§ 115C-301.  Allocation of teachers; class size.

(a)        Request for Funds. - The State Board of Education, based upon the reports of local boards of education and such other information as the State Board may require from local boards, shall determine for each local school administrative unit the number of teachers and other instructional personnel to be included in the State budget request.

(a1)      (Effective until July 1, 2021) Teacher Position Allotments. - Funds for classroom teachers in the State Public School Fund shall consist of the following position allotments:

(1)        Classroom teachers for kindergarten through twelfth grade, which shall include funds for program enhancement teachers, self-contained exceptional children teachers, math, science, and computer teachers, and matching benefits.

(2)        Program enhancement teachers for kindergarten through fifth grade.

(a1)      (Effective July 1, 2021) Teacher Position Allotments. - Funds for classroom teachers in the State Public School Fund shall consist of the following position allotments:

(1)        Classroom teachers for kindergarten through twelfth grade, which shall include funds for program enhancement teachers for sixth through twelfth grade, self-contained exceptional children teachers, math, science, and computer teachers, and matching benefits.

(2)        Program enhancement teachers for kindergarten through fifth grade.

(b)        Allocation of Positions. - The State Board of Education is authorized to adopt rules to allot instructional personnel and teachers, within funds appropriated.

(c)        Maximum Class Size for Kindergarten Through Third Grade. - The average class size for kindergarten through third grade in a local school administrative unit shall at no time exceed the funded allotment ratio of teachers to students in kindergarten through third grade. At the end of the second school month and for the remainder of the school year, the size of an individual class in kindergarten through third grade shall not exceed the allotment ratio by more than three students. The funded class size allotment ratio for kindergarten through third grade shall be as follows:

(1)        For kindergarten, one teacher per 18 students.

(2)        For first grade, one teacher per 16 students.

(3)        For second grade, one teacher per 17 students.

(4)        For third grade, one teacher per 17 students.

In grades four through 12, local school administrative units shall have the maximum flexibility to use allotted teacher positions to maximize student achievement.

(c1)      Class Size Exceptions for Kindergarten Through Third Grade. - Class size requirements for kindergarten through third grade provided in subsection (c) of this section shall not apply to the following classes:

(1)        Dual language immersion classes. For the purposes of this subsection, dual language immersion classes are classes in which (i) at least one-third of the students' dominant language is English and (ii) instruction involves both English and a target foreign language with a minimum of fifty percent (50%) of core content taught in the target foreign language in order to promote dual language proficiency for all students.

(2)        Program enhancement classes.

(c2)      Program Enhancement Teacher Allotment for Kindergarten Through Fifth Grade. -

(1)        Definitions. - For the purposes of this section, "program enhancement" refers to any of the following:

a.         Arts disciplines, including dance, music, theater, and the visual arts.

b.         Physical education and health programs.

c.         World languages.

d.         Other supplemental classes as defined by the State Board of Education.

(2)        Allotment ratio calculation. - The allotment ratio for kindergarten through fifth grade program enhancement teachers shall be one teacher per 191 students.

(3)        Appropriation. - Beginning with the 2019-2020 fiscal year, there is appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction for the allotment for program enhancement teachers for kindergarten through fifth grade an amount equal to the percentage of the total funds required to allot program enhancement teacher positions for kindergarten through fifth grade on a basis of one teacher per 191 students for each fiscal year as follows:

Fiscal Year                                                                           Appropriation

2019-2020                                                                                          50%

2020-2021                                                                                          75%

2021-2022 and each subsequent fiscal year thereafter                   100%.

When developing the base budget, as defined by G.S. 143C-1-1, for each fiscal year specified in this subdivision, the Director of the Budget shall include the appropriated amount for that fiscal year.

(d),      (e) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-363, s. 3.3(a), effective July 1, 2013.

(f)        Biannual Reports. - At the end of October and end of February of each school year, each local board of education, through the superintendent, shall file a report, based on information provided by the principal, for each school within the local school administrative unit with the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The report shall be filed in a format prescribed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction and shall include the organization for each school in the local school administrative unit, including the following information:

(1)        For each class in each grade level at each school, the following:

a.         The duties of the teacher.

b.         The source of funds used to pay for the teacher.

c.         The number of students assigned to the class, including all exceptions to individual class size maximums in kindergarten through third grade that exist at that time.

(2)        For each school, the following:

a.         The number of program enhancement teachers.

b.         The source of funds used to pay each program enhancement teacher.

(3)        The average class size for each grade from kindergarten through third grade in the local school administrative unit.

(4)        Any other information the Superintendent of Public Instruction may require.

The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall conduct periodic audits of the information reported by the local superintendent under this subsection to confirm the accuracy of reporting at the local school administrative unit and school level of the average and individual class size for students in kindergarten through third grade. If the Superintendent of Public Instruction finds that a local board of education is exceeding class size requirements without application to the State Board for an allotment adjustment or a waiver of those class size requirements, the State Board may impose the penalty set forth in subsection (j) of this section until such time the local board of education receives a waiver or the schools in the unit meet the class size requirements for kindergarten through third grade.

(g)        Waivers and Allotment Adjustments. - Local boards of education shall report exceptions to the class size requirements set out for kindergarten through third grade and significant increases in class size at other grade levels to the State Board and shall request allotment adjustments at any grade level, waivers from the requirements for kindergarten through third grade, or both. Within 45 days of receipt of reports, the State Board of Education, within funds available, may allot additional positions at any grade level. The State Board shall not grant waivers for excess class size in kindergarten through third grade, except under the following circumstances:

(1)        Emergencies or acts of God that impact the availability of classroom space or facilities.

(2)        An unanticipated increase in student population of an individual school in excess of two percent (2%) of the average daily membership of that school.

(3)        Organizational problems in geographically isolated local school administrative units in which the average daily membership is less than one and one-half per square mile.

(4)        Classes organized for a solitary curricular area.

(5)        A charter school closure.

The State Board shall report on all waivers to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations within 30 days of the grant of the waiver. The report shall include the local school administrative unit, school, and class or classes for which the waiver was granted, the statutory grounds for the waiver, and the terms of the waiver. A waiver for excess class size in kindergarten through third grade shall not become effective until the State Board submits the report to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations.

Upon notification from the State Board that the reported exception does not qualify for an allotment adjustment or a waiver, the local board of education shall take action to correct the exception within 30 days. Within 60 days of notification by the State Board, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall request an updated report from the local board of education on the size of each class in kindergarten through third grade for each school within the local school administrative unit. If the Superintendent of Public Instruction finds that a local board of education is continuing to exceed class size requirements, the State Board may impose the penalty set forth in subsection (j) of this section until such time the schools in the unit meet the class size requirements for kindergarten through third grade.

(g1)      Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the State Board of Education shall allot additional classroom teachers to schools containing grades kindergarten through 12 when consolidation is not feasible due to the geographic isolation of the school and the school meets at least one of the following criteria for geographic isolation:

(1)        The school is located in a local school administrative unit in which the average daily membership is less than 1.5 per square mile.

(2)        The school is located in a local school administrative unit for a county containing more than 150,000 acres of national forest owned by the federal government and managed by the United States Forest Service pursuant to G.S. 104-5.

The State Board shall allot teachers to geographically isolated schools pursuant to this subsection on the basis of one classroom teacher per grade level and shall allot teachers to the remainder of the local school administrative unit in accordance with the formulas for the regular classroom teacher allotment.

(h)        State Board Rules. - The State Board of Education shall adopt rules necessary for the implementation of this section.

(i)         Repealed by Session Laws 2013-363, s. 3.3(a), effective July 1, 2013.

(j)         Penalty for Noncompliance. - A local superintendent shall complete a sworn affidavit attesting that the superintendent has complied with the requirements of subsections (c) through (g) of this section and include that affidavit with the biannual reports on individual class size required by subsection (f) of this section. If the State Board of Education determines that a local superintendent has willfully failed to comply with the requirements of this section, no State funds shall be allocated to pay the superintendent's salary for the period of time the superintendent is in noncompliance. The local board of education shall continue to be responsible for complying with the terms of the superintendent's employment contract.  (1955, c. 1372, art. 6, s. 6; 1963, c. 688, s. 3; 1965, c. 584, s. 6; 1969, c. 539; 1973, c. 770, ss. 1, 2; 1975, c. 965, s. 3; 1977, c. 1088, s. 4; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1034, ss. 12, 13; 1985, c. 479, s. 55(b)(3)b; 1987, c. 738, s. 181; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1025, s. 15; c. 1086, s. 89(a); 2010-31, s. 7.22(a); 2013-363, s. 3.3(a); 2015-241, s. 8A.3(a); 2016-94, s. 8.33(a); 2017-9, s. 2(b); 2017-57, ss. 7.15(d), 7.19; 2017-157, s. 1(b); 2018-2, ss. 3(a)-(e), 5(d).)