GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
HOUSE BILL 324
Short Title: Partisan Bd. of Ed. Elections.
Representatives Cleveland, Lambeth, Conrad, and Shepard (Primary Sponsors).
For a complete list of Sponsors, refer to the North Carolina General Assembly Web Site.
March 24, 2015
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT to require all Elected local Boards of Education to be elected on a partisan basis with vacancies in the membership of the boards filled upon recommendation by the executive committee of the nominating political party.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. G.S. 115C‑37 reads as rewritten:
(a) Method of Election. – The county boards of
education shall be elected biennially on a
basis at the time of the primary election in 1970 and biennially thereafter.
The names of the candidates shall be printed on the ballots without
reference to any party affiliation and any qualified voter residing in the
county shall be entitled to vote such ballots.general election. Notwithstanding
any provision of G.S. 153A‑3 to the contrary, a local act shall not
supersede the method of partisan election provided for in this subsection.
Except as otherwise provided herein, the election shall be conducted according
to the provisions of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes then governing
The terms of office of the members shall be staggered so as nearly equal to one half as possible shall expire every two years.
(b) County Board of Elections to Provide for Elections. – The county board of elections under the direction of the State Board of Elections, shall make all necessary provisions for elections of county boards of education as are herein provided for. The county board of elections of each county shall file with the State Board of Elections a statement specifying the size and method of election of members of its county board of education.
(c) City Board of Education. – The board of education for any city administrative unit shall be appointed or elected as now provided by law. If the board of education is elected, it shall be elected biennially on a partisan basis. Notwithstanding any provision of G.S. 160A‑3 to the contrary, a local act shall not supersede the method of partisan election provided for in this subsection.
The election of the board of education for a city administrative unit shall be conducted according to the provisions of Articles 23 and 24 of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes governing partisan elections.
If no provision is now made by the law for the filling of
in the membership of appointed members of any city
board of education, such vacancy may be filled by the governing body of the
city or town embraced by said administrative unit. In the event that any such
vacancy is not filled in this manner within 30 days, the State Board of
Education may fill such vacancy.
(d) Members to Qualify. – Each county board of education shall hold a meeting in December following the election. At that meeting, newly elected members of the board of education shall qualify by taking the oath of office prescribed in Article VI, Sec. 7 of the Constitution.
This subsection shall not have the effect of repealing any local or special acts relating to boards of education of any particular counties whose membership to said boards is chosen by a vote of the people.
(e) Vacancies in Nominations for Membership on County Boards. – If any candidate nominated on a partisan basis shall die, resign, or for any reason become ineligible or disqualified between the date of his or her nomination and the time for the election, such vacancy caused thereby may be filled by the actions of the county executive committee of the political party of such candidate.
(f) Vacancies in Office. – All vacancies in the
membership of the boards of education whose members are elected pursuant to the
subsection (a) of this section by death, resignation, or
other causes shall be filled by appointment by the remaining members of the
board, of a person to serve until the next election of members of such board,
at which time the remaining unexpired term of the office in which the vacancy
occurs shall be filled by election. The remaining members of the board shall
consult with the executive committee of the nominating political party of the
member whose seat is vacant and appoint the person recommended by that party
executive committee, if the party executive committee makes a recommendation
within 30 days of the occurrence of the vacancy. Whenever only the qualified
voters of less than the area of the entire local school administrative unit
were eligible to vote for the member whose seat is vacant, the appointing
authority must accept the recommendation only if the party executive committee
restricted voting to committee members who represent precincts all or part of
which were within the territory of the vacating school board member.
Notwithstanding any provisions of G.S. 153A‑3 or G.S. 160A‑3
to the contrary, a local act may not supersede the method of filling vacancies
in the membership of boards of education provided for in this subsection.
(g) Eligibility for Board Membership; Holding Other Offices. – Any person possessing the qualifications for election to public office set forth in Article VI, Sec. 6 of the Constitution of North Carolina shall be eligible to serve as a member of a local board of education: Provided, however, that any person elected or appointed to a local board of education, and also employed by that board of education, shall resign his or her employment before taking office as a member of that board of education.
Membership on a board of education is hereby declared to be an office that, with the exceptions provided above, may be held concurrently with any appointive office, pursuant to Article VI, Sec. 9 of the Constitution, but any person holding an elective office shall not be eligible to serve as a member of a local board of education.
(h) Death or Disqualification of Candidate
in Nonpartisan Election. – If a candidate dies or becomes disqualified after the
filing period has closed and before the election, and the ballots have not been
printed, the county board of elections shall immediately reopen the filing
period for five days so that additional candidates may file for election. If
the ballots have been printed at the time the board of elections receives
notice of the death or disqualification, the board shall reopen the filing
period for three days if the board determines it will have time to reprint the
ballots before the election. In the event the board of elections determines that there
is not time enough to reopen the filing period for three days and to reprint
the ballots, then the ballots shall not be reprinted and the name of the
deceased or disqualified candidate shall remain on the ballot. Votes cast for
such candidate shall not be considered and the candidates receiving the highest
number of votes equal to the number of positions to be filled shall be elected.
(i) The local board of education shall revise electoral district boundaries from time to time as provided by this subsection. If district boundaries are set by local act or court order and the act or order does not provide a method for revising them, the local board of education shall revise them only for the purpose of (i) accounting for territory annexed to or excluded from the school administrative unit, and (ii) correcting population imbalances among the districts shown by a new federal census or caused by exclusions or annexations. After the General Assembly has ratified an act establishing district boundaries, the local board of education shall not revise them again until a new federal census of population is taken or territory is annexed to or excluded from the school administrative unit, whichever event first occurs. After the local board of education has revised district boundaries in conformity with this act, the local board of education shall not revise them again until a new federal census of population is taken or territory is annexed to or excluded from the school administrative unit, whichever event occurs first, except that the board may make an earlier revision of district boundaries it has drawn if it must do so to comply with a court order or to gain approval of a district‑revision plan by the U.S. Justice Department under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. In establishing district boundaries, the local board of education shall use data derived from the most recent federal census."
SECTION 3. G.S. 115C‑37.1 is repealed.
SECTION 4. G.S. 115C‑67(3) reads as rewritten:
"(3) The establishment and maintenance of a board of education which shall administer all the public schools of the newly created unit, including:
a. The termination of any terms of office proposed in the reorganization of the board.
b. The method of constituting and continuing the board
of education; the manner of selection of board members, including (i) the
number of members of the board, (ii) the method of their election or
appointment, (iii) whether members shall be nominated, elected, or appointed
from districts or at large, and (iv) the manner of determining the
and (v) whether the election shall be partisan or nonpartisan;nominee;
the length of the members' terms of office; the dates of induction into office;
the organization of the board; the procedure for filling vacancies; and
the compensation to be paid members of the board for expenses incurred in
performance of their duties. ToExcept for the requirements of
election on a partisan basis and the filling of vacancies in the membership of
a local board of education, to the extent that the method conflicts with G.S. 115C‑35,
G.S. 115C‑37, or with any local act concerning any of the units
being merged and consolidated, the plan of merger and consolidation shall
SECTION 5.(a) This act shall have the effect of repealing any provisions of local or special acts relating to the nonpartisan election of a local board of education and any conflicting methods of filling vacancies in the membership of boards of education than as required by G.S. 115C‑37(f), as amended by this act. This act shall not affect the filling of a vacancy on a local board of education that occurs for a seat elected prior to the effective date of this act.
SECTION 5.(b) Any local act requiring a board of education election to be conducted in an odd‑numbered year shall be held as a partisan election beginning in 2017.