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Houses Pushes Forward Digital Learning Reporting Bills


The NC House approved two bills relating to digital learning this week, one which would create new LEA reporting requirements for K-12 computer science courses, and a separate bill requiring the State Board of Education to maintain a “digital learning dashboard” for public access. House Bill 78: Report on K-12 Computer Science Data and House Bill 79: Student Digital Learning Access were both unanimously passed by House legislators on Wednesday, and have been sent to the Senate for additional action, likely next week.

H78 would require local boards of education and other public school units to report annually by Sept. 15 to the SBE on items such as the number of teachers employed to teach computer science in that unit, computer science courses taught in that unit, and the number of students enrolled in computer science and computational thinking courses by grade level. The SBE would have to compile such data and submit an annual report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee (JLEOC) by Nov. 15.

H79 would also require local boards of education and other public school units to submit annual reports to the SBE by Nov. 15 on items such as student access to digital devices both in and out of school, as well as out-of-school internet connectivity. The bill also requires the Department of Public Instruction and Department of Information Technology to collaborate with the NCSU Friday Institute to conduct “a statewide assessment” of internet and device access for K-12 students during periods of physical school closures due to COVID-19. The SBE would have to report on these findings and propose recommendations to the JLEOC no later than Oct. 15, 2021.