Bill Text: NC H1074 | 2017-2018 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: School Psychologist Compensation

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2018-06-01 - Ref To Com On Appropriations [H1074 Detail]

Download: North_Carolina-2017-H1074-Introduced.html

GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2017

H                                                                                                                                                   D

HOUSE BILL DRH40743-MTa-172A

 

 

 

Short Title:      School Psychologist Compensation.

(Public)

Sponsors:

Representatives Horn, Dobson, and Lambeth (Primary Sponsors).

Referred to:

 

 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO INCREASE COMPENSATION FOR SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS AND to ESTABLISH THE SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION PROGRAM.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

 

PART I. INCREASE COMPENSATION FOR SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS

SECTION 1.(a)  The first step of the salary schedule for school psychologists shall be equivalent to the sixth step of the "A" salary schedule. In addition to the salary provided in accordance with the "A" salary schedule, school psychologists shall receive five hundred dollars ($500.00) per month. These employees shall receive a salary supplement each month of ten percent (10%) of their monthly salary and are eligible to receive salary supplements equivalent to those of teachers for academic preparation at the six‑year degree level or the doctoral degree level.

SECTION 1.(b)  There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction for the 2018‑2019 fiscal year the sum of four million dollars ($4,000,000) in recurring funds to provide compensation increases for school psychologists pursuant to this section.

 

PART II. SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION PROGRAM

SECTION 2.(a)  Program; Purpose. The State Board of Education shall establish the School Psychologists Recruitment and Retention Program (program). The purpose of the program is to recruit high‑quality school psychologists to public school units and retain high‑quality school psychologists in public school units by providing signing and retention bonuses to select school psychologists.

SECTION 2.(b)  Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1)        Public school unit. Any of the following:

a.         Local school administrative unit.

b.         Charter school.

c.         Regional school.

d.         A school or schools operated or governed by one of the following:

1.         The State Board of Education.

2.         The University of North Carolina.

3.         Department of Health and Human Services.

4.         Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety.

(2)        Recruitment and retention coordinator. The person at the Department of Public Instruction, under the direct supervision of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, who is responsible for administering the program.

SECTION 2.(c)  Implementation. The recruitment and retention coordinator shall coordinate with public school units to allocate funds appropriated for the program by this act, subject to the following requirements:

(1)        Bonuses shall be conditioned on the existence of an agreement between the public school unit and the school psychologist that is (i) approved by the recruitment and retention coordinator and (ii) at a minimum, includes the following provisions:

a.         The school psychologist agrees to remain employed in the public school unit as a school psychologist for three to five years, as negotiated by the parties.

b.         The school psychologist agrees to return bonus funds to the Department of Public Instruction on a prorated basis if all of the following criteria are met:

1.         The school psychologist does not remain employed in the public school unit as a school psychologist for the agreed upon period of time.

2.         The school psychologist has not been terminated due to death, a reduction in force, or disability that prohibits him or her from carrying out the essential functions of the job.

(2)        No individual bonus shall be greater than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

(3)        In determining how to allocate funds for the program, the recruitment and retention coordinator shall consider the unique factors of each public school unit, including all of the following:

a.         The level of resources available to the public school unit that would receive the funds.

b.         The overall impact on student mental health in the public school unit if the funds are provided.

c.         The history of difficulty in recruiting or retaining school psychologists at the public school unit.

d.         The likelihood of success in recruiting or retaining school psychologists at the public school unit without a bonus.

(4)        The recruitment and retention coordinator shall not provide any funds to a public school unit unless the unit agrees that the funds will be used to supplement, and not supplant, local funds for school psychologists.

(5)        Except as provided in this section, the recruitment and retention coordinator shall have discretion over the allocation of funds.

SECTION 2.(d)  Report. By September 30, 2018, and every subsequent three months in which funds are awarded, the recruitment and retention coordinator shall report to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee, and the Fiscal Research Division on the identity of the public school units receiving funds, the amount of funds received by each public school unit, and the purposes for which the funds were used.

SECTION 2.(e)  Appropriation; Administrative Costs. There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction for the 2018‑2019 fiscal year the sum of seven hundred fifty thousand dollars ($750,000) in recurring funds to establish and implement the program. The Department shall use up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) of these funds to establish one new, full‑time equivalent recruitment and retention coordinator position at the Department to administer the program.

 

PART III. EFFECTIVE DATE

SECTION 3.  This act becomes effective July 1, 2018, and applies beginning with the 2018‑2019 school year.

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