State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_115C > GS_115C-238_29F

§ 115C‑238.29F.  Generalrequirements.

(a)        Health and SafetyStandards. – A charter school shall meet the same health and safetyrequirements required of a local school administrative unit. The Department ofPublic Instruction shall ensure that charter schools provide parents andguardians with information about meningococcal meningitis and influenza andtheir vaccines at the beginning of every school year. This information shallinclude the causes, symptoms, and how meningococcal meningitis and influenza arespread and the places where parents and guardians may obtain additionalinformation and vaccinations for their children.

The Department of PublicInstruction shall also ensure that charter schools provide parents andguardians with information about cervical cancer, cervical dysplasia, humanpapillomavirus, and the vaccines available to prevent these diseases. Thisinformation shall be provided at the beginning of the school year to parents ofchildren entering grades five though 12. This information shall include thecauses and symptoms of these diseases, how they are transmitted, how they maybe prevented by vaccination, including the benefits and possible side effectsof vaccination, and the places where parents and guardians may obtainadditional information and vaccinations for their children.

The Department of PublicInstruction shall also ensure that charter schools provide students in gradesnine through 12 with information annually on the manner in which a parent maylawfully abandon a newborn baby with a responsible person, in accordance withG.S. 7B‑500.

The Department of PublicInstruction shall also ensure that the guidelines for individual diabetes careplans adopted by the State Board of Education under G.S. 115C‑12(31) areimplemented in charter schools in which students with diabetes are enrolled andthat charter schools otherwise comply with the provisions of G.S. 115C‑375.3.

(b)        SchoolNonsectarian. – A charter school shall be nonsectarian in its programs,admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations and shallnot charge tuition or fees. A charter school shall not be affiliated with anonpublic sectarian school or a religious institution.

(c)        Civil Liability andInsurance. –

(1)        The board ofdirectors of a charter school may sue and be sued. The State Board of Educationshall adopt rules to establish reasonable amounts and types of liabilityinsurance that the board of directors shall be required by the charter toobtain. The board of directors shall obtain at least the amount of and types ofinsurance required by these rules to be included in the charter. Any sovereignimmunity of the charter school, of the organization that operates the charterschool, or its members, officers, or directors, or of the employees of the charterschool or the organization that operates the charter school, is waived to theextent of indemnification by insurance.

(2)        No civil liabilityshall attach to any chartering entity, to the State Board of Education, or toany of their members or employees, individually or collectively, for any actsor omissions of the charter school.

(d)        InstructionalProgram. –

(1)        The school shallprovide instruction each year for at least 180 days.

(2)        The school shalldesign its programs to at least meet the student performance standards adoptedby the State Board of Education and the student performance standards containedin the charter.

(3)        A charter schoolshall conduct the student assessments required for charter schools by the StateBoard of Education.

(4)        The school shallcomply with policies adopted by the State Board of Education for charterschools relating to the education of children with disabilities.

(5)        The school issubject to and shall comply with Article 27 of Chapter 115C of the GeneralStatutes, except that a charter school may also exclude a student from thecharter school and return that student to another school in the local schooladministrative unit in accordance with the terms of its charter.

(e)        Employees. –

(1)        An employee of acharter school is not an employee of the local school administrative unit inwhich the charter school is located. The charter school's board of directorsshall employ and contract with necessary teachers to perform the particularservice for which they are employed in the school; at least seventy‑fivepercent (75%) of these teachers in grades kindergarten through five, at leastfifty percent (50%) of these teachers in grades six through eight, and at leastfifty percent (50%) of these teachers in grades nine through 12 shall holdteacher certificates. All teachers in grades six through 12 who are teaching inthe core subject areas of mathematics, science, social studies, and languagearts shall be college graduates.

Theboard also may employ necessary employees who are not required to hold teachercertificates to perform duties other than teaching and may contract for otherservices. The board may discharge teachers and noncertificated employees.

(2)        No local board ofeducation shall require any employee of the local school administrative unit tobe employed in a charter school.

(3)        If a teacheremployed by a local school administrative unit makes a written request for aleave of absence to teach at a charter school, the local school administrativeunit shall grant the leave for one year. For the initial year of a charterschool's operation, the local school administrative unit may require that therequest for a leave of absence be made up to 45 days before the teacher wouldotherwise have to report for duty. After the initial year of a charter school'soperation, the local school administrative unit may require that the requestfor a leave of absence be made up to 90 days before the teacher would otherwisehave to report for duty. A local board of education is not required to grant arequest for a leave of absence or a request to extend or renew a leave ofabsence for a teacher who previously has received a leave of absence from thatschool board under this subdivision. A teacher who has career status under G.S.115C‑325 prior to receiving a leave of absence to teach at a charterschool may return to a public school in the local school administrative unitwith career status at the end of the leave of absence or upon the end ofemployment at the charter school if an appropriate position is available. If anappropriate position is unavailable, the teacher's name shall be placed on alist of available teachers and that teacher shall have priority on allpositions for which that teacher is qualified in accordance with G.S. 115C‑325(e)(2).

(4)        The employees of thecharter school shall be deemed employees of the local school administrativeunit for purposes of providing certain State‑funded employee benefits,including membership in the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement Systemand the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees. The State Board ofEducation provides funds to charter schools, approves the original members ofthe boards of directors of the charter schools, has the authority to grant,supervise, and revoke charters, and demands full accountability from charterschools for school finances and student performance. Accordingly, it is thedetermination of the General Assembly that charter schools are public schoolsand that the employees of charter schools are public school employees.Employees of a charter school whose board of directors elects to become aparticipating employer under G.S. 135‑5.3 are "teachers" forthe purpose of membership in the North Carolina Teachers' and State Employees'Retirement System. In no event shall anything contained in this Part requirethe North Carolina Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System to acceptemployees of a private employer as members or participants of the System.

(f)         Accountability. –

(1)        The school is subjectto the financial audits, the audit procedures, and the audit requirementsadopted by the State Board of Education for charter schools. These auditrequirements may include the requirements of the School Budget and FiscalControl Act.

(2)        The school shallcomply with the reporting requirements established by the State Board ofEducation in the Uniform Education Reporting System.

(3)        The school shallreport at least annually to the chartering entity and the State Board ofEducation the information required by the chartering entity or the State Board.

(g)        AdmissionRequirements. –

(1)        Any child who isqualified under the laws of this State for admission to a public school isqualified for admission to a charter school.

(2)        No local board ofeducation shall require any student enrolled in the local school administrativeunit to attend a charter school.

(3)        Admission to acharter school shall not be determined according to the school attendance areain which a student resides, except that any local school administrative unit inwhich a public school converts to a charter school shall give admissionpreference to students who reside within the former attendance area of thatschool.

(4)        Admission to acharter school shall not be determined according to the local schooladministrative unit in which a student resides.

(5)        A charter schoolshall not discriminate against any student on the basis of ethnicity, nationalorigin, gender, or disability. Except as otherwise provided by law or themission of the school as set out in the charter, the school shall not limitadmission to students on the basis of intellectual ability, measures ofachievement or aptitude, athletic ability, disability, race, creed, gender,national origin, religion, or ancestry. The charter school may give enrollmentpriority to siblings of currently enrolled students who were admitted to thecharter school in a previous year and to children of the school's principal,teachers, and teacher assistants. In addition, and only for its first year of operation,the charter school may give enrollment priority to children of the initialmembers of the charter school's board of directors, so long as (i) thesechildren are limited to no more than ten percent (10%) of the school's totalenrollment or to 20 students, whichever is less, and (ii) the charter school isnot a former public or private school. If multiple birth siblings apply foradmission to a charter school and a lottery is needed under G.S. 115C‑238.29F(g)(6),the charter school shall enter one surname into the lottery to represent all ofthe multiple birth siblings. If that surname of the multiple birth siblings isselected, then all of the multiple birth siblings shall be admitted. Within oneyear after the charter school begins operation, the population of the schoolshall reasonably reflect the racial and ethnic composition of the generalpopulation residing within the local school administrative unit in which theschool is located or the racial and ethnic composition of the specialpopulation that the school seeks to serve residing within the local schooladministrative unit in which the school is located. The school shall be subjectto any court‑ordered desegregation plan in effect for the local schooladministrative unit.

(6)        During each periodof enrollment, the charter school shall enroll an eligible student who submitsa timely application, unless the number of applications exceeds the capacity ofa program, class, grade level, or building. In this case, students shall beaccepted by lot. Once enrolled, students are not required to reapply insubsequent enrollment periods.

(7)        Notwithstanding anylaw to the contrary, a charter school may refuse admission to any student whohas been expelled or suspended from a public school under G.S. 115C‑391until the period of suspension or expulsion has expired.

(h)        Transportation. – Thecharter school may provide transportation for students enrolled at the school.The charter school shall develop a transportation plan so that transportationis not a barrier to any student who resides in the local school administrativeunit in which the school is located. The charter school is not required toprovide transportation to any student who lives within one and one‑halfmiles of the school. At the request of the charter school and if the localboard of the local school administrative unit in which the charter school islocated operates a school bus system, then that local board may contract withthe charter school to provide transportation in accordance with the charterschool's transportation plan to students who reside in the local schooladministrative unit and who reside at least one and one‑half miles of thecharter school. A local board may charge the charter school a reasonable chargethat is sufficient to cover the cost of providing this transportation.Furthermore, a local board may refuse to provide transportation under thissubsection if it demonstrates there is no available space on buses it intendsto operate during the term of the contract or it would not be practicallyfeasible to provide this transportation.

(i)         Assets. – Upondissolution of the charter school or upon the nonrenewal of the charter, allnet assets of the charter school purchased with public funds shall be deemedthe property of the local school administrative unit in which the charterschool is located.

(j)         DrivingEligibility Certificates. – In accordance with rules adopted by the State Boardof Education, the designee of the school's board of directors shall do all ofthe following:

(1)        Sign drivingeligibility certificates that meet the conditions established in G.S. 20‑11.

(2)        Obtain the necessarywritten, irrevocable consent from parents, guardians, or emancipated juveniles,as appropriate, in order to disclose information to the Division of MotorVehicles.

(3)        Notify the Divisionof Motor Vehicles when a student who holds a driving eligibility certificate nolonger meets its conditions.

(k)        The Display of theUnited States and North Carolina Flags and the Recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.– A charter school shall (i) display the United States and North Carolina flagsin each classroom when available, (ii) require the recitation of the Pledge ofAllegiance on a daily basis, and (iii) provide age‑appropriateinstruction on the meaning and historical origins of the flag and the Pledge ofAllegiance. A charter school shall not compel any person to stand, salute theflag, or recite the Pledge of Allegiance. If flags are donated or are otherwiseavailable, flags shall be displayed in each classroom.  (1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c.731, s. 2; 1997‑430, s. 5; 1997‑443, s. 8.19; 1997‑456, s.55.4; 1998‑212, s. 9.14A(a); 1999‑243, s. 8; 2001‑462, s. 1;2004‑118, s. 3; 2004‑203, s. 45(b); 2006‑69, s. 3(e); 2006‑137,s. 2; 2007‑59, s. 2; 2007‑126, s. 2; 2007‑323, s. 28.22A(o);2007‑345, s. 12; 2009‑239, s. 1; 2009‑563, s. 2.)