Friday, September 4, 2009

NCGA: Legislative Update 5- The Arc of NC Legislative Agenda Wrap Up

Here is the last bill review of the week.

House Bill 218/Session Law 2009-64: Parent and Student Involvement Act-Glazier

This legislation begins the process of looking at North Carolina’s policies for long-term suspension. This bill requires written notification, including a description of the incident leading to the recommendation, for any suspension or expulsion for more than 10 days. It also would allow the student to request a hearing to contest the expulsion.

This legislation provides the following procedures:
(1) A description of the incident leading to the recommendation that the student
be expelled or suspended for more than 10 days;
(2) The specific provisions of the student conduct policy or rule alleged to have
been violated;
(3) The specific process by which the parent may request a hearing to contest
the suspension for more than 10 days or expulsion, including the number of
days within which the hearing must be requested;
(4) The process by which a hearing will be held, including, to the extent
provided by law, the student's opportunity to examine evidence and present
evidence, to confront and cross-examine witnesses supporting the charge,
and to call witnesses to verify the student's version of the incident;
(5) The parent is permitted to retain an attorney to represent the student in the
hearing process;
(6) The extent to which the local board policy permits the parent to have an
advocate to accompany the student to assist in the presentation of his or her
appeal instead of an attorney; and
(7) The parent has a right to review the student's educational records prior to the

This bill was important to The Arc of NC because students with disabilities have a high suspension rate, often due to emotional and/or behavior issues related to the disability. Students who frequently have long-term suspensions are more likely to drop out of school, and the drop-out rate for students with disabilities is already high. The process identified in this bill will bring parents and administrators together to talk about why the child is being suspended. Parents will be explained their rights and have the opportunity to appeal the suspension or expulsion. The process may also lead to identification of services the student may need or possibly the identification of a disability.

Vote History: This bill passed the House 108 in favor to 5 opposed and passed the Senate 48 in favor to 0 opposed. The governor signed this bill into law on June 2, 2009

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