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March 18, 2011: Legislative Update

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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

March 18, 2011
 

Committee Meetings March 21 – March 24

Tuesday Committee Meetings
8:30 a.m.
Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, 421 LOB (standing time – unlikely to meet on March 22)

9:30 a.m.
House Committee on Insurance
         SB 265 Transfer State Health Plan to State Treasurer
  
10:00 a.m.
House Committee on Education, 643 LOB
        HB 72 Community College Investment Flexibility
        HB 210 Building Code/School Animal Husbandry Bldgs.
        HB 334 Report on Fitness Testing in Schools
        SB 20 Amend Law Regulating Proprietary Schools

11:00 a.m.
Senate Committee on Commerce, 1027 LB
        SB 125 NC School of Biotechnology and Agriscience

   
Wednesday Committee Meetings
8:30 a.m.
Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, 421 LOB (standing time – may not meet on March 23)
 
10:00 a.m.
Senate Committee on Education/Higher Education, 544 LOB
       SB 255 Amend UNC Enrollment Funding Formula
       SB 283 School Calendar Flexibility/Inclement Weather
       SB 287 Extend Small Business Center Incubator Period
       SB 296 Cooperative Innovative High School Programs
       HB 22  Vance-Granville Community College Bond Funds 

Thursday Committee Meetings
8:30 a.m.
Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, 421 LOB

 

Summary of Key Legislation and Additional Resources


On the budget --
This week, the Joint Subcommittee on Education Appropriations shifted gears to wrap up the process of providing budget information to committee members and to begin the process of preparing the budget.  Committee meetings were cancelled to provide time for the budget chairs to work together.   The committee chairs intend to make public their work in the committee meetings next week.  The schedule for meetings next week has not been scheduled, although the committee is unlikely to meet at the regularly scheduled time at the beginning of the week.

In terms of key legislation debated this week --

The House Education Committee took up Senate Bill 8 on lifting the charter school cap for the second week on Tuesday.  Once again, the meeting began with a proposed committee substitute.  This made numerous changes from the prior PCS and incorporated some amendments or portions of amendments submitted by House Democrats.  The changes include reducing the supermajority veto required for the State Board to override a decision of the commission from ¾ to 2/3; providing oversight for enrollment growth greater than 20% (current law provides 10%, prior S8 had no limits); and addresses some of the local funding issues.  A complete description of changes is available from the General Assembly research staff and is accessible from our website; http://legislative.ncpublicschools.gov/resources-for-legislators under Charter Schools entitled “Senate Bill 8 Analysis”.  This version of S8 passed the House Education committee along party lines and will next be addressed in House Finance – possibly this week.  It then is expected to go to the House floor for votes.  Because a different version passed the Senate, it will then go to conference committee.

The State Board is on record for supporting incremental growth of charter schools.  Of continued concern with S8 is the governance structure.  It raises significant constitutional concerns as well as policy considerations of creating dual school systems. Local funding issues persist. The State Board’s position is that resource and other issues must be addressed in order to provide for growth of quality charter schools in a way that supports the public school system.

House Bill 87, Sunshine Amendment, would make access to public records a constitutional right.  On the House floor on Thursday, the House approved Representative Stam’s amendment to limit the constitutional right to “every natural person who is a citizen of the state.”  Bill sponsor Representative LaRoque chose to post-pone consideration of an amendment offered by Representative Faison that would change the bill fro a constitutional amendment to a statutory issue.  The bill will be considered again on Tuesday, March 22.  A constitutional provision raises significant implications for creating any exceptions to access to records, including for personnel records. 

Among bills introduced this week --

House Bill 342, High School Accreditation, would give the State Board of Education the responsibility to evaluate schools for accreditation upon the request and at the expense of a local board of education.  The bill requires use of the Common Core Standards which the State Board has adopted.  Given expected budget reductions, the General Assembly would want to consider whether it wants to devote resources necessary for the State Board to develop an accreditation process. 

House Bill 344, Tax Credits for Children with Disabilities, would provide a tax credit under certain circumstances for tuition for a student with disabilities.  The State Board is opposed to this legislation.  The public schools have in place laws that better protect the interests of children with disabilities. 

Senate Bill 361, Interscholastic Sports Open to all Students, would require the State Board to establish rules to allow students in home school, charter school, or private school to participate in interscholastic sports from what would be the student’s home base high school.  There are a number of concerns in developing rules that can be fairly applied in all of these circumstances.  For this reason, the State Board has consistently opposed legislation that required public schools to include other students in their sports teams.

Looking ahead to next week –

On Tuesday, March 22, the House Education Committee will take up House Bill 334, Report on Fitness Testing in Schools.  This amends an existing statutory requirement for the State Board to adopt guidelines for evidence-based fitness testing and would now require an annual report on the results of the testing in each local school administrative unit.  Its current wording could be interpreted as requiring the use of the fitness testing.  Currently, no state funds are allocated for fitness testing at the local level or to DPI for costs related to implementing, monitoring compliance, or reporting on the results. 

On Tuesday, March 22, the Senate Commerce Committee will consider Senate Bill 125, NC School of Biotechnology and Agriscience.  The participating school districts would be Chowan, Hyde, Tyrell, and Washington.  The intent is to create a public school with added flexibility that will provide students with an opportunity to focus on STEM-related coursework.  The concept originated in the NC Agriscience and Biotechnology School Planning Commission; however, the model for funding is not the same.  The proposed legislation uses a more charter school-like approach to the funding mechanisms. 

On Wednesday, March 23, the Senate Education Committee will consider Senate Bill 283, School Calendar Flexibility/Inclement Weather.  For school districts that missed more than 15 instructional days in the 2010-2011 school year, this bill would allow the local board to meet either a minimum of 180 days or 1,000 hours, instead of requiring both standards to be met.

 

Listing of Bills with Impact on Students and Public Schools

(bills listed in BOLD had action the week of March 14 - 17)

 

HOUSE BILLS

Note:  “Passed first reading” is the language used on the General Assembly website to describe when the bill has been introduced; it does not reflect a vote on the bill.
 

HB 41 Tax Fairness in Education (Stam, Hager, Collins, Brawley)
An Act to allow an individual income tax credit for part of the expense of avoided public education and to authorize counties to appropriate funds for children educated other than in public schools.

  • Recent Action:
    2/07/11 Referred to the House Committee on Education, if favorable, Finance.

 

HB 48  No Standardized Testing Unless Req'd by Feds (Holloway, Blackwell, Hilton, Cotham)
An Act to reduce spending by eliminating statewide standardized testing in the public schools, except as required by federal law or as a condition of a federal grant.

  • Recent Action:
    3/7/2011 Ratified
    3/8/2011 Presented to the Governor

 

HB 51 PTA Parental Involvement/Dropout Prev. Funds (Lucas, Glazier)
An Act to appropriate funds for the North Carolina PTA Parent Involvement/Dropout Prevention Initiative.

  • Recent Action:
    2/10/11 Re-referred to House Committee on Appropriations

 

HB 61 Speaker/Pro Tem Term Limits (Blust, Tillis)
An Act amending the North Carolina Constitution to limit the terms of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate to two General Assemblies.

  • Recent Action:
    3/16/2011 Favorable report in the House Committee on Judiciary A
    3/17/2011 Placed on House calendar for 3/23/2011

HB 67 (SB 83) Wilson County School Board (Tolson, Farmer-Butterfield)
An Act to change the date that members of the Wilson County Board of Education take office and to fix an error in a 1987 local act relating to that board.

  • Recent Action:
    2/24/11 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Rules, Operations of the Senate.

 

HB 73 Eugenics Program-Support and Education (Womble, Parmon)
An Act to provide counseling benefits to eugenics survivors, to direct the Department Of Health and Human Services to establish a database of Eugenics Program participants and verify the status of persons contacting the state to determine their participation in the state program, to direct the State Board of Education to include information about the program in its k‑12 history curriculum, to direct the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina to direct appropriate faculty and students to conduct interviews with survivors, to recommend creation of an ethics training module for state, county, and local government employees, and to direct the Department of Cultural Resources to digitize existing records for preservation and study purposes.

  • Recent Action:
    2/14/2011 Referred to the Committee on Health and Human Services, if favorable, Appropriations.

 

HB 87 Sunshine Amendment (LaRoque, T. Moore)
An Act to provide for government in the sunshine by amending the North Carolina Constitution.

  • Recent Action:
    3/16/2011 Committee substitute received a favorable report.
    3/17/2011 Amendment adopted, placed on calendar for 3/22/2011.

 

HB 94 Local Flexibility Re: School Calendar (Lucas, Bell)
An Act to permit local boards of education to set school calendars for their local school administrative units.

  • Recent Action:
    3/10/2011 Assigned to the Commerce and Job Development Subcommittee on Business and Labor.

 

HB 131 Funds/One School Superintendent per County (Parmon, Lucas)
An Act directing the State Board of Education to provide funds for only one local school superintendent per county.

  • Recent Action:
    2/21/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education, if favorable, Appropriations.

 

HB 132 Make Up Snow Days With Distance Learning (Lucas)
An Act to allow local school administrative units to make up snow days by requiring students to complete lessons posted online.

  • Recent Action:
    2/21/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education.

 

HB 145 Phoebe’s Law (Work/School Zones-Speed Camera Pilot Program) (Glazier, Murray, Rapp, Jordan)
An Act to establish a pilot program to improve public safety by authorizing the use of electronic speed measuring systems by the Department of Transportation to detect speed limit violations in highway work and school zones, to establish standards for the approval, use, and calibration of electronic speed measuring systems, to establish a civil penalty for speed violations in work and school zones that are detected by those systems, to create a new special fund within the state civil penalty and forfeiture fund, to provide for the payment of the penalties into the designated special fund, and to decrease the amount of highway funds transferred to the Department of Public Instruction for drivers education.

  • Recent Action:
    3/16/2011 Committee substitute received a favorable report.
    3/16/2011 Re-referred to the Judiciary Subcommittee A.

 

HB 175 Putting Students First/Local Control (Burr, Folwell, Hager, Rapp)
An Act to amend the school calendar law to put students first and to restore local control.

  • Recent Action:
    2/24/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education, if favorable, Commerce and Job Development.

 

HB 181 (SB 124) Add Supt. to NC Econ. Dev. Bd. (Glazier)
An Act to add the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to the Economic Development Board, as recommended by the Joint Legislative Joining Our Businesses and Schools (Jobs) Study Commission.

  • Recent Action:
    3/16/2011 Favorable report, placed on House calendar for 4/17/2011
    3/17/2011 Passed 2nd and 3rd reading in the House.

 

HB 185 School Calendar Flexibility (Randleman)
An Act to authorizing local boards of education to adopt consolidated calendars.

  • Recent Action:
    2/28/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education.

 

HB 197 School Calendar Flexibility/Inclement Weather (Frye, Jordan, Rapp, West)
An Act to give certain local boards of education additional flexibility with regard to instructional time lost due to inclement weather.

  • Recent Action:
    3/03/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education.

 

HB 200 Appropriations Act of 2011 (Brubaker)
An Act to make base budget appropriations for current operations of state departments, institutions, and agencies, and for other purposes.

  • Recent Action:
    3/02/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

 

HB 210 (SB 184) Building Code/School Animal Husbandry Bldgs. (Brisson, Glazier, Lucas, Parfitt)
An Act to exempt from building rules structures that are associated with an animal husbandry program operated by a local school administrative unit and located on school property.

  • Recent Action:
    3/03/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education.
    Calendared for 3/22/2011

 

HB 218 Legislative Task Force on Childhood Obesity (Insko, L. Brown, Johnson, and Weiss_
An Act to establish the Legislative Task Force on Childhood Obesity.

  • Recent Action:
    3/03/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.

 

HB 238 State Health Plan/Repeal Penalties (Dollar, Blackwell, Harrison, and Hurley)
An Act to repeal the body mass index (BMI) and tobacco use penalties from the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees.

  • Recent Action:
    3/07/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Health and Human Services, if favorable, State Personnel. 

 

HB 244 (SB 282) State Health Plan/Add Sterling Montessori (Stein)
An Act to authorize Sterling Montessori Academy and charter school to elect to participate in the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees.

  • Recent Action:
    3/08/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Insurance.

 

HB 247 Enhance Charter School Accountability (Glazier, Cotham, Rapp, Lucas)
An act to eliminate the cap on charter schools, to establish the North Carolina Charter School Commission, to provide for enhanced accountability for charter school academic performance, and to make other changes to the charter school statutes.

  • Recent Action:
    3/09/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education, if favorable, Appropriations.

 

HB 253 Home Schoolers Participate in School Sports (Dixon, Cleveland)
An Act to permit home schooled students to participate in interscholastic athletics.

  • Recent Action:
    3/09/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education.

 

HB 264 (SB 125) NC School of Biotechnology and Agriscience (Glazier)
An Act to create the North Carolina school of Agriscience And Biotechnology, as recommended by the Joint Legislative Joining Our Businesses and Schools (Jobs) Study Commission upon the recommendations of the Agriscience and Biotechnology Regional School Planning Commission.

  • Recent Action:
    3/09/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Education.

 

HB 278 Update Savings Bond Payroll Savings Program (Hastings)
An Act to update the Payroll Savings Program for savings bonds to reflect recent changes made by the United States Treasury Department.

  • Recent Action:
    3/10/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House.

 

HB 288 North Carolina Science Olympiad Funds (Glazier, Weiss, Parmon, Michaux)
An Act to appropriate funds to expand the North Carolina Science Olympiad to all one hundred counties.

  • Recent Action:
    3/10/2011 Passed 1st reading in the House, referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

 

HB 320 (SB 278) Continue P3 Study (McGee, Ross, McComas, Carney)
An Act to continue the study of public-private partnerships by a Legislative Study Commission.

  • Recent Action:
    3/14/2011 Passed 1st Reading, referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.

 

HB 322 Haywood School Board Filing Period (Rapp, Haire)
An Act to allow the Haywood County Board of Elections to extend the filing period if no person files for a seat on the Haywood County Board of Education.

  • Recent Action
    3/14/2011 Passed 1st Reading, referred to the Committee on Government.

 

HB 334 Report on Fitness Testing in Schools (Insko, Bell, Harrison, LaRoque)
An Act to require the State Board of Education to report on the results of fitness testing in each local school administrative unit.

  • Recent Action
    3/14/2011 Passed 1st Reading, referred to the Committee on Education.
    Calendared for 3/22/2011.

 

HB 338 Burke School Board Recall (Blackwell)
An Act to allow recall of members of the Burke County Board of Education.

  • Recent Action
    3/14/2011 Passed 1st Reading, referred to the Committee on Government.

 

HB 342 High School Accreditation (Blackwell, Holloway)
An Act prohibiting any public institution of higher education  from soliciting or using information regarding the accreditation of a secondary school attended by a student as a factor affecting admissions, loans, scholarships, or other educational activity at the public institution, unless the accreditation was conducted by a state agency; authorizing the State Board of Education to accredit schools in a local school administrative unit at the request of and at the expense of that unit; and modifying the budget of the Department of Public Instruction accordingly.

  • Recent Action
    3/15/2011 Passed 1st Reading, referred to the Committee on Education, if favorable Appropriations.

 

HB 344 Tax Credits for Children with Disabilities (Stam, Randleman, Jordan, Jones)
An Act to allow an individual income tax credit for children with disabilities who require special education and to create a fund for special education and related services.

  • Recent Action
    3/15/2011 Passed 1st Reading, referred to the Committee on Education, if favorable Finance.

 

HB 393 Modify Internal Auditing Statues (Hastings, McGee)
An Act to modify the internal auditing statutes applicable to large state departments and the university system.

  • Recent Action
    3/17/2011 Passed 1st Reading, referred to the Committee on Government.

 

HB 394 Flexible Work Option for All State Employees (Hurley)
An Act providing for voluntary flexible work schedules for state employees during the 2011 2013 fiscal biennium.

  • Recent Action
    3/17/2011 Passed 1st Reading, referred to the Committee on State Personnel.

SENATE BILLS

SB 8 No Cap on the Number of Charter Schools (Stevens)
An Act to remove the cap on the number of charter schools.

  • Recent Action:
    3/16/2011 Committee Substitute received a favorable report.
    3/16/2011 Re-referred to the Senate Committee on Finance
    .

 

SB 13 Balanced Budget Act of 2011 (Stevens, Brunstetter, Hunt)
An Act to enact the Balanced Budget Act of 2011.

  • Recent Action:
    3/9/2011 Withdrawn from Committee, placed on Senate Calendar for 3/9/2011
    3/9/2011 Veto Overridden, sent to the House, received and read.

 

SB 49 Increase Fine for Speeding/School Zones (Allran)
An Act to increase the fine for speeding in a school zone from twenty five dollars to two hundred fifty dollars.

  • Recent Action:
    3/14/2011 Withdrawn from the House Judiciary Committee, re-referred to the Judiciary Subcommittee B. 

 

SB 62 Make up Snow days with Distance Learning (Mansfield)
An Act to allow local school administrative units to make up snow days by requiring students to complete lessons posted online. 

  • Recent Action:
    2/14/2011 Referred to the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate.

 

SB 67 Sunshine Amendment (Clary, Tucker, Goolsby)
An Act to provide for government in the sunshine by amending the North Carolina Constitution.

  • Recent Action:
    2/16/2011 Referred to the Senate Judiciary I Committee

 

SB 83 (HB 67) Wilson County School Board (Newton)
An Act to change the date that members of the Wilson County Board of Education take office and to fix an error in a 1987 local act relating to that board.

  • Recent Action:
    3/8/2011 passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Government.

 

SJR 90 State Board of Education Confirmations (Tillman, Preston, Soucek)
A Joint Resolution providing for confirmation of appointments by the Governor to the State Board of Education.

  • Recent Action:
    2/22/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Education/Higher Education.

 

SJR 92 State Board of Education Confirmations (Tillman, Preston, Soucek)
A Joint Resolution providing for a joint session of the General Assembly to act on A Joint Resolution providing for confirmation of the appointments by the Governor of new members to the State Board of Education.

  • Recent Action:
    2/22/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Education/Higher Education.

 

SB 115 Coverage of Treatment of Autism Disorders (Purcell, Garrou, Mansfield)
An Act to require health benefit plans, including the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees, to provide coverage for treatment of autism spectrum disorders.

  • Recent Action:
    2/21/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Insurance.

 

SB 124 Add Supt. to NC Econ. Dev. Bd. (Brown, Hartsell)
An Act to add the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to the Economic Development Board, as recommended by the Joint Legislative Joining Our Businesses and Schools (Jobs) Study Commission.

  • Recent Action:
    2/28/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred Committee on State and Local Government.

 

SB 125 NC School of Biotechnology and Agriscience (Brown, Hartsell)
An Act to create the North Carolina school of Agriscience And Biotechnology, as recommended by the Joint Legislative Joining Our Businesses and Schools (Jobs) Study Commission upon the recommendations of the Agriscience and Biotechnology Regional School Planning Commission.

  • Recent Action:
    2/28/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred Committee on Commerce.
    Calendared for 3/22/2011

 

SB 140 Leadership Limits/Gubernatorial Team Ticket (Apodaca, Brunstetter, Tucker)
An Act to amend the North Carolina Constitution to limit the speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate to three consecutive two year terms in those offices, and to provide that the Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall run together in the general election.

  • Recent Action:
    2/28/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations of the Senate.

 

SB 169 Study Innovations/Incentives in Education (Hartsell)
An Act creating The Innovations in Education Legislative Study Commission to study the feasibility of offering financial incentives to students for quality academic performance.

  • Recent Action:
    3/3/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to Education/Higher Education. If favorable, re-referred to Appropriations/Base Budget.

 

SB 172 Classroom Experience for School Personnel (Hartsell)
An Act to give classroom experience to professional public school employees who are not classroom teachers.

  • Recent Action:
    3/3/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to Education/Higher Education.

 

SB 184 (HB 210) Building Code/School Animal Husbandry Bldgs. (Brisson, Glazier, Lucas, Parfitt)
An Act to exempt from building rules structures that are associated with an animal husbandry program operated by a local school administrative unit and located on school property.

  • Recent Action:
    3/03/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Education/Higher Education.

 

SB 265 Transfer State Health Plan to State Treasurer (Apodaca, Brunstetter, Hartsell)
An Act to transfer the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees to the Department of State Treasurer.

  • Recent Action:
    3/14/2011 Withdrawn from the House Committee on Pension & Retirement and Aging, re-referred to Committee on Insurance.

 

SB 278 (HB 320) Continue P3 Study (Jenkins)
An Act to continue the study of public-private partnerships by a Legislative Study Commission.

  • Recent Action:
    3/09/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate.

 

SB 282 (HB 244) State Health Plan/Add Sterling Montessori (Stein)
An Act to authorize Sterling Montessori Academy and charter school to elect to participate in the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees.

  • Recent Action:
    3/10/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Insurance.

 

SB 283 School Calendar Flexibility/Inclement Weather(Hise)
An Act to address school days missed by mountain counties due to inclement weather.

  • Recent Action:
    3/10/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Education/Higher Education.
     Calendared for 3/23/2011.

 

SB 296 Cooperative Innovative High School Programs (Atwater, McKissick)
An Act to broaden the definition of cooperative innovative high school programs.

  • Recent Action:
    3/10/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Education/Higher Education.
     Calendared for 3/23/2011.

 

SB 339 Modify Driver’s Education Program (Hartsell)
An Act to require the Department of Public Instruction to provide additional fiscal and technical oversight of the driver education program, as recommended by the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee.

  • Recent Action:
    3/15/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Education/Higher Education.


SB 361 Interscholastic Sports Open to all Students (Tillman, Hise)
An Act permitting students who attend a public school, private school, home school, or charter school without an interscholastic athletics program in a given sport to participate in that sport at a public high school.

  • Recent Action:
    3/17/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Education/Higher Education.

 

SB 362 Reallocate Lottery Funds (Tillman, Tucker)
An Act to reallocate lottery funding from class size reduction and pre k programs to school construction.

  • Recent Action:
    3/17/2011 Passed 1st reading in the Senate, referred to the Committee on Education/Higher Education, if favorable re-referred to the Committee on Finance.

 

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