2) The acquisition, construction, reconstruction, enlargement, renovation, or replacement of buildings and other structures, including but not limited to buildings for classrooms and laboratories, physical and vocational career and technical educational purposes, libraries, auditoriums, gymnasiums, administrative offices, storage, and vehicle maintenance."

SECTION 9.(a) G.S. 115C‑64.15 reads as rewritten:

" 115C‑64.15. North Carolina Education and Workforce Innovation Commission.

(d1) The Commission shall develop and administer, in coordination with the State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Career and Technical Education Grade Expansion Program, as established under G.S. 115C‑64.17, and shall make awards of grants under the Program.

(e) The Commission shall publish a report on the Education and Workforce Innovation Program and the Career and Technical Education Grade Expansion Program on or before April 30 of each year. The report shall be submitted to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee, the State Board of Education, the State Board of Community Colleges, and the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina. The report shall include at least all of the following information:

(1) An accounting of how funds and personnel resources were utilized for each program and their impact on student achievement, retention, and employability.

(2) Recommended statutory and policy changes.

(3) Recommendations for improvement of the each program.

(4) For the Career and Technical Education Grade Expansion Program, recommendations on increasing availability of grants after the first two years of the program to include additional local school administrative units or providing additional grants to prior recipients."

SECTION 9.(b) Article 6C of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

" 115C‑64.17. The Career and Technical Education Grade Expansion Program.

(a) Program Establishment. There is established the Career and Technical Education Grade Expansion Program (Program) to expand career and technical education (CTE) programs by prioritizing the inclusion of students in sixth and seventh grade. Funds appropriated for the Program shall be used to award competitive grants in a total amount of up to five million dollars ($5,000,000) to be allocated to a local school administrative unit over a seven‑year grant period. Grant funds shall be used only for employing additional licensed personnel in career and technical education areas, career development coordination areas, and support service areas necessary for expanding the CTE program to sixth and seventh grade students. The funds may be used for CTE programs at one or more schools in the local school administrative unit. Grant funds allocated to the local school administrative unit each fiscal year under the Program shall not revert but may be expended until the end of the seven‑year grant period.

(b) Consideration of Factors in Awarding of Grants. Local school administrative units applying for the Program shall submit an application that includes at least the following information:

(1) A plan for expansion of the CTE program to sixth and seventh grade students, including the specific programs that will be expanded, the significance of CTE in the local school administrative unit, and how a grade expansion would enhance the education program and the community.

(2) A request for the amount of funds, a description of how the funds will be used, and any other sources of funds available to accomplish the purposes of this program.

(3) A proposed budget for seven years that provides detail on the use of the amount of funds to add personnel, increase career development efforts, and provide support services.

(4) A strategy to achieve meaningful analysis of program outcomes due to the receipt of grant funds under this section.

(c) Selection of Recipients. The Commission shall accept applications for a grant until November 1 of each fiscal year that funds are made available for an initial grant year for the Program. The Commission shall select recipients in a manner that considers diversity among the pool of applicants, including geographic location, location of industries in the area in which a local school administrative unit is located, and the size of the student population served by the unit, in order to award funds to the extent possible to grant recipients that represent different regions and characteristics of the State. The Commission shall recommend recipients of the grants to the State Board of Education. The State Board, upon consultation with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, shall approve the recipients of grant awards.

(d) Allocation of Funds. In an initial grant year, grant recipients shall be notified of the total amount of the award to be allocated to the recipient in equal amounts each fiscal year for seven years. The Commission, in consultation with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, shall establish rules regarding any requirements for grant recipients to continue eligibility to receive funds each fiscal year, including timely and accurate reporting as required under subsection (e) of this section.

(e) Reporting Requirements. No later than August 1 of each year, for up to seven years after the initial grant award, a grant recipient shall submit to the Department of Public Instruction, Local Planning Systems Regional Services staff within the Division of Career and Technical Education, an annual report for the preceding year in which grant funds were expended that provides at least the following information on the program for sixth and seventh grade students:

(1) The use of grant funds and expenditures, including the use of funds for CTE programs and courses that have been expanded in the local school administrative unit to include sixth and seventh grade students.

(2) The number of students enrolled in CTE courses as part of the expansion.

(3) The number of students who subsequently enrolled in CTE courses in high school.

(4) The number of students who subsequently participated in internships, cooperative education, or apprenticeship programs.

(5) The number of students who subsequently earned (i) college credit and (ii) approved industry certification and credentials.

(6) Any other information the Division of Career and Technical Education deems necessary.

The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall provide a report to the Commission by October 15 of each year based on the information reported to the Local Planning Systems Regional Services staff under this subsection, including how the grant recipients compare to CTE programs statewide and whether the programs are aligned with the Master Plan for Career and Technical Education adopted by the State Board."

SECTION 9.(c) There is established a reserve in the General Fund to be known as the Career and Technical Education Grade Expansion Reserve (Reserve) consisting of funds appropriated for the Career and Technical Education Grade Expansion Program (Program). Each fiscal year, for the duration of the Program, funds shall be transferred from this Reserve to the North Carolina Education and Workforce Innovation Commission established in G.S. 115C‑64.15 for allocation of funds to grant recipients in accordance with G.S. 115C‑64.17, as enacted by Section 9(b) of this act. Funds that are unexpended by grant recipients at the end of a seven‑year grant period shall revert to the Reserve. Funds remaining in the Reserve after all grant recipients have received the total amount of awards under the Program shall revert to the General Fund.

SECTION 10. Local school administrative units are encouraged to complete the application process for the NCWorks Work Ready Certified Communities initiative in cooperation with local workforce development boards, local economic development boards, chambers of commerce, business and industry employers, and local community college leaders. The NCWorks Certified Work Ready Communities initiative encourages local participation to assist with the following:

(1) Informing business and industry employers on the foundational skills necessary for a productive workforce and providing a method for employers to communicate their needs.

(2) Providing individuals with an understanding on the skills required by employers and how to prepare for success.

(3) Providing reliable data for the evaluation of the skills gap in a timely manner at the national, State, and local levels.

(4) Informing educators on how to close the skills gap using tools integrated into career pathways with stackable industry‑recognized credentials.

(5) Providing economic developers an on‑demand reporting tool to market the quality of their workforce.

SECTION 11. The Department of Public Instruction, Division of Career and Technical Education, is authorized to create two new full‑time equivalent positions within the Division dedicated to assisting local school administrative units in developing business advisory councils in accordance with Part 4 of Article 10 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes, as enacted by Section 5 of this act, local career pathways, work‑based learning opportunities, and elementary school career awareness curriculum.

SECTION 12. Section 11 of this act becomes effective July 1, 2017. Section 9 of this act becomes effective only if funds are appropriated in a Current Operations Appropriations Act for the 2017‑2018 fiscal year to implement the provisions of Section 9 of this act. The remainder of this act is effective when this act becomes law. Sections 1 through 8 of this act apply beginning with the 2017‑2018 school year.