115C-302.1. Salary.

(a) Prompt Payment. - Teachers shall be paid promptly when their salaries are due provided the legal requirements for their employment and service have been met. All teachers employed by any local school administrative unit who are to be paid from local funds shall be paid promptly as provided by law and as State-allotted teachers are paid.

(b) Salary Payments. - State-allotted teachers shall be paid for a term of 10 months. Except for career and technical education agriculture teacher personnel positions as provided for in this subsection, State-allotted months of employment for career and technical education to local boards shall be used for the employment of teachers of career and technical education for a term of employment to be determined by the local boards of education. Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, career and technical education agriculture teacher personnel positions serving students in grades nine through 12 shall be for a term of employment for 12 calendar months. A local board of education may fund these positions using any combination of State funds, local funds, or any other funds available to the local board.

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

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

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

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

(b1) The State Board of Education shall maintain the same policies related to masters pay for teachers that were in effect for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.

(b2) Waiver of 12 Months of Employment for Career and Technical Education Agriculture Teacher Personnel. - Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section, a local board of education may apply on an annual basis to the Department of Public Instruction and the North Carolina State University, Agricultural and Extension Education, for a waiver of the months of employment requirement for any upcoming school year when it is impracticable for the local board to provide adequate funds to support 12 months of employment for career and technical agriculture teachers.

(b3) Pay for Newly Employed Teachers with Experience Credit. - Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a local board of education shall determine experience credit for a teacher in that teacher's first year of employment with the board for the purposes of paying the teacher with State-allotted funds in accordance with the State salary schedule. Notwithstanding subsection (f) of this section, the local board of education and the teacher shall not be responsible for the repayment of any overpayment of State funds due to misapplication of experience credit for the State salary schedule for the first year of employment when the determination of experience credit was done in good faith based on the teacher's verified prior employment record and the guidelines established by the State Board of Education for awarding experience credit. However, a local board of education that does not use due diligence to verify prior employment will be responsible for the repayment of any overpayment of State funds. A teacher paid in accordance with this subsection (i) shall not be entitled to the same pay on the State salary schedule for teachers for subsequent years of employment after the State Board determines the appropriate experience credit for that teacher and (ii) shall not be deemed to be demoted under Part 3 of Article 22 of this Chapter if the State Board's determination of experience credit results in a reduction in salary in subsequent years of employment.

(c) Vacation. - Included within the 10-month term shall be annual vacation leave at the same rate provided for State employees, computed at one-twelfth of the annual rate for State employees for each month of employment. Local boards shall provide at least 10 days of annual vacation leave at a time when students are not scheduled to be in regular attendance. However, instructional personnel who do not require a substitute may use annual vacation leave on days that students are in attendance. Career and technical education teachers who are employed for 11 or 12 months may, with prior approval of the principal, work on annual vacation leave days designated in the school calendar and may use those annual vacation leave days during the eleventh or twelfth month of employment. Local boards of education may adopt policies permitting instructional personnel employed for 11 or 12 months in year-round schools to, with the approval of the principal, take vacation leave at a time when students are in attendance; local funds shall be used to cover the cost of substitute teachers.

On a day that pupils are not required to attend school due to inclement weather, but employees are required to report for a workday, a teacher may elect not to report due to hazardous travel conditions and to take an annual vacation day or to make up the day at a time agreed upon by the teacher and the teacher's immediate supervisor or principal. On a day that school is closed to employees and pupils due to inclement weather, a teacher shall work on the scheduled makeup day.

All vacation leave taken by the teacher will be upon the authorization of the teacher's immediate supervisor and under policies established by the local board of education. Annual vacation leave shall not be used to extend the term of employment.

Notwithstanding any provisions of this subsection to the contrary, no person shall be entitled to pay for any vacation day not earned by that person.

(c1), (c2) Repealed by Session Laws 2002-126, s. 7.11(a), effective July 1, 2002, and applicable only to leave days accruing after September 30, 2002.

(c3) Teachers may accumulate annual vacation leave days without any applicable maximum until June 30 of each year. In order that only 30 days of annual vacation leave carry forward to July 1, on June 30 of each year any teacher or other personnel paid on the teacher salary schedule who has accumulated more than 30 days of annual vacation leave shall convert to sick leave the remaining excess accumulation.

Upon separation from service due to service retirement, resignation, dismissal, reduction in force, or death, an employee shall be paid in a lump sum for accumulated annual leave not to exceed a maximum of 30 days. In addition to the maximum of 30 days pay for accumulated annual leave, upon separation from service due to service retirement, any teacher or other personnel paid on the teacher salary schedule with more than 30 days of accumulated annual vacation leave may convert some or all of the excess accumulation to sick leave for creditable service towards retirement. Employees going onto term disability may exhaust annual leave rather than be paid in a lump sum.

(d) Personal Leave. - Teachers earn personal leave at the rate of .20 days for each full month of employment not to exceed two days per year. Personal leave may be accumulated without any applicable maximum until June 30 of each year. A teacher may carry forward to July 1 a maximum of five days of personal leave; the remainder of the teacher's personal leave shall be converted to sick leave on June 30. At the time of retirement, a teacher may also convert accumulated personal leave to sick leave for creditable service towards retirement.

Personal leave may be used only upon the authorization of the teacher's immediate supervisor. A teacher shall not take personal leave on the first day the teacher is required to report for the school year, on a required teacher workday, on days scheduled for State testing, or on the day before or the day after a holiday or scheduled vacation day, unless the request is approved by the principal. On all other days, if the request is made at least five days in advance, the request shall be automatically granted subject to the availability of a substitute teacher, and the teacher cannot be required to provide a reason for the request. Teachers may transfer personal leave days between local school administrative units. The local school administrative unit shall credit a teacher who has separated from service and is reemployed within 60 months from the date of separation with all personal leave accumulated at the time of separation. Local school administrative units shall not advance personal leave. Teachers using personal leave on teacher workdays shall receive full salary. Teachers using personal leave on other days shall receive full salary less the required substitute deduction. If, however, no substitute is hired for a teacher, the substitute reduction shall be refunded to that teacher.

(e) Teachers in Year-Round Schools. - Compensation for teachers employed in year-round schools shall be the same as teachers paid for a 10-month term, but those days may be scheduled over 12 calendar months. Annual leave, sick leave, workdays, holidays, salary, and longevity for teachers who are employed at year-round schools shall be equivalent to those of other teachers employed for the same number of months, respectively. Teachers paid for a term of 10 months in year-round schools shall receive their salary in 12 equal installments.

(f) Overpayment. - Each local board of education shall sustain any loss by reason of an overpayment to any teacher paid from State funds.

(g) Service in Armed Forces. - The State Board of Education, in fixing the State standard salary schedule of teachers as authorized by law, shall provide that teachers who entered the Armed Forces or auxiliary forces of the United States after September 16, 1940, and who left their positions for such service shall be allowed experience increments for the period of such service as though the same had not been interrupted thereby, in the event such persons return to the position of teachers, principals, and superintendents in the public schools of the State after having been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces or auxiliary forces of the United States.

(g1) Payment During Military Duty. - The State Board of Education shall adopt rules relating to leaves of absence, without loss of pay or time, for periods of military training and for State or federal military duty or for special emergency management service. The rules shall apply to all public school employees, including, but not limited to, school teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, speech language pathologists, nurses, and custodians employed by local boards of education or by charter schools. The rules shall provide that (i) the State pays any salary differential to all public school employees in State-funded positions, (ii) the employing local board of education pays any pay differential to all public school employees in locally funded positions, (iii) the employing charter school pays any pay differential to all public school employees in the charter school, and (iv) the employing local board of education pays the local supplement.

(h) Teachers Paid From Other Funds. - Every local board of education may adopt, as to teachers not paid out of State funds, a salary schedule similar to the State salary schedule, but it likewise shall recognize a difference in salaries based on different duties, training, experience, professional fitness, and continued service in the same school system. If a local board of education does not adopt a local salary schedule, the State salary schedule shall apply. No teacher shall receive a salary higher than that provided in the salary schedule, unless by action of the board of education a higher salary is allowed for special fitness, special duties, or under extraordinary circumstances.

When a higher salary is allowed, the minutes of the board shall show what salary is allowed and the reason. A board of education may authorize the superintendent to supplement the salaries of all teachers from local funds, and the minutes of the board shall show what increase is allowed each teacher.

(i) Longevity Pay. - Longevity pay shall be based on the annual salary on the employee's anniversary date.

(j) Parental Leave. - A teacher may use annual leave, personal leave, or leave without pay to care for a newborn child or for a child placed with the teacher for adoption or foster care. A teacher may also use up to 30 days of sick leave to care for a child placed with the teacher for adoption. The leave may be for consecutive workdays during the first 12 months after the date of birth or placement of the child, unless the teacher and local board of education agree otherwise. (1997-443, s. 8.38(e); 1999-237, s. 28.26(a), (b); 2002-126, s. 7.11(a); 2002-159, s. 37.5(a); 2003-301, s. 1; 2004-124, s. 7.20; 2004-180, s. 2; 2007-378, s. 1; 2008-107, s. 26.21(a); 2008-187, s. 45.5; 2008-209, ss. 1(a), 2; 2009-451, s. 7.35; 2011-183, s. 78; 2011-379, s. 5; 2012-13, s. 1; 2012-142, s. 7.14(a); 2013-240, s. 1; 2015-241, s. 8.22; 2017-57, s. 7.23H(g); 2017-157, s. 2(g); 2019-71, s. 3.)