Part 3. Principal and Teacher Employment Contracts.

115C-325. (Repealed effective June 30, 2018 - see notes) System of employment for public school teachers.

(a) Definition of Terms. - As used in this section unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) Repealed by Session Laws 1997-221, s. 13(a).

(1a) "Career employee" as used in this section means:

a. An employee who has obtained career status with that local board as a teacher as provided in G.S. 115C-325(c);

b. An employee who has obtained career status with that local board in an administrative position as provided in G.S. 115C-325(d)(2);

c. A probationary teacher during the term of the contract as provided in G.S. 115C-325(m); and

d. A school administrator during the term of a school administrator contract as provided in G.S. 115C-287.1(c).

(1b) "Career school administrator" means a school administrator who has obtained career status in an administrative position as provided in G.S. 115C-325(d)(2).

(1c) "Career teacher" means a teacher who has obtained career status as provided in G.S. 115C-325(c).

(1d) Repealed by Session Laws 2011-348, s. 1, effective July 1, 2011, and applicable to persons recommended for dismissal or demotion on or after that date.

(2) Repealed by Session Laws 1997, c. 221, s. 13(a).

(3) "Day" means calendar day. In computing any period of time, Rule 6 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply.

(4) "Demote" means to reduce the salary of a person who is classified or paid by the State Board of Education as a classroom teacher or as a school administrator. The word "demote" does not include: (i) a suspension without pay pursuant to G.S. 115C-325(f)(1); (ii) the elimination or reduction of bonus payments, including merit-based supplements, or a systemwide modification in the amount of any applicable local supplement; or (iii) any reduction in salary that results from the elimination of a special duty, such as the duty of an athletic coach or a choral director.

(4a) "Disciplinary suspension" means a final decision to suspend a teacher or school administrator without pay for no more than 60 days under G.S. 115C-325(f)(2).

(4b) "Exchange teacher" means a nonimmigrant alien teacher participating in an exchange visitor program designated by the United States Department of State pursuant to 22 C.F.R. Part 62 or by the United States Department of Homeland Security pursuant to 8 C.F.R. Part 214.2(q).

(4c) "Hearing officer" means a person selected under G.S. 115C-325(h)(7).

(5) "Probationary teacher" means a licensed person, other than a superintendent, associate superintendent, or assistant superintendent, who has not obtained career-teacher status and whose major responsibility is to teach or to supervise teaching.

(5a) [Expired.]

(5b) "School administrator" means a principal, assistant principal, supervisor, or director whose major function includes the direct or indirect supervision of teaching or any other part of the instructional program as provided in G.S. 115C-287.1(a)(3).

(6) "Teacher" means a person who holds at least a current, not provisional or expired, Class A license or a regular, not provisional or expired, vocational license issued by the State Board of Education; whose major responsibility is to teach or directly supervises teaching or who is classified by the State Board of Education or is paid either as a classroom teacher or instructional support personnel; and who is employed to fill a full-time, permanent position.

(7) (See note) Redesignated.

(8) "Year" for purposes of computing time as a probationary teacher shall be not less than 120 workdays performed as a probationary teacher in a full-time permanent position in a school year. Workdays performed pending the outcome of a criminal history check as provided in G.S. 115C-332 are included in computing time as a probationary teacher.

(b) Personnel Files. - The superintendent shall maintain in his office a personnel file for each teacher that contains any complaint, commendation, or suggestion for correction or improvement about the teacher's professional conduct, except that the superintendent may elect not to place in a teacher's file (i) a letter of complaint that contains invalid, irrelevant, outdated, or false information or (ii) a letter of complaint when there is no documentation of an attempt to resolve the issue. The complaint, commendation, or suggestion shall be signed by the person who makes it and shall be placed in the teacher's file only after five days' notice to the teacher. Any denial or explanation relating to such complaint, commendation, or suggestion that the teacher desires to make shall be placed in the file. Any teacher may petition the local board of education to remove any information from his personnel file that he deems invalid, irrelevant, or outdated. The board may order the superintendent to remove said information if it finds the information is invalid, irrelevant, or outdated.

The personnel file shall be open for the teacher's inspection at all reasonable times but shall be open to other persons only in accordance with such rules and regulations as the board adopts. Any preemployment data or other information obtained about a teacher before his employment by the board may be kept in a file separate from his personnel file and need not be made available to him. No data placed in the preemployment file may be introduced as evidence at a hearing on the dismissal or demotion of a teacher, except the data may be used to substantiate G.S. 115C-325(e)(1)g. or G.S. 115C-325(e)(1)o. as grounds for dismissal or demotion.

(c) (1) (Repealed August 1, 2013, for teachers without career status on that date) Election of a Teacher to Career Status. - Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection, when a teacher has been employed by a North Carolina public school system for four consecutive years, the board, near the end of the fourth year, shall vote upon whether to grant the teacher career status. The teacher has a right to notice and hearing prior to the board's vote as provided in G.S. 115C-325(m)(3) and G.S. 115C-325(m)(4). The board shall give the teacher written notice of that decision by June 15 or such later date as provided in G.S. 115C-325(m)(7). If a majority of the board votes to grant career status to the teacher, and if it has notified the teacher of the decision, it may not rescind that action but must proceed under the provisions of this section for the demotion or dismissal of a teacher if it decides to terminate the teacher's employment. If a majority of the board votes against granting career status, the teacher shall not teach beyond the current school term. If the board fails to vote on granting career status, the teacher shall be entitled to an additional month's pay for every 30 days or portion thereof after June 16 or such later date as provided in G.S. 115C-325(m)(7) if a majority of the board belatedly votes against granting career status.

(2) (Repealed August 1, 2013, for teachers without career status on that date) Employment of a Career Teacher. - A teacher who has obtained career status in any North Carolina public school system need not serve another probationary period of more than one year. The board may grant career status immediately upon employing the teacher, or after the first year of employment. The teacher has a right to notice and hearing prior to the board's vote as provided in G.S. 115C-325(m)(3) and G.S. 115C-325(m)(4). The board shall give the teacher written notice of that decision by June 15 or such later date as provided in G.S. 115C-325(m)(7). If a majority of the board votes against granting career status, the teacher shall not teach beyond the current term. If after one year of employment, the board fails to vote on the issue of granting career status, the teacher shall be entitled to one additional month's pay for every 30 days or portion thereof beyond June 16 or such later date as provided in G.S. 115C-325(m)(7) if a majority of the board belatedly voted against granting career status.

(2a) (Repealed August 1, 2013, for teachers without career status on that date) Notice of Teachers Eligible to Achieve Career Status. - At least 30 days prior to any board action granting career status, the superintendent shall submit to the board a list of the names of all teachers who are eligible to achieve career status. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the list shall be a public record under Chapter 132 of the General Statutes.

(3) (Repealed August 1, 2013, for teachers without career status on that date) Ineligible for Career Status. - No employee of a local board of education except a teacher as defined by G.S. 115C-325(a)(6) is eligible to obtain career status or continue in a career status as a teacher if he no longer performs the responsibilities of a teacher as defined in G.S. 115C-325(a)(6). No person who is employed as a school administrator who did not acquire career status as a school administrator by June 30, 1997, shall have career status as an administrator. Further, no director or assistant principal is eligible to obtain career status as a school administrator unless he or she has already been conferred that status by the local board of education.

(4) Leave of Absence. - A career teacher who has been granted a leave of absence by a board shall maintain his career status if he returns to his teaching position at the end of the authorized leave.

(5) (Repealed August 1, 2013, for teachers without career status on that date) Consecutive Years of Service. -

a. If a probationary teacher in a full-time permanent position does not work for at least 120 workdays in a school year because the teacher is on sick leave, disability leave, or both, that school year shall not be deemed to constitute (i) a consecutive year of service for the teacher or (ii) a break in the continuity in consecutive years of service for the teacher.

b. If a probationary teacher in a full-time permanent position is nonrenewed because of a decrease in the number of positions due to decreased funding, decreased enrollment, or a district reorganization, and is subsequently rehired by the same school system within three years, the intervening years when the teacher was not employed by the local school administrative unit shall not be deemed to constitute (i) a consecutive year of service for the teacher or (ii) a break in the continuity of years of service. However, if at the time of the teacher's nonrenewal for the reasons described in this subsection, the teacher was eligible for career status after being employed four consecutive years pursuant to G.S. 115C-325(c)(1), or one year pursuant to G.S. 115C-325(c)(2), and the board subsequently rehires the teacher within three years, the teacher will be eligible for a career status decision after one additional year of employment. Unless the superintendent unilaterally grants a teacher the benefit set forth in this subsection pursuant to a policy adopted by the board of education for this purpose, the teacher is entitled to such benefit only if the teacher notifies the head of human resources for the local school administrative unit in writing within 60 calendar days after the first day of employment upon being rehired that the teacher was nonrenewed because of a decrease in the number of positions triggered by decreased funding, decreased enrollment, or a district reorganization, and therefore the teacher's nonrenewal did not constitute a break in service for purposes of determining eligibility for career status. The local school administrative unit shall notify the teacher of the 60-day deadline as described herein in the employment application, contract, or in some other method reasonably calculated to provide the teacher actual notice within 30 calendar days after the first day of employment for the rehired teacher. The burden is on the teacher to submit information establishing that the teacher was nonrenewed because of a decrease in the number of positions triggered by decreased funding, decreased enrollment, or a district reorganization. If the local school administrative unit fails to provide notice to the teacher within this 30-day period, then the teacher's obligation to notify the local school administrative unit within 60 days does not commence until such time that the teacher is notified of the 60-day deadline.

The superintendent or designee will inform the teacher on whether the teacher qualifies for the benefit of this subsection within a reasonable period of time after receiving the information submitted by the teacher. This decision is final and the teacher has no right to a hearing or appeal except that the teacher may petition the board in writing within 10 calendar days after receiving the decision of the superintendent or designee, and the board or board panel shall review the matter on the record and provide the teacher a written decision. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no appeal to court or otherwise is permitted in regard to the benefits provided under this subsection. This subsection creates no private right of action or basis for any liability on the part of the school system, nor does it create any reemployment rights for a nonrenewed probationary teacher.

The provisions of this subsection also shall apply to a probationary teacher in a full-time permanent position who resigns effective the end of the school year in good standing after receiving documentation that the teacher's position may be eliminated because of a decrease in the number of positions triggered by decreased funding, decreased enrollment, or a district reorganization, and is subsequently rehired by the same school system.

(6) (Repealed August 1, 2013, for teachers without career status on that date) Status of Exchange Teachers. - Exchange teachers shall not be eligible to obtain career status. However, for purposes of determining eligibility to receive employment benefits under this Chapter, including personal leave, annual vacation leave, and sick leave, an exchange teacher shall be considered a permanent teacher if employed with the expectation of at least six full consecutive monthly pay periods of employment and if employed at least 20 hours per week.

(d) Career Teachers and Career School Administrators.

(1) A career teacher or career school administrator shall not be subjected to the requirement of annual appointment nor shall he be dismissed, demoted, or employed on a part-time basis without his consent except as provided in subsection (e).

(2) a. The provisions of this subdivision do not apply to a person who is ineligible for career status as provided by G.S. 115C-325(c)(3).

b. Repealed by Session Laws 1997, c. 221, s. 13(a).

c. Subject to G.S. 115C-287.1, when a teacher has performed the duties of supervisor or principal for three consecutive years, the board, near the end of the third year, shall vote upon his employment for the next school year. The board shall give him written notice of that decision by June 1 of his third year of employment as a supervisor or principal. If a majority of the board votes to reemploy the teacher as a principal or supervisor, and it has notified him of that decision, it may not rescind that action but must proceed under the provisions of this section. If a majority of the board votes not to reemploy the teacher as a principal or supervisor, he shall retain career status as a teacher if that status was attained prior to assuming the duties of supervisor or principal. A supervisor or principal who has not held that position for three years and whose contract will not be renewed for the next school year shall be notified by June 1 and shall retain career status as a teacher if that status was attained prior to assuming the duties of supervisor or principal.

A year, for purposes of computing time as a probationary principal or supervisor, shall not be less than 145 workdays performed as a full-time, permanent principal or supervisor in a contract year.

A principal or supervisor who has obtained career status in that position in any North Carolina public school system may be required by the board of education in another school system to serve an additional three-year probationary period in that position before being eligible for career status. However, he may, at the option of the board of education, be granted career status immediately or after serving a probationary period of one or two additional years. A principal or supervisor with career status who resigns and within five years is reemployed by the same school system need not serve another probationary period in that position of more than two years and may, at the option of the board, be reemployed immediately as a career principal or supervisor or be given career status after only one year. In any event, if he is reemployed for a third consecutive year, he shall automatically become a career principal or supervisor.

(e) Grounds for Dismissal or Demotion of a Career Employee.

(1) Grounds. - No career employee shall be dismissed or demoted or employed on a part-time basis except for one or more of the following:

a. Inadequate performance.

b. Immorality.

c. Insubordination.

d. Neglect of duty.

e. Physical or mental incapacity.

f. Habitual or excessive use of alcohol or nonmedical use of a controlled substance as defined in Article 5 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes.

g. Conviction of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.

h. Advocating the overthrow of the government of the United States or of the State of North Carolina by force, violence, or other unlawful means.

i. Failure to fulfill the duties and responsibilities imposed upon teachers or school administrators by the General Statutes of this State.

j. Failure to comply with such reasonable requirements as the board may prescribe.

k. Any cause which constitutes grounds for the revocation of the career teacher's teaching license or the career school administrator's administrator license.

l. A justifiable decrease in the number of positions due to district reorganization, decreased enrollment, or decreased funding, provided that there is compliance with subdivision (2).

m. Failure to maintain his or her license in a current status.

n. Failure to repay money owed to the State in accordance with the provisions of Article 60, Chapter 143 of the General Statutes.

o. Providing false information or knowingly omitting a material fact on an application for employment or in response to a preemployment inquiry.

(2) Reduction in Force. - Before recommending to a board the dismissal or demotion of the career employee pursuant to G.S. 115C-325(e)(1)l., the superintendent shall give written notice to the career employee by certified mail or personal delivery of his intention to make such recommendation and shall set forth as part of his or her recommendation the grounds upon which he or she believes such dismissal or demotion is justified. The notice shall include a statement to the effect that if the career employee within 15 days after receipt of the notice requests a review, he or she shall be entitled to have the proposed recommendations of the superintendent reviewed by the board. Within the 15-day period after receipt of the notice, the career employee may file with the superintendent a written request for a hearing before the board within 10 days. If the career employee requests a hearing before the board, the hearing procedures provided in G.S. 115C-325(j3) shall be followed. If no request is made within the 15-day period, the superintendent may file his or her recommendation with the board. If, after considering the recommendation of the superintendent and the evidence adduced at the hearing if there is one, the board concludes that the grounds for the recommendation are true and substantiated by a preponderance of the evidence, the board, if it sees fit, may by resolution order such dismissal. Provisions of this section which permit a hearing by a hearing officer shall not apply to a dismissal or demotion recommended pursuant to G.S. 115C-325(e)(1)l.

When a career employee is dismissed pursuant to G.S. 115C-325(e)(1)l., above, his or her name shall be placed on a list of available career employees to be maintained by the board.

(3) Inadequate Performance. - In determining whether the professional performance of a career employee is adequate, consideration shall be given to regular and special evaluation reports prepared in accordance with the published policy of the employing local school administrative unit and to any published standards of performance which shall have been adopted by the board. Failure to notify a career employee of an inadequacy or deficiency in performance shall be conclusive evidence of satisfactory performance. Inadequate performance for a teacher shall mean (i) the failure to perform at a proficient level on any standard of the evaluation instrument or (ii) otherwise performing in a manner that is below standard. However, for a probationary teacher, a performance rating below proficient may or may not be deemed adequate at that stage of development by a superintendent or designee. For a career teacher, a performance rating below proficient shall constitute inadequate performance unless the principal noted on the instrument that the teacher is making adequate progress toward proficiency given the circumstances.

(4) Three-Year Limitation on Basis of Dismissal or Demotion. - Dismissal or demotion under subdivision (1) above, except paragraphs g. and o. thereof, shall not be based on conduct or actions which occurred more than three years before the written notice of the superintendent's intention to recommend dismissal or demotion is mailed to the career employee. The three-year limitation shall not apply to dismissals or demotions pursuant to subdivision (1)b. above when the charge of immorality is based upon a career employee's sexual misconduct toward or sexual harassment of students or staff.

(f) (1) Suspension without Pay. - If a superintendent believes that cause exists for dismissing a career employee for any reason specified in G.S. 115C-325(e)(1) and that immediate suspension of the career employee is necessary, the superintendent may suspend the career employee without pay. Before suspending a career employee without pay, the superintendent shall meet with the career employee and give him written notice of the charges against him, an explanation of the bases for the charges, and an opportunity to respond. Within five days after a suspension under this paragraph, the superintendent shall initiate a dismissal, demotion, or disciplinary suspension without pay as provided in this section. If it is finally determined that no grounds for dismissal, demotion, or disciplinary suspension without pay exist, the career employee shall be reinstated immediately, shall be paid for the period of suspension, and all records of the suspension shall be removed from the career employee's personnel file.

(2) Disciplinary Suspension Without Pay. - A career employee recommended for suspension without pay pursuant to G.S. 115C-325(a)(4a) may request a hearing before the board. If no request is made within 15 days, the superintendent may file his recommendation with the board. If, after considering the recommendation of the superintendent and the evidence adduced at the hearing if one is held, the board concludes that the grounds for the recommendation are true and substantiated by a preponderance of the evidence, the board, if it sees fit, may by resolution order such suspension.

a. Board hearing for disciplinary suspensions for more than 10 days or for certain types of intentional misconduct. - The procedures for a board hearing under G.S. 115C-325(j3) shall apply if any of the following circumstances exist:

1. The recommended disciplinary suspension without pay is for more than 10 days; or

2. The disciplinary suspension is for intentional misconduct, such as inappropriate sexual or physical conduct, immorality, insubordination, habitual or excessive alcohol or nonmedical use of a controlled substance as defined in Article 5 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes, any cause that constitutes grounds for the revocation of the teacher's or school administrator's license, or providing false information.

b. Board hearing for disciplinary suspensions of no more that [than] 10 days. - The procedures for a board hearing under G.S. 115C-325(j2) shall apply to all disciplinary suspensions of no more than 10 days that are not for intentional misconduct as specified in G.S. 115C-325(f)(2)a.2.

(f1) Suspension with Pay. - If a superintendent believes that cause may exist for dismissing or demoting a career employee for any reasons specified in G.S. 115C-325(e)(1), but that additional investigation of the facts is necessary and circumstances are such that the career employee should be removed immediately from his duties, the superintendent may suspend the career employee with pay for a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 90 days. The superintendent shall notify the board of education within two days of his action and shall notify the career employee within two days of the action and the reasons for it. If the superintendent has not initiated dismissal or demotion proceedings against the career employee within the 90-day period, the career employee shall be reinstated to his duties immediately and all records of the suspension with pay shall be removed from the career employee's personnel file at his request. However, if the superintendent and the employee agree to extend the 90-day period, the superintendent may initiate dismissal or demotion proceedings against the career employee at any time during the period of the extension.

(f2) Procedure for Demotion of Career School Administrator. - If a superintendent intends to recommend the demotion of a career school administrator, the superintendent shall give written notice to the career school administrator by certified mail or personal delivery and shall include in the notice the grounds upon which the superintendent believes the demotion is justified. The notice shall include a statement that if the career school administrator requests a hearing within 15 days after receipt of the notice, the administrator shall be entitled to have the grounds for the proposed demotion reviewed by the local board of education. If the career school administrator does not request a board hearing within 15 days, the superintendent may file the recommendation of demotion with the board. If, after considering the superintendent's recommendation and the evidence presented at the hearing if one is held, the board concludes that the grounds for the recommendation are true and substantiated by a preponderance of the evidence, the board may by resolution order the demotion. The procedures for a board hearing under G.S. 115C-325(j3) shall apply to all demotions of career school administrators.

(g) Repealed by Session Laws 1997, c. 221, s. 13(a).

(h) Procedure for Dismissal or Demotion of Career Employee.

(1) a. A career employee may not be dismissed, demoted, or reduced to part-time employment except upon the superintendent's recommendation.

b. G.S. 115C-325(f2) shall apply to the demotion of a career school administrator.

(2) Before recommending to a board the dismissal or demotion of the career employee, the superintendent shall give written notice to the career employee by certified mail or personal delivery of his or her intention to make such recommendation and shall set forth as part of his or her recommendation the grounds upon which he or she believes such dismissal or demotion is justified. The superintendent also shall meet with the career employee and provide written notice of the charges against the career employee, an explanation of the basis for the charges, and an opportunity to respond if the career employee has not done so under G.S. 115C-325(f)(1). The notice shall include a statement to the effect that if the career employee within 14 days after the date of receipt of the notice requests a review, he or she may request to have the grounds for the proposed recommendations of the superintendent reviewed by an impartial hearing officer appointed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction as provided for in G.S. 115C-325(h)(7). A copy of G.S. 115C-325 shall also be sent to the career employee. If the career employee does not request a hearing before a hearing officer within the 14 days provided, the superintendent may submit his or her recommendation to the board.

(3) Within the 14-day period after receipt of the notice, the career employee may file with the superintendent a written request for either (i) a hearing on the grounds for the superintendent's proposed recommendation by a hearing officer or (ii) a hearing within 10 days before the board on the superintendent's recommendation. If the career employee requests an immediate hearing before the board, he or she forfeits his or her right to a hearing by a hearing officer. If no request is made within that period, the superintendent may file his or her recommendation with the board. The board, if it sees fit, may by resolution (i) reject the superintendent's recommendation or (ii) accept or modify the superintendent's recommendation and dismiss, demote, reinstate, or suspend the employee without pay. If a request for review is made, the superintendent shall not file the recommendation for dismissal with the board until a report of the hearing officer is filed with the superintendent. Failure of the hearing officer to submit the report as required by G.S. 115C-325(i1)(1) shall entitle the career employee to a hearing before the board under the same procedures as provided in G.S.115C-325(j).

(4) Repealed by Session Laws 1997, c. 221, s. 13(a).

(5) Repealed by Session Laws 2011-348, s. 1, effective July 1, 2011, and applicable to persons recommended for dismissal or demotion on or after that date.

(6) If a career employee requests a review by a hearing officer, the superintendent shall notify the Superintendent of Public Instruction within five days of his or her receipt of the request.

(7) Within five days of being notified of the request for a hearing before a hearing officer, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall submit to both parties a list of hearing officers trained and approved by the State Board of Education. Within five days of receiving the list, the parties may jointly select a hearing officer from that list, or, if the parties cannot agree to a hearing officer, each party may strike up to one-third of the names on the list and submit its strikeout list to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall then appoint a hearing officer from those individuals remaining on the list. Further, the parties may jointly agree on another hearing officer not on the State Board of Eduation's [Education's] list, provided that individual is available to proceed in a timely manner and is willing to accept the terms of appointment required by the State Board of Education. No person eliminated by the career employee or superintendent shall be designated as the hearing officer for that case.

(8) The superintendent and career employee shall serve a copy to the other party of all documents submitted to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and to the designated hearing officer and include a signed certificate of service similar to that required in court pleadings.

(h1) Hearing Officers; Qualifications; Training; Compensation.

(1) The State Board of Education shall select and maintain a master list of no more than 15 qualified hearing officers. The State Board shall, except for good cause shown, remove a hearing officer from the list who has failed to conduct a hearing or prepare a report within the time specified in G.S. 115C-325(i1) or who has failed to submit a supplemental report in accordance with G.S. 115C-325(i1)(4) or (j1)(2). A hearing officer shall, except for good cause shown, also be removed from the list for failure to meet the terms and conditions of engagement established by the State Board. Additionally, if a hearing officer is not appointed to a case within a two-year period due to repeated strikes from the list by either party as provided in G.S. 115C-325(h)(7), the State Board may remove the hearing officer from the master list.

(2) Persons selected by the State Board as hearing officers shall be members in good standing of the North Carolina State Bar who have demonstrated experience and expertise in the areas of education law, due process, administrative law, or employment law within the last five years. The State Board shall give special consideration in its selection to persons jointly endorsed by the largest by membership of each statewide organization representing teachers, school administrators, and local boards of education. Following State Board selection, hearing officers must complete a special training course approved by the State Board of Education that includes training on the teacher evaluation instrument and performance standards before they are qualified to hear teacher dismissal or demotion cases.

(3) The State Board of Education shall determine the compensation for a hearing officer. The State Board shall pay the hearing officer's compensation and authorized expenses.

(i) Repealed by Session Laws 1997, c. 221, s. 13(a).

(i1) Report of Hearing Officer; Superintendent's Recommendation.

(1) The hearing officer shall complete the hearing held in accordance with G.S. 115C-325(j) and prepare the report within 90 days from the time of the designation. This time period may be extended only for extraordinary cause and upon written agreement by both parties. The State Board of Education shall determine an appropriate reduction in compensation to the hearing officer for failure to submit a timely report to the superintendent within the maximum 90-day period set forth in this subdivision, except upon a showing of good cause by the hearing officer.

(2) The hearing officer shall make all necessary findings of fact, based upon the preponderance of the evidence, on all issues related to each and every ground for dismissal and on all relevant matters related to the question of whether the superintendent's recommendation is justified. The hearing officer shall not make a recommendation as to conclusions of law or the disposition of the case. The hearing officer shall deliver copies of the report to the superintendent and the career employee.

(3) Within five days after receiving the hearing officer's report, the superintendent shall decide whether to submit a written recommendation to the local board for dismissal, demotion, or disciplinary suspension without pay to the board or to drop the charges against the career employee. The superintendent shall notify the career employee, in writing, of the decision.

(4) If the superintendent contends that the hearing officer's report fails to address a critical factual issue, the superintendent shall within five days' receipt of the hearing officer's report, request in writing with a copy to the career employee that the hearing officer prepare a supplement to the report. The superintendent shall specify what critical factual issue the superintendent contends the hearing officer failed to address. If the hearing officer determines that the report failed to address a critical factual issue, the hearing officer shall prepare a supplement to the report to address the issue and deliver the supplement to both parties before the board hearing. In no event shall the hearing officer take more than 30 days to provide a supplemental report. If the hearing officer fails to submit a timely supplemental report, the superintendent shall report the hearing officer to the State Board. The State Board shall determine an appropriate reduction in compensation to the hearing officer for failure to submit a timely supplemental report to both parties, except upon a showing of good cause by the hearing officer. The failure of the hearing officer to prepare a supplemental report or to address a critical factual issue shall not constitute a basis for appeal.

(j) Hearing by a Hearing Officer. - The following provisions shall apply to a hearing conducted by the hearing officer.

(1) The hearing shall be private.

(2) The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with reasonable rules and regulations adopted by the State Board of Education to govern such hearings.

(3) At the hearing the career employee and the superintendent or the superintendent's designee shall have the right to be present and to be heard, to be represented by counsel and to present through witnesses any competent testimony relevant to the issue of whether grounds for dismissal or demotion exist or whether the procedures set forth in G.S. 115C-325 have been followed.

(4) Rules of evidence shall not apply to a hearing conducted by a hearing officer. The hearing officer may give probative effect to evidence that is of a kind commonly relied on by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of serious affairs.

(5) At least five days before the hearing, the superintendent shall provide to the career employee a list of witnesses the superintendent intends to present, a brief statement of the nature of the testimony of each witness and a copy of any documentary evidence the superintendent intends to present. At least three days before the hearing, the career employee shall provide to the superintendent a list of witnesses the career employee intends to present, a brief statement of the nature of the testimony of each witness and a copy of any documentary evidence the career employee intends to present. Additional witnesses or documentary evidence may not be presented except upon a finding by the hearing officer that the new evidence is critical to the matter at issue and the party making the request could not, with reasonable diligence, have discovered and produced the evidence according to the schedule provided in this subdivision.

(5a) The hearing shall be completed within three days after commencement, unless extended by the hearing officer on a showing of extraordinary cause. Neither party shall have more than eight hours to present its case in chief, which does not include cross-examination of witnesses, rebuttal evidence, or arguments of counsel.

(6) The hearing officer may issue subpoenas, at his or her discretion or upon written application by either party, and swear witnesses and may require them to give testimony and to produce records and documents relevant to the grounds for dismissal.

(7) The hearing officer shall decide all procedural issues, including limiting cumulative evidence, necessary for a fair and efficient hearing.

(8) The superintendent shall provide for making a transcript of the hearing. If the career employee contemplates a hearing before the board or to appeal the board's decision to a court of law, the career employee may request and shall receive at no charge a transcript of the proceedings before the hearing officer.

(j1) Board Determination. -

(1) Within five days after receiving the superintendent's notice of intent to recommend the career employee's dismissal to the board, the career employee shall decide whether to request a hearing before the board and shall notify the superintendent, in writing, of the decision. If the career employee can show that the request for a hearing was postmarked within the time provided, the career employee shall not forfeit the right to a board hearing. Within five days after receiving the career employee's request for a board hearing, the superintendent shall request that a transcript of the hearing be made. Within five days of receiving a copy of the transcript, the superintendent shall submit to the board the written recommendation and shall provide a copy of the recommendation to the career employee. The superintendent's recommendation shall state the grounds for the recommendation and shall be accompanied by a copy of the hearing officer's report and a copy of the transcript of the hearing.

(2) If the career employee contends that the hearing officer's report fails to address a critical factual issue the career employee shall, at the same time he or she notifies the superintendent of a request for a board hearing pursuant to G.S. 115C-325(j1)(1), request in writing with a copy to the superintendent that the hearing officer prepare a supplement to the hearing officer's report. The career employee shall specify the critical factual issue he or she contends the hearing officer failed to address. If the hearing officer determines that the report failed to address a critical factual issue, the hearing officer shall prepare a supplement to the report to address the issue and shall deliver the supplement to both parties before the board hearing. In no event shall the hearing officer take more than 30 days to provide a supplemental report. If the hearing officer fails to submit a timely supplemental report, the superintendent shall report the hearing officer to the State Board. The State Board shall determine an appropriate reduction in compensation to the hearing officer for failure to submit a timely supplemental report to both parties, except upon a showing of good cause by the hearing officer. The failure of the hearing officer to prepare a supplemental report or to address a critical factual issue shall not constitute a basis for appeal.

(3) Within five days after receiving the superintendent's recommendation and before taking any formal action, the board shall set a time and place for the hearing and shall notify the career employee by certified mail or personal delivery of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The time specified shall not be less than 10 nor more than 30 days after the board has notified the career employee, unless both parties agree to an extension. If the career employee did not request a hearing, the board may, by resolution, reject the superintendent's decision, or accept or modify the decision and dismiss, demote, reinstate, or suspend the career employee without pay.

(4) If the career employee requests a board hearing, it shall be conducted in accordance with G.S. 115C-325(j2).

(5) The board shall make a determination and may (i) reject the superintendent's recommendation or (ii) accept or modify the recommendation and dismiss, demote, reinstate, or suspend the employee without pay.

(6) Within two days following the hearing, the board shall send a written copy of its findings and determination to the career employee and the superintendent.

(j2) Board Hearing. - The following procedures shall apply to a hearing conducted by the board:

(1) The hearing shall be private.

(2) If the career employee requested a hearing by a hearing officer, the board shall receive the following:

a. The whole record from the hearing held by the hearing officer, including a transcript of the hearing, as well as any other records, exhibits, and documentary evidence submitted to the case manager at the hearing.

b. The hearing officer's findings of fact, including any supplemental findings prepared by the hearing officer under G.S. 115C-325 (i1)(4) or G.S. 115C-325(j1)(2).

c. Repealed by Session Laws 2011-348, s. 1, effective July 1, 2011, and applicable to persons recommended for dismissal or demotion on or after that date.

d. The superintendent's recommendation and the grounds for the recommendation.

(3) If the career employee did not request a hearing by a hearing officer, the board shall receive the following:

a. Any documentary evidence the superintendent intends to use to support the recommendation. The superintendent shall provide the documentary evidence to the career employee seven days before the hearing.

b. Any documentary evidence the career employee intends to use to rebut the superintendent's recommendation. The career employee shall provide the superintendent with the documentary evidence three days before the hearing.

c. The superintendent's recommendation and the grounds for the recommendation.

(4) The superintendent and career employee may submit a written statement not less than three days before the hearing.

(5) The superintendent and career employee shall be permitted to make oral arguments to the board based on the record before the board.

(6) No new evidence may be presented at the hearing except upon a finding by the board that the new evidence is critical to the matter at issue and the party making the request could not, with reasonable diligence, have discovered and produced the evidence at the hearing before the hearing officer.

(7) The board shall accept the hearing officer's findings of fact unless a majority of the board determines that the findings of fact are not supported by substantial evidence when reviewing the record as a whole. In such an event, the board shall make alternative findings of fact. If a majority of the board determines that the hearing officer did not address a critical factual issue, the board may remand the findings of fact to the hearing officer to complete the report to the board. If the hearing officer does not submit the report within seven days receipt of the board's request, the board may determine its own findings of fact regarding the critical factual issues not addressed by the hearing officer. The board's determination shall be based upon a preponderance of the evidence.

(8) The board is not required to provide a transcript of the hearing to the career employee. If the board elects to make a transcript and if the career employee contemplates an appeal to a court of law, the career employee may request and shall receive at no charge a transcript of the proceedings. A career employee may have the hearing transcribed by a court reporter at the career employee's expense.

(j3) Board Hearing for Certain Disciplinary Suspensions, Demotions of Career School Administrators, and for Reductions in Force. - The following procedures shall apply for a board hearing under G.S. 115C-325(e)(2), G.S. 115C-325(f2), and G.S. 115C-325(f)(2)a:

(1) The hearing shall be private.

(2) The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with reasonable rules adopted by the State Board of Education to govern such hearings.

(3) At the hearing, the career employee and the superintendent shall have the right to be present and to be heard, to be represented by counsel, and to present through witnesses any competent testimony relevant to the issue of whether grounds exist for a disciplinary suspension without pay under G.S. 115C-325(f)(2)a., a demotion of a career school administrator under G.S. 115C-325(f2), or whether the grounds for a dismissal or demotion due to a reduction in force is justified.

(4) Rules of evidence shall not apply to a hearing under this subsection and the board may give probative effect to evidence that is of a kind commonly relied on by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of serious affairs.

(5) At least eight days before the hearing, the superintendent shall provide to the career employee a list of witnesses the superintendent intends to present, a brief statement of the nature of the testimony of each witness, and a copy of any documentary evidence the superintendent intends to present.

(6) At least six days before the hearing, the career employee shall provide the superintendent a list of witnesses the career employee intends to present, a brief statement of the nature of the testimony of each witness, and a copy of any documentary evidence the career employee intends to present.

(7) No new evidence may be presented at the hearing except upon a finding by the board that the new evidence is critical to the matter at issue and the party making the request could not, with reasonable diligence, have discovered and produced the evidence according to the schedule provided in this subsection.

(8) The board may subpoena and swear witnesses and may require them to give testimony and to produce records and documents relevant to the grounds for suspension without pay.

(9) The board shall decide all procedural issues, including limiting cumulative evidence, necessary for a fair and efficient hearing.

(10) The superintendent shall provide for making a transcript of the hearing. If the career employee contemplates an appeal of the board's decision to a court of law, the career employee may request and shall receive at no charge a transcript of the proceedings.

(k), (l) Repealed by Session Laws 1997, c. 221, s. 13(a).

(m) Probationary Teacher.

(1) The board of any local school administrative unit may not discharge a probationary teacher during the school year except for the reasons for and by the procedures by which a career employee may be dismissed as set forth in subsections (e), (f), (f1), and (h) to (j3) above.

(2) The board, upon recommendation of the superintendent, may refuse to renew the contract of any probationary teacher or to reemploy any teacher who is not under contract for any cause it deems sufficient: Provided, however, that the cause may not be arbitrary, capricious, discriminatory or for personal or political reasons.

(3) The superintendent shall provide written notice to a probationary teacher no later than May 15 of the superintendent's intent to recommend nonrenewal and the teacher's right, within 10 days of receipt of the superintendent's recommendation, to (i) request and receive written notice of the reasons for the superintendent's recommendation for nonrenewal and the information that the superintendent may share with the board to support the recommendation for nonrenewal; and (ii) request a hearing for those teachers eligible for a hearing under G.S. 115C-325(m)(4). The failure to file a timely request within the 10 days shall result in a waiver of the right to this information and any right to a hearing. If a teacher files a timely request, the superintendent shall provide the requested information and arrange for a hearing, if allowed, and the teacher shall be permitted to submit supplemental information to the superintendent and board prior to the board making a decision or holding a hearing as provided in this section. The board shall adopt a policy to provide for the orderly exchange of information prior to the board's decision on the superintendent's recommendation for nonrenewal.

(4) If the probationary teacher is eligible for career status pursuant to G.S. 115C-325(c)(1) and (c)(2) and the superintendent recommends not to give the probationary teacher career status, the probationary teacher has the right to a hearing before the board unless the reason is a justifiable board- or superintendent-approved decrease in the number of positions due to district reorganization, decreased enrollment, or decreased funding.

(5) For probationary contracts that are not in the final year before the probationary teacher is eligible for career status, the probationary teacher shall have the right to petition the local board of education for a hearing, and the local board may grant a hearing regarding the superintendent's recommendation for nonrenewal. The local board of education shall notify the probationary teacher making the petition of its decision whether to grant a hearing.

(6) Any hearing held according to this subsection shall be pursuant to the provisions of G.S. 115C-45(c).

(7) The board shall notify a probationary teacher whose contract will not be renewed for the next school year of its decision by June 15; provided, however, if a teacher submits a request for information or a hearing, the board shall provide the nonrenewal notification by July 1 or such later date upon the written consent of the superintendent and teacher.

(n) Appeal. - Any career employee who has been dismissed or demoted under G.S. 115C-325(e)(2), or under G.S. 115C-325(j2), or who has been suspended without pay under G.S. 115C-325(a)(4a), or any school administrator whose contract is not renewed in accordance with G.S. 115C-287.1, or any probationary teacher whose contract is not renewed under G.S. 115C-325(m)(2) shall have the right to appeal from the decision of the board to the superior court for the superior court district or set of districts as defined in G.S. 7A-41.1 in which the career employee is employed. This appeal shall be filed within a period of 30 days after notification of the decision of the board. The cost of preparing the transcript shall be determined under G.S. 115C-325(j2)(8) or G.S. 115C-325(j3)(10). A career employee who has been demoted or dismissed, or a school administrator whose contract is not renewed, who has not requested a hearing before the board of education pursuant to this section shall not be entitled to judicial review of the board's action.

(o) Resignation. -

(1) If a career employee has been recommended for dismissal under G.S. 115C-325(e)(1) and the employee chooses to resign without the written agreement of the superintendent, then:

a. The superintendent shall report the matter to the State Board of Education.

b. The employee shall be deemed to have consented to (i) the placement in the employee's personnel file of the written notice of the superintendent's intention to recommend dismissal and (ii) the release of the fact that the superintendent has reported this employee to the State Board of Education to prospective employers, upon request. The provisions of G.S. 115C-321 shall not apply to the release of this particular information.

c. The employee shall be deemed to have voluntarily surrendered his or her license pending an investigation by the State Board of Education in a determination whether or not to seek action against the employee's license. This license surrender shall not exceed 45 days from the date of resignation. Provided further that the cessation of the license surrender shall not prevent the State Board of Education from taking any further action it deems appropriate. The State Board of Education shall initiate investigation within five working days of the written notice from the superintendent and shall make a final decision as to whether to revoke or suspend the employee's license within 45 days from the date of resignation.

(2) A teacher, career or probationary, who is not recommended for dismissal should not resign without the consent of the superintendent unless he or she has given at least 30 days' notice. If a teacher who is not recommended for dismissal does resign without giving at least 30 days' notice, the board may request that the State Board of Education revoke the teacher's license for the remainder of that school year. A copy of the request shall be placed in the teacher's personnel file.

(p) Section Applicable to Certain Institutions. - Notwithstanding any law or regulation to the contrary, this section shall apply to all persons employed in teaching and related educational classes in the schools and institutions of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Public Instruction and the Divisions of Juvenile Justice and Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety regardless of the age of the students.

(p1) Procedure for Dismissal of School Administrators and Teachers Employed in Low-Performing Residential Schools. -

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or any other law, this subdivision shall govern the dismissal by the Secretary of Health and Human Services of teachers, principals, assistant principals, directors, supervisors, and other licensed personnel assigned to a residential school that the State Board has identified as low-performing and to which the State Board has assigned an assistance team under Part 3A of Article 3 of Chapter 143B of the General Statutes. The Secretary shall dismiss a teacher, principal, assistant principal, director, supervisor, or other licensed personnel when the Secretary receives two consecutive evaluations that include written findings and recommendations regarding that person's inadequate performance from the assistance team. These findings and recommendations shall be substantial evidence of the inadequate performance of the teacher or school administrator.

The Secretary may dismiss a teacher, principal, assistant principal, director, supervisor, or other licensed personnel when:

a. The Secretary determines that the school has failed to make satisfactory improvement after the State Board assigned an assistance team to that school under Part 3A of Article 3 of Chapter 143B of the General Statutes; and

b. That assistance team makes the recommendation to dismiss the teacher, principal, assistant principal, director, supervisor, or other licensed personnel for one or more grounds established in G.S. 115C-325(e)(1) for dismissal or demotion of a career employee.

Within 30 days of any dismissal under this subdivision, a teacher, principal, assistant principal, director, supervisor, or other licensed personnel may request a hearing before a panel of three members designated by the Secretary. The Secretary shall adopt procedures to ensure that due process rights are afforded to persons recommended for dismissal under this subdivision. Decisions of the panel may be appealed on the record to the Secretary, with further right of judicial review under Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or any other law, this subdivision shall govern the dismissal by the Secretary of Health and Human Services of licensed staff members who have engaged in a remediation plan under G.S. 115C-105.38A(c) but who, after one retest, fail to meet the general knowledge standard set by the State Board. The failure to meet the general knowledge standard after one retest shall be substantial evidence of the inadequate performance of the licensed staff member.

Within 30 days of any dismissal under this subdivision, a licensed staff member may request a hearing before a panel of three members designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The Secretary shall adopt procedures to ensure that due process rights are afforded to licensed staff members recommended for dismissal under this subdivision. Decisions of the panel may be appealed on the record to the Secretary, with further right of judicial review under Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(3) The Secretary of Health and Human Services or the superintendent of a residential school may terminate the contract of a school administrator dismissed under this subsection. Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the Secretary from refusing to renew the contract of any person employed in a school identified as low-performing under Part 3A of Article 3 of Chapter 143B of the General Statutes.

(4) Neither party to a school administrator contract is entitled to damages under this subsection.

(5) The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall have the right to subpoena witnesses and documents on behalf of any party to the proceedings under this subsection.

(q) Procedure for Dismissal of School Administrators and Teachers Employed in Low-Performing Schools. -

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or any other law, this subdivision governs the State Board's dismissal of principals assigned to low-performing schools to which the Board has assigned an assistance team:

a. The State Board through its designee may, at any time, recommend the dismissal of any principal who is assigned to a low-performing school to which an assistance team has been assigned. The State Board through its designee shall recommend the dismissal of any principal when the Board receives from the assistance team assigned to that principal's school two consecutive evaluations that include written findings and recommendations regarding the principal's inadequate performance.

b. If the State Board through its designee recommends the dismissal of a principal under this subdivision, the principal shall be suspended with pay pending a hearing before a panel of three members of the State Board. The purpose of this hearing, which shall be held within 60 days after the principal is suspended, is to determine whether the principal shall be dismissed.

c. The panel shall order the dismissal of the principal if it determines from available information, including the findings of the assistance team, that the low performance of the school is due to the principal's inadequate performance.

d. The panel may order the dismissal of the principal if (i) it determines that the school has not made satisfactory improvement after the State Board assigned an assistance team to that school; and (ii) the assistance team makes the recommendation to dismiss the principal for one or more grounds established in G.S. 115C-325(e)(1) for dismissal or demotion of a career employee.

e. If the State Board or its designee recommends the dismissal of a principal before the assistance team assigned to the principal's school has evaluated that principal, the panel may order the dismissal of the principal if the panel determines from other available information that the low performance of the school is due to the principal's inadequate performance.

f. In all hearings under this subdivision, the burden of proof is on the principal to establish that the factors leading to the school's low performance were not due to the principal's inadequate performance. In all hearings under sub-subdivision d. of this subdivision, the burden of proof is on the State Board to establish that the school failed to make satisfactory improvement after an assistance team was assigned to the school and to establish one or more of the grounds established for dismissal or demotion of a career employee under G.S. 115C-325(e)(1).

g. In all hearings under this subdivision, two consecutive evaluations that include written findings and recommendations regarding that person's inadequate performance from the assistance team are substantial evidence of the inadequate performance of the principal.

h. The State Board shall adopt procedures to ensure that due process rights are afforded to principals under this subdivision. Decisions of the panel may be appealed on the record to the State Board, with further right of judicial review under Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or any other law, this subdivision shall govern the State Board's dismissal of teachers, assistant principals, directors, and supervisors assigned to schools that the State Board has identified as low-performing and to which the State Board has assigned an assistance team under Article 8B of this Chapter. The State Board shall dismiss a teacher, assistant principal, director, or supervisor when the State Board receives two consecutive evaluations that include written findings and recommendations regarding that person's inadequate performance from the assistance team. These findings and recommendations shall be substantial evidence of the inadequate performance of the teacher or school administrator.

The State Board may dismiss a teacher, assistant principal, director, or supervisor when:

a. The State Board determines that the school has failed to make satisfactory improvement after the State Board assigned an assistance team to that school under G.S. 115C-105.38; and

b. That assistance team makes the recommendation to dismiss the teacher, assistant principal, director, or supervisor for one or more grounds established in G.S. 115C-325(e)(1) for dismissal or demotion of a career teacher.

A teacher, assistant principal, director, or supervisor may request a hearing before a panel of three members of the State Board within 30 days of any dismissal under this subdivision. The State Board shall adopt procedures to ensure that due process rights are afforded to persons recommended for dismissal under this subdivision. Decisions of the panel may be appealed on the record to the State Board, with further right of judicial review under Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(2a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or any other law, this subdivision shall govern the State Board's dismissal of licensed staff members who have engaged in a remediation plan under G.S. 115C-105.38A(a) but who, after one retest, fail to meet the general knowledge standard set by the State Board. The failure to meet the general knowledge standard after one retest shall be substantial evidence of the inadequate performance of the licensed staff member.

A licensed staff member may request a hearing before a panel of three members of the State Board within 30 days of any dismissal under this subdivision. The State Board shall adopt procedures to ensure that due process rights are afforded to licensed staff members recommended for dismissal under this subdivision. Decisions of the panel may be appealed on the record to the State Board, with further right of judicial review under Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(3) The State Board of Education or a local board may terminate the contract of a school administrator dismissed under this subsection. Nothing in this subsection shall prevent a local board from refusing to renew the contract of any person employed in a school identified as low-performing under G.S. 115C-105.37.

(4) Neither party to a school administrator contract is entitled to damages under this subsection.

(5) The State Board shall have the right to subpoena witnesses and documents on behalf of any party to the proceedings under this subsection. (1955, c. 664; 1967, c. 223, s. 1; 1971, c. 883; c. 1188, s. 2; 1973, c. 315, s. 1; c. 782, ss. 1-30; 1979, c. 864, s. 2; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; c. 538, ss. 1-3; c. 731, s. 1; c. 1127, ss. 39, 40; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1282, s. 30; 1983, c. 770, ss. 1-15; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1034, s. 34; 1985, c. 791, s. 5(a), (b); 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 1014, s. 60(a); 1987, c. 395, s. 2; c. 540, c. 571, s. 3; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, s. 109; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 942, s. 1; c. 1038, s. 14; 1993, c. 169, s. 1; c. 210, ss. 1-3; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 677, ss. 10, 16(a); 1995, c. 369, s. 2; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 716, s. 8; 1997-221, ss. 11(a), 13(a); 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a); 1998-5, s. 2; 1998-59, s. 3; 1998-131, s. 6; 1998-202, s. 4(o); 1998-212, s. 28.24(c); 1998-217, s. 67.1(a); 1999-96, ss. 1-5; 1999-456, s. 34; 2000-67, s. 8.24(b); 2000-137, s. 4(r); 2000-140, ss. 23, 24; 2001-376, s. 2; 2001-424, ss. 28.11(g), 32.25(b); 2001-487, s. 74(c); 2002-110, ss. 2, 3; 2002-126, ss. 7.38, 28.10(a), (c), (d); 2003-302, s. 1; 2004-81, s. 2; 2004-124, s. 31.18A(a), (c), (d); 2004-199, s. 57(b); 2005-144, ss. 7A.1, 7A.3, 7A.4; 2005-276, ss. 29.28(b), 29.28(d); 2007-145, s. 7(a), (c)-(e); 2007-326, ss. 2, 3(a), (c)-(e); 2007-484, s. 43.7E; 2009-326, s. 1; 2010-31, s. 7.14(a); 2010-163, s. 1; 2011-145, ss. 7.23(b), 7.25(e); 2011-348, ss. 1, 8.5(a), (b); 2012-83, s. 40; 2012-194, s. 21(a), (b); 2013-360, s. 9.6(f).)