The following is a press release from North Carolina Public Schools
State Superintendent Mark Johnson is praising the approval of two major pieces of legislation that he and his team helped become law. These new laws support and advance top priorities for North Carolina’s public schools; House Bill 75 (school safety) and Senate Bill 621 (reduced testing).
House Bill 75 appropriates more than $68 million over the next two years for several measures to make schools in North Carolina safer. They include $43 million to hire new school mental health support personnel, $9 million in additional funding for the School Resource Officer (SRO) grant program for public elementary and middle schools to hire additional SROs, $6.1 million for school safety equipment grants, $4.5 million for school safety training grants, and $4.5 million to provide crisis services for students. The bill was passed unanimously by both the House and the Senate.
“We continue to increase school safety efforts with more school resource officers and mental health supports for students,” said Superintendent Johnson. ‘It is important that we do not lose momentum in this important work, so providing these funds through the current budget impasse is the right thing to do for our schools and our students.”
Superintendent Johnson and the Center for Safer Schools (located within DPI) collaborate with the Department of Public Safety on school safety policies and initiatives.
In addition to House Bill 75, Superintendent Johnson noted other progress in his legislative agenda, including the passage of Senate Bill 621 to reduce testing in North Carolina’s public schools. The legislation supports the superintendent’s priorities on testing, including the elimination of the NC Final Exams and creating a program to reduce testing required by local school districts.
“As State Superintendent, one of my top priorities has been to reduce the anxiety and unnecessary stress of standardized testing, particularly as we set a course toward more personalized learning in North Carolina,” said Superintendent Johnson. “My team and I were instrumental in the passage of Senate Bill 621 to do just that. I am grateful for the support of the General Assembly and the Governor on these shared priorities.”