Senate lawmakers on Thursday voted down party lines to concur with the House on a controversial parental rights bill, in the legislation’s last step before being sent to the Governor for final consideration. While the Governor is likely to veto Senate Bill 49, which requires school employees to notify parents of changes to their student’s physical and mental health, Republicans currently have a veto-proof majority in the legislature and are likely to override the Governor’s almost certain veto of the bill. For school administrators, the bill, as summarized by legislative staff here, would require school principals to respond to most parental requests for information within 10 business days of notification by the parent, and “resolve” most parental concerns within seven days of notification.
If these timelines are not met, the bill outlines new procedures for parents to appeal their requests for information to the local board of education, as well as to appeal their concerns to the State Board of Education or directly sue the school district. Due to the extensive amount of information the bill requires school districts to compile to share with parents, lawmakers in the House approved on Wednesday a Republican-sponsored amendment that changed the bill’s effective date from July 1, 2023 to August 15, 2023. Please see below for additional information on education-related bills to be considered by the Governor in the next few days.
Bills On The Governor’s Desk/To Be Sent To Governor
- H574: Fairness in Women’s Sports Act — Forbids students born biologically male from participating in female interscholastic or intramural athletic activities in middle, high, and post-secondary public schools; would also apply to certain private schools that compete with public schools. Presented to Governor 6/27.
- H605: School Threat Assessment Teams — Establishes threat assessment teams and peer-to-peer counseling in PSUs; clarifies that NCDPI shall participate in the adoption of rules regarding placement and contents of school crisis kits in PSUs; expands law enforcement access from only traditional public schools to all PSUs; and expands data collection requirements regarding school safety exercises from only traditional public schools to all PSUs. Presented to Governor 6/28.
- H618: Charter School Review Board — Converts the Charter Schools Advisory Board into the Charter Schools Review Board; shifts the authority to approve charters from the State Board to the Review Board; and creates a right of appeal to the SBE from Review Board decisions. Presented to Governor 6/28.
- H808: Gender Transition/Minors — Prohibits medical professionals from performing surgical gender transition procedures on minors and prescribing, providing, or dispensing puberty-blocking drugs or cross-sex hormones to minors, with some exceptions; Revokes licenses of medical professionals who violate these provisions; Provides minors who underwent a surgical gender transition procedure or who were prescribed or provided with puberty-blocking drugs/cross-sex hormones a private right of action against the medical provider; Forbids state funds from being used for surgical gender transition procedures and/or for prescribing, providing, or dispensing puberty-blocking drugs/cross-sex hormones to minors. To be presented to Governor 6/30.
- S195: UNC Omnibus — Makes various changes to the laws concerning the University of North Carolina (UNC) System, including: creating staggered terms for members of the NC Teaching Fellows Commission, technical changes to tuition grants for high school graduates of the NC School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) or the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), requiring UNC constituent institutions to “remain neutral” on current political controversies, and other changes. To be sent to Governor; Conference Report Adopted by House 6/28 and by Senate 6/29.