S700: Balanced Political Discussion in Classrooms. Latest Version



an act to require balanced political viewpoints in the implementation of public school instruction and to require the online display of information about instructional materials.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.(a)  Article 8 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

§ 115C‑81.46.  Balanced political viewpoints.

The State Board of Education shall require that all curriculum, professional development, and teaching standards used to implement instruction in (i) local school administrative units, (ii) innovative schools, (iii) regional schools, and (iv) schools operated under Article 9C of this Chapter reflect balanced political viewpoints. When the viewpoint of one of the two major political parties in the United States is presented through materials, assignments, lectures, or other instruments for instruction in any classroom or other area of the school, the viewpoint of the alternative political party shall also be presented and given equal weight during the same instructional unit.

SECTION 1.(b)  The State Board of Education shall adopt rules and implement policies as necessary to comply with the requirements of this section. In the discretion of the State Board, any rules adopted or policies implemented may, as appropriate, mirror Standard 2 of the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards adopted by the State Board of Education in June 2007, as applied to diverse political viewpoints. The State Board of Education shall report on compliance with this section to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee no later than November 15, 2021. Any rules adopted or policies implemented in compliance with this section shall go in effect on or before January 1, 2022.

SECTION 2.  Article 8 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

§ 115C‑98A.  Inform the public about instructional materials.

(a)        The governing body of a (i) local school administrative unit, (ii) innovative school, (iii) regional school, (iv) school operated under Article 9C of this Chapter, and (v) school operated under Article 29A of Chapter 116 of the General Statutes shall ensure that the following information for each school it governs is prominently displayed on the school website by July 1 of each year, organized, at a minimum, by subject area and grade level:

(1)        The instructional materials and activities that were used at the school during the prior school year, including all of the following:

a.         Anything assigned, distributed, or otherwise presented in any course for which a student receives credit.

b.         Any materials from among which students are required to select one or more if the selection is restricted by the school.

(2)        Any procedures for the documentation, review, or approval of the learning materials used for student instruction at the school, including by the principal, curriculum administrators, or other teachers.

(b)        The information displayed shall include the information necessary to identify the learning materials and activities used for instruction, including the title and the author, organization, or website associated with each material and activity. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the digital reproduction of the materials themselves or the separate reporting of individual components of materials produced as a single volume.

(c)        A governing body that is responsible for the operation of schools with fewer than 500 students cumulatively is not required to comply with the requirements of this section.

(d)       The following definitions apply in this section:

(1)        Activities. – Any instructional task, including, but not limited to, presentations, assemblies, lectures, or other activities or events facilitated by the school, excluding student presentations.

(2)        Instructional materials. – Any material used for instruction, including, but not limited to, all textbooks, other reading materials, videos, digital materials, websites, and other online applications.

SECTION 3.  G.S. 115C‑12 is amended by adding a new subdivision to read:

(9e)    Duty to Inform the Public About Instructional Materials. – The Board shall ensure that information about instructional materials for any school operated under Article 7A and Article 9C of this Chapter is prominently displayed on the website of the school, as required by G.S. 115C‑98A.

SECTION 4.  G.S. 115C‑47 is amended by adding a new subdivision to read:

(58a)  To Inform the Public About Instructional Materials. – Local boards of education shall ensure that information about instructional materials for each school in the local school administrative unit is prominently displayed on the website of the school, as required by G.S. 115C‑98A.

SECTION 5.  G.S. 115C‑238.66 is amended by adding a new subdivision to read:

(11a)  Instructional materials. – The board of directors shall ensure that information about instructional materials is prominently displayed on the website of the regional school, in accordance with G.S. 115C‑98A.

SECTION 6.  G.S. 116‑239.8 reads as rewritten:

§ 116‑239.8.  Chancellor; powers and duties.



(b)        The chancellor shall be the administrative head of a laboratory school approved by the Subcommittee and shall provide general direction for the establishment and operation of a laboratory school. The chancellor, with advice and input from the advisory board established in subdivision (1) of this subsection, shall adopt policies, operating procedures, and the courses of study to govern the operation of the laboratory school. The chancellor may designate the duties required by this Article to other personnel as necessary. The chancellor shall also have the following powers and duties:



(2a)      Balanced political viewpoints. – The chancellor shall require that all curriculum, professional development, and teaching standards used to implement instruction reflect balanced political viewpoints. When the viewpoint of one of the two major political parties in the United States is presented through materials, assignments, lectures, or other instruments for instruction in any classroom or other area of the school, the viewpoint of the alternative political party shall also be presented and given equal weight during the same instructional unit.

(2b)      Instructional materials. – The chancellor shall ensure that information about instructional materials is prominently displayed on the website of the laboratory school, in accordance with G.S. 115C‑98A.

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SECTION 7.  Except as otherwise provided, this act is effective when it becomes law and applies beginning with the display of instructional materials used during the 2021‑2022 school year.