Article 10.

Vocational and Technical Education.

Part 1. Vocational and Technical Education Programs.

115C-151. Statement of purpose.

It is the intent of the General Assembly that vocational and technical education be an integral part of the educational process. The State Board of Education shall administer through local boards of education a comprehensive program of vocational and technical education that shall be available to all students, with priority given to students in grades eight through 12, who desire it in the public secondary schools and middle schools of this State. The purposes of vocational and technical education in North Carolina public secondary schools shall be:

(1) Occupational Skill Development. - To prepare individuals for paid or unpaid employment in recognized occupations, new occupations, and emerging occupations.

(2) Preparation for Advanced Education. - To prepare individuals for participation in advanced or highly skilled vocational and technical education.

(3) Career Development; Introductory. - To assist individuals in the making of informed and meaningful occupational choices.

It is also legislative intent to authorize the State Board of Education to support appropriate vocational and technical education instruction and related services for individuals who have special vocational and technical education needs which can be fulfilled through a comprehensive vocational and technical education program as designated by State Board of Education policy or federal vocational and technical education legislation. (1977, c. 490, s. 2; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1987, c. 738, s. 183; 1993, c. 180, s. 3; 2004-124, s. 7.15(b).)

 

115C-152. Definitions.

The State Board of Education shall provide appropriate definitions to vocational and technical education programs, services, and activities in grades 6-12 not otherwise included in this Part. As used in this Part, unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) "Career development; introductory" means an instructional program, service, or activity designed to familiarize individuals with the broad range of occupations for which special skills are required and the requisites for careers in such occupations.

(2) "Comprehensive vocational and technical education" means instructional programs, services, or activities directly related to preparation for and placement in employment, for advanced technical preparation, or for the making of informed and meaningful educational and occupational choices.

(3) "Occupational skill development" means a program, service, or activity designed to prepare individuals for paid or unpaid employment as semiskilled or skilled workers, technicians, or professional-support personnel in recognized occupations and in new and emerging occupations including occupations or a trade, technical, business, health, office, homemaking, homemaking-related, agricultural, marketing, and other nature. Instruction is designed to fit individuals for initial employment in a specific occupation or a cluster of closely related occupations in an occupational field. This instruction includes education in technology, manipulative skills, theory, auxiliary information, application of academic skills, and other associated knowledges.

(4) "Preparation for advanced education" means a program, service, or activity designed to prepare individuals for participation in advanced or highly skilled post-secondary and technical education programs leading to employment in specific occupations or a cluster of closely related occupations and for participation in vocational and technical education teacher education programs. (1977, c. 490, s. 2; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1987, c. 738, s. 184; 1993, c. 180, s. 3.)

 

115C-153. Administration of vocational and technical education.

The State Board of Education shall be the sole State agency for the State administration of vocational and technical education at all levels, shall be designated as the State Board of Vocational and Technical Education, and shall have all necessary authority to cooperate with any and all federal agencies in the administration of national acts assisting vocational and technical education, to administer any legislation pursuant thereto enacted by the General Assembly of North Carolina, and to cooperate with local boards of education in providing vocational and technical education programs, services, and activities for youth and adults residing in the areas under their jurisdiction. (1977, c. 490, s. 2; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1993, c. 180, s. 3.)

 

115C-154. Duties of the State Board of Education.

In carrying out its duties, the State Board of Education shall develop and implement any policies, rules, regulations, and procedures as necessary to ensure vocational and technical education programs of high quality. The State Board of Education shall prepare a Master Plan for Vocational and Technical Education. The plan, to be updated periodically, shall ensure minimally that:

(1) Articulation shall occur with institutions, agencies, councils, and other organizations having responsibilities for work force preparedness.

(2) Business, industrial, agricultural, and lay representatives, including parents of students enrolled in Vocational and Technical Education courses, organized as advisory committees have been utilized in the development of decisions affecting vocational and technical education programs and services.

(3) Public hearings are conducted annually to afford the public an opportunity to express their views concerning the State Board's plan and to suggest changes in the plan.

(4) The plan describes the State's policy for vocational and technical education and the system utilized for the delivery of vocational and technical education programs, services, and activities. The policy shall include priorities of curriculum, integration of vocational and academic education, technical preparation, and youth apprenticeships.

(5) A professionally and occupationally qualified staff is employed and organized in a manner to assure efficient and effective State leadership for vocational and technical education. Provisions shall be made for such functions as: planning, administration, supervision, personnel development, curriculum development, vocational student organization and coordination research and evaluation, and such others as the State Board may direct.

(6) An appropriate supply of qualified personnel is trained for program expansion and replacements through cooperative arrangements with institutions of higher education and other institutions or agencies, including where necessary financial support of programs and curriculums designed for the preparation of vocational administrators, supervisors, coordinators, instructors, and support personnel.

(7) Minimum standards shall be prescribed for personnel employed at the State and local levels.

(8) Local boards of education submit to the State Board of Education a local plan for vocational and technical education that has been prepared in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Master Plan for Vocational and Technical Education.

(9) Appropriate minimum standards for vocational and technical education programs, services, and activities shall be established, promulgated, supervised, monitored, and maintained. These standards shall specify characteristics such as program objectives, competencies, course sequence, program duration, class size, supervised on-the-job experiences, vocational student organization, school-to-work transition programs, qualifications of instructors, and all other standards necessary to ensure that all programs conducted by local school administrative units shall be of high quality, relevant to student needs, and coordinated with employment opportunities.

(10) A system of continuing qualitative and quantitative evaluation of all vocational and technical education programs, services, and activities supported under the provisions of this Part shall be established, maintained, and utilized periodically. One component of the system shall be follow-up studies of employees and former students of vocational and technical education programs who have been out of school for one year, and for five years to ascertain the effectiveness of instruction, services, and activities. (1977, c. 490, s. 2; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1983, c. 750, s. 1; 1993, c. 180, s. 3.)

 

115C-154.1. Approval of local vocational and technical education plans or applications.

The State Board of Education shall not approve any local vocational and technical education plans or applications unless:

(1) The programs are in accordance with the purposes of G.S. 115C-151;

(2) The vocational programs and courses are not duplicated within a local school administrative unit, unless the unit has data to justify the duplication or the unit has a plan to redirect the duplicative programs within three years;

(3) For all current job skill programs, there is a documented need, based on labor market data or follow-up data, or there is a plan to redirect the program within two years;

(4) New vocational programs show documented need based on student demand, or for new job skill programs, based on student and labor market demand; and

(5) All programs are responsive to technological advances, changing characteristics of the work force, and the academic, technical, and attitudinal development of students.

Local programs using the cooperative vocational and technical education method shall be approved subject to students enrolled being placed in employment commensurate with the respective program criteria. (1987, c. 738, s. 185; 1993, c. 180, s. 3.)

 

115C-154.2. Vocational and technical education equipment standards.

The State Board of Education shall develop equipment standards for each vocational and technical education program level and shall assist local school administrative units in determining the adequacy of equipment for each vocational and technical education program available in each local school administrative unit.

The State Board shall also develop a plan to assure that minimum equipment standards for each program are met to the extent that State, local, and federal funds are available for that purpose. The State Board shall consider all reasonable and prudent means to meet these minimum equipment standards and to ensure a balanced vocational and technical education program for students in the public schools. (1991, c. 570; 1993, c. 180, s. 3.)

 

115C-155. Acceptance of benefits of federal vocational acts.

The State of North Carolina, through the State Board of Education, may accept all the provisions and benefits of acts passed by the Congress of the United States providing federal funds for vocational and technical education programs: Provided, however, that the State Board of Education shall not accept those funds upon any condition that the public schools of this State shall be operated contrary to any provision of the Constitution or statutes of this State. (1977, c. 490, s. 2; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1993, c. 180, s. 3.)

 

115C-156. State funds for vocational and technical education.

It is the intent of the General Assembly of North Carolina to appropriate funds for each fiscal year to support the purposes of vocational and technical education as set forth in G.S. 115C-151. From funds appropriated, the State Board of Education shall establish a sum of money for State administration of vocational and technical education and shall allocate the remaining sum on an equitable basis to local school administrative units, except that a contingency fund is established to correct excess deviations that may occur during the regular school year. In the administration of State funds, the State Board of Education shall adopt such policies and procedures as necessary to ensure that the funds appropriated are used for the purpose stated in this Part and consistent with the policy set forth in the Master Plan for Vocational Education. (1977, c. 490, s. 2; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1993, c. 180, s. 3.)

 

115C-156.1: Repealed by Session Laws 1993, c. 180, s. 3.

 

115C-156.2. Industry certifications and credentials program.

(a) It is the intent of the State to encourage students to enroll in and successfully complete rigorous coursework and credentialing processes in career and technical education to enable success in the workplace. To attain this goal, to the extent funds are made available for this purpose, students shall be supported to earn approved industry certifications and credentials:

(1) Students enrolled in public schools and in career and technical education courses shall be exempt from paying any fees for one administration of examinations leading to industry certifications and credentials pursuant to rules adopted by the State Board of Education.

(2) Each school year, at such time as agreed to by the Department of Commerce and the State Board of Education, the Department of Commerce shall provide the State Board of Education with a list of those occupations in high need of additional skilled employees. If the occupations identified in such list are not substantially the same as those occupations identified in the list from the prior year, reasonable notice of such changes shall be provided to local school administrative units.

(3) Local school administrative units shall consult with their local industries, employers, and workforce development boards to identify industry certification and credentials that the local school administrative unit may offer to best meet State and local workforce needs.

(b) Beginning in 2014, the State Board of Education shall report to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by September 15 of each year on the number of students in career and technical education courses who earned (i) community college credit and (ii) related industry certifications and credentials. (2013-360, s. 8.28(b); 2014-115, s. 83.)

 

115C-157. Responsibility of local boards of education.

Each local school administrative unit, shall provide free appropriate vocational and technical education instruction, activities, and services in accordance with the provisions of this Part for all youth, with priority given to youth in grades eight through 12, who elect the instruction and shall have responsibility for administering the instruction, activities, and services in accordance with federal and State law and State Board of Education policies. (1977, c. 490, s. 2; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1993, c. 180, s. 3; 2004-124, s. 7.15(c).)

 

115C-157.1. Adjunct CTE instructors.

(a) Adjunct Hiring Criteria. - The State Board of Education shall develop minimum criteria of relevant education or employment experience to qualify to contract as an adjunct instructor in each career and technical education career cluster and shall make such criteria available to local boards of education.

(b) Contracting with Adjunct Instructors. - Notwithstanding Article 20 and Part 3 of Article 22 of this Chapter, a local board of education may contract with an individual to serve as an adjunct instructor who meets the adjunct hiring criteria established by the State Board of Education for a specific career and technical education career cluster. The local board of education may contract with an adjunct instructor on an annual or semester basis, subject to the following requirements:

(1) An adjunct instructor may be employed for no more than 10 hours per week.

(2) An adjunct instructor shall be subject to a criminal history check, to ensure that the person has not been convicted of any crime listed in G.S. 115C-332.

(3) An adjunct instructor shall not be required to hold or apply for licensure as a teacher.

(4) An adjunct instructor must complete preservice training in all of the following areas prior to beginning instruction:

a. The identification and education of children with disabilities.

b. Positive management of student behavior.

c. Effective communication for defusing and deescalating disruptive or dangerous behavior.

d. Safe and appropriate use of seclusion and restraint. (2016-94, s. 8.32(c).)

 

115C-158. Federal funds division.

The division between secondary and post-secondary educational systems and institutions of federal funds for which the State Board of Vocational and Technical Education has responsibility shall, within discretionary limits established by law, require the concurrence of the State Board of Education and the State Board of Community Colleges on and after January 1, 1981. The portion of the approved State Plan for post-secondary vocational and technical education required by G.S. 115C-154 shall be as approved by the State Board of Community Colleges. (1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1130, s. 4; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1993, c. 180, s. 3.)

 

Part 2. Vocational and Technical Education Production Work Activities.

115C-159. Statement of purpose.

It is the intent of the General Assembly that practical work experiences within the school and outside the school, which are valuable to students and which are under the supervision of a teacher, should be encouraged as a part of vocational and technical education instruction in the public secondary schools and middle schools when those experiences are organized and maintained to the best advantage of the vocational programs. Those activities are a part of the instructional activities in the vocational programs and are not to be construed as engaging in business. Those services, products, and properties generated through these instructional activities are exempt from the requirements of G.S. 115C-518; the local board shall adopt rules for the disposition of these services, products, and properties. Local boards of education may use available financial resources to support that instruction. (1977, c. 490, s. 4; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1983, c. 750, s. 2; 1985, c. 479, s. 32; 1987, c. 738, s. 184; 1993, c. 180, s. 3.)

 

115C-160. Definitions.

The State Board of Education shall provide appropriate definitions necessary to this part of vocational and technical education instruction not otherwise included in this Part. As used in this Part, unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) The term "building trades training" means the development of vocational skills through the construction of dwellings or other buildings and related activities by students in vocational and technical education programs.

(2) The term "production work" means production activities and services performed by vocational and technical education classes under contract with a second party for remuneration. (1977, c. 490, s. 4; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1993, c. 180, s. 3.)

 

115C-161. Duties of the State Board of Education.

The State Board of Education is authorized and directed to establish, maintain, and implement such policies, rules, regulations, and procedures not in conflict with State law or other State Board policies as necessary to assist local boards of education in the conduct of production work experiences performed in connection with approved State Board of Education vocational and technical education programs. (1977, c. 490, s. 4; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1993, c. 180, s. 3.)

 

115C-162. Use of proceeds derived from production work.

Unless elsewhere authorized in these statutes, local boards of education shall deposit to the appropriate school account, no later than the end of the next business day after receipt of funds, all proceeds derived from the sale of products or services from production work experiences. These proceeds shall be established as a revolving fund to be used solely in operating and improving vocational and technical education programs. (1977, c. 490, s. 4; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1993, c. 180, s. 3.)

 

115C-163. Acquisition of land for agricultural education instructional programs.

Local boards of education may acquire by gift, purchase, or lease for not less than the useful life of any project to be conducted upon the premises, a parcel of land suitable for a land laboratory to provide students with practical instruction in soil science, plant science, horticulture, forestry, animal husbandry, and other subjects related to the agriculture curriculum.

Each deed, lease, or other agreement for land shall be made to the respective local board of education in which the school offering instruction in agriculture is located; and title to such land shall be examined and approved by the school attorney.

Any land laboratory thus acquired shall be assigned to the agricultural education program of the school, to be managed with the advice of an agricultural education advisory committee.

The products of the land laboratory not needed for public school purposes may be sold to the public: Provided, however, that all proceeds from the sale of products shall be deposited in the appropriate school account no later than the end of the next business day after receipt of funds. The proceeds shall be established as a revolving fund to be used solely in operating and improving vocational and technical education programs. (1977, c. 490, s. 4; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1993, c. 180, s. 3.)

 

115C-164. Building trades training.

In the establishment and implementation of production work experience policies, the State Board of Education shall be guided as follows:

(1) Local boards of education may use supplementary tax funds or other local funds available for the support of vocational and technical education to purchase and develop suitable building sites on which dwellings or other buildings are to be constructed by vocational and technical education trade classes of each public school operated by local boards of education. Local boards of education may use these funds for each school to pay the fees necessary in securing and recording deeds to these properties for each public school operated by local boards of education and to purchase all materials needed to complete the construction of buildings by vocational and technical education trade classes and for development of site and property by other vocational and technical education classes. Local boards of education may use these funds to acquire skilled services, including electrical, plumbing, heating, sewer, water, transportation, grading, and landscaping needed in the construction and completion of buildings, that cannot be supplied by the students in vocational and technical education trade classes.

(2) Local boards of education may, in conjunction with or in lieu of subdivision (1) of this section, contract with recognized building trades educational foundations or associations in the purchase of land for the construction and development of buildings: Provided however, that all contracts shall be in accordance with the requirements set forth by the State Board of Education. (1977, c. 490, s. 4; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1993, c. 180, s. 3.)

 

115C-165. Advisory committee on production work activities.

The board of education of each local school administrative unit in which the proposed production work activities are to be undertaken shall appoint appropriate advisory committees of no less than three persons residing within that administrative unit for each program (or in the case of Trade and Industrial Education, for each specialty) for the purpose of reviewing and making recommendations on such production work activities. Respective advisory committee members shall be lay persons who are actively involved in the appropriate business or trade. No production work activity shall be undertaken without the involvement of the appropriate advisory committee. (1977, c. 490, s. 4; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1983, c. 750, s. 3.)

 

Part 3. Eye Safety Devices Required.

115C-166. Eye protection devices required in certain courses.

The governing board or authority of any public or private school or educational institution within the State, wherein shops or laboratories are conducted providing instructional or experimental programs involving:

(1) Hot solids, liquids or molten metals;

(2) Milling, sawing, turning, shaping, cutting, or stamping of any solid materials;

(3) Heat treatment, tempering, or kiln firing of any metal or other materials;

(4) Gas or electric arc welding;

(5) Repair or servicing of any vehicle; or

(6) Caustic or explosive chemicals or materials,

shall provide for and require that every student and teacher wear industrial-quality eye protective devices at all times while participating in any such program. These industrial-quality eye protective devices shall be furnished free of charge to the student and teacher. (1969, c. 1050, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)

 

115C-167. Visitors to wear eye safety devices.

Visitors to such shops and laboratories shall be furnished with and required to wear such eye safety devices while such programs are in progress. (1977, c. 1050, s. 2; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)

 

115C-168. "Industrial-quality eye protective devices" defined.

"Industrial-quality eye protective devices", as used in G.S. 115C-166, means devices meeting the standards of the U.S.A. Standard Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection, Z 87.1-1968 approved by the U.S.A. Standards Institute, Inc. (1969, c. 1050, s. 3; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)

 

115C-169. Corrective-protective devices.

In those cases where corrective-protective devices that require prescription ophthalmic lenses are necessary, such devices shall only be supplied by those persons licensed by the State to prescribe or supply corrective-protective devices. (1969, c. 1050, s. 4; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)

 

115C-170 through 115C-174. Reserved for future codification purposes.