Article 18.


115C-271. Selection by local board of education, term of office.

(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.)


115C-272. Residence, oath of office, and salary of superintendent.

(a) Every superintendent shall reside in the county in which he is employed. The superintendent shall not teach, nor be regularly employed in any other capacity that may limit or interfere with his duties as superintendent. Each superintendent, before entering upon the duties of his office, shall take an oath for the faithful performance thereof. The salary of the superintendent shall be in accordance with a State standard salary schedule, fixed and determined by the State Board of Education as provided by law; and such salary schedule for superintendents shall be determined on the same basis for both county and city superintendents and shall take into consideration the amount of work inherent to the office of both county and city superintendents; and such schedule shall be published in the same way and manner as the schedules for teacher and principal salaries are now published.

(b) Superintendents shall be paid promptly when their salaries are due provided the legal requirements for their employment and service have been met. All superintendents employed by any local school administrative unit who are paid from local funds shall be paid promptly as provided by law and as State allotted superintendents are paid. Superintendents paid from State funds shall be paid as follows:

(1) Each local board of education shall establish a set date on which monthly salary payments to superintendents shall be made. This set pay date may differ from the end of the calendar month of service. Superintendents shall only be paid for the days employed as of the set pay date. Payment for a full month when days employed are less than a full month is prohibited as this constitutes prepayment. The daily rate of pay shall equal the number of weekdays in the pay period. Included within their term of employment shall be annual vacation leave at the same rate provided for State employees. Included within the 12 months' employment each local board of education shall designate the same or an equivalent number of legal holidays as those designated by the State Human Resources Commission for State employees.

(2) Notwithstanding any provisions of this section to the contrary no person shall be entitled to pay for any vacation day not earned by that person. Vacation days shall not be used for extending the term of employment of individuals and shall not be cumulative from one fiscal year to another fiscal year: Provided, that superintendents may accumulate annual vacation leave days as follows: annual leave may be accumulated without any applicable maximum until June 30 of each year. On June 30 of each year, any superintendent with more than 30 days of accumulated leave shall have the excess accumulation converted to sick leave so that only 30 days are carried forward to July 1 of the same year. All vacation leave taken by the superintendent will be upon the authorization of his immediate supervisor and under policies established by the local board of education. An employee shall be paid in a lump sum for accumulated annual leave not to exceed a maximum of 240 hours or 30 days when separated from service due to resignation, dismissal, reduction in force, death, or service retirement. Upon separation from service due to service retirement, any annual vacation leave over 30 days will convert to sick leave and may be used for creditable service at retirement in accordance with G.S. 135-4(e). If the last day of terminal leave falls on the last workday in the month, payment shall be made for the remaining nonworkdays in that month. Employees retiring on disability retirement may exhaust annual leave rather than be paid in a lump sum. The provisions of this subdivision shall be accomplished without additional State and local funds being appropriated for this purpose. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules and regulations for the administration of this subdivision.

(3) Each local board of education shall sustain any loss by reason of an overpayment to any superintendent paid from State funds.

(4) All of the foregoing provisions of this section shall be subject to the requirement that at least fifty dollars ($50.00), or other minimum amount required by federal social security laws, of the compensation of each school employee covered by the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System or otherwise eligible for social security coverage shall be paid in each of the four quarters of the calendar year.

(c) The State Board of Education, in fixing the State standard salary schedule of superintendents as authorized by law, shall provide that superintendents who entered the armed or auxiliary forces of the United States after September 16, 1940, and who left their positions for such service, shall be allowed experience increments for the period of such service as though the same had not been interrupted thereby, in the event such persons return to the position of teachers, principals or superintendents in the public schools of the State after having been honorably discharged from the armed or auxiliary forces of the United States. (1955, c. 1372, art. 6, s. 1; art. 17, s. 9; art. 18, s. 6; 1961, c. 1085; 1971, c. 1052; 1973, c. 647, s. 1; 1975, cc. 383, 608; c. 834, ss. 1, 2; 1979, c. 600, ss. 1-5; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; c. 946, s. 1; 1983, c. 872, s. 1; 1985, c. 757, s. 145(c); 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 975, s. 15; 1987, c. 414, s. 4; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1066, s. 93; 1993, c. 321, s. 73(a); 1995, c. 450, s. 17; 1997-443, s. 8.38(f); 1999-237, s. 28.26(c); 2013-382, s. 9.1(c).)


115C-273. Salary schedule for superintendents.

Every local board of education may adopt, as to assistant or associate superintendents not paid out of State funds, a salary schedule similar to the State salary schedule, but it likewise shall recognize a difference in salaries based on different duties, training, experience, professional fitness, and continued service in the same school system; but if any local board of education shall fail to adopt such a schedule, the State salary schedule shall be in force. (1955, c. 1372, art. 5, s. 32; 1965, c. 584, s. 3; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)


115C-274. Removal.

(a) Local boards of education are authorized to remove a superintendent who is guilty of immoral or disreputable conduct or who shall fail or refuse to perform the duties required of him by law. In case the State Board of Education has sufficient evidence at any time that any superintendent of schools is not capable of discharging, or is not discharging, the duties of his office as required by law or is guilty of immoral or disreputable conduct, the State Board of Education shall report this matter to the board of education employing said superintendent of schools. It shall then be the duty of that board of education to hear the evidence in the case and, if after careful investigation it shall find the charges true, it shall declare the office vacant at once and proceed to elect a successor: Provided, that such superintendent shall have the right to try his title to office in the courts of the State.

(b) If the superintendent shall fail in the duties enumerated in G.S. 115C-276(g), 115C-276(h), 115C-276(i), or any other duties as may be assigned him, he shall be subject, after notice, to an investigation by the State Board of Education or by his board of education for failure to perform his duties. For persistent failure to perform these duties, the State Board of Education may revoke the superintendent's certificate and the superintendent may be dismissed by his board of education.

(c) The identification by the State Board of Education of more than half the schools in a local school administrative unit as low-performing under G.S. 115C-105.37 is evidence that the superintendent is unable to fulfill the duties of the office, and the State Board may appoint an interim superintendent to carry out the duties of the superintendent under G.S. 115C-105.39, may revoke the superintendent's certificate under this section, may dismiss the superintendent under G.S. 115C-105.39, or may take any combination of these actions. (1955, c. 1372, art. 5, s. 25; art. 6, s. 4; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 716, s. 6.)


115C-275. Vacancies in office of superintendent.

In case of vacancy by death, resignation, or otherwise, in the office of a superintendent, such vacancy shall be filled by the local board of education in which such vacancy occurred. If the vacancy is filled on a temporary basis, subject to the same approvals and to the same educational qualifications as provided for superintendents, the individual appointed to fill the vacancy on a temporary basis shall be paid the salary provided for superintendents. During the time any superintendent is on an approved leave of absence, without pay, an acting superintendent may be appointed in the same manner to serve during the interim period, which appointment shall be subject to the same approvals and to the same educational qualifications as provided for superintendents. In case such position is not filled immediately on a permanent or temporary basis, or in case of absence of a superintendent on account of illness or other approved reason, the board of education, by resolution duly adopted and recorded in the minutes of such board, may assign to an employee of such school board, with the approval of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, any duty or duties of such superintendent which necessity requires be performed during such time. If the superintendent's duty of signing warrants and checks is assigned, the board shall give proper notice immediately to the State Controller and to the appropriate local disbursing official. (1955, c. 1372, art. 6, s. 2; 1959, c. 573, s. 3; 1977, c. 298; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1025, s. 11; 1991, c. 542, s. 1.)


115C-276. Duties of superintendent.

(a) In General. - All acts of local boards of education, not in conflict with State law, shall be binding on the superintendent, and it shall be his duty to carry out all rules and regulations of the board.

All the powers, duties and responsibilities imposed by law upon the superintendents of county administrative units shall, with respect to city administrative units, be imposed upon, and exercised by, the superintendents of city administrative units, in the same manner and to the same extent, insofar as applicable thereto, as such powers and duties are exercised and performed by superintendents of county administrative units with reference to said county administrative units.

(b) To Serve as Secretary to Board. - Superintendents shall be ex officio secretary to their respective boards of education. As secretary to the board of education, the superintendent shall record all proceedings of the board, issue all notices and orders that may be made by the board, and otherwise be executive officer of the board of education. He shall see that the minutes of the meetings of the board of education are promptly and accurately recorded in the minute book which shall be kept in the office of the board of education and be open at all times to public inspection.

(c) To Monitor Condition of School Plants. - It shall be the duty of every superintendent to visit the schools of his unit, to keep his board of education informed at all times as to the condition of the school plants in his administrative unit, and to make immediate provisions to remedy any unsafe or unsanitary conditions existing in any school building.

(d) To Attend Professional Meetings. - It shall be the duty of every superintendent to attend professional meetings conducted by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and such other professional meetings as are necessary to keep him informed on educational matters.

(e) To Report Certain Information to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. - It shall be the duty of every superintendent to furnish as promptly as possible to the State Superintendent when requested by him, information and statistics on any phase of the school work in his administrative unit.

(f) To Administer Oaths When Required. - The superintendent shall have authority to administer oaths to teachers and all other school officials when an oath is required of the same.

(g) To Familiarize Himself with and to Implement State Policies and Rules. - It shall be the duty of the superintendent to keep himself thoroughly informed as to all policies promulgated and rules adopted by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education, for the organization and government of the public schools. The superintendent shall notify and inform his board of education, supervisors, principals, teachers, janitors, bus drivers, and all other persons connected with the public schools, of such policies and rules. In the performance of these duties, the superintendent shall confer, work, and plan with all school personnel to achieve the best methods of instruction, school organization and school government.

(h) To Hold Necessary Teachers' Meetings. - The superintendent shall hold each year such teachers' meetings and study groups as in his judgment will improve the efficiency of the instruction in the schools of his unit.

(i) To Distribute Certain Supplies and Information. - The superintendent shall distribute to all school personnel all blanks, registers, report cards, record books, bulletins, and all other supplies and information furnished by the State Superintendent and the State Board of Education and give instruction for their proper use.

(j) To Assist the Local Board in Electing School Personnel. - It shall be the duty of the superintendent to recommend and the board of education to elect all principals, teachers, and other school personnel in the administrative unit.

(k) To Submit Organization Reports and Other Information to the State Board. - Each year the superintendent of each local school administrative unit shall submit to the State Board of Education statistical reports, certified by the chairman of the board of education, showing the organization of the schools in his or her unit and any additional information the State Board may require. At the end of the second month of school each year, local boards of education, through the superintendent, shall report school organization, employees' duties, and class sizes to the State Board. As of February 1 each year, local boards of education, through the superintendent, shall report all exceptions to individual class size maximums in kindergarten through third grade that occur at that time.

(l) To Maintain Personnel Files and to Participate in Firing and Demoting of Staff. - The superintendent shall maintain in his or her office a personnel file for each teacher that contains complaints, commendations, or suggestions for correction or improvement about the teacher and shall participate in the firing and demoting of staff, as provided in Part 3 of Article 22 of this Chapter.

(m) To Furnish Boundaries of Special Taxing Districts. - It shall be the duty of county superintendents, and of city superintendents where their administrative units are not coterminous with city or township limits, to furnish tax listers at tax listing time the boundaries of each taxing district and city administrative unit in which a special tax will be levied to the end that all property in such district or unit may be properly listed.

(n) To Issue Salary Vouchers. - The authority for a superintendent to issue vouchers for the salary of all school employees, whether paid from State or local funds, shall be a monthly payroll, prepared on forms furnished by the State Board of Education and containing all information required by the State Board of Education. This monthly payroll shall be signed by the principal of the school. If any voucher so drawn is chargeable against district funds, the amount so charged and the district to which said amount is charged shall be specified on the voucher. The superintendent shall not approve the vouchers for the pay of principals or teachers until the monthly and annual reports required by the local board of education are made.

(o) To Participate in the School Budget and Finances. - The superintendent shall participate in the school budget and finances, as provided in Article 31 of this Chapter.

(p) To Require Teachers and Principals to Make Reports. - The superintendents may require teachers to make reports to the principals and principals to make reports to the superintendent. Any superintendent who knowingly and willfully makes or procures another to make any false report or records, requisitions, or payrolls, respecting daily attendance of pupils in the public schools, payroll data sheets, or other reports required to be made to any board or officer in the performance of his duties, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and the certificate of such person to teach in the public schools of North Carolina shall be revoked by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

(q) To Assign School Principals. - Subject to local board policy, the superintendent shall have the authority to assign principals to school buildings. When making an assignment, the superintendent shall consider (i) whether a principal has demonstrated the leadership ability to increase student achievement at a school where conditions indicated a significant risk of low student performance; and (ii) how to maintain stability at a school where, during the time the principal has been at a school, there has been significant improvement on end-of-course or end-of-grade tests and other accountability measures developed by the State Board of Education.

(r) To Maintain Student Discipline. - The superintendent shall maintain student discipline in accordance with Article 27 of this Chapter and shall keep data on each student to whom corporal punishment was administered, who was suspended for more than 10 days, who was reassigned for disciplinary reasons, or who was expelled. This data shall include the race, gender, age, grade level, ethnicity, and disability status of each student, the duration of suspension for each student, whether alternative education services were provided for each student, and whether a student had multiple suspensions in that academic year.

(s) To Provide for Annual Evaluations and Mandatory Improvement Plans. - The superintendent shall provide for the annual evaluation of all licensed employees assigned to low-performing schools that did not receive an assistance team. The superintendent shall determine whether all principals and assistant principals who evaluate licensed employees are trained in the proper administration of the employee evaluations and the development of appropriate mandatory improvement plans. The superintendent also shall arrange for principals and assistant principals who evaluate licensed employees to receive the appropriate training.

(t) Repealed by Session Laws 2012-142, s. 7.13(c), effective July 1, 2012. (1955, c. 1372, art. 5, s. 24; art. 6, ss. 3-6, 10, 15; art. 17, s. 6; art. 18, s. 7; 1959, c. 1294; 1963, c. 688, s. 3; 1965, c. 584, ss. 5, 6, 16; 1969, c. 539; 1973, c. 770, ss. 1, 2; 1975, c. 965, s. 3; 1977, c. 1088, s. 4; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 975, ss. 17, 18, 24; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1025, s. 12; c. 1086, s. 89(c); 1993, c. 169, s. 2; c. 210, s. 4; c. 539, s. 882; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1995, c. 386, s. 2; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 716, s. 25; 1998-5, s. 6; 1998-182, s. 38; 1998-220, s. 10; 2011-282, s. 10; 2011-348, s. 4; 2012-142, s. 7.13(c); 2013-360, s. 9.7(f); 2013-363, s. 3.3(c).)


115C-277. Office, equipment, and clerical assistance to be provided by board.

It shall be the duty of the various boards of education to provide the superintendent of schools with an appropriate office. Likewise, it shall be the duty of the various boards of education to furnish adequately the superintendent's office and provide all necessary office supplies. Authority is hereby given to boards of education to employ sufficient clerical assistants and purchase sufficient office machines and equipment to the end that the business of the superintendent of schools shall always be conducted in a prompt and efficient manner. (1955, c. 1372, art. 5, s. 23; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)


115C-278. Assistant superintendent and associate superintendent.

Local boards of education shall have authority to employ an assistant superintendent, in addition to those that may be furnished by the State when, in the discretion of the board of education, the schools of the 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 assistant superintendent shall be assigned by the superintendent with the approval of the board of education.

Local boards of education may, upon the recommendation of the superintendent, elect assistant or associate superintendents for a term of from one to four years. The term may not, however, exceed the expiration date of the superintendent's contract, unless the remaining time of the superintendent's contract is less than one year. If there is less than one year remaining on the superintendent's contract, the assistant or associate superintendent shall be given a contract through the next school year.

The term of employment shall be stated in a written contract which shall be entered into between the board of education and the assistant or associate superintendent, a copy of which shall be filed with the Superintendent of Public Instruction as a matter of information. The assistant or associate superintendent may not be dismissed during the term to which he is elected except for misconduct of such a nature as to indicate he is unfit to continue in his position, incompetence, neglect of duty, or failure or refusal to carry out validly assigned duties. (1955, c. 1372, art. 5, s. 27; 1971, c. 1188, s. 1; 1973, c. 733; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)


115C-279 through 115C-283. Reserved for future codification purposes.