115C-218.35. Charter school facilities.

(a) A charter school's specific location shall not be prescribed or limited by a local board or other authority except a zoning authority. The school may lease space from a local board of education or as is otherwise lawful in the local school administrative unit in which the charter school is located. If a charter school leases space from a sectarian organization, the charter school classes and students shall be physically separated from any parochial students, and there shall be no religious artifacts, symbols, iconography, or materials on display in the charter school's entrance, classrooms, or hallways. Furthermore, if a charter school leases space from a sectarian organization, the charter school shall not use the name of that organization in the name of the charter school.

(b) At the request of the charter school, the local board of education of the local school administrative unit in which the charter school will be located shall lease any available building or land to the charter school unless the board demonstrates that the lease is not economically or practically feasible or that the local board does not have adequate classroom space to meet its enrollment needs. For the purposes of this section, a building or land is available if it is closed, vacant, or otherwise unused for classrooms, administrative offices, or extracurricular activities of the schools of the local board of education. Notwithstanding any other law, a local board of education may provide a school facility to a charter school free of charge; however, the charter school is responsible for the maintenance of and insurance for the school facility.

(c) The local board of education shall make a decision on the charter's request to lease a building or land within 90 days of the request. If the local board of education does not make a decision within 90 days of the request of the charter school, the local board of education shall provide a written explanation of its reasons for not acting on the request within the 90-day time period to the North Carolina Charter Schools Advisory Board and the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee.

(d) If a charter school has requested to lease available buildings or land and is unable to reach an agreement with the local board of education, the charter school shall have the right to appeal to the board of county commissioners in which the building or land is located. The board of county commissioners shall have the final decision-making authority on the leasing of the available building or land. (1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 731, s. 2; 1997-430, s. 4; 2013-355, s. 1(e); 2014-101, s. 7; 2016-79, s. 1.8.)