116-74.46. Recipient selection; use of grant funds; duration and conditions of grants; reporting requirements.

(a) Selection. - After evaluation of grant applications pursuant to G.S. 116-74.45, the Commission shall notify the Authority of its selection of the recipients of grants for each fiscal year. The Commission shall select up to eight grant recipients to be operating a school leader preparation program with grant funds in any fiscal year.

(b) Use of Funds. - Each eligible entity that receives grant funds shall use those funds to carry out the following:

(1) Recruiting and selecting, based on a rigorous evaluation of the competencies of the school leader candidates participating in the program and their potential and desire to become effective school leaders.

(2) Operating a school leader preparation program that provides the opportunity for all candidates to earn a master's degree, if they do not already have one, and subsequent principal licensure by doing the following:

a. Utilizing a research-based content and curriculum, including embedded participant assessments to evaluate candidates before program completion that prepares candidates to do the following:

1. Provide instructional leadership, such as developing teachers' instructional practices and analyzing classroom and school-wide data to support teachers.

2. Manage talent, such as developing a high-performing team.

3. Build a positive school culture, such as building a strong school culture focused on high academic achievement for all students, including gifted and talented students, students with disabilities, and English learners; maintaining active engagement with family and community members; and ensuring student safety.

4. Develop organizational practices, such as aligning staff, budget, and time to the instructional priorities of the school.

b. Providing opportunities for sustained and high-quality job-embedded practice in an authentic setting where candidates are responsible for moving the practice and performance of a subset of teachers or for school-wide performance as principal-in-planning or interim school leaders.

(3) Collecting data on program implementation and program completer outcomes for continuous program improvement.

(4) Covering the cost of attendance and completion for program participants for the school leader preparation program from the funds received on behalf of program participants through forgivable scholarship loans issued in accordance with the requirements of G.S. 116-74.48.

(c) Duration and Conditions of Grants. - The Commission shall also notify the Authority of its decisions on the duration and renewal of grants to eligible entities made in accordance with the following:

(1) The duration of grants shall be as follows:

a. Grants shall be no more than five years and no fewer than two years in duration, unless the Commission finds early termination of a grant is necessary due to noncompliance with grant terms.

b. The Commission may renew a grant based on compliance with the grant terms and performance, including allowing the grantee to scale up or replicate the successful program as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection.

(2) The following conditions shall apply during the grant period:

a. The Commission shall develop a process with the Authority for early retrieval of grant funds from grant recipients due to noncompliance with grant terms, including participation in third-party evaluation activities.

b. The Commission shall develop and enforce requirements for the disbursement of funds to the grantee for forgivable scholarship loans on behalf of program participants, which shall include the requirement that program graduates serve as school-based administrators in public schools located in North Carolina. Grantees shall facilitate the execution of promissory notes between the Authority and program participants containing the terms for forgivable scholarship loans, including requirements for forgiveness or repayment, consistent with requirements established by the Commission and the provisions of G.S. 116-74.48. The Commission shall monitor the repayment of a forgivable scholarship loan, in collaboration with the Authority and grantees.

(3) In evaluating performance for purposes of grant renewal and making its renewal decisions to provide to the Authority, the Commission shall consider at least the following:

a. For all grantees, the primary consideration in renewing grants shall be the extent to which program participants improved student achievement in eligible schools.

b. Other criteria from data received in the annual report in subsection (d) of this section may include the following:

1. The percentage of program completers who are placed as school leaders in this State within three years of receiving a grant.

2. The percentage of program completers who are rated proficient or above on the North Carolina School Executive Evaluation Rubric.

(d) Reporting Requirements for Grant Recipients. - Recipients of grants shall participate in all evaluation activities required by the Commission and submit an annual report to the Commission with any information requested by the Commission. The recipients shall comply with additional report requests made by the Commission. Whenever practicable and within a reasonable amount of time, grant recipients shall also make all materials developed as part of the program and with grant funds publicly available to contribute to the broader sharing of promising practices. Materials shall not include personally identifiable information regarding individuals involved or associated with the program, including, without limitation, applicants, participants, supervisors, evaluators, faculty, and staff, without their prior written consent. The Commission shall work with recipients, local school administrative units, and public schools, as needed, to enable the collection, analysis, and evaluation of at least the following relevant data, within necessary privacy constraints:

(1) Student achievement in eligible schools.

(2) The percentage of program completers who are placed as school leaders within three years in the State.

(3) The percentage of program completers who are placed as school leaders within three years in high-need schools in the State.

(4) The percentage of program completers rated proficient or above on school leader evaluation and support systems.

(5) The percentage of program completers that are school leaders who have remained employed in a North Carolina public school for two or more years of initial placement. (2019-60, s. 1(l).)