RALEIGH, N.C. — With the start of a new month, new laws are taking effect in North Carolina.
While the fight over the future of abortion laws in the Tar Heel State will loom large over the General Assembly heading into elections this fall, some other pieces of major legislation are already taking effect.
Here are three laws that are now in place that may impact you:
"Ready to Achieve" Program
The state's new education initiative is placing priority on reading ability for elementary students. Under the new campaign, the goal is for all students to be able to read by third grade.
"Students are expected to be independent readers. This means they can read and understand words, sentences, and paragraphs and answer comprehension questions about their reading."
The law requires third graders who score at Level 1 or 2 in reading on the third grade End of Grade exam (EOG) to be retained and not promoted to the fourth grade.
However, in special circumstances, students can receive a “good cause exemption” and move on to fourth grade.
Students with an IEP or 504 plan who are being taught on alternate academic achievement standards, some limited English proficient students, and students who have been retained more than once before the third grade can also receive a good cause exemption.
ABC Store Changes
The state is relaxing regulations on bar owners and expanding the sale and transportation of alcohol.
- HB 768 - State legislators voted overwhelmingly to remove a cumbersome law requiring "memberships" for private bars.
- SB 470 - This initiative allows counties and cities to enact their own "social districts", designated areas where people can freely drink alcoholic beverages on streets, with proper adherence to district ordinances.
High School Athletics
After almost moving to scrap the NCHSAA and CAASC, two nonprofits that run North Carolina's high school athletics, the NC board of education instead moved to pass HB 91.
The law requires the NCHSAA and CAASC to enact a series of policies related to athlete health and safety, participation, gameplay and much more.
The decision comes after legislators and parents of student-athletes criticized the organizations for their athlete eligibility decisions and penalties against schools.