EASTERN CAROLINA -

Monday, Aug. 25 is the first day of school for 12 counties in Eastern Carolina. NewsChannel 12 spoke with parent groups and school representatives about important issues for the first day of class and the rest of the school year.

FIRST, SCHOOL BUS SAFETY LAWS:

According to the state law: "When a school bus displays its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights to receive or discharge passengers," drivers must stop their vehicles.

The only exception is when drivers are on a "divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation or a center turning lane... only traffic following the bus must stop," according to state law.

Passing a stopped bus can result in a $500 fine and add five points to a person's driving record, the state law says.

Hitting a pedestrian while passing a stopped bus is a Class I Felony and incurs a minimum $1,250 fine, according to the state law. Killing a pedestrian while passing a stopped bus is a Class H Felony and incurs a minimum $2,500 fine.

SECOND, EDUCATORS CAN EXPECT TO BE PAID MORE THIS YEAR:

Gov. Pat McCrory signed a state budget that's going to impact educators and officials who help teach kids.

The governor signed a $21.1 billion state budget in early August. That budget calls for an average 7-percent pay increase for teachers. Each school administrator will receive about $800 more, and each office worker and non-verified staff member will receive $500 more.

THIRD, MAKE SURE YOUR KIDS ARE PREPARED:

Make sure they eat breakfast and bring lunch or have lunch money.

Make sure they have their school schedules so they know where they're going for each period.

Make sure they have their supplies: Book bags, notebooks, pencils and books.