Governor Cooper on Monday signed the 2022 State Budget package into law, noting it included “critical investments in education, economic development, transportation and the state workforce.” House Bill 103, the 2022 Appropriations Act, gained final approval from lawmakers with some bipartisan support on July 1st, and was already set under state law to automatically become law without the Governor’s signature on Monday at midnight. The budget, as summarized by NCASA, provides additional funding for employee raises, school safety grants, school facilities improvements, higher transportation fuel costs, and more.
In addition to expanding upon appropriations made in the 2021 state budget, the 2022 budget package also includes provisions on virtual education and remote academies, which mostly mirrors language included in Senate Bill 671, which the Governor signed into law on Friday, July 8th. One of these provisions makes permanent the option for public school units (PSUs) to use a limited number of remote instruction days, rather than closing for inclement weather or other emergencies. A separate section allows PSUs that provided full-time virtual instruction in 2021-2022 to continue to provide this virtual instruction in 2022-23, although schools would need to seek State Board of Education approval to operate a remote academy for school years 2023-2024 and beyond.