(a) It is the policy of the State that each local board of education has the sole discretion to elect a superintendent of schools. However, the State Board shall adopt rules that establish the qualifications for election. At a minimum, each superintendent shall have been a principal in a North Carolina public school or shall have other leadership, management, and administrative experience. In addition, the State Board shall adopt rules that include minimum credentials, educational prerequisites, and relevant experience requirements that would qualify a person to serve as a superintendent without having direct experience or certification as an educator. It is the duty of each local board to elect a superintendent who is qualified. If a local board elects a superintendent who is not qualified or who cannot qualify under this section, then the election and contract are null and void, and the board shall elect a person who is qualified.
(b) Each local board of education shall elect a superintendent under a written contract of employment for a term of no more than four years, ending on June 30 of the final months of the contract. Contracts of employment for a period of less than one year shall be governed and limited by G.S. 115C-275. Each local board shall file a copy of the contract with the State Board of Education before the individual is eligible for this office.
(c) At any time after the first 12 months of the contract, a local board may, with the written consent of the current superintendent, extend or renew the term of the superintendent's contract for a term of no more than four years from the date of the extension. If new board members have been elected or appointed and are to be sworn in, a board shall not act to extend or renew the current superintendent's contract until after the new members have been sworn in.
(d) A local board may terminate the superintendent's contract before the contract term of employment has expired so long as all the following conditions are met:
(1) No State funds are used for this purpose.
(2) Local funds appropriated for teachers, textbooks, or classroom materials, supplies, and equipment are not transferred or used for this purpose.
(3) The local board makes public the funds that are to be transferred or used for this purpose.
(4) The local board notifies the State Board of the funds that are to be transferred or used for this purpose.
(5) No funds acquired through donation or fund-raising are used for this purpose, except for funds raised specifically for this purpose or for funds donated by private for-profit corporations.
Immediately upon receipt of the notification from a local board under this subsection, the State Board shall review the accounts of that local school administrative unit. If the State Board finds that the local board failed to meet all the conditions set out in this subsection, the State Board shall issue a warning to the local board as provided in G.S. 115C-451 and, in addition to any other actions the State Board may take under G.S. 115C-451, shall order the local board to take action to comply with this subsection. (1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1983, c. 478; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1103, s. 3; 1987, c. 389; 1989, c. 339; 1991, c. 238, s. 1; 1997-443, s. 8.7; 2001-174, s. 1.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014