GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2017

H 3

HOUSE BILL 155

Committee Substitute Favorable 3/21/17

Senate Education/Higher Education Committee Substitute Adopted 6/21/17

 

Short Title: Omnibus Education Law Changes.

(Public)

Sponsors:

 

Referred to:

 

February 22, 2017

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT TO Make Various changes to education laws.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

 

Part i. Modify School/Class Size Report Date

SECTION 1.(a) G.S. 115C‑47(10), as amended by Section 2(a) of S.L. 2017‑9, reads as rewritten:

"(10) To Assure Appropriate Class Size. It shall be the responsibility of local boards of education to assure that the class size requirements set forth in G.S. 115C‑301 for kindergarten through third grade are met. Any teacher who believes that the requirements of G.S. 115C‑301 have not been met shall make a report to the principal and superintendent, and the superintendent shall immediately determine whether the requirements have in fact not been met. If the superintendent determines the requirements have not been met, he or she shall make a report to the next local board of education meeting. The local board of education shall take action to meet the requirements of the statute. If the local board cannot organizationally correct the exception, it shall immediately apply to the State Board of Education for additional personnel or a waiver of the class size requirements, as provided in G.S. 115C‑301(g).

Upon notification from the State Board of Education that the reported exception does not qualify for an allotment adjustment or a waiver under provisions of G.S. 115C‑301, the local board, within 30 days, shall take action necessary to correct the exception, as required in G.S. 115C‑301(g).

At the end of SeptemberOctober and end of February of each school year, the local board of education, through the superintendent, shall file a report with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, in a format prescribed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, describing the organization for each school in the local school administrative unit, as required by G.S. 115C‑301(f).

In addition to assuring that the requirements of G.S. 115C‑301 are met, each local board of education shall also have the duty to provide an adequate number of classrooms to meet the requirements of that statute."

SECTION 1.(b) G.S. 115C‑301(f), as amended by Section 2(b) of S.L. 2017‑9, reads as rewritten:

"(f) Biannual Reports. At the end of SeptemberOctober 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:

."

SECTION 1.(c) This section is effective when it becomes law and applies beginning with the 2017‑2018 school year.

 

PART II. MAKES CONFORMING CHANGES TO CAREER STATUS STATUTES TO ALIGN WITH NORTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT DECISION

SECTION 2.(a) Section 9.6(a) of S.L. 2013‑360 is repealed.

SECTION 2.(b) G.S. 115C‑325 reads as rewritten:

" 115C‑325. System of employment for public school teachers.

(a) Definition of Terms. As Notwithstanding G.S. 115C‑325.1, as used in this section section, the following definitions apply, unless the context requires otherwise:

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

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

a. An an employee who has obtainedwas awarded career status with that local board as a teacher as provided in G.S. 115C‑325(c);prior to August 1, 2013.

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.teacher. 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 administratorcareer employee 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) 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.

(a1) This section shall apply only to career employees. No person who is employed as a teacher who did not acquire career status as a teacher by August 1, 2013, shall have career status.

(b) Personnel Files. The superintendent shall maintain in his or her office a personnel file for each teachercareer employee that contains any complaint, commendation, or suggestion for correction or improvement about the teacher'scareer employee's professional conduct, except that the superintendent may elect not to place in a teacher'scareer employee'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'scareer employee's file only after five days' notice to the teacher.employee. Any denial or explanation relating to such complaint, commendation, or suggestion that the teachercareer employee desires to make shall be placed in the file. Any teachercareer employee may petition the local board of education to remove any information from his or her personnel file that he or she 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'scareer employee'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 teachercareer employee before his or her employment by the board may be kept in a file separate from his or her personnel file and need not be made available to him.him or her. No data placed in the preemployment file may be introduced as evidence at a hearing on the dismissal or demotion of a teacher,career employee, 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) through (3) Repealed.

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

(5), (6) Repealed.

(d) Career Teachers and Career School Administrators.Employees.

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

(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 or her employment for the next school year. The board shall give him or her written notice of that decision by June 1 of his or her 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 or her 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 or she 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 employee's teaching license or the career school administrator's administrator license.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).(2) of this subsection.

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.

a. A local board of education shall adopt a policy for implementing a reduction in force pursuant to sub‑subdivision (e)(1)l. of this section that includes the following criteria:

1. In determining which positions shall be subject to a reduction, a local board of education shall consider the following:

I. Structural considerations, such as identifying positions, departments, courses, programs, operations, and other areas where there are (i) less essential, duplicative, or excess personnel; (ii) job responsibility and position inefficiencies; (iii) opportunities for combined work functions; and (iv) decreased student or other demands for curriculum, programs, operations, or other services.

II. Organizational considerations, such as anticipated organizational needs of the local school administrative unit and program or school enrollment.

2. In identifying which teacherscareer employees in similar positions shall be subject to a dismissal, demotion, or reduction to employment on a part‑time basis under the policy, a local school administrative unit shall consider work performance and teacher evaluations.

b. 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 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 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 career employee 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,employee, a performance rating below proficient shall constitute inadequate performance unless the principal noted on the instrument that the teachercareer employee 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 or her written notice of the charges against him,him or her, 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 disciplinary 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 or her 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'scareer employee's license, or providing false information.

b. Board hearing for disciplinary suspensions of no more thatthan 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.sub‑sub‑subdivision a.2. of this subdivision.

(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 or her 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 or her 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 or her duties immediately and all records of the suspension with pay shall be removed from the career employee's personnel file at his or her 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 career 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 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.

(j3) Board Hearing for Certain Disciplinary Suspensions, Demotions of Career School Administrators, Suspensions 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),G.S. 115C‑325(e)(2) 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),G.S. 115C‑325(f)(2)a. 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) G.S. 115C‑325(f)(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.employed on one or more of the following grounds that the decision:

(1) Is in violation of constitutional provisions.

(2) Is in excess of the statutory authority or jurisdiction of the board.

(3) Was made upon unlawful procedure.

(4) Is affected by other error of law.

(5) Is unsupported by substantial evidence in view of the entire record as submitted.

(6) Is arbitrary or capricious.

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, dismissed 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 career 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 career 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 career employee's license within 45 days from the date of resignation.

(2) A teacher, career or probationary,career employee 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 teachercareer employee 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'scareer employee's license for the remainder of that school year. A copy of the request shall be placed in the teacher'scareer employee's personnel file.

(p) Section Applicable to Certain Institutions. Notwithstanding any law or regulation to the contrary, this section shall apply to all personscareer employees 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 Career Employees 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 personnelcareer employees 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 personnelcareer employee 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.career employee.

The Secretary may dismiss a teacher, principal, assistant principal, director, supervisor, or other licensed personnelcareer employee 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 personnelcareer employee 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 personnelcareer employee 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 memberscareer employees 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.career employee.

Within 30 days of any dismissal under this subdivision, a licensed staff membercareer employee 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 memberscareer employees 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 TeachersCareer Employees 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 supervisorscareer employees 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 supervisorcareer employee 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.career employee.

The State Board may dismiss a teacher, assistant principal, director, or supervisor career employee 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 career employee for one or more grounds established in G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1) for dismissal or demotion of a career teacher.employee.

A teacher, assistant principal, director, or supervisorcareer employee 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 memberscareer employees 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.career employee.

A licensed staff membercareer employee 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 memberscareer employees 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."

SECTION 2.(c) G.S. 115C‑218.90(a)(3) reads as rewritten:

"(3) If a teacher employed by a local school administrative unit makes a written request for a leave of absence to teach at a charter school, the local school administrative unit shall grant the leave for one year. For the initial year of a charter school's operation, the local school administrative unit may require that the request for a leave of absence be made up to 45 days before the teacher would otherwise have to report for duty. After the initial year of a charter school's operation, the local school administrative unit may require that the request for a leave of absence be made up to 90 days before the teacher would otherwise have to report for duty. A local board of education is not required to grant a request for a leave of absence or a request to extend or renew a leave of absence for a teacher who previously has received a leave of absence from that school board under this subdivision. AA teacher who has received a leave of absence to teach at a charter school may return to a public school in the local school administrative unit at the end of the leave of absence or upon the end of employment at the charter school if an appropriate position is available. If a teacher who has career status under G.S. 115C‑325 prior to receiving a leave of absence to teach at a charter schoolschool, the teacher may return to a public school in the local school administrative unit with career status at the end of the leave of absence or upon the end of employment at the charter school if an appropriate position is available. If an appropriate position is unavailable, the teacher's name shall be placed on a list of available teachers and that teacher shall have priority on all positions for which that teacher is qualified in accordance with G.S. 115C‑325(e)(2)."

SECTION 2.(d) G.S. 115C‑238.68(3) reads as rewritten:

"(3) Leave of absence from local school administrative unit. If a teacher employed by a local school administrative unit makes a written request for a leave of absence to teach at the regional school, the local school administrative unit shall grant the leave for one year. For the initial year of the regional school's operation, the local school administrative unit may require that the request for a leave of absence be made up to 45 days before the teacher would otherwise have to report for duty. After the initial year of the regional school's operation, the local school administrative unit may require that the request for a leave of absence be made up to 90 days before the teacher would otherwise have to report for duty. A local board of education is not required to grant a request for a leave of absence or a request to extend or renew a leave of absence for a teacher who previously has received a leave of absence from that school board under this subdivision. AA teacher who has received a leave of absence to teach at a regional school may return to a public school in the local school administrative unit at the end of the leave of absence or upon the end of employment at the regional school if an appropriate position is available. If a teacher who has career status under G.S. 115C‑325 prior to receiving a leave of absence to teach at the regional schoolschool, the teacher may return to a public school in the local school administrative unit with career status at the end of the leave of absence or upon the end of employment at the regional school if an appropriate position is available. If an appropriate position is unavailable, the teacher's name shall be placed on a list of available teachers in accordance with G.S. 115C‑325(e)(2)."

SECTION 2.(e) G.S. 115C‑287.1 reads as rewritten:

" 115C‑287.1. Method of employment of principals, assistant principals, supervisors, and directors.

(f1) If, prior to appointment as a school administrator, the school administrator held career status as a teacher in the local school administrative unit in which he or she is employed as a school administrator, the school administrator shall retain career status as a teacher if the school administrator is not offered a new, renewed, or extended contract by the local board of education, unless the school administrator voluntarily relinquished career status or is dismissed or demoted pursuant to G.S. 115C‑325.

(h) An individual who holds a provisional assistant principal's license and who is employed as an assistant principal under G.S. 115C‑284(c) shall be considered a school administrator for purposes of this section. Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section, a local board may enter into one‑year contracts with a school administrator who holds a provisional assistant principal's license. If the school administrator held career status as a teacher in the local school administrative unit prior to being employed as an assistant principal and the State Board of Education for any reason does not extend the school administrator's provisional assistant principal's license, the school administrator shall retain career status as a teacher unless the school administrator voluntarily relinquished career status or is dismissed or demoted pursuant to G.S. 115C‑325. Nothing in this subsection or G.S. 115C‑284(c) shall be construed to require a local board to extend or renew the contract of a school administrator who holds a provisional assistant principal's license."

SECTION 2.(f) G.S. 115C‑296(b)(1)a.1. reads as rewritten:

"1. Continuing licensure of a teacher as defined in G.S. 115C‑325(6) G.S. 115C‑325(6), or a teacher as defined in G.S. 115C‑325.1(6), who has (i) 30 or more years of teaching experience in North Carolina upon the date of retirement of the teacher and (ii) served as a substitute teacher at least once every three years since retirement."

SECTION 2.(g) G.S. 115C‑302.1(b) reads as rewritten:

"(b) Salary Payments. State‑allotted teachers shall be paid for a term of 10 months. State‑allotted months of employment for vocational education to local boards shall be used for the employment of teachers of vocational and technical education for a term of employment to be determined by the local boards of education. However, local boards shall not reduce the term of employment for any vocational agriculture teacher personnel position that was 12 calendar months for the 1982‑83 school year for any school year thereafter. In addition, local boards shall not reduce the term of employment for any vocational agriculture teacher personnel position that was 12 calendar months for the 2003‑2004 school year for any school year thereafter. In addition, local boards shall not reduce the term of employment for any vocational agriculture teacher personnel position that was 12 calendar months for the 2014‑2015 school year for any school year thereafter.

Each local board of education shall establish a set date on which monthly salary payments to State‑allotted teachers shall be made. This set pay date may differ from the end of the month of service. The daily rate of pay for teachers shall equal midway between one twenty‑first and one twenty‑second of the monthly rate of pay. Except for teachers employed in a year‑round school or paid in accordance with a year‑round calendar, or both, the initial pay date for teachers shall be no later than August 31 and shall include a full monthly payment. Subsequent pay dates shall be spaced no more than one month apart and shall include a full monthly payment.

Teachers may be prepaid on the monthly pay date for days not yet worked. A teacher who fails to attend scheduled workdays or who has not worked the number of days for which the teacher has been paid and who resigns, is dismissed, or whose contract is not renewed shall repay to the local board any salary payments received for days not yet worked. A teacher who has been prepaid and continues to be employed by a local board but fails to attend scheduled workdays may be subject to dismissal under G.S. 115C‑325 or G.S. 115C‑325.4 or other appropriate discipline.

Any individual teacher who is not employed in a year‑round school may be paid in 12 monthly installments if the teacher so requests on or before the first day of the school year. The request shall be filed in the local school administrative unit which employs the teacher. The payment of the annual salary in 12 installments instead of 10 shall not increase or decrease the teacher's annual salary nor in any other way alter the contract made between the teacher and the local school administrative unit. Teachers employed for a period of less than 10 months shall not receive their salaries in 12 installments.

Notwithstanding this subsection, the term "daily rate of pay" for the purpose of G.S. 115C‑12(8) or for any other law or policy governing pay or benefits based on the teacher salary schedule shall not exceed one twenty‑second of a teacher's monthly rate of pay."

SECTION 2.(h) G.S. 115C‑325.1 reads as rewritten:

" 115C‑325.1. Definitions.

AsExcept as otherwise provided in G.S. 115C‑325, as used in this Part, the following definitions apply:

."

SECTION 2.(i) G.S. 115C‑404(b) reads as rewritten:

"(b) Documents received under this section shall be used only to protect the safety of or to improve the education opportunities for the student or others. Information gained in accordance with G.S. 7B‑3100 shall not be the sole basis for a decision to suspend or expel a student. Upon receipt of each document, the principal shall share the document with those individuals who have (i) direct guidance, teaching, or supervisory responsibility for the student, and (ii) a specific need to know in order to protect the safety of the student or others. Those individuals shall indicate in writing that they have read the document and that they agree to maintain its confidentiality. Failure to maintain the confidentiality of these documents as required by this section is grounds for the dismissal of an employee who is not employed on contract, grounds for dismissal of an employee on contract in accordance with G.S. 115C‑325.4(a)(9), and grounds for dismissal of an employee who is a career teacheremployee in accordance with G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1)i."

SECTION 2.(j) G.S. 116‑239.10(4) reads as rewritten:

"(4) Leave of absence from local school administrative unit. If a teacher employed by a local school administrative unit makes a written request for a leave of absence to teach at the lab school, the local school administrative unit shall grant the leave for one year. For the initial year of the lab school's operation, the local school administrative unit may require that the request for a leave of absence be made up to 45 days before the teacher would otherwise have to report for duty. After the initial year of the lab school's operation, the local school administrative unit may require that the request for a leave of absence be made up to 90 days before the teacher would otherwise have to report for duty. A local board of education is not required to grant a request for a leave of absence or a request to extend or renew a leave of absence for a teacher who previously has received a leave of absence from that local board under this subdivision. AA teacher who has received a leave of absence to teach at a lab school may return to a public school in the local school administrative unit at the end of the leave of absence or upon the end of employment at the lab school if an appropriate position is available. If a teacher who has career status under G.S. 115C‑325 prior to receiving a leave of absence to teach at the lab schoolschool, the teacher may return to a public school in the local school administrative unit with career status at the end of the leave of absence or upon the end of employment at the lab school if an appropriate position is available. If an appropriate position is unavailable, the teacher's name shall be placed on a list of available teachers in accordance with G.S. 115C‑325(e)(2)."

SECTION 2.(k) G.S. 143B‑146.8(b) reads as rewritten:

"(b) Action Plans. If a licensed employee in a participating school that has been identified as low‑performing receives an unsatisfactory or below standard rating on any function of the evaluation that is related to the employee's instructional duties, the individual or team that conducted the evaluation shall recommend to the principal that: (i) the employee receive an action plan designed to improve the employee's performance; or (ii) the principal recommend that the employee who is a career teacheremployee be dismissed or demoted as provided in G.S. 115C‑325 or the employee who is a teacher on contract not be recommended for renewal; or (iii) if the employee who is a teacher on contract engages in inappropriate conduct or performs inadequately to such a degree that such conduct or performance causes substantial harm to the educational environment that a proceeding for immediate dismissal or demotion under G.S. 115C‑325.4 be instituted. The principal shall determine whether to develop an action plan, to not recommend renewal of the employee's contract, or to recommend a dismissal proceeding. The person who evaluated the employee or the employee's supervisor shall develop the action plan unless an assistance team or assessment team conducted the evaluation. If an assistance team or assessment team conducted the evaluation, that team shall develop the action plan in collaboration with the employee's supervisor. Action plans shall be designed to be completed within 90 instructional days or before the beginning of the next school year. The State Board shall develop guidelines that include strategies to assist in evaluating licensed personnel and developing effective action plans within the time allotted under this section. The State Board may adopt policies for the development and implementation of action plans or professional development plans for personnel who do not require action plans under this section."

SECTION 2.(l) Section 9.6(i) of S.L. 2013‑360 is repealed.

SECTION 2.(m) Section 9.6(j) of S.L. 2013‑360 reads as rewritten:

"SECTION 9.6.(j) Subsection (b) of this section becomes effective July 1, 2014. G.S. 115C‑325.1 through G.S. 115C‑325.13, as enacted by this section, shall apply to all teachers on one‑ or one‑, two‑, or four‑year contracts beginning July 1, 2014. G.S. 115C‑325.1 through G.S. 115C‑325.13, as enacted by this section, shall apply to all teachers employed by local boards of education or the State on or after July 1, 2018."

SECTION 2.(n) Sections 9.7(o) through 9.7(t) of S.L. 2013‑360 and Sections 9.7(v) through 9.7(x) of S.L. 2013‑360 are repealed.

SECTION 2.(o) Section 9.7(y) of S.L. 2013‑360 reads as rewritten:

"SECTION 9.7.(y) Subsection (u) of this section becomes effective August 1, 2013. Subsections (a) through (n) of this section become effective July 1, 2014. Subsections (o) through (t) and (v) through (x) become effective June 30, 2018."

SECTION 2.(p) Section 8.38(c) of S.L. 2015‑241 is repealed.

SECTION 2.(q) This section is effective when it becomes law.

 

PART III. AUTHORIZE ASSISTANT PRINCIPALS AT CERTAIN SCHOOLS TO CONDUCT EVALUATIONS FOR BEGINNING TEACHERS

SECTION 3.(a) G.S. 115C‑333(a) reads as rewritten:

"(a) Annual Evaluations; Low‑Performing Schools. Local school administrative units shall evaluate at least once each year all licensed employees assigned to a school that has been identified as low‑performing. The evaluation shall occur early enough during the school year to provide adequate time for the development and implementation of a mandatory improvement plan if one is recommended under subsection (b) of this section. If the employee is a teacher with career status as defined under G.S. 115C‑325(a)(6), or a teacher as defined under G.S. 115C‑325.1(6), either the principal, the assistant principal who supervises the teacher, or an assistance team assigned under G.S. 115C‑105.38 shall conduct the evaluation. If the employee is a school administrator as defined under G.S. 115C‑287.1(a)(3), either the superintendent or the superintendent's designee shall conduct the evaluation.

All teachers in low‑performing schools who have been employed for less than three consecutive years shall be observed at least three times annually by the principal or the principal's designee and at least once annually by a teacher and shall be evaluated at least once annually by a principal. For high schools with at least 1,500 students, the annual evaluation may be conducted by an assistant principal, provided that at least one evaluation in such a teacher's first three years of employment is conducted by a principal. All teachers in low‑performing schools who have been licensed as a teacher for less than two years shall be observed at least three times annually by the principal or the principal's designee, at least once annually by a teacher, and at least once annually by a principal, and at least two of those observations shall be conducted in the first semester of the school year, and if practicable, at least one of those observations shall be conducted within the first grading period of the school year. This section shall not be construed to limit the duties and authority of an assistance team assigned to a low‑performing school under G.S. 115C‑105.38.

A local board shall use the performance standards and criteria adopted by the State Board and may adopt additional evaluation criteria and standards. All other provisions of this section shall apply if a local board uses an evaluation other than one adopted by the State Board."

SECTION 3.(b) G.S. 115C‑333.1(a) reads as rewritten:

"(a) Annual Evaluations. All teachers who are assigned to schools that are not designated as low‑performing and who have not been employed for at least three consecutive years shall be observed at least three times annually by the principal or the principal's designee and at least once annually by a teacher and shall be evaluated at least once annually by a principal. For high schools with at least 1,500 students, the annual evaluation may be conducted by an assistant principal, provided that at least one evaluation in such a teacher's first three years of employment is conducted by a principal. All teachers who are assigned to schools that are not designated as low‑performing and who have been licensed as a teacher for less than two years shall be observed at least three times annually by the principal or the principal's designee, at least once annually by a teacher, and at least once annually by a principal, and at least two of those observations shall be conducted in the first semester of the school year, and if practicable, at least one of those observations shall be conducted within the first grading period of the school year. All teachers with career status or on a four‑year contract who are assigned to schools that are not designated as low‑performing shall be evaluated annually unless a local board adopts rules that allow teachers with career status or on a four‑year contract to be evaluated more or less frequently, provided that such rules are not inconsistent with State or federal requirements. Local boards also may adopt rules requiring the annual evaluation of nonlicensed employees. A local board shall use the performance standards and criteria adopted by the State Board and may adopt additional evaluation criteria and standards. All other provisions of this section shall apply if a local board uses an evaluation other than one adopted by the State Board."

SECTION 3.(c) This section is effective when it becomes law and applies beginning with the 2017‑2018 school year.

 

PART IV. SUPERINTENDENT STUDY STUDENT HEALTH ISSUES

SECTION 4.(a) The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall convene a work group to study effective and positive intervention measures or policy changes to address risky behaviors and encourage student health and mental health. The work group shall consist of personnel from within the Department of Public Instruction with expertise in student health issues, including mental health, as well as personnel from the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health. The Superintendent may also appoint representatives from various public and private stakeholder groups as well as representatives from local school administrative units and charter schools. The Superintendent shall report on the work group's findings and recommendations to the State Board of Education and the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by April 1, 2018.

SECTION 4.(b) This section is effective when it becomes law.

 

PART V. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION INTERAGENCY ADVISORY COMMITTEE AND SCHOOL‑BASED MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVE DELAY IMPLEMENTATION

SECTION 5.(a) The State Board of Education shall not adopt or implement any policies or recommendations from the Interagency Advisory Committee established by the State Board of Education in Policy ADVS‑009 until October 1, 2018.

SECTION 5.(b) The State Board of Education shall change the timelines for the development and implementation of plans and training required by Policy SHLT‑003 regarding school‑based student mental health initiatives as follows for local school administrative units: (i) development of the plans to assess mental health and substance use needs shall occur during the 2018‑2019 school year; (ii) the implementation plan and three‑year review cycle shall commence in the 2019‑2020 school year; and (iii) school mental health training will be provided by the Department of Public Instruction to the local school administrative units during the 2019‑2020 school year. The State Board of Education shall change the timelines for the development and implementation of plans and training required by Policy SHLT‑003 regarding school‑based student mental health initiatives as follows for charter schools: (i) development of the plans to assess mental health and substance use needs shall occur during the 2019‑2020 school year; (ii) the implementation plan and three‑year review cycle shall commence in the 2020‑2021 school year; and (iii) school mental health training will be provided by the Department of Public Instruction to charter schools during the 2020‑2021 school year.

SECTION 5.(c) This section is effective when it becomes law.

 

PART VI. STUDY/EXPAND COMPUTER SCIENCE TO ALL STUDENTS

SECTION 6.(a) The Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Department of Public Instruction, in collaboration with the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University (Friday Institute) and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NC School of Science and Math), shall develop recommendations to further the teaching and student learning of computational thinking and computer science in North Carolina K‑12 schools. In developing recommendations, the Superintendent and the Department, in collaboration with the Friday Institute and the NC School of Science and Math, shall do at least the following:

(1) Develop curriculum guidelines that are aligned with K‑12 Computer Science Framework (October 2016) developed by the CSforAll Consortium.

(2) Develop recommendations to increase the number of teachers prepared to teach computational thinking and computer science, addressing both preservice educator preparation for teachers and professional development for in‑service teachers.

(3) Develop policy recommendations.

(4) Align recommendations with the ongoing implementation of the Digital Learning Plan in North Carolina by the Department and the Friday Institute.

SECTION 6.(b) By January 15, 2018, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee on the recommendations, including any proposed legislation, developed in accordance with this act.

SECTION 6.(c) This section is effective when it becomes law.

 

PART VII. EFFECTIVE DATE

SECTION 7. Except as otherwise provided, this act is effective when it becomes law.