State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_115C > GS_115C-296

§ 115C‑296.  Board setscertification requirements; reports; lateral entry and mentor programs.

(a)        The State Board ofEducation shall have entire control of certifying all applicants for teachingpositions in all public elementary and high schools of North Carolina; and itshall prescribe the rules and regulations for the renewal and extension of allcertificates and shall determine and fix the salary for each grade and type ofcertificate which it authorizes.

The State Board of Educationmay require an applicant for an initial bachelors degree certificate orgraduate degree certificate to demonstrate the applicant's academic andprofessional preparation by achieving a prescribed minimum score on a standardexamination appropriate and adequate for that purpose. The State Board ofEducation shall permit an applicant to fulfill any such testing requirementbefore or during the applicant's second year of teaching provided the applicanttook the examination at least once during the first year of teaching. The StateBoard of Education shall make any required standard initial certification examsufficiently rigorous and raise the prescribed minimum score as necessary toensure that each applicant has adequate academic and professional preparationto teach.

(a1)      The State Boardshall adopt policies that establish the minimum scores for any requiredstandard examinations and other measures necessary to assess the qualificationsof professional personnel as required under subsection (a) of this section. Forpurposes of this subsection, the State Board shall not be subject to Article 2Aof Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. At least 30 days prior to changing anypolicy adopted under this subsection, the State Board shall provide writtennotice to all North Carolina schools of education and to all local boards ofeducation. The written notice shall include the proposed revised policy.

(a2)      The State Board ofEducation shall impose the following schedule of fees for teacher certificationand administrative changes:

(1)        Application fordemographic or administrative changes to a certificate, $30.00.

(2)        Application for aduplicate certificate or for copies of documents in the certification files,$30.00.

(3)        Application for arenewal, extension, addition, upgrade, and variation to a certificate, $55.00.

(4)        Initial applicationfor New, In‑State Approved Program Graduate, $55.00.

(5)        Initial applicationfor Out‑of‑State certificate, $85.00.

(6)        All otherapplications, $85.00.

The applicant must pay the feeat the time the application is submitted.

(b)        It is the policy ofthe State of North Carolina to maintain the highest quality teacher educationprograms and school administrator programs in order to enhance the competenceof professional personnel certified in North Carolina. To the end that teacherpreparation programs are upgraded to reflect a more rigorous course of study,the State Board of Education, as lead agency in coordination and cooperationwith the University Board of Governors, the Board of Community Colleges andsuch other public and private agencies as are necessary, shall continue torefine the several certification requirements, standards for approval ofinstitutions of teacher education, standards for institution‑basedinnovative and experimental programs, standards for implementing consortium‑basedteacher education, and standards for improved efficiencies in theadministration of the approved programs. The certification program shallprovide for initial certification after completion of preservice training, continuingcertification after three years of teaching experience, and certificate renewalevery five years thereafter, until the retirement of the teacher. The lastcertificate renewal received prior to retirement shall remain in effect forfive years after retirement. The certification program shall also provide forlifetime certification after 50 years of teaching.

The State Board of Education,as lead agency in coordination with the Board of Governors of The University ofNorth Carolina and any other public and private agencies as necessary, shallcontinue 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 ofThe University of North Carolina, shall evaluate and modify, as necessary, theacademic requirements for students preparing to teach science in middle andhigh schools to ensure that there is adequate preparation in issues related toscience laboratory safety.

The State Board of Education,in consultation with the Board of Governors of The University of NorthCarolina, shall evaluate and develop enhanced requirements for continuingcertification. The new requirements shall reflect more rigorous standards forcontinuing certification and to the extent possible shall be aligned withquality professional development programs that reflect State priorities forimproving student achievement.

The State Board of Education,in consultation with local boards of education and the Board of Governors ofThe University of North Carolina, shall reevaluate and enhance the requirementsfor renewal of teacher certificates. The State Board shall considermodifications in the certificate renewal achievement and to make it a mechanismfor teachers to renew continually their knowledge and professional skills. TheState Board shall adopt new standards for the renewal of teacher certificatesby May 15, 1998.

The standards for approval ofinstitutions of teacher education shall require that teacher education programsfor all students include demonstrated competencies in (i) the identificationand education of children with disabilities and (ii) positive management ofstudent behavior and effective communication techniques for defusing anddeescalating disruptive or dangerous behavior. The State Board of Educationshall incorporate the criteria developed in accordance with G.S. 116‑74.21for assessing proposals under the School Administrator Training Program intoits school administrator program approval standards.

All North Carolinainstitutions of higher education that offer teacher education programs, mastersdegree programs in education, or masters degree programs in schooladministration shall provide performance reports to the State Board ofEducation. The performance reports shall follow a common format, shall besubmitted according to a plan developed by the State Board, and shall includethe information required under the plan developed by the State Board.

(b1)      The State Board ofEducation shall develop a plan to provide a focused review of teacher educationprograms and the current process of accrediting these programs in order toensure that the programs produce graduates that are well prepared to teach. Theplan shall include the development and implementation of a school of educationperformance report for each teacher education program in North Carolina. Theperformance report shall include at least the following elements: (i) qualityof students entering the schools of education, including the average grade pointaverage and average score on preprofessional skills tests that assess reading,writing, math and other competencies; (ii) graduation rates; (iii) time‑to‑graduationrates; (iv) average scores of graduates on professional and content areaexamination for the purpose of certification; (v) percentage of graduatesreceiving initial certification; (vi) percentage of graduates hired asteachers; (vii) percentage of graduates remaining in teaching for four years;(viii) graduate satisfaction based on a common survey; and (ix) employersatisfaction based on a common survey. The performance reports shall follow acommon format. The performance reports shall be submitted annually. The StateBoard of Education shall develop a plan to be implemented beginning in the 1998‑99school year to reward and sanction approved teacher education programs andmasters of education programs and to revoke approval of those programs based onthe performance reports and other criteria established by the State Board ofEducation.

The State Board also shalldevelop and implement a plan for annual performance reports for all mastersdegree programs in education and school administration in North Carolina. Tothe extent it is appropriated, the performance report shall include similar indicatorsto those developed for the performance report for teacher education programs.The performance reports shall follow a common format.

Both plans for performancereports also shall include a method to provide the annual performance reportsto the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina, the State Boardof Education, and the boards of trustees of the independent colleges. The StateBoard of Education shall review the schools of education performance reportsand the performance reports for masters degree programs in education and schooladministration each year the performance reports are submitted. The State Boardshall submit the performance report for the 1999‑2000 school year to theJoint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by December 15, 2000.Subsequent performance reports shall be submitted to the Joint LegislativeEducation Oversight Committee on an annual basis by October 1.

(b2)      An undergraduatestudent seeking a degree in teacher education must attain passing scores on a preprofessionalskills test prior to admission to an approved teacher education program in aNorth Carolina college or university. The State Board of Education shall permitstudents to fulfill this requirement by achieving the prescribed minimum scoresset by the State Board of Education for the Praxis I tests or by achieving theappropriate required score, as determined by the State Board of Education, onthe verbal and mathematics portions of the SAT. The minimum combined verbal andmathematics score set by the State Board of Education shall be between 900 and1,200.

(c)        It is the policy ofthe State of North Carolina to encourage lateral entry into the profession ofteaching by skilled individuals from the private sector. To this end, beforethe 1985‑86 school year begins, the State Board of Education shalldevelop criteria and procedures to accomplish the employment of suchindividuals as classroom teachers. Beginning with the 2006‑2007 schoolyear, the criteria and procedures shall include preservice training in (i) theidentification and education of children with disabilities and (ii) positivemanagement of student behavior, effective communication for defusing anddeescalating disruptive or dangerous behavior, and safe and appropriate use ofseclusion and restraint. Skilled individuals who choose to enter the professionof teaching laterally may be granted a provisional teaching certificate for nomore than three years and shall be required to obtain certification beforecontracting for a fourth year of service with any local administrative unit inthis State.

(c1)      The State Board ofCommunity Colleges may provide a program of study for lateral entry teachers tocomplete the coursework necessary to earn a teaching certificate. To this end,the State Board of Education, in consultation with the State Board of CommunityColleges, shall establish a competency‑based program of study for lateralentry teachers to be implemented within the Community College System no laterthan May 1, 2006. This program must meet standards set by the State Board ofEducation.

The State Board of CommunityColleges and the State Board of Education shall jointly identify the communitycollege courses and the teacher education program courses that are necessaryand appropriate for inclusion in the community college program of study forlateral entry teachers. To the extent possible, any courses that must becompleted through an approved teacher education program shall be taught on acommunity college campus or shall be available through distance learning.

In order to participate in thecommunity college program of study for lateral entry teachers, an individualmust hold at least a bachelors degree from a regionally accredited institutionof higher education.

An individual who successfullycompletes this program of study and meets all other requirements ofcertification set by the State Board of Education shall be recommended for aNorth Carolina teaching certificate.

(c2)      It is further thepolicy of the State of North Carolina to ensure that local boards of educationcan provide the strongest possible leadership for schools based upon theidentified and changing needs of individual schools. To this end, before the1994‑95 school year begins, the State Board of Education shall carefully considera lateral entry program for school administrators to ensure that local boardsof education will have sufficient flexibility to attract able candidates.

(d)        The State Boardshall adopt rules to establish the reasons and procedures for the suspensionand revocation of certificates. The State Board shall revoke the certificate ofa teacher or school administrator if the State Board receives notification froma local board or the Secretary of Health and Human Services that a teacher orschool administrator has received an unsatisfactory or below standard ratingunder G.S. 115C‑333(d). In addition, the State Board may revoke or refuseto renew a teacher's certificate when:

(1)        The Board identifiesthe school in which the teacher is employed as low‑performing under G.S.115C‑105.37 or G.S. 143B‑146.5; and

(2)        The State Boardshall automatically revoke the certificate of a teacher or school administratorwithout the right to a hearing upon receiving verification of the identity ofthe teacher or school administrator together with a certified copy of acriminal record showing that the teacher or school administrator has entered aplea of guilty or nolo contendere to or has been finally convicted of any ofthe following crimes: Murder in the first or second degree, G.S. 14‑17;Conspiracy or solicitation to commit murder, G.S. 14‑18.1; Rape or sexualoffense as defined in Article 7A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes.Felonious assault with deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflicting seriousinjury, G.S. 14‑32; Kidnapping, G.S. 14‑39; Abduction of children,G.S. 14‑41; Crime against nature, G.S. 14‑177; Incest, G.S. 14‑178or G.S. 14‑179; Employing or permitting minor to assist in offenseagainst public morality and decency, G.S. 14‑190.6; Dissemination tominors under the age of 16 years, G.S. 14‑190.7; Dissemination to minorsunder the age of 13 years, G.S. 14‑190.8; Displaying material harmful tominors, G.S. 14‑190.14; Disseminating harmful material to minors, G.S. 14‑190.15;First degree sexual exploitation of a minor, G.S. 14‑190.16; Seconddegree sexual exploitation of a minor, G.S. 14‑190.17; Third degreesexual exploitation of a minor, G.S. 14‑190.17A; Promoting prostitutionof a minor, G.S. 14‑190.18; Participating in prostitution of a minor,G.S. 14‑190.19; Taking indecent liberties with children, G.S. 14‑202.1;Solicitation of child by computer to commit an unlawful sex act, G.S. 14‑202.3;Taking indecent liberties with a student, G.S. 14‑202.4; Prostitution,G.S. 14‑204; and child abuse under G.S. 14‑318.4. The Board shallmail notice of its intent to act pursuant to this subdivision by certifiedmail, return receipt requested, directed to the teacher or school administratorat their last known address. The notice shall inform the teacher or schooladministrator that it will revoke the person's certificate unless the teacheror school administrator notifies the Board in writing within 10 days afterreceipt of the notice that the defendant identified in the criminal record isnot the same person as the teacher or school administrator. If the teacher orschool administrator provides this written notice to the Board, the Board shallnot revoke the certificate unless it can establish as a fact that the defendantand the teacher or school administrator are the same person.

(3)        In addition, theState Board may revoke or refuse to renew a teacher's certificate when:

a.         The Board identifiesthe school in which the teacher is employed as low‑performing under G.S.115C‑105.37 or G.S. 143B‑146.5; and

b.         The assistance teamassigned to that school makes the recommendation to revoke or refuse to renewthe teacher's certificate for one or more reasons established by the StateBoard in its rules for certificate suspension or revocation.

The State Board may issue subpoenasfor the purpose of obtaining documents or the testimony of witnesses inconnection with proceedings to suspend or revoke certificates. In addition, theBoard shall have the authority to contract with individuals who are qualifiedto conduct investigations in order to obtain all information needed to assistthe Board in the proper disposition of allegations of misconduct bycertificated persons.

(e)        The State Board ofEducation shall develop a mentor program to provide ongoing support forteachers entering the profession. In developing the mentor program, the StateBoard shall conduct a comprehensive study of the needs of new teachers and howthose needs can be met through an orientation and mentor support program. Forthe purpose of helping local boards to support new teachers, the State Boardshall develop and distribute guidelines which address optimum teaching load,extracurricular duties, student assignment, and other working conditionconsiderations. These guidelines shall provide that initially certifiedteachers not be assigned extracurricular activities unless they request theassignments in writing and that other noninstructional duties of these teachersbe minimized. The State Board shall develop and coordinate a mentor teachertraining program. The State Board shall develop criteria for selectingexcellent, experienced, and qualified teachers to be participants in the mentorteacher training program.

(e1)      The State Board ofEducation shall allot funds for mentoring services to local school adminstrativeunits based on the highest number of employees in the preceding three schoolyears who (i) are paid with State, federal, or local funds and (ii) are eitherteachers paid on the first or second steps of the teacher salary schedule orinstructional support personnel paid on the first step of the instructionalsupport personnel salary schedule.

Local school administrativeunits shall use these funds to provide mentoring support to eligible employeesin accordance with a plan approved by the State Board of Education. The planshall include information on how all mentors in the local school administrativeunit will be adequately trained to provide mentoring support. The State Boardof Education shall report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committeeprior to January 15 of each year on the use of funds for mentoring services.The report shall include, at a minimum, the impact of each unit's mentoringprogram on teacher retention and how all mentors in the unit are trained.

(f)         The State Board ofEducation, after consultation with the Board of Governors of The University ofNorth Carolina, shall develop a new category of teacher certificate known asthe "Masters/Advanced Competencies" certificate. To receive thiscertificate, an applicant shall successfully complete a masters degree programthat includes rigorous academic preparation in the subject area which theapplicant will teach and in the skills and knowledge expected of a masterteacher or the applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the StateBoard that the candidate has acquired the skills and knowledge expected of amaster teacher.

Persons who qualify for a"G" certificate prior to September 1, 2000, shall be awarded a"Masters/Advanced Competencies" certificate without meetingadditional requirements. On and after September 1, 2000, no additional"G" certificates shall be awarded.  (1955, c. 1372, art. 18, s. 2; 1965, c. 584, s. 20.1;1973, c. 236; 1975, c. 686, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984),c. 1103, s. 6; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1086, s. 96; 1989, c. 752, s. 66(a);1993, c. 166, s. 1; c. 199, s. 4; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 716, s. 7; 1997‑221,ss. 4(a), (b), 5, 7(a), 8, 9, 14, 17(a), (c); 1997‑325, s. 1; 1997‑383,s. 1; 1998‑5, s. 5; 1998‑131, s. 8; 1998‑167, s. 1; 1999‑96,s. 8; 2000‑67, s. 9.2(a); 2001‑129, s. 1; 2002‑126, s. 7.39;2003‑284, s. 7.20(e); 2003‑408, s. 1; 2004‑124, s. 7.19(a);2005‑198, ss. 1, 2; 2005‑205, s. 3; 2005‑419, s. 1; 2007‑166,s. 1; 2007‑478, s. 1; 2007‑484, s. 35; 2008‑107, s. 7.8; 2009‑59,s. 2; 2009‑305, s. 1(b).)