Text of S795 Senate education plan

Here’s the link and here’s the text:

Short Title: Excellent Public Schools Act.

Sponsors: Senators Apodaca, P. Berger, and Tillman (Primary Sponsors).

Referred to:

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT to make changes to improve K‑3 literacy; provide literacy volunteer leave time; assign school performance grades; MAXIMIZE INSTRUCTIONAL TIME; adjust school calendar START and end dates; fund five additional INSTRUCTIONAL days within the EXISTING school calendar; establish an NC teacher corps; strengthen teacher licensure requirements; PROVIDE PROOF OF STATE-FUNDED LIABILITY INSURANCE; establish plans for pay FOR EXCELLENCE; END TENURE; AND eliminate public FINANCING for the office of superintendent of public instruction.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

PART I. IMPROVE K‑3 LITERACY

SECTION 1.(a) G.S. 115C‑81.2 is repealed.

SECTION 1.(b) Article 8 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new Part to read:

“Part 1A. North Carolina Read to Achieve Program.

“§ 115C‑83.1A. State goal.

The goal of the State is to ensure that every student read at or above grade level by the end of third grade and continue to progress in reading proficiency so that he or she can read, comprehend, integrate, and apply complex texts needed for secondary education and career success.

“§ 115C‑83.1B. Purposes.

(a) The purposes of this Part are to ensure that (i) difficulty with reading development is identified as early as possible; (ii) students receive appropriate instructional and support services to address difficulty with reading development and to remediate reading deficiencies; and (iii) each student and his or her parent or guardian be continuously informed of the student’s academic needs and progress.

(b) In addition to the purposes listed in subsection (a) of this section, the purpose of this Part is to determine that progression from one grade to another be based, in part, upon proficiency in reading.

Several dozen pages after the jump

“§ 115C‑83.1C. Definitions.

The following definitions apply in this Part:

(1) “Accelerated reading class” means a class where focused instructional supports and services are provided to increase a student’s reading level at least two grades in one school year.

(2) “Alternative assessment” means a valid and reliable standardized assessment of reading comprehension, approved by the State Board of Education, that is not the same test as the State approved standardized test of reading comprehension administered to third grade students.

(3) “Instructional supports and services” mean intentional strategies used with a majority of students to facilitate reading development and remediate emerging difficulty with reading development. Instructional supports and services include, but are not limited to, small group instruction, reduced teacher‑student ratios, frequent progress monitoring, and extended learning time.

(4) “Difficulty with reading development” means not demonstrating appropriate developmental abilities in any of the major reading areas, including, but not limited to, oral language, phonological or phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, or comprehension, according to observation‑based, diagnostic, or formative assessments.

(5) “Reading interventions” mean evidence‑based strategies frequently used to remediate reading deficiencies and include, but are not limited to, individual instruction, tutoring, or mentoring that target specific reading skills and abilities.

(6) “Reading proficiency” means reading at or above the third grade level by the end of a student’s third grade year, demonstrated by the results of the State‑approved standardized test of reading comprehension administered to third grade students.

(7) “Reading deficiency” means not reading at the third grade level by the end of the student’s third grade year, demonstrated by the results of the State‑approved standardized test of reading comprehension administered to third grade students.

(8) “Student reading portfolio” means a compilation of independently produced student work selected by the student’s teacher, and signed by the teacher and principal, as an accurate picture of the student’s reading ability. The student reading portfolio shall include an organized collection of evidence of the student’s mastery of the State’s reading standards that are assessed by the State-approved standardized test of reading comprehension administered to third grade students. For each benchmark, there shall be three examples of student work demonstrating mastery by a grade of seventy percent (70%) or above.

(9) “Summer reading camp” means an additional educational program outside of the instructional calendar provided by the local school administrative unit to any student who does not demonstrate reading proficiency. Parents or guardians of the student not demonstrating reading proficiency shall make the final decision regarding the student’s summer camp attendance. Summer camps shall (i) be six to eight weeks long, four or five days per week; (ii) include at least five and one‑half hours of instructional time per day; (iii) be taught by compensated, licensed teachers selected based on demonstrated student outcomes in reading proficiency; and (iv) allow volunteer mentors to read with students.

(10) “Transitional third and fourth class combination” means a classroom specifically designed to produce learning gains sufficient to meet fourth grade performance standards while continuing to remediate areas of reading deficiency.

“§ 115C‑83.1D. Comprehensive plan for reading achievement.

(a) The State Board of Education shall develop, implement, and continuously evaluate a comprehensive plan to improve reading achievement in the public schools. The plan shall be based on reading instructional practices with strong evidence of effectiveness in current empirical research in reading development. The plan shall be developed with the active involvement of teachers, college and university educators, parents and guardians of students, and other interested parties. The plan shall, when appropriate to reflect research, include revision of the standard course of study or other curricular standards, revision of teacher licensure and renewal standards, and revision of teacher education program standards.

(b) The State Board of Education shall report biennially to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by October 1 of each even‑numbered year on the implementation, evaluation, and revisions to the comprehensive plan for reading achievement and shall include recommendations for legislative changes to enable implementation of current empirical research in reading development.

“§ 115C‑83.1E. Developmental screening and kindergarten entry assessment.

(a) The State Board of Education shall ensure that every student entering kindergarten shall be administered a developmental screening of early language, literacy, and math skills within 30 days of enrollment.

(b) The State Board of Education shall ensure that every student entering kindergarten shall complete a kindergarten entry assessment within 60 days of enrollment.

(c) The developmental screening instrument may be composed of subsections of the kindergarten entry assessment.

(d) The kindergarten entry assessment shall address the five essential domains of school readiness: language and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge, approaches toward learning, physical well‑being and motor development, and social and emotional development.

(e) The kindergarten entry assessment shall be (i) administered at the classroom level in all local school administrative units; (ii) aligned to North Carolina’s early learning and development standards and to the standard course of study; and (iii) reliable, valid, and appropriate for use with all children, including those with disabilities and those who are English language learners.

(f) The results of the developmental screening and the kindergarten entry assessment shall be used to inform the following:

(1) The status of children’s learning at kindergarten entry.

(2) Instruction of each child.

(3) Efforts to reduce the achievement gap at kindergarten entry.

(4) Continuous improvement of the early childhood system.

“§ 115C‑83.1F. Facilitating early grade reading proficiency.

(a) Kindergarten, first, second, and third grade students shall be assessed with valid, reliable, formative, and diagnostic reading assessments made available to local school administrative units by the State Board of Education pursuant to G.S. 115C‑174.11(a). Difficulty with reading development identified through administration of formative and diagnostic assessments shall be addressed with instructional supports and services. To the greatest extent possible, kindergarten through third grade reading assessments shall yield data that can be used with the Education Value Added Assessment System (EVAAS), or a compatible and comparable system approved by the State Board of Education, to analyze student data to identify root causes for difficulty with reading development and to determine actions to address them.

(b) Formative and diagnostic assessments and resultant instructional supports and services shall address oral language, phonological and phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension using developmentally appropriate practices.

(c) Local school administrative units are encouraged to partner with community organizations, businesses, and other groups to provide volunteers, mentors, or tutors to assist with the provision of instructional supports and services that enhance reading development and proficiency.

“§ 115C‑83.1G. Elimination of social promotion.

(a) The State Board of Education shall require that a student be retained in the third grade if the student fails to demonstrate reading proficiency appropriate for a third grade student, as demonstrated on a State-approved standardized test of reading comprehension administered to third grade students. The test may be re‑administered once prior to the end of the school year.

(b) Students may be exempt from mandatory retention in third grade for good cause but shall continue to receive instructional supports and services and reading interventions appropriate for their age and reading level. Good cause exemptions shall be limited to the following:

(1) Limited English Proficient students with less than two years of instruction in an English as a Second Language program.

(2) Students with disabilities, as defined in G.S. 115C‑106.3(1), whose individualized education program indicates the use of alternative assessments and reading interventions.

(3) Students who demonstrate reading proficiency appropriate for third grade students on an alternative assessment approved by the State Board of Education. Teachers may administer the alternative assessment following the administration of the State-approved standardized test of reading comprehension typically given to third grade students at the end of the school year, or after a student’s participation in the local school administrative unit’s summer reading camp.

(4) Students who demonstrate, through a student reading portfolio, reading proficiency appropriate for third grade students. Teachers may submit the student reading portfolio at the end of the school year, or after a student’s participation in the local school administrative unit’s summer reading camp. The student reading portfolio and review process shall be established by the State Board of Education.

(5) Students who have (i) received reading intervention and (ii) previously been retained more than once.

(c) The superintendent shall determine whether a student may be exempt from mandatory retention on the basis of a good cause exemption. The following steps shall be taken in making the determination:

(1) The teacher of a student eligible for a good cause exemption shall submit documentation of the relevant exemption and evidence that promotion of the student is appropriate based on the student’s academic record to the principal. Such evidence shall be limited to the student’s personal education plan, individual education program, if applicable, alternative assessment, or student reading portfolio.

(2) The principal shall review the documentation and make an initial determination whether the student should be promoted. If the principal determines the student should be promoted, the principal shall make a written recommendation of promotion to the superintendent for final determination. The superintendent’s acceptance or rejection of the recommendation shall be in writing.

“§ 115C‑83.1H. Successful reading development for retained students.

(a) Students not demonstrating reading proficiency shall be enrolled in a summer reading camp provided by the local school administrative unit prior to being retained. Students who demonstrate reading proficiency on an alternative assessment of reading comprehension or student reading portfolio after completing a summer reading camp shall be promoted to the fourth grade. Students who do not demonstrate reading proficiency on these measures after completing a summer reading camp shall be retained under G.S. 115C‑83.1G(a) and provided with the instruction listed in subsection (b) of this section during the retained year.

(b) Students retained under G.S. 115C‑83.1G(a) shall be provided with a teacher selected based on demonstrated student outcomes in reading proficiency and placed in an accelerated reading class or a transitional third and fourth grade class combination, as appropriate. Classroom instruction shall include at least 90 minutes of daily, uninterrupted, evidence‑based reading instruction, not to include independent reading time, and other appropriate instructional supports and services and reading interventions.

(c) The State Board of Education shall establish a midyear promotion policy for any student retained under G.S. 115C‑83.1G(a) who, by November 1, demonstrates reading proficiency through administration of the alternative assessment of reading comprehension, or student reading portfolio review.

(d) Parents or guardians of students who have been retained once under the provisions of G.S. 115C‑83.1G(a) shall be provided with a plan for reading at home, including participation in shared and guided reading workshops for the parent or guardian, and outlined in a parental or guardian contract.

(e) Parents or guardians of students who have been retained twice under the provisions of G.S. 115C‑83.1G(a) shall be offered supplemental tutoring for the retained student in evidence‑based reading services outside the instructional day.

“§ 115C‑83.1I. Notification requirements to parents and guardians.

(a) Parents or guardians shall be notified in writing, and in a timely manner, that the student shall be retained, unless he or she is exempt from mandatory retention for good cause, if the student is not demonstrating reading proficiency by the end of third grade. Parents or guardians shall receive this notice when a kindergarten, first, second or third grade student (i) is demonstrating difficulty with reading development; (ii) is not reading at grade level; or (iii) has a personal education plan under G.S. 115C‑105.41.

(b) Parents or guardians of any student who is to be retained under the provisions of G.S. 115C‑83.1G(a) shall be notified in writing of the reason the student is not eligible for a good cause exemption as provided in G.S. 115C‑83.1G(b). Written notification shall also include a description of proposed reading interventions that will be provided to the student to remediate identified areas of reading deficiency.

(c) Parents or guardians of students retained under G.S. 115C‑83.1G(a) shall receive at least monthly written reports on student progress towards reading proficiency. The evaluation of the student’s progress shall be based upon the student’s classroom work, observations, tests, assessments, and other relevant information.

(d) Teachers and principals shall provide opportunities to discuss with parents and guardians the notifications listed in this section.

“§ 115C‑83.1J. Accountability measures.

(a) Each local board of education shall publish annually on a Web site maintained by that local school administrative unit and report in writing to the State Board of Education by September 1 of each year the following information on the prior school year:

(1) The number and percentage of third grade students demonstrating and not demonstrating reading proficiency on the State-approved standardized test of reading comprehension administered to third grade students.

(2) The number and percentage of third grade students who take and pass the alternative assessment of reading comprehension.

(3) The number and percentage of third grade students retained for not demonstrating reading proficiency.

(4) The number and percentage of third grade students exempt from mandatory third grade retention by category of exemption as listed in G.S. 115C‑83.1G(b).

(b) Each local board of education shall report annually in writing to the State Board of Education by September 1 of each year a description of all reading interventions provided to students who have been retained under G.S. 115C‑83.1G(a).

(c) The State Board of Education shall establish a uniform format for local boards of education to report the required information listed in subsections (a) and (b) of this section and shall provide the format to local boards of education no later than 90 days prior to the annual due date. The State Board of Education shall compile annually this information and submit a State‑level summary to the Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by October 1 of each year, beginning with the 2014‑2015 school year.

(d) The State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction shall provide technical assistance as needed to aid local school administrative units to implement all provisions of this Part.”

SECTION 1.(c) G.S. 115C‑105.27(b)(1a) is repealed.

SECTION 1.(d) G.S. 115C‑105.41 reads as rewritten:

“§ 115C‑105.41. Students who have been placed at risk of academic failure; personal education plans.

In order to implement Part 1A of Article 8 of this Chapter, Local local school administrative units shall identify students who are at risk for academic failure and who are not successfully progressing toward grade promotion and graduation, beginning no later than the fourth grade.in kindergarten. Identification shall occur as early as can reasonably be done and can be based on grades, observations, diagnostic and formative assessments, State assessments, and other factors, including reading on grade level, that impact student performance that teachers and administrators consider appropriate, without having to await the results of end‑of‑grade or end‑of‑course tests. No later than the end of the first quarter, or after a teacher has had up to nine weeks of instructional time with a student, a personal education plan for academic improvement with focused intervention and performance benchmarks shall be developed or updated for any student at risk of academic failure who is not performing at least at grade level, as identified by the State end‑of‑grade test and other factors noted above. Focused instructional supports and services, reading intervention interventions and accelerated activities should include research‑based best evidence‑based practices that meet the needs of students and may include coaching, mentoring, tutoring, summer school, Saturday school, and extended days. Local school administrative units shall provide these activities free of charge to students. Local school administrative units shall also provide transportation free of charge to all students for whom transportation is necessary for participation in these activities.

Local school administrative units shall give notice of the personal education plan and a copy of the personal education plan to the student’s parent or guardian. Parents should be included in the implementation and ongoing review of personal education plans.

Local school administrative units shall certify that they have complied with this section annually to the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education shall periodically review data on the progress of identified students and report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee.

No cause of action for monetary damages shall arise from the failure to provide or implement a personal education plan under this section.”

SECTION 1.(e) G.S. 115C‑174.11(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a) Assessment Instruments for First and Second Grades.Kindergarten, First, Second, and Third Grades. — The State Board of Education shall adopt develop, adopt, and provide to the local school administrative units developmentally appropriate individualized assessment instruments consistent with the Basic Education Program and Part 1A of Article 8 of this Chapter for the first and second grades, rather than standardized tests. kindergarten, first, second, and third grades. Local school administrative units may shall use these assessment instruments provided to them by the State Board for first and second grade students,kindergarten, first, second, and third grade students to assess progress, diagnose difficulties, and to inform instruction and remediation needs. and Local school administrative units shall not use standardized tests for summative assessment of kindergarten, first, and second grade students except as required as a condition of receiving federal grants.”

SECTION 1.(f) G.S. 115C‑238.29F is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

“(d1) Reading Proficiency and Student Promotion. —

(1) Students in the third grade shall be retained if the student fails to demonstrate reading proficiency by reading at or above the third grade level as demonstrated by the results of the State-approved standardized test of reading comprehension administered to third grade students. The charter school shall provide reading interventions to retained students to remediate reading deficiency, which may include 90 minutes of daily, uninterrupted, evidence‑based reading instruction, accelerated reading classes, transition classes containing third and fourth grade students, and summer reading camps.

(2) Students may be exempt from mandatory retention in third grade for good cause but shall continue to receive instructional supports and services and reading interventions appropriate for their age and reading level. Good cause exemptions shall be limited to the following:

a. Limited English Proficient students with less than two years of instruction in an English as a Second Language program.

b. Students with disabilities, as defined in G.S. 115C‑106.3(1), whose individualized education program indicates the use of alternative assessments and reading interventions.

c. Students who demonstrate reading proficiency appropriate for third grade students on an alternative assessment of reading comprehension. The charter school shall notify the State Board of Education of the alternative assessment used to demonstrate reading proficiency.

d. Students who demonstrate, through a student reading portfolio, reading proficiency appropriate for third grade students.

e. Students who have received reading interventions and have previously been retained more than once.

(3) The charter school shall provide notice to parents and guardians when a student is not reading at grade level. The notice shall state that if the student’s reading deficiency is not remediated by the end of third grade, the student shall be retained unless he or she is exempt from mandatory retention for good cause. Notice shall also be provided to parents and guardians of any student who is to be retained under this subsection of the reason the student is not eligible for a good cause exemption, as well as a description of proposed reading interventions that will be provided to the student to remediate identified areas of reading deficiency.

(4) The charter school shall annually publish on the charter school’s Web site and report in writing to the State Board of Education by September 1 of each year the following information on the prior school year:

a. The number and percentage of third grade students demonstrating and not demonstrating reading proficiency on the State-approved standardized test of reading comprehension administered to third grade students.

b. The number and percentage of third grade students not demonstrating reading proficiency and who do not return to the charter school for the following school year.

c. The number and percentage of third grade students who take and pass the alternative assessment of reading comprehension.

d. The number and percentage of third grade students retained for not demonstrating reading proficiency.

e. The number and percentage of third grade students exempt from mandatory third grade retention by category of exemption as listed in subdivision (2) of this subsection.”

SECTION 1.(g) G.S. 115C‑288(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a) To Grade and Classify Pupils. — The principal shall have authority to grade and classify pupilspupils, except as provided in G.S. 115C‑83.1G(a). In determining the appropriate grade for a pupil who is already attending a public school, the principal shall consider the pupil’s classroom work and grades, the pupil’s scores on standardized tests, and the best educational interests of the pupil. The principal shall not make the decision solely on the basis of standardized test scores. If a principal’s decision to retain a child in the same grade is partially based on the pupil’s scores on standardized tests, those test scores shall be verified as accurate.

A principal shall not require additional testing of a student entering a public school from a school governed under Article 39 of this Chapter if test scores from a nationally standardized test or nationally standardized equivalent measure that are adequate to determine the appropriate placement of the child are available.”

SECTION 1.(h) G.S. 130A‑440(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b) A health assessment shall include a medical history and physical examination with screening for vision and hearing and, if appropriate, testing for anemia and tuberculosis. Vision screening shall be conducted in accordance with G.S. 130A‑440.1. The health assessment may also include dental screening and developmental screening for cognition, language, and motor function. The developmental screening of cognition and language abilities may be conducted in accordance with G.S. 115C‑83.1E(a).”

SECTION 1.(i) There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction the sum of thirty-four million eighty-seven thousand six hundred fifty dollars ($34,087,650) for the 2012-2013 fiscal year to implement the requirements of this section. It is the intent of the General Assembly to increase this appropriation for the 2013‑2014 fiscal year to implement additional requirements in that fiscal year.

SECTION 1.(j) This section is effective when it becomes law and applies beginning with the 2013-2014 school year. The kindergarten entry assessment required by this section shall be administered beginning with the 2014-2015 school year.

PART II. STATE EMPLOYEE LITERACY VOLUNTEER LEAVE TIME

SECTION 2.(a) G.S. 126‑4 reads as rewritten:

“§ 126‑4. Powers and duties of State Personnel Commission.

Subject to the approval of the Governor, the State Personnel Commission shall establish policies and rules governing each of the following:

(5b) A leave program that allows employees to volunteer in a literacy program in a public school for up to five hours each month.

….”

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

PART III. SCHOOL PERFORMANCE GRADES

SECTION 3.(a) G.S. 115C‑12(9)c1. reads as rewritten:

“c1. To issue an annual “report card” for the State and for each local school administrative unit, assessing each unit’s efforts to improve student performance based on the growth in performance of the students in each school and taking into account progress over the previous years’ level of performance and the State’s performance in comparison with other states. This assessment shall take into account factors that have been shown to affect student performance and that the State Board considers relevant to assess the State’s efforts to improve student performance. As a part of the annual “report card” for each local school administrative unit, the State Board shall award an overall school performance grade of A, B, C, D, or F earned by each school within the local school administrative unit. The school performance grade shall reflect student performance on annual subject specific assessments, college and workplace readiness measures, and graduation rates. For schools serving students in any grade from kindergarten to eighth grade, separate performance grades shall also be awarded based on the school performance in literacy and mathematics respectively. The annual “report card” for schools serving students in third grade also shall include the number and percentage of third grade students who (i) take and pass the alternative assessment of reading comprehension; (ii) were retained in third grade for not demonstrating reading proficiency as indicated in G.S. 115C‑83.1G(a); and (iii) were exempt from mandatory third grade retention by category of exemption as listed in G.S. 115C‑83.1G(b).”

SECTION 3.(b) G.S. 115C‑47(58) reads as rewritten:

“(58) To Inform the Public About the North Carolina School Report Cards Issued by the State Board of Education. — Each local board of education shall ensure that the report card issued for it by the State Board of Education receives wide distribution to the local press or otherwise.is otherwise provided to the public. Each local board of education shall ensure that the overall school performance grade earned by each school in the local school administrative unit is prominently displayed on the Web site of the local school administrative unit. If any school in the local school administrative unit is awarded a grade of D or F, the local board of education shall provide notice of the grade in writing to the parent or guardian of all students enrolled in that school.”

SECTION 3.(c) G.S. 115C‑238.29F is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

“(l) North Carolina School Report Cards. — A charter school shall ensure that the report card issued for it by the State Board of Education receives wide distribution to the local press or is otherwise provided to the public. A charter school shall ensure that the overall school performance grade earned by the charter school is prominently displayed on the school Web site. If a charter school is awarded a grade of D or F, the charter school shall provide notice of the grade in writing to the parent or guardian of all students enrolled in that school.”

SECTION 3.(d) G.S. 115C‑238.66 is amended by adding a new subdivision to read:

“(11) North Carolina School Report Cards. — A regional school shall ensure that the report card issued for it by the State Board of Education receives wide distribution to the local press or is otherwise provided to the public. A regional school shall ensure that the overall school performance grade earned by the regional school is prominently displayed on the school Web site. If a regional school is awarded a grade of D or F, the regional school shall provide notice of the grade in writing to the parent or guardian of all students enrolled in that school.”

SECTION 3.(e) The State Board of Education shall award school performance grades as required by G.S. 115C‑12(9)c1. based on the following criteria.

(1) The overall school performance grade earned by schools serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade shall be calculated based on the sum of three school performance grade point elements.

a. The grade shall be calculated as follows:

1. One point for each percent of students who score at or above proficient on annual assessments for mathematics in grades three through eight.

2. One point for each percent of students who score at or above proficient on annual assessments for English Language Arts in grades three through eight.

3. One point for each percent of students who score at or above proficient on annual assessments for science in grades five and eight.

b. The following scale shall be applied for award of grades:

1. At least 270 performance grade points for an overall school performance grade of A.

2. At least 240 performance grade points for an overall school performance grade of B.

3. At least 210 performance grade points for an overall school performance grade of C.

4. At least 180 performance grade points for an overall school performance grade of D.

5. A school that accumulates less than 180 points shall be assigned an overall school performance grade of F.

(2) The school performance grades in literacy and mathematics, respectively, for schools serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade shall be earned as follows:

a. The literacy school performance grade shall be based on the percent of students who score at or above proficient on annual assessments for English Language Arts assessments in grades three through eight.

b. The mathematics school performance grade shall be based on the percent of students who score at or above proficient on annual assessments for mathematics in grades three through eight.

c. The school performance grades awarded for literacy and mathematics, respectively, shall be awarded on the following scale:

1. At least 90 performance grade points for an overall school performance grade of A.

2. At least 80 performance grade points for an overall school performance grade of B.

3. At least 70 performance grade points for an overall school performance grade of C.

4. At least 60 performance grade points for an overall school performance grade of D.

5. A school that accumulates less than 60 points shall be assigned an overall school performance grade of F.

(3) The overall school performance grade earned by schools serving students in ninth through twelfth grade shall be calculated based on the sum of seven school performance grade point elements.

a. The grade shall be calculated as follows:

1. One point for each percent of students who score at or above proficient on annual assessments for mathematics.

2. One point for each percent of students who score at or above proficient on annual assessments for English.

3. One point for each percent of students who score at or above proficient on annual assessments for biology.

4. One point for each percent of students who complete a higher‑level mathematics class with a passing grade.

5. One point for each percent of students who score at or above a level demonstrating college readiness on a nationally normed test of college readiness.

6. One point for each percent of students who graduate within four years of entering high school.

7. One point for each percent of students who demonstrate workplace readiness on a nationally normed test of workplace readiness.

b. The following scale shall be applied for award of grades:

1. At least 630 performance grade points for an overall school performance grade of A.

2. At least 560 performance grade points for an overall school performance grade of B.

3. At least 490 performance grade points for an overall school performance grade of C.

4. At least 420 performance grade points for an overall school performance grade of D.

5. A school that accumulates less than 420 points shall be assigned an overall school performance grade of F.

(4) In calculating the overall school performance grade earned by schools, the State Board of Education shall proportionally adjust the scale to account for the absence of a school performance grade element for award of grades to a school that does not have a measure of one of the school performance grade elements annually assessed for the grades taught at that school.

(5) The State Board of Education shall report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee annually by January 15 on recommended adjustments to the school performance grade point elements and scale for award of grades.

SECTION 3.(f) This section is effective when it becomes law and applies beginning with the 2012‑2013 school year.

PART IV. MAXIMIZE INSTRUCTIONAL TIME

SECTION 4.(a) G.S. 115C‑174.12(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a) The State Board of Education shall establish policies and guidelines necessary for minimizing the time students spend taking tests administered through State and local testing programs, for minimizing the frequency of field testing at any one school, and for otherwise carrying out the provisions of this Article. These policies and guidelines shall include the following:

(1) Schools shall devote no more than two days of instructional time per year to the taking of practice tests that do not have the primary purpose of assessing current student learning;

(2) Students in a school shall not be subject to field tests or national tests during the two‑week period preceding the administration of end‑of‑grade tests, end‑of‑course tests, or the school’s regularly scheduled final exams; and

(3) No school shall participate in more than two field tests at any one grade level during a school year unless that school volunteers, through a vote of its school improvement team, to participate in an expanded number of field tests.year.

(4) All annual assessments of student achievement adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to G.S. 115C‑174.11(c)(1) and (3) and all final exams for courses shall be administered within the final 10 instructional days of the school year for year‑long courses and within the final five instructional days of the school year for semester courses. Exceptions shall be permitted to accommodate a student’s individualized education program and section 504 (29 U.S.C. § 794) plans.

These policies shall reflect standard testing practices to insure reliability and validity of the sample testing. The results of the field tests shall be used in the final design of each test. The State Board of Education’s policies regarding the testing of children students with disabilities shall (i) provide broad accommodations and alternate methods of assessment that are consistent with a child’s student’s individualized education program and section 504 (29 U.S.C. § 794) plans, (ii) prohibit the use of statewide tests as the sole determinant of decisions about a child’sstudent’s graduation or promotion, and (iii) provide parents with information about the Statewide Testing Program and options for students with disabilities. The State Board shall report its proposed policies and proposed changes in policies to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee prior to adoption.

The State Board of Education may appoint an Advisory Council on Testing to assist in carrying out its responsibilities under this Article.”

SECTION 4.(b) This section is effective when it becomes law and applies beginning with the 2012‑2013 school year.

PART V. ADJUSTMENTS TO SCHOOL CALENDAR START AND END DATES

SECTION 5.(a) G.S. 115C‑84.2(d) reads as rewritten:

“(d) Opening and Closing Dates. — Local boards of education shall determine the dates of opening and closing the public schools under subdivision (a)(1) of this section. Except for year‑round schools, the opening date for students shall not be before August 25,the next to the last Monday in August, and the closing date for students shall not be after June 10.the second Friday in June. On a showing of good cause, the State Board of Education may waive this requirement to the extent that school calendars are able to provide sufficient days to accommodate anticipated makeup days due to school closings. A local board may revise the scheduled closing date if necessary in order to comply with the minimum requirements for instructional days or instructional time. For purposes of this subsection, the term “good cause” means either that:

(1) Schools in any local school administrative unit in a county have been closed eight days per year during any four of the last 10 years because of severe weather conditions, energy shortages, power failures, or other emergency situations; or

(2) Schools in any local school administrative unit in a county have been closed for all or part of eight days per year during any four of the last 10 years because of severe weather conditions. For purposes of this subdivision, a school shall be deemed to be closed for part of a day if it is closed for two or more hours.

The State Board also may waive this requirement for an educational purpose. The term “educational purpose” means a local school administrative unit establishes a need to adopt a different calendar for (i) a specific school to accommodate a special program offered generally to the student body of that school, (ii) a school that primarily serves a special population of students, or (iii) a defined program within a school. The State Board may grant the waiver for an educational purpose for that specific school or defined program to the extent that the State Board finds that the educational purpose is reasonable, the accommodation is necessary to accomplish the educational purpose, and the request is not an attempt to circumvent the opening and closing dates set forth in this subsection. The waiver requests for educational purposes shall not be used to accommodate system‑wide class scheduling preferences.

The required opening and closing dates under this subsection shall not apply to any school that a local board designated as having a modified calendar for the 2003‑2004 school year or to any school that was part of a planned program in the 2003‑2004 school year for a system of modified calendar schools, so long as the school operates under a modified calendar.”

SECTION 5.(b) This section is effective when it becomes law and applies beginning with the 2012‑2013 school year.

PART VI. funding for the addition of five instructional days within the existing school calendar

SECTION 6.(a) To fully provide for the expansion of five additional instructional days in accordance with S.L. 2011‑145, Section 7.29:

(1) There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction the sum of one million two hundred thousand dollars ($1,200,000) for the 2012‑2013 fiscal year to increase the amount appropriated for the noninstructional support personnel allotment.

(2) There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction the sum of ten million one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($10,150,000) for the 2012‑2013 fiscal year to increase the amount appropriated for the transportation allotment.

SECTION 6.(b) This section becomes effective July 1, 2012.

PART VII. ESTABLISH NC TEACHER CORPS

SECTION 7.(a) Article 20 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

“§ 115C‑296.7. North Carolina Teacher Corps.

(a) There is established the North Carolina Teacher Corps (NC Teacher Corps) to recruit and place recent graduates of colleges and universities and mid‑career professionals as teachers in high needs public schools.

(b) The State Board of Education, in consultation with the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina and the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, shall develop and administer the NC Teacher Corps. In the development of the NC Teacher Corps, the State Board of Education shall consider examples of other successful teacher recruitment models used nationally and in other states.

(c) Applications shall be received annually for admission to the NC Teacher Corps. The State Board of Education shall establish application criteria, including, at a minimum, an award of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The State Board of Education may establish a committee to annually evaluate and select candidates for admission to the NC Teacher Corps.

(d) The State Board of Education shall identify local school administrative units with unmet recruitment needs and high needs schools and shall coordinate placement of NC Teacher Corps members in those schools.

(e) The State Board of Education, in coordination with the Board of Governors, shall develop an intensive summer training institute for NC Teacher Corps members to provide coursework and training on essential teaching frameworks, curricula, and lesson planning skills, as well as identification and education of students with disabilities, positive management of student behavior, effective communication for defusing and deescalating disruptive and dangerous behavior, and safe and appropriate use of seclusion and restraint. The intensive summer training institute also shall address identification of difficulty with reading development and of reading deficiencies, and the provision of reading instruction, intervention, and remediation strategies.

(f) The State Board of Education, in coordination with the Board of Governors, shall provide ongoing support to NC Teaching Corps members through coaching, mentoring, and continued professional development.

(g) NC Teaching Corps members shall be granted lateral entry teaching licenses pursuant to G.S. 115C‑296(c).”

SECTION 7.(b) This section is effective when it becomes law. The State Board of Education shall recruit and place an initial cohort of NC Teacher Corps members no later than the 2012‑2013 school year.

PART VIII. STRENGTHEN TEACHER LICENSURE

SECTION 8.(a) G.S. 115C‑296 reads as rewritten:

“§ 115C‑296. Board sets licensure requirements; reports; lateral entry and mentor programs.

(a) The State Board of Education shall have entire control of licensing all applicants for teaching positions in all public elementary and high schools of North Carolina; and it shall prescribe the rules and regulations for the renewal and extension of all licenses and shall determine and fix the salary for each grade and type of license which it authorizes.

The State Board of Education may require an applicant for an initial bachelors degree certificate or graduate degree certificate to demonstrate the applicant’s academic and professional preparation by achieving a prescribed minimum score on a standard examination appropriate and adequate for that purpose. Elementary Education (K‑6) teachers shall also achieve a prescribed minimum score on subtests or standard examinations specific to Reading and Language Arts and Mathematics. The State Board of Education shall permit an applicant to fulfill any such testing requirement before or during the applicant’s second year of teaching provided the applicant took the examination at least once during the first year of teaching. The State Board of Education shall make any required standard initial licensure exam sufficiently rigorous and raise the prescribed minimum score as necessary to ensure that each applicant has adequate received high quality academic and professional preparation to teach.teach effectively.

(b) It is the policy of the State of North Carolina to maintain the highest quality teacher education programs and school administrator programs in order to enhance the competence of professional personnel licensed in North Carolina. To the end that teacher preparation programs are upgraded to reflect a more rigorous course of study, the State Board of Education, as lead agency in coordination and cooperation with the University Board of Governors, the Board of Community Colleges and such other public and private agencies as are necessary, shall continue to refine the several licensure requirements, standards for approval of institutions of teacher education, standards for institution‑based innovative and experimental programs, standards for implementing consortium‑based teacher education, and standards for improved efficiencies in the administration of the approved programs. The licensure program shall provide for initial licensure after completion of preservice training, continuing licensure after three years of teaching experience, and license renewal every five years thereafter, until the retirement of the teacher. The last license renewal received prior to retirement shall remain in effect for five years after retirement. The licensure program shall also provide for lifetime licensure after 50 years of teaching.

The State Board of Education, as lead agency in coordination with the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina and any other public and private agencies as necessary, shall continue to raise standards for entry into teacher education programs.

The State Board of Education, in consultation with local boards of education and the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina, shall evaluate and modify, as necessary, the academic requirements for students preparing to teach science in middle and high schools to ensure that there is adequate preparation in issues related to science laboratory safety.

The State Board of Education, in consultation with the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina, shall evaluate and develop enhanced requirements for continuing licensure. The new requirements shall reflect more rigorous standards for continuing licensure and to the extent possible shall be aligned with quality professional development programs that reflect State priorities for improving student achievement. Standards for continuing licensure shall include at least three continuing education credits related to literacy for elementary and middle school teachers. Literacy renewal credits shall include assessment, diagnosis, and intervention strategies for students not demonstrating reading proficiency. Oral language, phonemic and phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension shall be addressed in literacy‑related activities leading to certification renewal for elementary school teachers.

The State Board of Education, in consultation with local boards of education and the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina, shall reevaluate and enhance the requirements for renewal of teacher licenses. The State Board shall consider modifications in the license renewal achievement and to make it a mechanism for teachers to renew continually their knowledge and professional skills. The State Board shall adopt new standards for the renewal of teacher licenses by May 15, 1998.

The standards for approval of institutions of teacher education shall require that teacher education programs for all students include demonstrated competencies in (i) the identification and education of children with disabilities and (ii) positive management of student behavior and effective communication techniques for defusing and deescalating disruptive or dangerous behavior. The standards for approval of institutions of teacher education shall require that elementary teacher education programs include demonstrated competencies in (i) teaching of reading, including a substantive understanding of reading as a process involving oral language, phonological and phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension; (ii) evidence‑based assessment and diagnosis of specific areas of difficulty with reading development and of reading deficiencies; and (iii) appropriate application of instructional supports and services and reading interventions to ensure reading proficiency for all students. The State Board of Education shall incorporate the criteria developed in accordance with G.S. 116‑74.21 for assessing proposals under the School Administrator Training Program into its school administrator program approval standards.

All North Carolina institutions of higher education that offer teacher education programs, masters degree programs in education, or masters degree programs in school administration shall provide performance reports to the State Board of Education. The performance reports shall follow a common format, shall be submitted according to a plan developed by the State Board, and shall include the information required under the plan developed by the State Board.

(c) It is the policy of the State of North Carolina to encourage lateral entry into the profession of teaching by skilled individuals from the private sector. To this end, before the 1985‑86 school year begins, the State Board of Education shall develop criteria and procedures to accomplish the employment of such individuals as classroom teachers. Beginning with the 2006‑2007 school year, the criteria and procedures shall include preservice training in (i) the identification and education of children with disabilities and (ii) positive management of student behavior, effective communication for defusing and deescalating disruptive or dangerous behavior, and safe and appropriate use of seclusion and restraint. Skilled individuals who choose to enter the profession of teaching laterally may be granted a provisionallateral entry teaching license for no more than three years and shall be required to obtain licensure before contracting for a fourth year of service with any local administrative unit in this State.

.…”

SECTION 8.(b) This section is effective when it becomes law and applies beginning with the 2013‑2014 school year.

PART IX. PROOF OF STATE-FUNDED LIABILITY INSURANCE

SECTION 9.(a) G.S. 115C‑12 reads as rewritten:

“§ 115C‑12. Powers and duties of the Board generally.

The general supervision and administration of the free public school system shall be vested in the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education shall establish policy for the system of free public schools, subject to laws enacted by the General Assembly. The powers and duties of the State Board of Education are defined as follows:

(9) Miscellaneous Powers and Duties. — All the powers and duties exercised by the State Board of Education shall be in conformity with the Constitution and subject to such laws as may be enacted from time to time by the General Assembly. Among such duties are:

f. To annually notify public school employees of the availability and coverage of professional liability insurance.

.…”

SECTION 9.(b) This section is effective when it becomes law and applies beginning with the 2012‑2013 school year.

PART X. PAY FOR EXCELLENCE

SECTION 10.(a) Each local board of education shall establish a system of performance pay for all licensed personnel employed by the local board, beginning with the 2013‑2014 fiscal year. Under the performance pay system, licensed employees shall be eligible to receive bonuses or adjustments to base salary for meeting certain performance criteria. Criteria for award of bonuses or adjustments to base salary shall include, but are not limited to, the following factors:

(1) Annual growth in student achievement of students assigned to a teacher’s classroom, when applicable.

(2) Annual growth in student achievement of students assigned to a specific school.

(3) Assignment of additional academic responsibilities.

(4) Assignment to a hard-to-staff school.

(5) Assignment to a hard-to-staff subject area.

Local boards of education shall submit plans to the State Board of Education no later than March 1, 2013. The State Board shall submit for consultation the plans submitted by local boards in compliance with this section to the Fiscal Research Division and to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations no later than April 15, 2013.

SECTION 10.(b) This section is effective when it becomes law.

PART XI. END TENURE

SECTION 11.(a) G.S. 115C‑325 is repealed.

SECTION 11.(b) Part 3 of Article 22 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes is amended by adding new sections to read:

“§ 115C‑325.1. Definitions.

As used in this Part, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Annual contract” means an employment contract for a period of no longer than one school year.

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

(3) “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‑325.5(a); (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.

(4) “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‑325.5(b).

(5) “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 meeting each of the following requirements:

a. Who holds at least one of the following licenses issued by the State Board of Education:

1. A current standard professional educator’s license.

2. A current lateral entry teaching license.

3. A regular, not expired, vocational license.

b. Whose major responsibility is to teach or directly supervise teaching or who is classified by the State Board of Education or is paid either as a classroom teacher or instructional support personnel.

c. Who is employed to fill a full‑time, permanent position.

“§ 115C‑325.2. Personnel files.

(a) Maintenance of Personnel File. — The superintendent shall maintain in his or her 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 the teacher’s personnel file that the teacher 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.

(b) Inspection of Personnel Files. — 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 the teacher’s employment by the board may be kept in a file separate from the teacher’s personnel file and need not be made available to the teacher. 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‑325.4(a)(7) or G.S. 115C‑325.4(a)(14) as grounds for dismissal or demotion.

“§ 115C‑325.3. Annual contracts.

(a) Annual Contract. — Local boards of education shall employ teachers through an annual contract upon the recommendation of the superintendent. If a superintendent intends to recommend to the local board of education that a teacher be offered a new or renewed annual contract, the superintendent shall submit the recommendation to the local board for action. The local board may approve the superintendent’s recommendation or decide not to offer the teacher a new or renewed annual contract.

(b) Dismissal During Term of Contract. — A teacher shall not be dismissed or demoted during the term of the contract except for the grounds and by the procedure set forth in G.S. 115C‑325.4.

(c) Recommendation on Nonrenewal. — If a superintendent decides not to recommend that the local board of education offer a renewed annual contract to a teacher, the superintendent shall give the teacher written notice of the decision no later than May 15.

(d) Right to Petition for Hearing. — A teacher shall have the right to petition the local board of education for a hearing no later than June 1. The local board may, in its discretion, grant a hearing regarding the superintendent’s recommendation for nonrenewal. The local board of education shall notify the teacher making the petition of its decision whether to grant a hearing. If the request for a hearing is granted, the local board shall conduct a hearing pursuant to the provisions of G.S. 115C‑45(c) and make a final decision on whether to offer the teacher a renewed annual contract. The board shall notify a 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 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. A decision not to offer a teacher a renewed annual contract shall not be on any basis prohibited by State or federal law.

(e) Local boards of education and teachers employed by the local board may mutually modify the terms of the annual contact to permit part‑time employment.

“§ 115C‑325.4. Dismissal or demotion for cause.

(a) Grounds. — No teacher shall be dismissed or demoted or reduced to employment on a part‑time basis for disciplinary reasons during the term of the annual contract except for one or more of the following:

(1) Inadequate performance. In determining whether the professional performance of a teacher 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. 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.

(2) Immorality.

(3) Insubordination.

(4) Neglect of duty.

(5) Physical or mental incapacity.

(6) 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.

(7) Conviction of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.

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

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

(10) Failure to comply with such reasonable requirements as the board may prescribe.

(11) Any cause which constitutes grounds for the revocation of the teacher’s teaching license or the school administrator’s administrator license.

(12) Failure to maintain his or her license in a current status.

(13) Failure to repay money owed to the State in accordance with the provisions of Article 60 of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes.

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

(b) Dismissal Procedure. — The procedures provided in G.S. 115C‑325.6 shall be followed for dismissals, demotions, or reductions to part‑time employment for disciplinary reasons for any reason specified in subsection (a) of this section.

“§ 115C‑325.5. Teacher suspension.

(a) Immediate Suspension Without Pay. — If a superintendent believes that cause exists for dismissing a teacher for any reason specified in G.S. 115C‑325.4 and that immediate suspension of the teacher is necessary, the superintendent may suspend the teacher without pay. Before suspending a teacher without pay, the superintendent shall meet with the teacher and give him or her written notice of the charges against the teacher, an explanation of the basis 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 teacher shall be reinstated immediately, shall be paid for the period of suspension, and all records of the suspension shall be removed from the teacher’s personnel file.

(b) Disciplinary Suspension Without Pay. — A teacher recommended for disciplinary suspension without pay 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.

(1) 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‑325.8 shall apply if any of the following circumstances exist:

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

b. 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.

(2) Board hearing for disciplinary suspensions of no more than 10 days. — The procedures for a board hearing under G.S. 115C‑325.7 shall apply to all disciplinary suspensions of no more than 10 days that are not for intentional misconduct as specified in G.S. 115C‑325.5(b)(1).

(c) Suspension with Pay. — If a superintendent believes that cause may exist for dismissing or demoting a teacher for any reasons specified in G.S. 115C‑325.4 but that additional investigation of the facts is necessary and circumstances are such that the teacher should be removed immediately from the teacher’s duties, the superintendent may suspend the teacher 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 the superintendent’s action and shall notify the teacher within two days of the action and the reasons for it. If the superintendent has not initiated dismissal or demotion proceedings against the teacher within the 90‑day period, the teacher shall be reinstated to the teacher’s duties immediately and all records of the suspension with pay shall be removed from the teacher’s personnel file at the teacher’s request. However, if the superintendent and the teacher agree to extend the 90‑day period, the superintendent may initiate dismissal or demotion proceedings against the teacher at any time during the period of the extension.

“§ 115C‑325.6. Procedure for dismissal or demotion of a teacher for cause.

(a) Recommendation of Dismissal or Demotion. — A teacher may not be dismissed, demoted, or reduced to part‑time employment for disciplinary reasons during the term of the annual contract except upon the superintendent’s recommendation based on one or more of the grounds in G.S. 115C‑325.4.

(b) Notice of Recommendation. — Before recommending to a board the dismissal or demotion of a teacher, the superintendent shall give written notice to the teacher by certified mail or personal delivery of the superintendent’s intention to make such recommendation and shall set forth as part of the superintendent’s recommendation the grounds upon which he or she believes such dismissal or demotion is justified. The superintendent also shall meet with the teacher and provide written notice of the charges against the teacher, an explanation of the basis for the charges, and an opportunity to respond if the teacher has not done so under G.S. 115C‑325.5(a). The notice shall include a statement to the effect that the teacher, within 14 days after the date of receipt of the notice, may request a hearing before the board on the superintendent’s recommendation. A copy of Part 3 of Article 22 of Chapter 115C shall also be sent to the teacher.

(c) Request for Hearing. — Within 14 days after receipt of the notice of recommendation, the teacher may file with the superintendent a written request for a hearing before the board on the superintendent’s recommendation. The superintendent shall submit his or her recommendation to the board. 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 teacher 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 teacher, unless both parties agree to an extension. The hearing shall be conducted as provided in G.S. 115C‑325.7.

(d) No Request for Hearing. — If the teacher does not request a hearing before the board within the 14 days provided, the superintendent may submit his or her recommendation to 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 teacher without pay.

“§ 115C‑325.7. Hearing before board.

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

(1) The hearing shall be private.

(2) 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 teacher seven days before the hearing.

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

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

(3) The superintendent and teacher may submit a written statement not less than three days before the hearing.

(4) The superintendent and teacher shall be permitted to make oral arguments to the board based on the record before the board.

(5) The board shall make findings of fact based upon a preponderance of the evidence.

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

(7) If the board elects to make a transcript, the teacher may request and shall receive at no charge a transcript of the proceedings. A teacher may have the hearing transcribed by a court reporter at the teacher’s expense.

(b) The procedures of this section shall not apply to board hearings for disciplinary suspensions without pay. Board hearings for G.S. 115C‑325.5(b), disciplinary suspensions without pay, shall be conducted as provided in G.S. 115C‑325.8.

“§ 115C‑325.8. Board hearing for certain disciplinary suspensions.

(a) The following procedures shall apply for a board hearing under G.S. 115C‑325.5(b), disciplinary suspensions without pay:

(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 teacher 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.

(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 teacher 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 teacher shall provide the superintendent a list of witnesses the teacher intends to present, a brief statement of the nature of the testimony of each witness, and a copy of any documentary evidence the teacher 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 section.

(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. The teacher may request and shall receive at no charge a transcript of the proceedings.

“§ 115C‑325.9. Teacher resignation.

(a) Teacher Resignation Following Recommendation for Dismissal. — If a teacher has been recommended for dismissal under G.S. 115C‑325.4 and the teacher chooses to resign without the written agreement of the superintendent, then:

(1) The superintendent shall report the matter to the State Board of Education.

(2) The teacher shall be deemed to have consented to (i) the placement in the teacher’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 teacher 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.

(3) The teacher 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 teacher’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 teacher’s license within 45 days from the date of resignation.

(b) 30 Days’ Notice Resignation Requirement. — A teacher who is not recommended for dismissal should not resign during the term of the annual contract 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 during the term of the annual contract 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.

“§ 115C‑325.10. Application to certain institutions.

Notwithstanding any law or regulation to the contrary, this Part 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, Public Instruction, Correction, or the Division of Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety, regardless of the age of the students.

“§ 115C‑325.11. Dismissal of school administrators and teachers employed in low‑performing residential schools.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or any other law, this section shall govern the dismissal by the State Board of Education 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. The State Board shall dismiss a teacher, principal, assistant principal, director, supervisor, or other licensed personnel 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.

(b) The State Board may dismiss a teacher, principal, assistant principal, director, supervisor, or other licensed personnel when:

(1) The State Board determines that the school has failed to make satisfactory improvement after the State Board assigned an assistance team to that school.

(2) 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‑325.4 for dismissal or demotion of a teacher.

Within 30 days of any dismissal under this subsection, a teacher, principal, assistant principal, director, supervisor, or other licensed personnel may request a hearing before a panel of three members designated by the State Board. The State Board shall adopt procedures to ensure that due process rights are afforded to persons recommended for dismissal under this subsection. Decisions of the panel may be appealed on the record to the State Board.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or any other law, this subsection shall govern the dismissal by the State Board 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 subsection, a licensed staff member may request a hearing before a panel of three members designated by the State Board. The State Board shall adopt procedures to ensure that due process rights are afforded to licensed staff members recommended for dismissal under this subsection. Decisions of the panel may be appealed on the record to the State Board.

(d) The State Board or the superintendent of a residential school may terminate the contract of a school administrator dismissed under this section. Nothing in this section shall prevent the State Board from refusing to renew the contract of any person employed in a school identified as low‑performing.

(e) Neither party to a school administrator or teacher contract is entitled to damages under this section.

(f) The State Board shall have the right to subpoena witnesses and documents on behalf of any party to the proceedings under this section.

“§ 115C‑325.12. Procedure for dismissal of Principals employed in low‑performing schools.

(a) Dismissal of Principals Assigned to Low‑Performing Schools With Assistance Teams. — Notwithstanding any other provision of this Part or any other law, this section governs the State Board’s dismissal of principals assigned to low‑performing schools to which the State Board has assigned an assistance team.

(b) Authority of State Board to Dismiss Principal. — 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 State 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.

(c) Procedures for Dismissal of Principal. —

(1) If the State Board through its designee recommends the dismissal of a principal under this section, 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.

(2) 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.

(3) 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‑325.4 for dismissal or demotion of a teacher.

(4) 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.

(5) In all hearings under this section, 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 this section, 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 teacher under G.S. 115C‑325.4.

(6) In all hearings under this section, two consecutive evaluations that include written findings and recommendations regarding that principal’s inadequate performance from the assistance team are substantial evidence of the inadequate performance of the principal.

(7) The State Board shall adopt procedures to ensure that due process rights are afforded to principals under this section. Decisions of the panel may be appealed on the record to the State Board.

(d) The State Board of Education or a local board may terminate the contract of a principal dismissed under this section.

(e) Neither party to a school administrator contract is entitled to damages under this section.

(f) The State Board shall have the right to subpoena witnesses and documents on behalf of any party to the proceedings under this section.

“§ 115C‑325.13. Procedure for dismissal of teachers employed in low‑performing schools.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Part or any other law, this section 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, assistant principal, director, or supervisor.

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

(1) 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

(2) 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‑325.4 for dismissal or demotion for cause.

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 section. The State Board shall adopt procedures to ensure that due process rights are afforded to persons recommended for dismissal under this section. Decisions of the panel may be appealed on the record to the State Board.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Part or any other law, this section shall govern the State Board’s dismissal 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.

(d) 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 section. The State Board shall adopt procedures to ensure that due process rights are afforded to licensed staff members recommended for dismissal under this section. Decisions of the panel may be appealed on the record to the State Board.

(e) The State Board of Education or a local board may terminate the contract of a teacher, assistant principal, director, or supervisor dismissed under this section.

(f) Neither party to a school administrator or teacher contract is entitled to damages under this section.

(g) The State Board shall have the right to subpoena witnesses and documents on behalf of any party to the proceedings under this section.”

CONFORMING CHANGES

SECTION 11.(c) G.S. 115C‑45(c) reads as rewritten:

“(c) Appeals to Board of Education and to Superior Court. — An appeal shall lie to the local board of education from any final administrative decision in the following matters:

(1) The discipline of a student under G.S. 115C‑390.7, 115C‑390.10, or 115C‑390.11;

(2) An alleged violation of a specified federal law, State law, State Board of Education policy, State rule, or local board policy, including policies regarding grade retention of students;

(3) The terms or conditions of employment or employment status of a school employee; and

(4) Any other decision that by statute specifically provides for a right of appeal to the local board of education and for which there is no other statutory appeal procedure.

As used in this subsection, the term “final administrative decision” means a decision of a school employee from which no further appeal to a school administrator is available.

Any person aggrieved by a decision not covered under subdivisions (1) through (4) of this subsection shall have the right to appeal to the superintendent and thereafter shall have the right to petition the local board of education for a hearing, and the local board may grant a hearing regarding any final decision of school personnel within the local school administrative unit. The local board of education shall notify the person making the petition of its decision whether to grant a hearing.

In all appeals to the board it is the duty of the board of education to see that a proper notice is given to all parties concerned and that a record of the hearing is properly entered in the records of the board conducting the hearing.

The board of education may designate hearing panels composed of not less than two members of the board to hear and act upon such appeals in the name and on behalf of the board of education.

An appeal of right brought before a local board of education under subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4) of this subsection may be further appealed to the superior court of the State on the grounds that the local board’s decision is in violation of constitutional provisions, is in excess of the statutory authority or jurisdiction of the board, is made upon unlawful procedure, is affected by other error of law, is unsupported by substantial evidence in view of the entire record as submitted, or is arbitrary or capricious. However, the right of a noncertified employee to appeal decisions of a local board under subdivision (3) of this subsection shall only apply to decisions concerning the dismissal, demotion, or suspension without pay of the noncertified employee. A noncertified employee may request and shall be entitled to receive written notice as to the reasons for the employee’s dismissal, demotion, or suspension without pay. The notice shall be provided to the employee prior to any local board of education hearing on the issue. This subsection shall not alter the employment status of a noncertified employee.”

SECTION 11.(d) G.S. 115C‑105.26(b)(2) reads as rewritten:

“(2) State rules and policies, except those pertaining to public school State salary schedules and employee benefits for school employees, the instructional program that must be offered under the Basic Education Program, the system of employment for public school teachers and administrators set out in G.S. 115C‑287.1 and G.S. 115C‑325,in Part 3 of Article 22 of this Chapter, health and safety codes, compulsory attendance, the minimum lengths of the school day and year, and the Uniform Education Reporting System.”

SECTION 11.(e) G.S. 115C‑105.37B(a)(2) reads as rewritten:

“(2) Restart model, in which the State Board of Education would authorize the local board of education to operate the school with the same exemptions from statutes and rules as a charter school authorized under Part 6A of Article 16 of this Chapter, or under the management of an educational management organization that has been selected through a rigorous review process. A school operated under this subdivision remains under the control of the local board of education, and employees assigned to the school are employees of the local school administrative unit with the protections provided by G.S. 115C‑325.Part 3 of Article 22 of this Chapter.”

SECTION 11.(f) G.S. 115C‑105.38A(d) reads as rewritten:

“(d) Retesting; Dismissal. — Upon completion of the remediation plan required under subsection (c) of this section, the certified staff member shall take the general knowledge test a second time. If the certified staff member fails to acquire a passing score on the second test, the State Board shall begin a dismissal proceeding under G.S. 115C‑325(q)(2a).G.S. 115C‑325.13.”

SECTION 11.(g) G.S. 115C‑105.38A(f) reads as rewritten:

“(f) Other Actions Not Precluded. — Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict or postpone the following actions:

(1) The dismissal of a principal under G.S. 115C‑325(q)(1);G.S. 115C‑325.12.

(2) The dismissal of a teacher, assistant principal, director, or supervisor under G.S. 115C‑325(q)(2);G.S. 115C‑325.13.

(3) The dismissal or demotion of a career an employee for any of the grounds listed under G.S. 115C‑325(e);G.S. 115C‑325.4.

(4) The nonrenewal of a school administrator’s or probationary teacher’s contract of employment; oremployment.

(5) The decision to grant career status.”

SECTION 11.(h) G.S. 115C‑105.39 reads as rewritten:

“§ 115C‑105.39. Dismissal or removal of personnel; appointment of interim superintendent.

(a) Within 30 days of the initial identification of a school as low‑performing, whether by the local school administrative unit under G.S. 115C‑105.37(a1) or by the State Board under G.S. 115C‑105.37(a), the superintendent shall take one of the following actions concerning the school’s principal: (i) recommend to the local board that the principal be retained in the same position, (ii) recommend to the local board that the principal be retained in the same position and a plan of remediation should be developed, (iii) recommend to the local board that the principal be transferred, or (iv) proceed under G.S. 115C‑325G.S. 115C‑325.4 to dismiss or demote the principal. The principal may be retained in the same position without a plan for remediation only if the principal was in that position for no more than two years before the school is identified as low‑performing. The principal shall not be transferred to another principal position unless (i) it is in a school classification in which the principal previously demonstrated at least 2 years of success, (ii) there is a plan to evaluate and provide remediation to the principal for at least one year following the transfer to assure the principal does not impede student performance at the school to which the principal is being transferred; and (iii) the parents of the students at the school to which the principal is being transferred are notified. The principal shall not be transferred to another low‑performing school in the local school administrative unit. If the superintendent intends to recommend demotion or dismissal, the superintendent shall notify the local board. Within 15 days of (i) receiving notification that the superintendent intends to proceed under G.S. 115C‑325,G.S. 115C‑325.4 or (ii) its decision concerning the superintendent’s recommendation, but no later than September 30, the local board shall submit to the State Board a written notice of the action taken and the basis for that action. If the State Board does not assign an assistance team to that school or if the State Board assigns an assistance team to that school and the superintendent proceeds under G.S. 115C‑325G.S. 115C‑325.4 to dismiss or demote the principal, then the State Board shall take no further action. If the State Board assigns an assistance team to the school and the superintendent is not proceeding under G.S. 115C‑325G.S. 115C‑325.4 to dismiss or demote the principal, then the State Board shall vote to accept, reject, or modify the local board’s recommendations. The State Board shall notify the local board of its action within five days. If the State Board rejects or modifies the local board’s recommendations and does not recommend dismissal of the principal, the State Board’s notification shall include recommended action concerning the principal’s assignment or terms of employment. Upon receipt of the State Board’s notification, the local board shall implement the State Board’s recommended action concerning the principal’s assignment or terms of employment unless the local board asks the State Board to reconsider that recommendation. The State Board shall provide an opportunity for the local board to be heard before the State Board acts on the local board’s request for a reconsideration. The State Board shall vote to affirm or modify its original recommended action and shall notify the local board of its action within five days. Upon receipt of the State Board’s notification, the local board shall implement the State Board’s final recommended action concerning the principal’s assignment or terms of employment. If the State Board rejects or modifies the local board’s action and recommends dismissal of the principal, the State Board shall proceed under G.S. 115C‑325(q)(1).G.S. 115C‑325.12.

(b) The State Board shall proceed under G.S. 115C‑325(q)(2)G.S. 115C‑325.13 for the dismissal of teachers, assistant principals, directors, and supervisors assigned to a school identified as low‑performing in accordance with G.S. 115C‑325(q)(2).G.S. 115C‑325.13.

….”

SECTION 11.(i) G.S. 115C‑238.29F(e)(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. A teacher who has career status under G.S. 115C‑325 prior to receivingreceived a leave of absence to teach at a charter school 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 11.(j) G.S. 115C‑238.68(3) reads as rewritten:

“(3) Career status.Leave of absence from local school administrative unit. — Employees of the board of directors shall not be eligible for career status. 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. A teacher who has career status under G.S. 115C‑325 prior to receivingreceived a leave of absence to teach at the regional school 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 11.(k) G.S. 115C‑276(l) reads as rewritten:

“(l) To Maintain Personnel Files and to Participate in Firing and Demoting of Staff. — The superintendent shall maintain in his or her office a personnel file for each teacher that contains complaints, commendations, or suggestions for correction or improvement about the teacher and shall participate in the firing and demoting of staff, as provided in G.S. 115C‑325.Part 3 of Article 22 of this Chapter.”

SECTION 11.(l) G.S. 115C‑285(7) reads as rewritten:

“(7) All persons employed as principals in the schools and institutions listed in subsection (p) of G.S. 115C‑325 G.S. 115C‑325.10 shall be compensated at the same rate as are teachers in the public schools in accordance with the salary schedule adopted by the State Board of Education.”

SECTION 11.(m) G.S. 115C‑287.1 reads as rewritten:

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

(a) (1) Beginning July 1, 1995, allAll persons employed as school administrators shall be employed pursuant to this section.

(2) Notwithstanding G.S. 115C‑287.1(a)(1), the following school administrators shall be employed pursuant to G.S. 115C‑325:

a. School administrators who, as of July 1, 1995, are serving in a principal or supervisor position with career status in that position; and

b. School administrators who, as of July 1, 1995, are serving in a principal or supervisor position and who are eligible to achieve career status on or before June 30, 1997.

A school administrator shall cease to be employed pursuant to G.S. 115C‑325 if the school administrator: (i) voluntarily relinquishes career status or the opportunity to achieve career status through promotion, resignation, or otherwise; or (ii) is dismissed or demoted or whose contract is not renewed pursuant to G.S. 115C‑325.

(3) For purposes of this section, school administrator means a:

a. Principal;

b. Assistant principal;

c. Supervisor; or

d. Director,

whose major function includes the direct or indirect supervision of teaching or of any other part of the instructional program.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to confer career status on any assistant principal or director, or to make an assistant principal eligible for career status as an assistant principal or a director eligible for career status as a director.

(b) Local boards of education shall employ school administrators who are ineligible for career status as provided in G.S. 115C‑325(c)(3), upon the recommendation of the superintendent. The initial contract between a school administrator and a local board of education shall be for two to four years, ending on June 30 of the final 12 months of the contract. In the case of a subsequent contract between a principal or assistant principal and a local board of education, the contract shall be for a term of four years. In the case of an initial contract between a school administrator and a local board of education, the first year of the contract may be for a period of less than 12 months provided the contract becomes effective on or before September 1. A local board of education may, with the written consent of the school administrator, extend, renew, or offer a new school administrator’s contract at any time after the first 12 months of the contract so long as the term of the new, renewed, or extended contract does not exceed four years. Rolling annual contract renewals are not allowed. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the filling of an administrative position on an interim or temporary basis.

(c) The term of employment shall be stated in a written contract that shall be entered into between the local board of education and the school administrator. The school administrator shall not be dismissed or demoted during the term of the contract except for the grounds and by the procedure by which a career teacher may be dismissed or demoted for cause as set forth in G.S. 115C‑325.G.S. 115C‑325.4.

(d) If a superintendent intends to recommend to the local board of education that the school administrator be offered a new, renewed, or extended contract, the superintendent shall submit the recommendation to the local board for action. The local board may approve the superintendent’s recommendation or decide not to offer the school administrator a new, renewed, or extended school administrator’s contract.

If a superintendent decides not to recommend that the local board of education offer a new, renewed, or extended school administrator’s contract to the school administrator, the superintendent shall give the school administrator written notice of his or her decision and the reasons for his or her decision no later than May 1 of the final year of the contract. The superintendent’s reasons may not be arbitrary, capricious, discriminatory, personal, or political. No action by the local board or further notice to the school administrator shall be necessary unless the school administrator files with the superintendent a written request, within 10 days of receipt of the superintendent’s decision, for a hearing before the local board. Failure to file a timely request for a hearing shall result in a waiver of the right to appeal the superintendent’s decision. If a school administrator files a timely request for a hearing, the local board shall conduct a hearing pursuant to the provisions of G.S. 115C‑45(c) and make a final decision on whether to offer the school administrator a new, renewed, or extended school administrator’s contract.

If the local board decides not to offer the school administrator a new, renewed, or extended school administrator’s contract, the local board shall notify the school administrator of its decision by June 1 of the final year of the contract. A decision not to offer the school administrator a new, renewed, or extended contract may not be for any cause that is not arbitrary, capricious, discriminatory, personal, or political. prohibited by State or federal law. The local board’s decision not to offer the school administrator a new, renewed, or extended school administrator’s contract is subject to judicial review in accordance with Article 4 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(e) Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 369, s. 1.

(f) If the superintendent or the local board of education fails to notify a school administrator by June 1 of the final year of the contract that the school administrator will not be offered a new school administrator’s contract, the school administrator shall be entitled to 30 days of additional employment or severance pay beyond the date the school administrator receives written notice that a new contract will not be offered.

(g) 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, a 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 that right or is dismissed or demoted pursuant to G.S. 115C‑325.

(h) An individual who holds a provisional assistant principal’s certificate 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 certificate. 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 for any reason does not extend the school administrator’s provisional assistant principal’s certificate, the school administrator shall retain career status as a teacher unless the school administrator voluntarily relinquished that right or is dismissed or demoted under 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 certificate.”

SECTION 11.(n) G.S. 115C‑288(g) reads as rewritten:

“(g) To Report Certain Acts to Law Enforcement and the Superintendent. — When the principal has personal knowledge, a reasonable belief, or actual notice from school personnel that an act has occurred on school property involving assault resulting in serious personal injury, sexual assault, sexual offense, rape, kidnapping, indecent liberties with a minor, assault involving the use of a weapon, possession of a firearm in violation of the law, possession of a weapon in violation of the law, or possession of a controlled substance in violation of the law, the principal shall immediately report the act to the appropriate local law enforcement agency.

A principal who willfully fails to make a report to law enforcement required by this subsection may be subject to demotion or dismissal pursuant to G.S. 115C‑325.G.S. 115C‑325.4.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the State Board of Education shall not require the principal to report to law enforcement acts in addition to those required to be reported by this subsection.

For purposes of this subsection, “school property” shall include any public school building, bus, public school campus, grounds, recreational area, or athletic field, in the charge of the principal.

The principal or the principal’s designee shall notify the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee in writing or by electronic mail regarding any report made to law enforcement under this subsection. This notification shall occur by the end of the workday in which the incident occurred when reasonably possible but not later than the end of the following workday. The superintendent shall provide the information to the local board of education.

Nothing in this subsection shall be interpreted to interfere with the due process rights of school employees or the privacy rights of students.”

SECTION 11.(o) G.S. 115C‑304 is repealed.

SECTION 11.(p) G.S. 115C‑333 reads as rewritten:

“§ 115C‑333. Evaluation of licensed employees including certain superintendents; mandatory improvement plans; State board notification upon dismissal of employees.

(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 as defined under G.S. 115C‑325(a)(6),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 not attained career statusbeen 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. 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.

(b) Mandatory Improvement Plans. —

(1) Repealed by Session Laws 2011‑348, s. 2, effective July 1, 2011, and applicable to persons recommended for dismissal or demotion on or after that date.

(1a) A mandatory improvement plan is an instrument designed to improve a teacher’s performance or the performance of any licensed employee in a low‑performing school by providing the individual with notice of specific performance areas that have substantial deficiencies and a set of strategies, including the specific support to be provided to the individual, so that the individual, within a reasonable period of time, should satisfactorily resolve such deficiencies.

(2) Repealed by Session Laws 2011‑348, s. 2, effective July 1, 2011, and applicable to persons recommended for dismissal or demotion on or after that date.

(2a) If a licensed employee in a low‑performing school receives a rating on any standard on an evaluation that is below proficient or otherwise represents unsatisfactory or below standard performance in an area that the licensed employee was expected to demonstrate, the individual or team that conducted the evaluation shall recommend to the superintendent that (i) the employee receive a mandatory improvement plan designed to improve the employee’s performance or performance, (ii) the superintendent recommend to the local board that the employee be dismissed or demoted.employee’s contract not be recommended for renewal, or (iii) if the employee engaged in inappropriate conduct or performed 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 be instituted. If the individual or team that conducted the evaluation elects not to make either any of the above recommendations, the said individual or team shall notify the superintendent of this decision. The superintendent shall determine whether to develop a mandatory improvement planplan, to not recommend renewal of the employee’s contract, or to recommend a dismissal proceeding.

(3) If at any time a licensed employee engages in inappropriate conduct or performs inadequately to such a degree that such conduct or performance causes substantial harm to the educational environment, and immediate dismissal or demotion is not appropriate, then the principal may immediately institute a mandatory improvement plan regardless of any ratings on previous evaluations. The principal shall document the exigent reason for immediately instituting such a plan.

(4) Mandatory improvement plans shall be developed by the person who evaluated the licensed employee or the employee’s supervisor unless the evaluation was conducted by an assistance team. If the evaluation was conducted by an assistance team, that team shall develop the mandatory improvement plan in collaboration with the employee’s supervisor. Mandatory improvement 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 local boards in evaluating licensed employees and developing effective mandatory improvement plans within the time allotted under this section. Local boards may adopt policies for the development and implementation of mandatory improvement plans and policies for the implementation of monitored and directed growth plans.

(c) Reassessment of Employee in a Low‑Performing School. — After the expiration of the time period for the mandatory improvement plan under subdivision (2a) of subsection (b) of this section, the superintendent, the superintendent’s designee, or the assistance team shall assess the performance of the employee of the low‑performing school a second time. If the superintendent, superintendent’s designee, or assistance team determines that the employee has failed to become proficient in any of the performance standards articulated in the mandatory improvement plan or demonstrate sufficient improvement toward such standards, the superintendent shall recommend that the employee employee’s contract not be renewed, or that the employee be immediately dismissed or demoted under G.S. 115C‑325.G.S. 115C‑325.4. The results of the second assessment shall constitute substantial evidence of the employee’s inadequate performance.

(d) State Board Notification. — If a local board dismisses an employee of a low‑performing school for any reasonfor cause or elects to not renew an employee’s contract as a result of a superintendent’s recommendation under subsection (b) or (c) of this section, except a reduction in force under G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1)l., it shall notify the State Board of the action, and the State Board annually shall provide to all local boards the names of those individuals. If a local board hires one of these individuals, within 60 days the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee shall observe the employee, develop a mandatory improvement plan to assist the employee, and submit the plan to the State Board. The State Board shall review the mandatory improvement plan and may provide comments and suggestions to the superintendent. If on the next evaluation the employee receives a rating on any standard that was identified as an area of concern on the mandatory improvement plan that is again below proficient or otherwise represents unsatisfactory or below standard performance, the local board shall notify the State Board and the State Board shall initiate a proceeding to revoke the employee’s license under G.S. 115C‑296(d). If on this next evaluation the employee receives at least a proficient rating on all of the performance standards that were identified as areas of concern on the mandatory improvement plan, the local board shall notify the State Board that the employee is in good standing and the State Board shall not continue to provide the individual’s name to local boards under this subsection unless the employee is subsequently dismissed under G.S. 115C‑325 except for a reduction in force. G.S. 115C‑325.4.

….”

SECTION 11.(q) G.S. 115C‑333.1 reads as rewritten:

“§ 115C‑333.1. Evaluation of teachers in schools not identified as low‑performing; mandatory improvement plans; State Board notification upon dismissal of teachers.

(a) Annual Evaluations. — All teachers who are assigned to schools that are not designated as low‑performing and who have not attained career statusbeen 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. All teachers with career statuswho have been employed for three or more years 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 statusemployed for three or more years 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.

(b) Mandatory Improvement Plans for Teachers. — If, in an observation report or year‑end evaluation, a teacher receives a rating that is below proficient or otherwise represents unsatisfactory or below standard performance on any standard that the teacher was expected to demonstrate, the principal may place the teacher on a mandatory improvement plan as defined in G.S. 115C‑333(b)(1a). The mandatory improvement plan shall be utilized only if the superintendent or superintendent’s designee determines that an individual, monitored, or directed growth plan will not satisfactorily address the deficiencies.

If at any time a teacher engages in inappropriate conduct or performs inadequately to such a degree that such conduct or performance causes substantial harm to the educational environment, and immediate dismissal or demotion is not appropriate, then the principal may immediately institute a mandatory improvement plan regardless of any ratings on previous evaluations. The principal shall document the exigent reason for immediately instituting such a plan. The mandatory improvement plan shall be developed by the principal in consultation with the teacher. The teacher shall have five instructional days from receipt of the proposed mandatory improvement plan to request a modification of such plan before it is implemented, and the principal shall consider such suggested modifications before finalizing the plan. The teacher shall have at least 60 instructional days to complete the mandatory improvement plan. The State Board shall develop guidelines that include strategies to assist local boards in evaluating teachers and developing effective mandatory improvement plans. Local boards may adopt policies for the implementation of mandatory improvement plans under this section.

(c) Observation by a Qualified Observer. —

(1) The term “qualified observer” as used in this section is any administrator or teacher who is licensed by the State Board of Education and working in North Carolina; any employee of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction who is trained in evaluating licensed employees; or any instructor or professor who teaches in an accredited North Carolina school of education and holds an educator’s license.

(2) The local board of education shall create a list of qualified observers who are employed by that board and available to do observations of employees on mandatory improvement plans. This list shall be limited to names of administrators and teachers selected by the local board of education. The local board of education shall strive to select administrators and teachers with excellent reputations for competence and fairness.

(3) Any teacher, other than a teacher assigned to a school designated as low‑performing, who has been placed on a mandatory improvement plan shall have a right to be observed by a qualified observer in the area or areas of concern identified in the mandatory improvement plan. The affected teacher and the principal shall jointly choose the qualified observer within 20 instructional days after the commencement of the mandatory improvement plan. If the teacher and the principal cannot agree on a qualified observer within this time period, they each shall designate a person from the list of qualified observers created pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, and these two designated persons shall choose a qualified observer within five instructional days of their designation. The qualified observer shall draft a written report assessing the teacher in the areas of concern identified in the mandatory improvement plan. The report shall be submitted to the principal before the end of the mandatory improvement plan period. If a teacher or administrator from the same local school administrative unit is selected to serve as the qualified observer, the administration of the local school administrative unit shall provide such qualified observer with the time necessary to conduct the observation and prepare a report. If someone who is not employed by the same local school administrative unit is selected to serve as the qualified observer, the teacher who is the subject of the mandatory improvement plan will be responsible for any expenses related to the observations and reports prepared by the qualified observer. The qualified observer shall not unduly disrupt the classroom when conducting an observation.

(4) No local board of education or employee of a local board of education shall discharge, threaten, or otherwise retaliate against another employee of the board regarding that employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, location, or privileges of employment because of the employee’s service or completion of a report as an objective observer pursuant to this subsection, unless the employee’s report contained material information that the employee knew was false.

(d) Reassessment of the Teacher. — Upon completion of a mandatory improvement plan under subsection (b) of this section, the principal shall assess the performance of the teacher a second time. The principal shall also review and consider any report provided by the qualified observer under subsection (c) of this section if one has been submitted before the end of the mandatory improvement plan period. If, after the second assessment of the teacher and consideration of any report from the qualified observer, the superintendent or superintendent’s designee determines that the teacher has failed to become proficient in any of the performance standards identified as deficient in the mandatory improvement plan or demonstrate sufficient improvement toward such standards, the superintendent may recommend that the teacher’s contract not be renewed, or if the teacher has engaged in inappropriate conduct or performed inadequately to such a degree that such conduct or performance causes substantial harm to the educational environment, that the teacher be immediately dismissed or demoted under G.S. 115C‑325.G.S. 115C‑325.4. The results of the second assessment produced pursuant to the terms of this subsection shall constitute substantial evidence of the teacher’s inadequate performance.

(e) Dismissal Proceedings Without a Mandatory Improvement Plan. — The absence of a mandatory improvement plan as described in this section shall not prohibit a superintendent from initiating a dismissal proceeding against a teacher under the provisions of G.S. 115C‑325.G.S. 115C‑325.4. However, the superintendent shall not be entitled to the substantial evidence provision in subsection (d) of this section if such mandatory improvement plan is not utilized.

(f) State Board Notification. — If a local board dismisses a teacher for cause or elects to not renew an employee’s contract as a result of a superintendent’s recommendation under subsection (d) of this section, for any reason except a reduction in force under G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1)l., it shall notify the State Board of the action, and the State Board annually shall provide to all local boards the names of those teachers. If a local board hires one of these teachers, within 60 days the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee shall observe the teacher, develop a mandatory improvement plan to assist the teacher, and submit the plan to the State Board. The State Board shall review the mandatory improvement plan and may provide comments and suggestions to the superintendent. If on the next evaluation the teacher receives a rating on any standard that was an area of concern on the mandatory improvement plan that is again below proficient or a rating that otherwise represents unsatisfactory or below standard performance, the local board shall notify the State Board, and the State Board shall initiate a proceeding to revoke the teacher’s license under G.S. 115C‑296(d). If on the next evaluation the teacher receives at least a proficient rating on all of the overall performance standards that were areas of concern on the mandatory improvement plan, the local board shall notify the State Board that the teacher is in good standing, and the State Board shall not continue to provide the teacher’s name to local boards under this subsection unless the teacher is subsequently dismissed under G.S. 115C‑325G.S. 115C‑325.4. except for a reduction in force. If, however, on this next evaluation the teacher receives a developing rating on any standards that were areas of concern on the mandatory improvement plan, if the local board elects to renew the teacher’s annual contract and the teacher shall have one more year to bring the rating to proficient. If, by the end of this second year, the teacher is not proficient in all standards that were areas of concern on the mandatory improvement plan, the local board shall notify the State Board, and the State Board shall initiate a proceeding to revoke the teacher’s license under G.S. 115C‑296(d).

….”

SECTION 11.(r) G.S. 115C‑335(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b) Training. — The State Board, in collaboration with the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina, shall develop programs designed to train principals and superintendents in the proper administration of the employee evaluations developed by the State Board. The Board of Governors shall use the professional development programs for public school employees that are under its authority to make this training available to all principals and superintendents at locations that are geographically convenient to local school administrative units. The programs shall include methods to determine whether an employee’s performance has improved student learning, the development and implementation of appropriate professional growth and mandatory improvement plans, the process for contract nonrenewal, and the dismissal process under G.S. 115C‑325.Part 3 of Article 22 of this Chapter. The Board of Governors shall ensure that the subject matter of the training programs is incorporated into the masters in school administration programs offered by the constituent institutions. The State Board, in collaboration with the Board of Governors, also shall develop in‑service programs for licensed public school employees that may be included in a mandatory improvement plan created under G.S. 115C‑333(b) or G.S. 115C‑333.1(b). The Board of Governors shall use the professional development programs for public school employees that are under its authority to make this training available at locations that are geographically convenient to local school administrative units.”

SECTION 11.(s) Article 23 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

“§ 115C‑344. Employment benefits for exchange teachers.

An exchange teacher is 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). 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.”

SECTION 11.(t) 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 a career employee and is grounds for dismissal of an employee who is a career employee, in accordance with G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1)i.G.S. 115C‑325.4(a)(9).”

SECTION 11.(u) G.S. 143B‑146.7(b) reads as rewritten:

“(b) At any time after the State Board identifies a school as low‑performing under this Part, the Secretary State Board shall proceed under G.S. 115C‑325(p1)G.S. 115C‑325.11 for the dismissal of certificated instructional personnel assigned to that school.”

SECTION 11.(v) G.S. 143B‑146.8 reads as rewritten:

“§ 143B‑146.8. Evaluation of certificated licensed personnel and principals; action plans; State Board notification.

(a) Annual Evaluations; Low‑Performing Schools. — The principal shall evaluate at least once each year all certificated licensed personnel assigned to a participating school that has been identified as low‑performing but has not received an assistance team. The evaluation shall occur early enough during the school year to provide adequate time for the development and implementation of an action plan if one is recommended under subsection (b) of this section. If the employee is a teacher as defined under G.S. 115C‑325(a)(6),G.S. 115C‑325.1(6), either the principal or an assessment team assigned under G.S. 143B‑146.9 shall conduct the evaluation. If the employee is a school administrator as defined under G.S. 115C‑287.1(a)(3), the Superintendent shall conduct the evaluation.

Notwithstanding this subsection or any other law, the principal shall observe at least three times annually, a teacher shall observe at least once annually, and the principal shall evaluate at least once annually, all teachers who have not attained career status.been employed for less than three consecutive years. All other employees who have been employed for three or more years and are defined as teachers under G.S. 115C‑325(a)(6)G.S. 115C‑325.1(6) who are assigned to participating schools that are not designated as low‑performing shall be evaluated annually unless the Secretary adopts rules that allow specified categories of teachers with career statusthree or more years of employment to be evaluated more or less frequently. The Secretary also may adopt rules requiring the annual evaluation of noncertificated nonlicensed personnel. This section shall not be construed to limit the duties and authority of an assistance team assigned to a low‑performing school.

The Secretary shall use the State Board’s performance standards and criteria unless the Secretary develops an alternative evaluation that is properly validated and that includes standards and criteria similar to those adopted by the State Board. All other provisions of this section shall apply if an evaluation is used other than one adopted by the State Board.

(b) Action Plans. — If a certificated 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; (ii) the employee’s contract not be recommended for renewal, or (iii) if the employee 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 be instituted. or (ii) the principal recommend to the Secretary that the employee be dismissed or demoted. The principal shall determine whether to develop an action planplan, 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, in consultation with the Secretary, shall develop guidelines that include strategies to assist in evaluating certificated licensed personnel and developing effective action plans within the time allotted under this section. The Secretary 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.

(c) Reevaluation. — Upon completion of an action plan under subsection (b) of this section, the principal or the assessment team shall evaluate the employee a second time. If on the second evaluation the employee receives one unsatisfactory or more than one below standard rating on any function that is related to the employee’s instructional duties, the principal shall recommend that the employee’s contract not be renewed, or if the employee engages in inappropriate conduct or performs inadequately to such a degree that such conduct or performance causes substantial harm to the educational environment, that the employee be dismissed or demoted under G.S. 115C‑325.G.S. 115C‑325.4. The results of the second evaluation shall constitute substantial evidence of the employee’s inadequate performance.

(d) State Board Notification. — If the Secretary dismisses an employee for cause or elects to not renew an employee’s contract as a result of a superintendent’s recommendation under subsection (b) or (c) of this section, any reason except a reduction in force under G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1)l., the Secretary shall notify the State Board of the action, and the State Board annually shall provide to all local boards of education the names of those individuals. If a local board hires one of these individuals, that local board shall proceed under G.S. 115C‑333(d).

….”

SECTION 11.(w) This section becomes effective July 1, 2012, and applies to all school employees employed on or after that date.

PART XII. ELIMINATION OF PUBLIC FINANCING FOR SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

SECTION 12.(a) G.S. 163‑278.95 reads as rewritten:

“§ 163‑278.95. Purpose and establishment of Voter‑Owned Elections Act.

The purpose of this Article is to ensure the vitality and fairness of democratic elections in North Carolina to the end that any eligible citizen of this State can realistically choose to seek and run for public office. It is also the purpose of this Article to protect the constitutional rights of voters and candidates from the detrimental effects of increasingly large amounts of money being raised and spent in North Carolina to influence the outcome of elections. It is essential to the public interest that the potential for corruption or the appearance of corruption is minimized and that the equal and meaningful participation of all citizens in the democratic process is ensured. Accordingly, this Article establishes the North Carolina Voter‑Owned Elections Fund as an alternative source of campaign financing for candidates who obtain a sufficient number of qualifying contributions from registered voters and who voluntarily accept strict fund‑raising and spending limits. This Article is available to candidates for the Council of State offices of Auditor, Superintendent of Public Instruction,Auditor and Commissioner of Insurance in elections to be held in 2008 and thereafter.”

SECTION 12.(b) G.S. 163‑278.96(12) reads as rewritten:

“(12) Office. — The Council of State offices of Auditor, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Auditor and Commissioner of Insurance.”

SECTION 12.(c) Within five business days of the effective day of this act, the State Board of Elections shall notify any individual who is a candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction and who has filed a declaration of intent to participate in the program for public financing through the North Carolina Voter‑Owned Elections Fund that the candidate is no longer eligible to participate in the program.

SECTION 12.(d) This section is effective when it becomes law and applies to elections held on or after that date.

PART XIII. EFFECTIVE DATE

SECTION 13. Except as otherwise provided, this act is effective when it becomes law.