§ 115C-238.29B. Eligible applicants; contents of applications; submission of applications for approval.
(a) Any person, group of persons, or nonprofit corporation seeking to establish a charter school may apply to establish a charter school. If the applicant seeks to convert a public school to a charter school, the application shall include a statement signed by a majority of the teachers and instructional support personnel currently employed at the school indicating that they favor the conversion and evidence that a significant number of parents of children enrolled in the school favor conversion.
(b) The application shall contain at least the following information:
(1) A description of a program that implements one or more of the purposes in G.S. 115C-238.29A.
(2) A description of student achievement goals for the school's educational program and the method of demonstrating that students have attained the skills and knowledge specified for those student achievement goals.
(3) The governance structure of the school including the names of the proposed initial members of the board of directors of the nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation and the process to be followed by the school to ensure parental involvement.
(3a) The local school administrative unit in which the school will be located.
(4) Admission policies and procedures.
(5) A proposed budget for the school and evidence that the financial plan for the school is economically sound.
(6) Requirements and procedures for program and financial audits.
(7) A description of how the school will comply with G.S. 115C-238.29F.
(8) Types and amounts of insurance coverage, including bonding insurance for the principal officers of the school, to be obtained by the charter school.
(9) The term of the charter.
(10) The qualifications required for individuals employed by the school.
(11) The procedures by which students can be excluded from the charter school and returned to a public school. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any local board may refuse to admit any student who is suspended or expelled from a charter school due to actions that would lead to suspension or expulsion from a public school under G.S. 115C-390.5 through G.S. 115C-390.11 until the period of suspension or expulsion has expired.
(12) The number of students to be served, which number shall be at least 65, and the minimum number of teachers to be employed at the school, which number shall be at least three. However, the charter school may serve fewer than 65 students or employ fewer than three teachers if the application contains a compelling reason, such as the school would serve a geographically remote and small student population.
(13) Information regarding the facilities to be used by the school and the manner in which administrative services of the school are to be provided.
(14) Repealed by Session Laws 1997-430, s. 1.
(c) An applicant shall submit the application to a chartering entity for preliminary approval. A chartering entity may be:
(1) The local board of education of the local school administrative unit in which the charter school will be located;
(2) The board of trustees of a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina, so long as the constituent institution is involved in the planning, operation, or evaluation of the charter school; or
(3) The State Board of Education.
Regardless of which chartering entity receives the application for preliminary approval, the State Board of Education shall have final approval of the charter school.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, if the State Board of Education finds that an applicant (i) submitted an application to a local board of education and received final approval from the State Board of Education, but (ii) is unable to find a suitable location within that local school administrative unit to operate, the State Board of Education may authorize the charter school to operate within an adjacent local school administrative unit for one year only. The charter school cannot operate for more than one year unless it reapplies, in accordance with subdivision (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection, and receives final approval from the State Board of Education.
(d) Unless an applicant submits its application under subsection (c) of this section to the local board of education of the local school administrative unit in which the charter school will be located, the applicant shall submit a copy of its application to that local board within seven days of its submission under subsection (c) of this section. The local board may offer any information or comment concerning the application it considers appropriate to the chartering entity. The local board shall deliver this information to the chartering entity no later than January 1 of the next calendar year. The applicant shall not be required to obtain or deliver this information to the chartering entity on behalf of the local board. The State Board shall consider any information or comment it receives from a local board and shall consider the impact on the local school administrative unit's ability to provide a sound basic education to its students when determining whether to grant preliminary and final approval of the charter school. (1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 731, s. 2; 1997-430, s. 1; 2011-282, s. 8.)