143B-146.7. Consequences for personnel at low-performing schools.

(a) Within 30 days of the initial identification of a school as low-performing, whether by the Secretary under G.S. 143B-146.5(b) or by the State Board under G.S. 143B-146.5(a), the Secretary shall take one of the following actions concerning the school's principal: (i) decide whether the principal should be retained in the same position, (ii) decide whether the principal should be retained in the same position and a plan of remediation should be developed, (iii) decide whether the principal should be transferred, or (iv) proceed under the North Carolina Human Resources Act to dismiss or demote the principal. The principal may be retained in the same position without a plan for remediation only if the principal was in that position for no more than two years before the school is identified as low-performing. The principal shall not be transferred to another position unless (i) it is in a principal position in which the principal previously demonstrated at least two years of success, (ii) there is a plan to evaluate and provide remediation to the principal for at least one year following the transfer to assure the principal does not impede student performance at the school to which the principal is being transferred; and (iii) the parents of the students at the school to which the principal is being transferred are notified. The principal shall not be transferred to another low-performing school. The Secretary may, at any time, proceed under the North Carolina Human Resources Act for the dismissal of any principal who is assigned to a low-performing school to which an assistance team has been assigned. The Secretary shall proceed under the North Carolina Human Resources Act for the dismissal of any principal when the Secretary receives from the assistance team assigned to that school two consecutive evaluations that include written findings and recommendations regarding the principal's inadequate performance. The Secretary shall order the dismissal of the principal if the Secretary determines from available information, including the findings of the assistance team, that the low performance of the school is due to the principal's inadequate performance. The Secretary may order the dismissal of the principal if (i) the Secretary determines that the school has not made satisfactory improvement after the State Board assigned an assistance team to that school; and (ii) the assistance team makes the recommendation to dismiss the principal. The Secretary may order the dismissal of a principal before the assistance team assigned to the principal's school has evaluated that principal if the Secretary determines from other available information that the low performance of the school is due to the principal's inadequate performance. The burden of proof is on the principal to establish that the factors leading to the school's low performance were not due to the principal's inadequate performance. The burden of proof is on the Secretary to establish that the school failed to make satisfactory improvement after an assistance team was assigned to the school. Two consecutive evaluations that include written findings and recommendations regarding that person's inadequate performance from the assistance team are substantial evidence of the inadequate performance of the principal. Within 15 days of the Secretary's decision concerning the principal, but no later than September 30, the Secretary shall submit to the State Board a written notice of the action taken and the basis for that action.

(b) At any time after the State Board identifies a school as low-performing under this Part, the State Board shall proceed under G.S. 115C-325(p1) or G.S. 115C-325.11 for the dismissal of licensed instructional personnel assigned to that school.

(c) At any time after the State Board identifies a school as low-performing under this Part, the Secretary shall proceed under the North Carolina Human Resources Act for the dismissal of instructional personnel who are not certificated when the Secretary receives two consecutive evaluations that include written findings and recommendations regarding that person's inadequate performance from the assistance team. These findings and recommendations shall be substantial evidence of the inadequate performance of the instructional personnel. The Secretary may proceed under the North Carolina Human Resources Act for the dismissal of instructional personnel who are not certificated when: (i) the Secretary determines that the school has failed to make satisfactory improvement after the State Board assigned an assistance team to that school; and (ii) that the assistance team makes the recommendation to dismiss that person for a reason that constitutes just cause for dismissal under the North Carolina Human Resources Act.

(d) The certificated instructional personnel working in a participating school at the time the school is identified by the State Board as low-performing are subject to G.S. 115C-105.38A.

(e) The Secretary may terminate the contract of a school administrator dismissed under this section. Nothing in this section shall prevent the Secretary from refusing to renew the contract of any person employed in a school identified as low-performing under this Part. (1998-131, s. 5; 2005-195, s. 5; 2013-360, s. 9.7(m), (w); 2013-382, s. 9.1(c); 2017-157, s. 2(n).)