115C-238.29G. Causes for nonrenewal or termination; disputes.

(a) The State Board of Education may terminate, not renew, or seek applicants to assume the charter through a competitive bid process established by the State Board upon any of the following grounds:

(1) Failure to meet the requirements for student performance contained in the charter;

(2) Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management;

(3) Violations of law;

(4) Material violation of any of the conditions, standards, or procedures set forth in the charter;

(5) Two-thirds of the faculty and instructional support personnel at the school request that the charter be terminated or not renewed; or

(6) Other good cause identified.

(a1) The State Board shall adopt criteria for adequate performance by a charter school and shall identify charter schools with inadequate performance. The criteria shall include a requirement that a charter school which demonstrates no growth in student performance and has annual performance composites below sixty percent (60%) in any two years in a three-year period is inadequate.

(1) If a charter school is inadequate in the first five years of the charter, the charter school shall develop a strategic plan to meet specific goals for student performance that are consistent with State Board criteria and the mission approved in the charter school. The strategic plan shall be reviewed and approved by the State Board. The State Board is authorized to terminate or not renew a charter for failure to demonstrate improvement under the strategic plan.

(2) If a charter school is inadequate and has had a charter for more than five years, the State Board is authorized to terminate, not renew, or seek applicants to assume the charter through a competitive bid process established by the State Board. The State Board shall develop rules on the assumption of a charter by a new entity that include all aspects of the operations of the charter school, including the status of the employees. Public assets would transfer to the new entity and not revert to the local school administrative unit in which the charter school is located pursuant to G.S. 115C-238.29F(i).

(b) The State Board of Education shall develop and implement a process to address contractual and other grievances between a charter school and the local board of education during the time of its charter.

(c) The State Board and the charter school are encouraged to make a good-faith attempt to resolve the differences that may arise between them. They may agree to jointly select a mediator. The mediator shall act as a neutral facilitator of disclosures of factual information, statements of positions and contentions, and efforts to negotiate an agreement settling the differences. The mediator shall, at the request of either the State Board or a charter school, commence a mediation immediately or within a reasonable period of time. The mediation shall be held in accordance with rules and standards of conduct adopted under Chapter 7A of the General Statutes governing mediated settlement conferences but modified as appropriate and suitable to the resolution of the particular issues in disagreement.

Notwithstanding Article 33C of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes, the mediation proceedings shall be conducted in private. Evidence of statements made and conduct occurring in a mediation are not subject to discovery and are inadmissible in any court action. However, no evidence otherwise discoverable is inadmissible merely because it is presented or discussed in a mediation. The mediator shall not be compelled to testify or produce evidence concerning statements made and conduct occurring in a mediation in any civil proceeding for any purpose, except disciplinary hearings before the State Bar or any agency established to enforce standards of conduct for mediators. The mediator may determine that an impasse exists and discontinue the mediation at any time. The mediator shall not make any recommendations or public statement of findings or conclusions. The State Board and the charter school shall share equally the mediator's compensation and expenses. The mediator's compensation shall be determined according to rules adopted under Chapter 7A of the General Statutes. (1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 731, s. 2; 1997-430, s. 6; 2011-164, s. 5; 2013-355, s. 1(g).)