State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_115C > GS_115C-325

Part 3. Principal and TeacherEmployment Contracts.

§ 115C‑325.  System ofemployment for public school teachers.

(a)        Definition ofTerms. – As used in this section unless the context requires otherwise:

(1)        Repealed by SessionLaws 1997‑221, s. 13(a).

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

a.         An employee who hasobtained career status with that local board as a teacher as provided in G.S.115C‑325(c);

b.         An employee who hasobtained career status with that local board in an administrative position asprovided in G.S. 115C‑325(d)(2);

c.         A probationaryteacher during the term of the contract as provided in G.S. 115C‑325(m);and

d.         A schooladministrator during the term of a school administrator contract as provided inG.S. 115C‑287.1(c).

(1b)      "Career schooladministrator" means a school administrator who has obtained career statusin an administrative position as provided in G.S. 115C‑325(d)(2).

(1c)      "Careerteacher" means a teacher who has obtained career status as provided inG.S. 115C‑325(c).

(1d)      "Casemanager" means a person selected under G.S. 115C‑325(h)(7).

(2)        Repealed by SessionLaws 1997, c. 221, s. 13(a).

(3)        "Day"means calendar day. In computing any period of time, Rule 6 of the NorthCarolina Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply.

(4)        "Demote"means to reduce the salary of a person who is classified or paid by the StateBoard of Education as a classroom teacher or as a school administrator. Theword "demote" does not include: (i) a suspension without pay pursuantto G.S. 115C‑325(f)(1); (ii) the elimination or reduction of bonuspayments, including merit‑based supplements, or a systemwide modificationin the amount of any applicable local supplement; or (iii) any reduction insalary that results from the elimination of a special duty, such as the duty ofan athletic coach or a choral director.

(4a)      "Disciplinarysuspension" means a final decision to suspend a teacher or schooladministrator without pay for no more than 60 days under G.S. 115C‑325(f)(2).

(4b)      "Exchangeteacher" means a nonimmigrant alien teacher participating in an exchangevisitor program designated by the United States Department of State pursuant to22 C.F.R. Part 62 or by the United States Department of Homeland Securitypursuant to 8 C.F.R. Part 214.2(q).

(5)        "Probationaryteacher" means a certificated person, other than a superintendent,associate superintendent, or assistant superintendent, who has not obtainedcareer‑teacher status and whose major responsibility is to teach or tosupervise teaching.

(5a)      (Effective untilOctober 1, 2009) "Retired teacher" means a beneficiary of theTeachers' and State Employees' Retirement System of North Carolina who retiredon or before October 1, 2007, and who has been retired at least six months, hasnot been employed in any capacity for at least six months, immediatelypreceding the effective date of reemployment, is determined by a local board ofeducation or a charter school to have had satisfactory performance during thelast year of employment by a local board of education or a charter school, andwho is employed to teach as provided in G.S. 135‑3(8)c. A retired teacherat a school other than a charter school shall be treated the same as aprobationary teacher except that (i) a retired teacher is not eligible forcareer status and (ii) the performance of a retired teacher who had attainedcareer status prior to retirement shall be evaluated in accordance with a localboard of education's policies and procedures applicable to career teachers.

"Retiredteacher" also means a beneficiary of the Teachers' and State Employees'Retirement System of North Carolina who retired after October 1, 2007, afterattaining (i) the age of at least 65 with five years of creditable service; or(ii) the age of at least 60 with 25 years of creditable service; or (iii) 30years of service; who has been retired at least six months, has not beenemployed in any capacity for at least six months immediately preceding theeffective date of reemployment, is determined by a local board of education ora charter school to have had satisfactory performance during the last year ofemployment by a local board of education or a charter school, and who isemployed to teach as provided in G.S. 135‑3(8)c. A retired teacher at aschool other than a charter school shall be treated the same as a probationaryteacher except that (i) a retired teacher is not eligible for career status and(ii) the performance of a retired teacher who had attained career status priorto retirement shall be evaluated in accordance with a local board ofeducation's policies and procedures applicable to career teachers.

(5b)      "Schooladministrator" means a principal, assistant principal, supervisor, ordirector whose major function includes the direct or indirect supervision ofteaching or any other part of the instructional program as provided in G.S.115C‑287.1(a)(3).

(6)        "Teacher"means a person who holds at least a current, not provisional or expired, ClassA certificate or a regular, not provisional or expired, vocational certificateissued by the Department of Public Instruction; whose major responsibility isto teach or directly supervises teaching or who is classified by the StateBoard of Education or is paid either as a classroom teacher or instructionalsupport personnel; and who is employed to fill a full‑time, permanentposition.

(7)        (See note)Redesignated as (a)(5a).

(8)        "Year" forpurposes of computing time as a probationary teacher shall be not less than 120workdays performed as a probationary teacher in a full‑time permanent positionin a school year. Workdays performed pending the outcome of a criminal historycheck as provided in G.S. 115C‑332 are included in computing time as aprobationary teacher.

(b)        Personnel Files. – Thesuperintendent shall maintain in his office a personnel file for each teacherthat contains any complaint, commendation, or suggestion for correction orimprovement about the teacher's professional conduct, except that thesuperintendent may elect not to place in a teacher's file (i) a letter ofcomplaint that contains invalid, irrelevant, outdated, or false information or(ii) a letter of complaint when there is no documentation of an attempt toresolve the issue. The complaint, commendation, or suggestion shall be signedby the person who makes it and shall be placed in the teacher's file only afterfive days' notice to the teacher. Any denial or explanation relating to suchcomplaint, commendation, or suggestion that the teacher desires to make shallbe placed in the file. Any teacher may petition the local board of education toremove any information from his personnel file that he deems invalid,irrelevant, or outdated. The board may order the superintendent to remove saidinformation if it finds the information is invalid, irrelevant, or outdated.

The personnel file shall beopen for the teacher's inspection at all reasonable times but shall be open toother persons only in accordance with such rules and regulations as the boardadopts. Any preemployment data or other information obtained about a teacherbefore his employment by the board may be kept in a file separate from hispersonnel file and need not be made available to him. No data placed in thepreemployment file may be introduced as evidence at a hearing on the dismissalor demotion of a teacher, except the data may be used to substantiate G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1)g.or G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1)o. as grounds for dismissal or demotion.

(c)        (1)       Election of a Teacher to CareerStatus. – Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection,when a teacher has been employed by a North Carolina public school system forfour consecutive years, the board, near the end of the fourth year, shall voteupon whether to grant the teacher career status. The teacher has a right tonotice and hearing prior to the board's vote as provided in G.S. 115C‑325(m)(3)and G.S. 115C‑325(m)(4). The board shall give the teacher written noticeof that decision by June 15 or such later date as provided in G.S. 115C‑325(m)(7).If a majority of the board votes to grant career status to the teacher, and ifit has notified the teacher of the decision, it may not rescind that action butmust proceed under the provisions of this section for the demotion or dismissalof a teacher if it decides to terminate the teacher's employment. If a majorityof the board votes against granting career status, the teacher shall not teachbeyond the current school term. If the board fails to vote on granting careerstatus, the teacher shall be entitled to an additional month's pay for every 30days or portion thereof after June 16 or such later date as provided in G.S.115C‑325(m)(7) if a majority of the board belatedly votes againstgranting career status.

(2)        Employment of aCareer Teacher. – A teacher who has obtained career status in any North Carolinapublic school system need not serve another probationary period of more thanone year. The board may grant career status immediately upon employing theteacher, or after the first year of employment. The teacher has a right tonotice and hearing prior to the board's vote as provided in G.S. 115C‑325(m)(3)and G.S. 115C‑325(m)(4). The board shall give the teacher written noticeof that decision by June 15 or such later date as provided in G.S. 115C‑325(m)(7).If a majority of the board votes against granting career status, the teachershall not teach beyond the current term. If after one year of employment, theboard fails to vote on the issue of granting career status, the teacher shallbe entitled to one additional month's pay for every 30 days or portion thereofbeyond June 16 or such later date as provided in G.S. 115C‑325(m)(7) if amajority of the board belatedly voted against granting career status.

(2a)      Notice of TeachersEligible to Achieve Career Status. – At least 30 days prior to any board actiongranting career status, the superintendent shall submit to the board a list ofthe names of all teachers who are eligible to achieve career status.Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the list shall be a public recordunder Chapter 132 of the General Statutes.

(3)        Ineligible forCareer Status. – No employee of a local board of education except a teacher asdefined by G.S. 115C‑325(a)(6) is eligible to obtain career status orcontinue in a career status as a teacher if he no longer performs the responsibilitiesof a teacher as defined in G.S. 115C‑325(a)(6). No person who is employedas a school administrator who did not acquire career status as a schooladministrator by June 30, 1997, shall have career status as an administrator.Further, no director or assistant principal is eligible to obtain career statusas a school administrator unless he or she has already been conferred thatstatus by the local board of education.

(4)        Leave of Absence. – Acareer teacher who has been granted a leave of absence by a board shallmaintain his career status if he returns to his teaching position at the end ofthe authorized leave.

(5)        Consecutive Years ofService. – If a probationary teacher in a full‑time permanent positiondoes not work for at least 120 workdays in a school year because the teacher ison sick leave, disability leave, or both, that school year shall not be deemedto constitute (i) a consecutive year of service for the teacher or (ii) a breakin the continuity in consecutive years of service for the teacher.

(6)        Status of ExchangeTeachers. – Exchange teachers shall not be eligible to obtain career status.However, for purposes of determining eligibility to receive employment benefitsunder this Chapter, including personal leave, annual vacation leave, and sickleave, an exchange teacher shall be considered a permanent teacher if employedwith the expectation of at least six full consecutive monthly pay periods ofemployment and if employed at least 20 hours per week.

(d)        Career Teachers andCareer School Administrators.

(1)        A career teacher orcareer school administrator shall not be subjected to the requirement of annualappointment nor shall he be dismissed, demoted, or employed on a part‑timebasis without his consent except as provided in subsection (e).

(2)       a.         Theprovisions of this subdivision do not apply to a person who is ineligible forcareer status as provided by G.S. 115C‑325(c)(3).

b.         Repealed by SessionLaws 1997, c. 221, s. 13(a).

c.         Subject to G.S. 115C‑287.1,when a teacher has performed the duties of supervisor or principal for threeconsecutive years, the board, near the end of the third year, shall vote uponhis employment for the next school year. The board shall give him writtennotice of that decision by June 1 of his third year of employment as asupervisor or principal. If a majority of the board votes to reemploy theteacher as a principal or supervisor, and it has notified him of that decision,it may not rescind that action but must proceed under the provisions of this section.If a majority of the board votes not to reemploy the teacher as a principal orsupervisor, he shall retain career status as a teacher if that status wasattained prior to assuming the duties of supervisor or principal. A supervisoror principal who has not held that position for three years and whose contractwill not be renewed for the next school year shall be notified by June 1 andshall retain career status as a teacher if that status was attained prior toassuming the duties of supervisor or principal.

Ayear, for purposes of computing time as a probationary principal or supervisor,shall not be less than 145 workdays performed as a full‑time, permanentprincipal or supervisor in a contract year.

Aprincipal or supervisor who has obtained career status in that position in anyNorth Carolina public school system may be required by the board of educationin another school system to serve an additional three‑year probationaryperiod in that position before being eligible for career status. However, he may,at the option of the board of education, be granted career status immediatelyor after serving a probationary period of one or two additional years. Aprincipal or supervisor with career status who resigns and within five years isreemployed by the same school system need not serve another probationary periodin that position of more than two years and may, at the option of the board, bereemployed immediately as a career principal or supervisor or be given careerstatus after only one year. In any event, if he is reemployed for a thirdconsecutive year, he shall automatically become a career principal orsupervisor.

(e)        Grounds forDismissal or Demotion of a Career Employee.

(1)        Grounds. – No careeremployee shall be dismissed or demoted or employed on a part‑time basisexcept for one or more of the following:

a.         Inadequateperformance.

b.         Immorality.

c.         Insubordination.

d.         Neglect of duty.

e.         Physical or mentalincapacity.

f.          Habitual orexcessive use of alcohol or nonmedical use of a controlled substance as definedin Article 5 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes.

g.         Conviction of afelony or a crime involving moral turpitude.

h.         Advocating theoverthrow of the government of the United States or of the State of NorthCarolina by force, violence, or other unlawful means.

i.          Failure to fulfillthe duties and responsibilities imposed upon teachers or school administratorsby the General Statutes of this State.

j.          Failure to complywith such reasonable requirements as the board may prescribe.

k.         Any cause whichconstitutes grounds for the revocation of the career teacher's teachingcertificate or the career school administrator's administrator certificate.

l.          A justifiabledecrease in the number of positions due to district reorganization, decreasedenrollment, or decreased funding, provided that there is compliance withsubdivision (2).

m.        Failure to maintainhis certificate in a current status.

n.         Failure to repaymoney owed to the State in accordance with the provisions of Article 60,Chapter 143 of the General Statutes.

o.         Providing falseinformation or knowingly omitting a material fact on an application foremployment or in response to a preemployment inquiry.

(2)        Reduction in Force.– Before recommending to a board the dismissal or demotion of the careeremployee pursuant to G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1)l., the superintendent shall givewritten notice to the career employee by certified mail or personal delivery ofhis intention to make such recommendation and shall set forth as part of hisrecommendation the grounds upon which he believes such dismissal or demotion isjustified. The notice shall include a statement to the effect that if thecareer employee within 15 days after receipt of the notice requests a review,he shall be entitled to have the proposed recommendations of the superintendentreviewed by the board. Within the 15‑day period after receipt of thenotice, the career employee may file with the superintendent a written requestfor a hearing before the board within 10 days. If the career employee requestsa hearing before the board, the hearing procedures provided in G.S. 115C‑325(j3)shall be followed. If no request is made within the 15‑day period, thesuperintendent may file his recommendation with the board. If, afterconsidering the recommendation of the superintendent and the evidence adducedat the hearing if there is one, the board concludes that the grounds for therecommendation are true and substantiated by a preponderance of the evidence,the board, if it sees fit, may by resolution order such dismissal. Provisionsof this section which permit a hearing by a case manager shall not apply to adismissal or demotion recommended pursuant to G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1)l.

Whena career employee is dismissed pursuant to G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1)l. above,his name shall be placed on a list of available career employees to bemaintained by the board. Career employees whose names are placed on such a listshall have a priority on all positions in which they acquired career status andfor which they are qualified which become available in that system for thethree consecutive years succeeding their dismissal. However, if the localschool administrative unit offers the dismissed career employee a position forwhich he is certified and he refuses it, his name shall be removed from thepriority list.

(3)        InadequatePerformance. – In determining whether the professional performance of a careeremployee is adequate, consideration shall be given to regular and specialevaluation reports prepared in accordance with the published policy of theemploying local school administrative unit and to any published standards ofperformance which shall have been adopted by the board. Failure to notify acareer employee of an inadequacy in his performance shall be conclusiveevidence of satisfactory performance.

(4)        Three‑YearLimitation on Basis of Dismissal or Demotion. – Dismissal or demotion undersubdivision (1) above, except paragraphs g. and o. thereof, shall not be basedon conduct or actions which occurred more than three years before the writtennotice of the superintendent's intention to recommend dismissal or demotion ismailed to the career employee. The three‑year limitation shall not applyto dismissals or demotions pursuant to subdivision (1)b. above when the chargeof immorality is based upon a career employee's sexual misconduct toward orsexual harassment of students or staff.

(f)        (1)        Suspensionwithout Pay. – If a superintendent believes that cause exists for dismissing acareer employee for any reason specified in G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1) and thatimmediate suspension of the career employee is necessary, the superintendentmay suspend the career employee without pay. Before suspending a careeremployee without pay, the superintendent shall meet with the career employeeand give him written notice of the charges against him, an explanation of thebases for the charges, and an opportunity to respond. Within five days after asuspension 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, ordisciplinary suspension without pay exist, the career employee shall bereinstated immediately, shall be paid for the period of suspension, and allrecords of the suspension shall be removed from the career employee's personnelfile.

(2)        DisciplinarySuspension Without Pay. – A career employee recommended for suspension withoutpay pursuant to G.S. 115C‑325(a)(4a) may request a hearing before theboard. If no request is made within 15 days, the superintendent may file hisrecommendation with the board. If, after considering the recommendation of thesuperintendent and the evidence adduced at the hearing if one is held, theboard concludes that the grounds for the recommendation are true andsubstantiated by a preponderance of the evidence, the board, if it sees fit,may by resolution order such suspension.

a.         Board hearing fordisciplinary suspensions for more than 10 days or for certain types ofintentional misconduct. – The procedures for a board hearing under G.S. 115C‑325(j3)shall apply if any of the following circumstances exist:

1.         The recommendeddisciplinary suspension without pay is for more than 10 days; or

2.         The disciplinary suspensionis for intentional misconduct, such as inappropriate sexual or physicalconduct, immorality, insubordination, habitual or excessive alcohol ornonmedical use of a controlled substance as defined in Article 5 of Chapter 90of the General Statutes, any cause that constitutes grounds for the revocationof the teacher's or school administrator's certificate, or providing falseinformation.

b.         Board hearing fordisciplinary suspensions of no more that 10 days. – The procedures for a boardhearing under G.S. 115C‑325(j2) shall apply to all disciplinarysuspensions of no more than 10 days that are not for intentional misconduct asspecified in G.S. 115C‑325(f)(2)a.2.

(f1)       Suspension withPay. – If a superintendent believes that cause may exist for dismissing ordemoting a career employee for any reasons specified in G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1),but that additional investigation of the facts is necessary and circumstancesare such that the career employee should be removed immediately from hisduties, the superintendent may suspend the career employee with pay for areasonable period of time, not to exceed 90 days. The superintendent shallnotify the board of education within two days of his action and shall notifythe career employee within two days of the action and the reasons for it. Ifthe superintendent has not initiated dismissal or demotion proceedings againstthe career employee within the 90‑day period, the career employee shallbe reinstated to his duties immediately and all records of the suspension withpay shall be removed from the career employee's personnel file at his request.However, if the superintendent and the employee agree to extend the 90‑dayperiod, the superintendent may initiate dismissal or demotion proceedingsagainst the career employee at any time during the period of the extension.

(f2)       Procedure forDemotion of Career School Administrator. – If a superintendent intends torecommend the demotion of a career school administrator, the superintendentshall give written notice to the career school administrator by certified mailor personal delivery and shall include in the notice the grounds upon which thesuperintendent believes the demotion is justified. The notice shall include astatement that if the career school administrator requests a hearing within 15days after receipt of the notice, the administrator shall be entitled to havethe grounds for the proposed demotion reviewed by the local board of education.If the career school administrator does not request a board hearing within 15days, the superintendent may file the recommendation of demotion with theboard. If, after considering the superintendent's recommendation and theevidence presented at the hearing if one is held, the board concludes that thegrounds for the recommendation are true and substantiated by a preponderance ofthe evidence, the board may by resolution order the demotion. The proceduresfor a board hearing under G.S. 115C‑325(j3) shall apply to all demotionsof career school administrators.

(g)        Repealed by SessionLaws 1997, c. 221, s. 13(a).

(h)        Procedure forDismissal or Demotion of Career Employee.

(1)       a.         Acareer employee may not be dismissed, demoted, or reduced to part‑timeemployment except upon the superintendent's recommendation.

b.         G.S. 115C‑325(f2)shall apply to the demotion of a career school administrator.

(2)        Before recommendingto a board the dismissal or demotion of the career employee, the superintendentshall give written notice to the career employee by certified mail or personaldelivery of his intention to make such recommendation and shall set forth aspart of his recommendation the grounds upon which he believes such dismissal ordemotion is justified. The superintendent also shall meet with the careeremployee and give him written notice of the charges against him, an explanationof the basis for the charges, and an opportunity to respond if the careeremployee has not done so under G.S. 115C‑325(f)(1). The notice shallinclude a statement to the effect that if the career employee within 14 daysafter the date of receipt of the notice requests a review, he shall be entitledto have the grounds for the proposed recommendations of the superintendentreviewed by a case manager. A copy of G.S. 115C‑325 and a current list ofcase managers shall also be sent to the career employee. If the career employeedoes not request a hearing with a case manager within the 14 days provided, thesuperintendent may submit his recommendation to the board.

(3)        Within the 14‑dayperiod after receipt of the notice, the career employee may file with thesuperintendent a written request for either (i) a hearing on the grounds forthe superintendent's proposed recommendation by a case manager or (ii) ahearing within 10 days before the board on the superintendent's recommendation.If the career employee requests an immediate hearing before the board, heforfeits his right to a hearing by a case manager. If no request is made withinthat period, the superintendent may file his recommendation with the board. Theboard, if it sees fit, may by resolution (i) reject the superintendent'srecommendation or (ii) accept or modify the superintendent's recommendation anddismiss, demote, reinstate, or suspend the employee without pay. If a requestfor review is made, the superintendent shall not file his recommendation fordismissal with the board until a report of the case manager is filed with thesuperintendent.

(4)        Repealed by SessionLaws 1997, c. 221, s. 13(a).

(5)        If the careeremployee elects to request a hearing by a case manager, the career employee andsuperintendent shall each have the right to eliminate up to one‑third ofthe names on the approved list of case managers. The career employee shallspecify those case managers who are not acceptable in the career employee's requestfor a review of the superintendent's proposed recommendation under G.S. 115C‑325(h)(3).The superintendent and career employee may jointly select a person to serve ascase manager. The person need not be on the master list of case managersmaintained by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

(6)        If a career employeerequests a review by a case manager, the superintendent shall notify theSuperintendent of Public Instruction within two days' receipt of the request.The notice shall contain a list of the case managers the career employee andthe superintendent have eliminated from the master list or the name of aperson, if any, jointly selected. Failure to exercise the right to eliminatenames from the master list shall constitute a waiver of that right.

(7)        The Superintendentof Public Instruction shall select a case manager within three days ofreceiving notice from the superintendent. The Superintendent of PublicInstruction shall designate the person jointly selected by the parties to serveas case manager provided the person agrees to serve as case manager and canmeet the requirements for time frames for the hearing and report as provided inG.S. 115C‑325(i1)(1). If a case manager was not jointly selected or ifthe case manager is not available, the Superintendent of Public Instructionshall select a case manager from the master list. No person eliminated by thecareer employee or superintendent shall be designated case manager.

(8)        The superintendentand career employee shall provide each other with copies of all documentssubmitted to the Superintendent of Public Instruction or to the designated casemanager.

(h1)      Case Managers;Qualifications; Training; Compensation.

(1)        Each year the StateBoard of Education shall select and maintain a master list of no more than 42qualified case managers.

(2)        Persons selected bythe State Board as case managers shall be: (i) certified as a North CarolinaSuperior Court mediator; (ii) a member of the American ArbitrationAssociation's roster of arbitrators and mediators; or (iii) have comparablecertification in alternative dispute resolution. Case managers must complete aspecial training course approved by the State Board of Education.

(3)        The State Board ofEducation shall determine the compensation for a case manager. The State Boardshall pay the case manager's compensation and reimbursement for expenses.

(i)         Repealed bySession Laws 1997, c. 221, s. 13(a).

(i1)       Report of CaseManager; Superintendent's Recommendation.

(1)        The case managershall complete the hearing held in accordance with G.S. 115C‑325(j) andprepare the report within 10 days from the time of the designation. The casemanager may extend the period of time by up to five additional days if the casemanager informs the superintendent and the career employee that justicerequires that a greater time be spent in connection with the investigation andthe preparation of the report. Furthermore, the superintendent and the careeremployee may agree to an extension of more than five days.

(2)        The case managershall make all necessary findings of fact, based upon the preponderance of theevidence, on all issues related to each and every ground for dismissal and onall relevant matters related to the question of whether the superintendent'srecommendation is justified. The case manager also shall make a recommendationas to whether the findings of fact substantiate the superintendent's groundsfor dismissal. The case manager shall deliver copies of the report to thesuperintendent and the career employee.

(3)        Within two daysafter receiving the case manager's report, the superintendent shall decidewhether to submit a written recommendation to the local board for dismissal,demotion, or disciplinary suspension without pay to the board or to drop thecharges against the career employee. The superintendent shall notify the careeremployee, in writing, of the decision.

(4)        If thesuperintendent contends that the case manager's report fails to address acritical factual issue, the superintendent shall within three days receipt ofthe case manager's report, request in writing with a copy to the careeremployee that the case manager prepare a supplement to the report. Thesuperintendent shall specify what critical factual issue the superintendentcontends the case manager failed to address. If the case manager determinesthat the report failed to address a critical factual issue, the case managermay prepare a supplement to the report to address the issue and deliver thesupplement to both parties before the board hearing. The failure of the casemanager to prepare a supplemental report or to address a critical factual issueshall not constitute a basis for appeal.

(j)         Hearing by a CaseManager. – The following provisions shall apply to a hearing conducted by thecase manager.

(1)        The hearing shall beprivate.

(2)        The hearing shall beconducted in accordance with reasonable rules and regulations adopted by theState Board of Education to govern case manager hearings.

(3)        At the hearing thecareer employee and the superintendent or the superintendent's designee shallhave the right to be present and to be heard, to be represented by counsel andto present through witnesses any competent testimony relevant to the issue ofwhether grounds for dismissal or demotion exist or whether the procedures setforth in G.S. 115C‑325 have been followed.

(4)        Rules of evidenceshall not apply to a hearing conducted by a case manager and the case managermay give probative effect to evidence that is of a kind commonly relied on byreasonably prudent persons in the conduct of serious affairs.

(5)        At least five daysbefore the hearing, the superintendent shall provide to the career employee alist of witnesses the superintendent intends to present, a brief statement ofthe nature of the testimony of each witness and a copy of any documentaryevidence the superintendent intends to present. At least three days before thehearing, the career employee shall provide to the superintendent a list ofwitnesses the career employee intends to present, a brief statement of thenature of the testimony of each witness and a copy of any documentary evidencethe career employee intends to present. Additional witnesses or documentaryevidence may not be presented except upon a finding by the case manager thatthe new evidence is critical to the matter at issue and the party making therequest could not, with reasonable diligence, have discovered and produced theevidence according to the schedule provided in this subdivision.

(6)        The case manager maysubpoena and swear witnesses and may require them to give testimony and toproduce records and documents relevant to the grounds for dismissal.

(7)        The case managershall decide all procedural issues, including limiting cumulative evidence,necessary for a fair and efficient hearing.

(8)        The superintendentshall provide for making a transcript of the hearing. If the career employeecontemplates a hearing before the board or to appeal the board's decision to acourt of law, the career employee may request and shall receive at no charge atranscript of the proceedings before the case manager.

(j1)       BoardDetermination.

(1)        Within two daysafter receiving the superintendent's notice of intent to recommend the careeremployee's dismissal to the board, the career employee shall decide whether torequest a hearing before the board and shall notify the superintendent, inwriting, of the decision. If the career employee can show that the request fora hearing was postmarked within the time provided, the career employee shall notforfeit the right to a board hearing. Within two days after receiving thecareer employee's request for a board hearing, the superintendent shall requestthat a transcript of the case manager hearing be made. Within two days ofreceiving a copy of the transcript, the superintendent shall submit to theboard the written recommendation and shall provide a copy of the recommendationto the career employee. The superintendent's recommendation shall state thegrounds for the recommendation and shall be accompanied by a copy of the casemanager's report and a copy of the transcript of the case manager hearing.

(2)        If the careeremployee contends that the case manager's report fails to address a criticalfactual issue the career employee shall, at the same time he notifies thesuperintendent of a request for a board hearing pursuant to G.S. 115C‑325(j1)(1),request in writing with a copy to the superintendent that the case managerprepare a supplement to the case manager's report. The career employee shallspecify the critical factual issue he contends the case manager failed toaddress. If the case manager determines that the report failed to address acritical factual issue, the case manager may prepare a supplement to the reportto address the issue and shall deliver the supplement to both parties beforethe board hearing. The failure of the case manager to prepare a supplementalreport or to address a critical factual issue shall not constitute a basis forappeal.

(3)        Within two daysafter receiving the superintendent's recommendation and before taking anyformal action, the board shall set a time and place for the hearing and shallnotify the career employee by certified mail or personal delivery of the date,time, and place of the hearing. The time specified shall not be less than sevennor more than 10 days after the board has notified the career employee, unlessboth parties agree to an extension. If the career employee did not request ahearing, the board may, by resolution, reject the superintendent's decision, oraccept or modify the decision and dismiss, demote, reinstate, or suspend thecareer employee without pay.

(4)        If the careeremployee requests a board hearing, it shall be conducted in accordance withG.S. 115C‑325(j2).

(5)        The board shall makea determination and may (i) reject the superintendent's recommendation or (ii)accept or modify the recommendation and dismiss, demote, reinstate, or suspendthe employee without pay.

(6)        Within two daysfollowing the hearing, the board shall send a written copy of its findings anddetermination to the career employee and the superintendent.

(j2)       Board Hearing. – Thefollowing procedures shall apply to a hearing conducted by the board:

(1)        The hearing shall beprivate.

(2)        If the careeremployee requested a hearing by a case manager, the board shall receive thefollowing:

a.         The whole recordfrom the hearing held by the case manager, including a transcript of thehearing, as well as any other records, exhibits, and documentary evidencesubmitted to the case manager at the hearing.

b.         The case manager'sfindings of fact, including any supplemental findings prepared by the casemanager under G.S. 115C‑325 (i1)(4) or G.S. 115C‑325(j1)(2).

c.         The case manager'srecommendation as to whether the grounds in G.S. 115C‑325(e) submitted bythe superintendent are substantiated.

d.         The superintendent'srecommendation and the grounds for the recommendation.

(3)        If the careeremployee did not request a hearing by a case manager, the board shall receivethe following:

a.         Any documentaryevidence the superintendent intends to use to support the recommendation. Thesuperintendent shall provide the documentary evidence to the career employeeseven days before the hearing.

b.         Any documentaryevidence the career employee intends to use to rebut the superintendent'srecommendation. The career employee shall provide the superintendent with thedocumentary evidence three days before the hearing.

c.         The superintendent'srecommendation and the grounds for the recommendation.

(4)        The superintendentand career employee may submit a written statement not less than three daysbefore the hearing.

(5)        The superintendentand career employee shall be permitted to make oral arguments to the boardbased on the record before the board.

(6)        No new evidence maybe presented at the hearing except upon a finding by the board that the newevidence is critical to the matter at issue and the party making the requestcould not, with reasonable diligence, have discovered and produced the evidenceat the hearing before the case manager.

(7)        The board shallaccept the case manager's findings of fact unless a majority of the boarddetermines that the findings of fact are not supported by substantial evidencewhen reviewing the record as a whole. In such an event, the board shall makealternative findings of fact. If a majority of the board determines that thecase manager did not address a critical factual issue, the board may remand thefindings of fact to the case manager to complete the report to the board. If thecase manager does not submit the report within seven days receipt of theboard's request, the board may determine its own findings of fact regarding thecritical factual issues not addressed by the case manager. The board'sdetermination shall be based upon a preponderance of the evidence.

(8)        The board is notrequired to provide a transcript of the hearing to the career employee. If theboard elects to make a transcript and if the career employee contemplates anappeal to a court of law, the career employee may request and shall receive atno charge a transcript of the proceedings. A career employee may have thehearing transcribed by a court reporter at the career employee's expense.

(j3)       Board Hearing forCertain Disciplinary Suspensions, Demotions of Career School Administrators,and for Reductions in Force. – The following procedures shall apply for a boardhearing under G.S. 115C‑325(e)(2), G.S. 115C‑325(f2), and G.S. 115C‑325(f)(2)a:

(1)        The hearing shall beprivate.

(2)        The hearing shall beconducted in accordance with reasonable rules adopted by the State Board ofEducation to govern such hearings.

(3)        At the hearing, thecareer employee and the superintendent shall have the right to be present andto be heard, to be represented by counsel, and to present through witnesses anycompetent testimony relevant to the issue of whether grounds exist for adisciplinary suspension without pay under G.S. 115C‑325(f)(2)a., ademotion of a career school administrator under G.S. 115C‑325(f2), orwhether the grounds for a dismissal or demotion due to a reduction in force isjustified.

(4)        Rules of evidenceshall not apply to a hearing under this subsection and the board may giveprobative effect to evidence that is of a kind commonly relied on by reasonablyprudent persons in the conduct of serious affairs.

(5)        At least eight daysbefore the hearing, the superintendent shall provide to the career employee alist of witnesses the superintendent intends to present, a brief statement ofthe nature of the testimony of each witness, and a copy of any documentaryevidence the superintendent intends to present.

(6)        At least six daysbefore the hearing, the career employee shall provide the superintendent a listof witnesses the career employee intends to present, a brief statement of thenature of the testimony of each witness, and a copy of any documentary evidencethe career employee intends to present.

(7)        No new evidence maybe presented at the hearing except upon a finding by the board that the newevidence is critical to the matter at issue and the party making the requestcould not, with reasonable diligence, have discovered and produced the evidenceaccording to the schedule provided in this subsection.

(8)        The board maysubpoena and swear witnesses and may require them to give testimony and toproduce records and documents relevant to the grounds for suspension withoutpay.

(9)        The board shalldecide all procedural issues, including limiting cumulative evidence, necessaryfor a fair and efficient hearing.

(10)      The superintendentshall provide for making a transcript of the hearing. If the career employeecontemplates an appeal of the board's decision to a court of law, the careeremployee may request and shall receive at no charge a transcript of theproceedings.

(k),(l)   Repealed by SessionLaws 1997, c. 221, s. 13(a).

(m)       ProbationaryTeacher.

(1)        The board of anylocal school administrative unit may not discharge a probationary teacherduring the school year except for the reasons for and by the procedures bywhich a career employee may be dismissed as set forth in subsections (e), (f),(f1), and (h) to (j3) above.

(2)        The board, uponrecommendation of the superintendent, may refuse to renew the contract of anyprobationary teacher or to reemploy any teacher who is not under contract forany cause it deems sufficient: Provided, however, that the cause may not bearbitrary, capricious, discriminatory or for personal or political reasons.

(3)        The superintendentshall provide written notice to a probationary teacher no later than May 15 ofthe superintendent's intent to recommend nonrenewal and the teacher's right,within 10 days of receipt of the superintendent's recommendation, to (i)request and receive written notice of the reasons for the superintendent'srecommendation for nonrenewal and the information that the superintendent mayshare with the board to support the recommendation for nonrenewal; and (ii)request a hearing for those teachers eligible for a hearing under G.S. 115C‑325(m)(4).The failure to file a timely request within the 10 days shall result in awaiver of the right to this information and any right to a hearing. If ateacher files a timely request, the superintendent shall provide the requestedinformation and arrange for a hearing, if allowed, and the teacher shall bepermitted to submit supplemental information to the superintendent and boardprior to the board making a decision or holding a hearing as provided in thissection. The board shall adopt a policy to provide for the orderly exchange ofinformation prior to the board's decision on the superintendent'srecommendation for nonrenewal.

(4)        (Applicable toproceedings initiated after August 31, 2010) If the probationary teacher iseligible for career status pursuant to G.S. 115C‑325(c)(1) and (c)(2) andthe superintendent recommends not to give the probationary teacher careerstatus, the probationary teacher has the right to a hearing before the boardunless the reason is a justifiable board‑ or superintendent‑approveddecrease in the number of positions due to district reorganization, decreasedenrollment, or decreased funding.

(5)        For probationarycontracts that are not in the final year before the probationary teacher iseligible for career status, the probationary teacher shall have the right to petitionthe local board of education for a hearing, and the local board may grant ahearing regarding the superintendent's recommendation for nonrenewal. The localboard of education shall notify the probationary teacher making the petition ofits decision whether to grant a hearing.

(6)        Any hearing heldaccording to this subsection shall be pursuant to the provisions of G.S. 115C‑45(c).

(7)        The board shallnotify a probationary teacher whose contract will not be renewed for the nextschool year of its decision by June 15; provided, however, if a teacher submitsa request for information or a hearing, the board shall provide the nonrenewalnotification by July 1 or such later date upon the written consent of thesuperintendent and teacher.

(n)        Appeal. – Any careeremployee who has been dismissed or demoted under G.S. 115C‑325(e)(2), orunder G.S. 115C‑325(j2), or who has been suspended without pay under G.S.115C‑325(a)(4a), or any school administrator whose contract is notrenewed in accordance with G.S. 115C‑287.1, or any probationary teacherwhose contract is not renewed under G.S. 115C‑325(m)(2) shall have theright to appeal from the decision of the board to the superior court for thesuperior court district or set of districts as defined in G.S. 7A‑41.1 inwhich the career employee is employed. This appeal shall be filed within aperiod of 30 days after notification of the decision of the board. The cost ofpreparing the transcript shall be determined under G.S. 115C‑325(j2)(8)or G.S. 115C‑325(j3)(10). A career employee who has been demoted ordismissed, or a school administrator whose contract is not renewed, who has notrequested a hearing before the board of education pursuant to this sectionshall not be entitled to judicial review of the board's action.

(o)        Resignation. – Ateacher, career or probationary, should not resign without the consent of thesuperintendent unless he has given at least 30 days' notice. If the teacherdoes resign without giving at least 30 days' notice, the board may request thatthe State Board of Education revoke the teacher's certificate for the remainderof that school year. A copy of the request shall be placed in the teacher'spersonnel file.

(p)        Section Applicableto Certain Institutions. – Notwithstanding any law or regulation to thecontrary, this section shall apply to all persons employed in teaching andrelated educational classes in the schools and institutions of the Departmentsof Health and Human Services, Correction, or Juvenile Justice and DelinquencyPrevention regardless of the age of the students.

(p1)      Procedure forDismissal of School Administrators and Teachers Employed in Low‑PerformingResidential Schools. –

(1)        Notwithstanding anyother provision of this section or any other law, this subdivision shall governthe dismissal by the Secretary of Health and Human Services of teachers,principals, assistant principals, directors, supervisors, and othercertificated personnel assigned to a residential school that the State Boardhas identified as low‑performing and to which the State Board hasassigned an assistance team under Part 3A of Article 3 of Chapter 143B of theGeneral Statutes. The Secretary shall dismiss a teacher, principal, assistantprincipal, director, supervisor, or other certificated personnel when theSecretary receives two consecutive evaluations that include written findingsand recommendations regarding that person's inadequate performance from theassistance team. These findings and recommendations shall be substantialevidence of the inadequate performance of the teacher or school administrator.

TheSecretary may dismiss a teacher, principal, assistant principal, director,supervisor, or other certificated personnel when:

a.         The Secretarydetermines that the school has failed to make satisfactory improvement afterthe State Board assigned an assistance team to that school under Part 3A ofArticle 3 of Chapter 143B of the General Statutes; and

b.         That assistance teammakes the recommendation to dismiss the teacher, principal, assistant principal,director, supervisor, or other certificated personnel for one or more groundsestablished in G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1) for dismissal or demotion of a careeremployee.

Within30 days of any dismissal under this subdivision, a teacher, principal,assistant principal, director, supervisor, or other certificated personnel mayrequest a hearing before a panel of three members designated by the Secretary.The Secretary shall adopt procedures to ensure that due process rights areafforded to persons recommended for dismissal under this subdivision. Decisionsof the panel may be appealed on the record to the Secretary, with further rightof judicial review under Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(2)        Notwithstanding anyother provision of this section or any other law, this subdivision shall governthe dismissal by the Secretary of Health and Human Services of certificatedstaff 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 bythe State Board. The failure to meet the general knowledge standard after oneretest shall be substantial evidence of the inadequate performance of thecertified staff member.

Within30 days of any dismissal under this subdivision, a certificated staff membermay request a hearing before a panel of three members designated by theSecretary of Health and Human Services. The Secretary shall adopt procedures toensure that due process rights are afforded to certificated staff membersrecommended for dismissal under this subdivision. Decisions of the panel may beappealed on the record to the Secretary, with further right of judicial reviewunder Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(3)        The Secretary ofHealth and Human Services or the superintendent of a residential school mayterminate the contract of a school administrator dismissed under thissubsection. Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the Secretary fromrefusing to renew the contract of any person employed in a school identified aslow‑performing under Part 3A of Article 3 of Chapter 143B of the GeneralStatutes.

(4)        Neither party to aschool administrator contract is entitled to damages under this subsection.

(5)        The Secretary ofHealth and Human Services shall have the right to subpoena witnesses anddocuments on behalf of any party to the proceedings under this subsection.

(q)        Procedure forDismissal of School Administrators and Teachers Employed in Low‑PerformingSchools.

(1)        Notwithstanding anyother provision of this section or any other law, this subdivision governs theState Board's dismissal of principals assigned to low‑performing schoolsto which the Board has assigned an assistance team:

a.         The State Boardthrough its designee may, at any time, recommend the dismissal of any principalwho is assigned to a low‑performing school to which an assistance teamhas been assigned. The State Board through its designee shall recommend thedismissal of any principal when the Board receives from the assistance teamassigned to that principal's school two consecutive evaluations that includewritten findings and recommendations regarding the principal's inadequateperformance.

b.         If the State Boardthrough its designee recommends the dismissal of a principal under thissubdivision, the principal shall be suspended with pay pending a hearing beforea panel of three members of the State Board. The purpose of this hearing, whichshall be held within 60 days after the principal is suspended, is to determinewhether the principal shall be dismissed.

c.         The panel shallorder the dismissal of the principal if it determines from availableinformation, including the findings of the assistance team, that the lowperformance of the school is due to the principal's inadequate performance.

d.         The panel may orderthe dismissal of the principal if (i) it determines that the school has notmade satisfactory improvement after the State Board assigned an assistance teamto that school; and (ii) the assistance team makes the recommendation todismiss the principal for one or more grounds established in G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1)for dismissal or demotion of a career employee.

e.         If the State Boardor its designee recommends the dismissal of a principal before the assistanceteam assigned to the principal's school has evaluated that principal, the panelmay order the dismissal of the principal if the panel determines from otheravailable information that the low performance of the school is due to theprincipal's inadequate performance.

f.          In all hearingsunder this subdivision, the burden of proof is on the principal to establishthat the factors leading to the school's low performance were not due to theprincipal's inadequate performance. In all hearings under sub‑subdivisiond. of this subdivision, the burden of proof is on the State Board to establishthat the school failed to make satisfactory improvement after an assistanceteam was assigned to the school and to establish one or more of the groundsestablished for dismissal or demotion of a career employee under G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1).

g.         In all hearingsunder this subdivision, two consecutive evaluations that include writtenfindings and recommendations regarding that person's inadequate performancefrom the assistance team are substantial evidence of the inadequate performanceof the principal.

h.         The State Boardshall adopt procedures to ensure that due process rights are afforded toprincipals under this subdivision. Decisions of the panel may be appealed onthe record to the State Board, with further right of judicial review underChapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(2)        Notwithstanding anyother provision of this section or any other law, this subdivision shall governthe State Board's dismissal of teachers, assistant principals, directors, andsupervisors assigned to schools that the State Board has identified as low‑performingand to which the State Board has assigned an assistance team under Article 8Bof this Chapter. The State Board shall dismiss a teacher, assistant principal,director, or supervisor when the State Board receives two consecutiveevaluations that include written findings and recommendations regarding thatperson's inadequate performance from the assistance team. These findings andrecommendations shall be substantial evidence of the inadequate performance ofthe teacher or school administrator.

TheState Board may dismiss a teacher, assistant principal, director, or supervisorwhen:

a.         The State Boarddetermines that the school has failed to make satisfactory improvement afterthe State Board assigned an assistance team to that school under G.S. 115C‑105.38;and

b.         That assistance teammakes the recommendation to dismiss the teacher, assistant principal, director,or supervisor for one or more grounds established in G.S. 115C‑325(e)(1)for dismissal or demotion of a career teacher.

Ateacher, assistant principal, director, or supervisor may request a hearingbefore a panel of three members of the State Board within 30 days of anydismissal under this subdivision. The State Board shall adopt procedures toensure that due process rights are afforded to persons recommended fordismissal under this subdivision. Decisions of the panel may be appealed on therecord to the State Board, with further right of judicial review under Chapter150B of the General Statutes.

(2a)      Notwithstanding anyother provision of this section or any other law, this subdivision shall governthe State Board's dismissal of certified staff members who have engaged in aremediation plan under G.S. 115C‑105.38A(a) but who, after one retest,fail to meet the general knowledge standard set by the State Board. The failureto meet the general knowledge standard after one retest shall be substantialevidence of the inadequate performance of the certified staff member.

Acertified staff member may request a hearing before a panel of three members ofthe State Board within 30 days of any dismissal under this subdivision. TheState Board shall adopt procedures to ensure that due process rights areafforded to certified staff members recommended for dismissal under thissubdivision. Decisions of the panel may be appealed on the record to the StateBoard, with further right of judicial review under Chapter 150B of the GeneralStatutes.

(3)        The State Board ofEducation or a local board may terminate the contract of a school administratordismissed under this subsection. Nothing in this subsection shall prevent alocal board from refusing to renew the contract of any person employed in aschool identified as low‑performing under G.S. 115C‑105.37.

(4)        Neither party to aschool administrator contract is entitled to damages under this subsection.

(5)        The State Boardshall have the right to subpoena witnesses and documents on behalf of any partyto the proceedings under this subsection.  (1955, c. 664; 1967, c. 223, s. 1; 1971, c. 883; c.1188, s. 2; 1973, c. 315, s. 1; c. 782, ss. 1‑30; 1979, c. 864, s. 2;1981, c. 423, s. 1; c. 538, ss. 1‑3; c. 731, s. 1; c. 1127, ss. 39, 40;1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1282, s. 30; 1983, c. 770, ss. 1‑15; 1983(Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1034, s. 34; 1985, c. 791, s. 5(a), (b); 1985 (Reg.Sess., 1986), c. 1014, s. 60(a); 1987, c. 395, s. 2; c. 540, c. 571, s. 3; 1987(Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, s. 109; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 942, s. 1; c.1038, s. 14; 1993, c. 169, s. 1; c. 210, ss. 1‑3; 1993 (Reg. Sess.,1994), c. 677, ss. 10, 16(a); 1995, c. 369, s. 2; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c.716, s. 8; 1997‑221, ss. 11(a), 13(a); 1997‑443, s. 11A.118(a);1998‑5, s. 2; 1998‑59, s. 3; 1998‑131, s. 6; 1998‑202,s. 4(o); 1998‑212, s. 28.24(c); 1998‑217, s. 67.1(a); 1999‑96,ss. 1‑5; 1999‑456, s. 34; 2000‑67, s. 8.24(b); 2000‑137,s. 4(r); 2000‑140, ss. 23, 24; 2001‑376, s. 2; 2001‑424, ss.28.11(g), 32.25(b); 2001‑487, s. 74(c); 2002‑110, ss. 2, 3; 2002‑126, ss. 7.38, 28.10(a), (c), (d);2003‑302, s. 1; 2004‑81, s. 2; 2004‑124, s. 31.18A(a), (c),(d); 2004‑199, s. 57(b); 2005‑144, ss. 7A.1, 7A.3, 7A.4; 2005‑276,ss. 29.28(b), 29.28(d); 2007‑145, s. 7(a), (c)‑(e); 2007‑326,ss. 2, 3(a), (c)‑(e); 2007‑484, s. 43.7E; 2009‑326, s. 1.)