Article 19.

Principals and Supervisors.

115C-284. Method of selection and requirements.

(a) Principals and supervisors shall be elected by the local boards of education upon the recommendation of the superintendent, in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 115C-276(j).

(b) In the city administrative units, principals shall be elected by the board of education of such administrative unit upon the recommendation of the superintendent of city schools.

(b1) To qualify for certification as a school administrator, an individual must meet all of the following requirements:

(1) Submit a complete application to the State Board.

(2) Pay the applicable fee.

(3) Have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or accredited university.

(4) Have one of the following:

a. A graduate degree from a public school administration program that meets the public school administration program approval standards established by the State Board of Education.

b. A master's degree from an accredited college or accredited university and, by December 31, 1999, have completed a public school administration program that meets the public school administration program approval standards set by the State Board of Education.

c. Education and training determined by the State Board of Education as equivalent.

(5) Pass the exam adopted by the State Board.

(c) The State Board of Education shall have entire control of certifying all applicants for supervisory and professional positions in all public elementary and high schools of North Carolina; and it shall prescribe the rules and regulations for the renewal and extension of all certificates, and shall determine and fix the salary for each grade and type of certificate which it authorizes. The State Board of Education shall require each applicant for an initial certificate or graduate certificate to demonstrate the applicant's academic and professional preparation by achieving a prescribed minimum score at least equivalent to that required by the Board on November 30, 1972, on a standard examination appropriate and adequate for that purpose. If the Board shall specify the National Teachers Examination for this purpose, the required minimum score shall not be lower than that which the Board required on November 30, 1972. The Board shall not issue provisional certificates for principals.

The Board shall issue a one-year provisional assistant principal's certificate to an employee of a local board only if: (i) the local board determines there is a shortage of persons who hold or are qualified to hold a principal's certificate and the employee enrolls in an approved program leading to a masters degree in school administration before the provisional certificate expires; or (ii) the employee is enrolled in an approved masters in school administration program and is participating in the required internship under the masters program. The Board shall extend the provisional certificate for a total of no more than two additional years while the employee is completing the program.

(c1) It is the policy of the State of North Carolina to maintain the highest quality principal and assistant principal education programs in order to enhance the competence of professional personnel certified in North Carolina. To ensure that principal and assistant principal preparation programs are upgraded to reflect a more rigorous course of study, the State Board of Education shall submit to the General Assembly not later than March 1, 1992, a plan to promote this policy. In developing this plan, the State Board shall consider (i) requiring these programs to include additional preparation for site-based decision making and for the additional autonomy being granted to local school units, (ii) enhancing program entrance requirements to include assessment of an applicant's ability to complete the program and to perform as a principal, and (iii) enhancing the overall content of the programs.

The State Board of Education, as lead agency in coordination and cooperation with the University Board of Governors and such other public and private agencies as are necessary, shall refine the several certification requirements, standards for approval of institutions of principal and assistant principal education, standards for institution-based innovative and experimental programs, and standards for improved efficiencies in the administration of the approved programs.

(c2) The State Board of Education shall adopt new standards by July 1, 2008, for school administrator preparation programs. The new standards shall:

(1) Be aligned with the revised standards for the evaluation of school executives and specifically address the use of the results of the Teacher Working Conditions Survey;

(2) Require evidence of a high level of institutional commitment, including dedicated resources, for administrator preparation program improvements and redesign;

(3) Require the use of cross-functional work teams to determine a common curriculum framework that (i) is designed to align with defined standards, (ii) includes rigorous core courses, and (iii) will produce administrators who meet the defined standards. The cross-functional work teams shall include school-based personnel, faculty from schools of education and other disciplines from institutions of higher education, and representatives of State agencies;

(4) Require the use of cross-functional work teams to design and periodically update specific standards regarding placement, required activities, and evaluations of clinical experiences. These standards shall include appropriate training for the school leaders who agree to accept and supervise interns;

(5) Require written agreements between the institution of higher education and a local school administrative unit to govern their shared responsibility for (i) recruitment and preparation of school administrators, especially with regard to clinical experiences including the internship, and (ii) a new administrator's success once employed;

(6) Require authentic partnerships between adjunct faculty and full-time faculty to fully address the need for both practical, field-based experience and academic, theory-based experience. These partnerships may require a change in the institution of higher education's definition of scholarly activity and its reward system;

(7) Require all candidates to complete a year-long internship; and

(8) Require the development of portfolios for emerging leaders that provide evidence they are applying their training to actual school needs and challenges.

Institutions of higher education shall redesign their school administrator preparation programs to meet the new standards and report to the State Board of Education on the redesign by July 1, 2009.

(c3) The State Board of Education shall require that all students in school administrator preparation programs demonstrate competencies in (i) using digital and other instructional technologies and (ii) supporting teachers and other school personnel to use digital and other instructional technologies to ensure provision of high-quality, integrated digital teaching and learning to all students. The State Board of Education shall include continuing education in high-quality, integrated digital teaching and learning as a requirement of licensure renewal.

(d) Repealed by Session Laws 1989, c. 385, s. 1.

(d1) It is the policy of the State of North Carolina that, subsequent to the adoption of a system of classroom teacher differentiation and prerequisites to candidacy for principal, a classroom teacher must have attained at least the second level of differentiation, have at least four years of classroom teaching experience, and possess, at least, a Masters Degree in Education Administration. This subsection shall not apply to educational personnel certified as of July 1, 1984.

(e) It shall be unlawful for any board of education to employ or keep in service any principal or supervisor who neither holds nor is qualified to hold a license in compliance with the provision of the law or in accordance with the regulations of the State Board of Education. However, a local board of education may select a retired principal or retired assistant principal to serve as an interim principal for the remainder of any school year, regardless of licensure status.

(f) The allotment of classified principals shall be one principal for each duly constituted school with seven or more state-allotted teachers.

(g) Local boards of education shall have authority to employ supervisors in addition to those that may be furnished by the State when, in the discretion of the board of education, the schools of the local school administrative unit can thereby be more efficiently and more economically operated and when funds for the same are provided in the current expense fund budget. The duties of such supervisors shall be assigned by the superintendent with the approval of the board of education.

(h) All principals and supervisors employed in the public schools of the State or in schools receiving public funds, shall be required either to hold or be qualified to hold a certificate in compliance with the provision of the law or in accordance with the regulations of the State Board of Education. (1955, c. 1372 art. 5, ss. 4, 27; art. 6, s. 6; art. 18, ss. 1-4; 1963, c. 688, s. 3; 1965, c. 584, ss. 6, 20.1; 1969, c. 539; 1971, c. 1188, s. 1; 1973, cc. 236, 733; c. 770, ss. 1, 2; 1975, c. 437, s. 7; c. 686, s. 1; c. 731, ss. 1, 2; c. 965, s. 3; 1977, c. 1088, s. 4; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1103, s. 4; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 975, s. 16; 1989, c. 385, s. 1; 1991, c. 689, s. 200(a); 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1030, s. 28; 1993, c. 392, s. 2; 1999-30, s. 1; 1999-394, s. 1; 2006-264, s. 56(b); 2007-517, s. 1; 2008-187, s. 43; 2013-11, s. 2; 2017-189, s. 2(j).)