§115-C-81: Basic Education Program
In 1985, the General Assembly directed the State Board of Education to adopt a Basic Education Program. The Basic Education Program, or BEP, describes a comprehensive basic education to all North Carolina students. However, the BEP was never fully funded nor was it implemented as it was originally designed. The BEP is still public school law, and provides a basis for the Standard Course of Study and continued policy and legislation, such as:
Legislated Group (Committee, Task Force, Commission)
Resulting Legislation
Joint Select Committee on Arts Education (2008)
[S66 and H149]
Comprehensive Arts Education Task Force and Reports (2010)0000000000000
Arts Education Commission and Report (2011-12)
[H758 and S724]

Read the Public School Law (General Statute 115-C-81)
In 2017, House Bill 135 repealed and replaced the Basic Education Program:
NEW: 115C-81.5 Standard Course of Study
This legislation repeals the BEP and replaces with sound, basic education, and other technical changes.

Excerpt from the Law (G.S. 115-C-81):

“(a) The General Assembly believes that all children can learn. It is the intent of the General Assembly that the mission of the public school community is to challenge with high expectations each child to learn, to achieve, and to fulfill his or her potential. With that mission as its guide, the State Board of Education shall adopt a Basic Education Program for the public schools of the State…”
“…The State Board shall implement the Basic Education Program within funds appropriated for that purpose by the General Assembly and by units of local government. It is the intent of the General Assembly that until the Basic Education Program is fully funded, the implementation of the Basic Education Program shall be the focus of State educational funding. It is the goal of the General Assembly that the Basic Education Program be fully funded and completely operational in each local school administrative unit by July 1, 1995…It is further a goal of the General Assembly to provide supplemental funds to low‑wealth counties to allow those counties to enhance the instructional program and student achievement.”
“(a1) The Basic Education Program shall describe the education program to be offered to every child in the public schools. It shall provide every student in the State equal access to a Basic Education Program. Instruction shall be offered in the areas of ARTS, communication skills, physical education and personal health and safety, mathematics, media and computer skills, science, second languages, social studies, and vocational and technical education…”

Excerpt from the State Board of Education Basic Education Program for North Carolina's Public Schools (1994)

“The Basic Education Program for the State of North Carolina is just that: basic. The pages that follow describe the program, the purpose and the components. Because this program is basic, it does not describe an ideal education program. Rather, it describes a program of instruction which is fundamentally complete and which would give the student a thorough grounding in these areas: ARTS EDUCATION, English Language Arts (communication skills), information skills and computer skills, second languages, healthful living, mathematics, science, social studies, and vocational education…”

“As defined, a basic education program is not one dimensional. Indeed, it must address all aspects of a child’s development, from kindergarten through high school, or else it cannot properly be termed basic. The arts, for example, are an essential part of the basic program—as essential, for instance, as mathematics or second languages are to the development of well-rounded citizens.”

“…The curriculum descriptions contained here summarize the Standard Course of Study which is a part of the Basic Education Program…The program described in this document is what each child in the North Carolina public schools is guaranteed. Any local administrative unit may provide programming, facilities, staffing, or other resources beyond those described here at local expense. The basic curriculum represents the program which should be provided for all children in North Carolina.”

Arts Education BEP Specifications:

  1. All four arts disciplines required (K-5);
  2. All four arts disciplines available as electives, with students required to take at least one each year (6-8);
  3. Arts Education courses available as electives at the High School Level.

Read Part I of the State Board BEP document: