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April 28, 2017
This is the final Legislative Newsletter for the 2017 session. NDSBA would like to express its sincere appreciation to the members of the Legislative Assembly who were always willing to listen to our perspectives and work with us in ensuring the viability of the legislation that was passed. In addition, NDSBA would like to thank those school board members and school district personnel who made themselves and their expertise available to us and communicated with legislators regarding the bills under consideration.
This was a session unlike any we have experienced since the early 1990s, in large part due to the downturn in the state’s revenue flow. Nevertheless, as the various pieces of legislation worked their way through both houses and through conference committees, the end result was directives that support the advancement of education and the achievement of students. Following is a brief summary of the bills that are or soon will be governing the delivery and administration of K-12 education.
Boards and Districts
HB1253 creates a process by which the boards of two school districts may initiate a voluntary transfer of property.
HB1254 provides that a student’s parent may petition the board of the student’s school district of residence and request that the board either pay tuition so the student can attend another school district or sign a tuition waiver contract.
SB2165 provides that when resigning, a school board member must provide notice in writing to the school district business manager.
SB2182 exempts from school district bidding requirements products purchased from prison industries and products purchased from work activity centers.
SB2186 allows the Superintendent of Public Instruction, with the approval of a school board, to waive statutes and rules so that school districts can pursue innovations designed to improve the delivery and administration of education, provide increased educational opportunities to students, and improve academic success.
HB1051 repeals the requirement for prior DPI approval of courses provided electronically to a student, school, or school district.
SB2091 Alters the combination of sciences required for high school graduation and for various ND scholarships.
SB2185 provides that computer science is acceptable as one of the three mathematics courses required for high school graduation.
HB1052 changes the grade range for the administration of state assessments to include grade 12.
Electronics and Technology
HB1037 requires, as a condition of school approval, that schools use North Dakota eTranscripts to generate official transcripts.
HB1013 provides an appropriation for the Department of Public Instruction.
HB1191 provides that a loan agreement allowing a school district to borrow against anticipated revenue must be signed by the president of the school board and the business manager.
HB1192 provides that notification to the Superintendent of Public Instruction indicating a school district has made satisfactory arrangements for the payment of principal and interest on an evidence of indebtedness must be made at least 15 working days before the principal or interest is due.
HB1296 provides that all employers, regardless of the number of employees, must file electronic wage reports for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017.
HB1324 maintains the per-student payment level for each year of the 2017-19 biennium at the current amount – $9,646.
SB2222 requires that the county auditor certify the amount of uncollected taxes to the business manager of a school district on July 10 rather than the current date of June 10.
SB2250 provides $1,000 early childhood education provider grants for children who are eligible for reduced lunches, and $2,000 for children who are eligible for free lunches.
SB2272 provides $60 million from the coal development trust fund for unanticipated needs-based construction projects or repairs, makes the school construction assistance loan fund at the Bank of North Dakota a revolving fund, and defines “education-related” for purposes of the foundation aid stabilization fund.
SB2321 increases the ending fund balance limit from 35% plus $20,000 to 35% plus $50,000 and provides for an ending fund balance of 35% plus $100,000 in the case of school districts participating in approved academic cooperatives with the intent to reorganize.
HB1233 proposes a study of North Dakota Century Code sections that relate to firearms and weapons, for the purpose of eliminating provisions that are irrelevant or duplicative, clarifying provisions that are inconsistent or unclear in their intent and direction, and rearranging provisions in a logical order.
HB1318 authorizes a study of the K-12 funding formula and statutory changes necessitated by 21st Century technological advances and global economics.
HB1358 calls for a study of open educational resources.
HB1423 calls for a study of “in lieu of” property taxes within the education funding formula.
HB1345 authorizes written clarification regarding an open records request, allows for fees to be charged if a requester wants paper copies of electronically available records, and allows a public entity to refuse certain records if repeated requests disrupt other essential functions.
SB2152 provides that if a public entity receives applications from three or more individuals for a vacant position, the public entity must designate three or more of the individuals as finalists for further consideration before the public entity may issue an offer of employment to fill the position.
Parental Opt Outs
HB1389 allows a parent to opt a child out of any state assessment and out of any other test or assessment that is not required for grade completion or graduation, with the exception of the ACT and WorkKeys.
HB1428 states that a parent providing home education may opt out of state assessments if the parent has a philosophical, moral or religious objection, or if the parent is licensed to teach, holds a baccalaureate degree, or has met or exceeded the cutoff score of a national teacher examination.
HB1275 provides that a student may not be prohibited from voluntarily participating in any student-initiated prayer at an activity held on the premises of a public or nonpublic school.
SB2249 prohibits a student from participating in extracurricular activities if the student is guilty of certain crimes or is the subject of certain restraining orders.
HB1098 sets requirements for elementary and high school teachers.
SB2037 increases the amount of student loan forgiveness provided for individuals teaching at grade levels or in content areas identified as having a teacher shortage.
SB2038 requires school districts to provide at least eight hours of professional development every two years regarding youth behavioral health to elementary, middle, and high school teachers, as well as administrators.
SB2244 Provides tuition support for the pursuit of graduate level classes by high school dual-credit teachers.
SB2324 extends the time for conducting teacher evaluations from March 15 to April 15.
HB1279 provides that the prohibition on possessing a dangerous weapon at a public gathering does not apply to the storage of a weapon on school property by an individual who resides in a dwelling on school property, provided the individual stores the weapon in the individual’s residential unit and the school board consents to the storage.
HB1334 prohibits high-risk sexual offenders from residing within 500 feet of a public or nonpublic preschool or elementary, middle, or high school.
HB1369 establishes the forms of identification that a qualified elector must present before receiving a ballot.
SB2030 replaces statutory references to the NDEA with “ND United.”
For more information, go to the Legislative Assembly webpage: 2017 Legislative Session.
ND State Web site: www.nd.gov
ND Legislative Information Web site: www.legis.nd.gov
Legislature Toll Free # 1-888-635-3447
Bismarck Legislative # 328-3373