115C-238.29D. Final approval of applications for charter schools.

(a) The State Board may grant final approval of an application if it finds (i) that the application meets the requirements set out in this Part and such other requirements as may be adopted by the State Board of Education, (ii) that the applicant has the ability to operate the school and would be likely to operate the school in an educationally and economically sound manner, and (iii) that granting the application would achieve one or more of the purposes set out in G.S. 115C-238.29A. The State Board shall act by January 15 of a calendar year on all applications and appeals it receives prior to a date established by the Office of Charter Schools for receipt of applications in the prior calendar year. In reviewing applications for the establishment of charter schools within a local school administrative unit, the State Board is encouraged to give preference to applications that demonstrate the capability to provide comprehensive learning experiences to students identified by the applicants as at risk of academic failure.

(b) Repealed by Session Laws 2011-164, s. 2(a), effective July 1, 2011.

(c) The State Board of Education may authorize a school before the applicant has secured its space, equipment, facilities, and personnel if the applicant indicates the authority is necessary for it to raise working capital. The State Board shall not allocate any funds to the school until the school has obtained space.

(d) The State Board of Education may grant the initial charter for a period not to exceed 10 years and may renew the charter upon the request of the chartering entity for subsequent periods not to exceed 10 years each. The State Board of Education shall review the operations of each charter school at least once every five years to ensure that the school is meeting the expected academic, financial, and governance standards.

(e) A material revision of the provisions of a charter application shall be made only upon the approval of the State Board of Education.

Except as provided in subsection (f) of this section, enrollment growth shall be considered a material revision of the charter application, and the State Board may approve such additional enrollment growth of greater than twenty percent (20%) only if the State Board finds all of the following:

(1) The actual enrollment of the charter school is within ten percent (10%) of its maximum authorized enrollment.

(2) The charter school has commitments for ninety percent (90%) of the requested maximum growth.

(3) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-355, s. 1(d), effective July 25, 2013.

(4) The charter school is not currently identified as low-performing.

(5) The charter school meets generally accepted standards of fiscal management.

(6) It is otherwise appropriate to approve the enrollment growth.

(f) It shall not be considered a material revision of a charter application and shall not require prior approval of the State Board for a charter school to do any of the following:

(1) Increase its enrollment during the charter school's second year of operation and annually thereafter by up to twenty percent (20%) of the school's previous year's enrollment.

(2) Increase its enrollment during the charter school's second year of operation and annually thereafter in accordance with planned growth as authorized in its charter.

(3) Expand to offer one grade higher than the charter school currently offers if the charter school has operated for at least three years and has not been identified as having inadequate performance as provided in G.S. 115C-238.29G(a1). (1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 731, s. 2; 1997-430, s. 3; 2000-67, s. 8.23; 2001-424, s. 28.26; 2003-354, s. 2; 2004-203, s. 45(a); 2011-164, ss. 1, 2(a), 3; 2013-355, s. 1(d); 2013-359, s. 2.)