City school administrative units may be consolidated and merged with contiguous city school administrative units and with county school administrative units upon approval by the State Board of Education of a plan for consolidation and merger submitted by the boards of education involved and bearing the approval of the board of county commissioners.
County and city boards of education desiring to consolidate and merge their school administrative units may do so by entering into a written plan which shall set forth the conditions of merger. The provisions of the plan shall be consistent with the General Statutes and shall contain, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) The name by which the merged school administrative unit shall be identified and known.
(2) The effective date of the merger.
(3) The establishment and maintenance of a board of education which shall administer all the public schools of the newly created unit, including:
a. The termination of any terms of office proposed in the reorganization of the board.
b. The method of constituting and continuing the board of education; the manner of selection of board members, including (i) the number of members of the board, (ii) the method of their election or appointment, (iii) whether members shall be nominated, elected, or appointed from districts or at large, (iv) the manner of determining the nominee, and (v) whether the election shall be partisan or nonpartisan; the length of the members' terms of office; the dates of induction into office; the organization of the board; the procedure for filling vacancies; and the compensation to be paid members of the board for expenses incurred in performance of their duties. To the extent that the method conflicts with G.S. 115C-35, G.S. 115C-37, or with any local act concerning any of the units being merged and consolidated, the plan of merger and consolidation shall prevail.
(4) The authority, powers, and duties of the board of education with respect to the employment of personnel, the preparation of budgets, and any other related matters which may be particularly applicable to the merged unit not inconsistent with the General Statutes.
(5) The transfer of all facilities, properties, structures, funds, contracts, deeds, titles, and other obligations, assets and liabilities to the board of education of the merged unit.
(6) Whether or not there shall be continued in force any supplemental school tax which may be in effect in either or all local school administrative units involved.
(7) A public hearing, which shall have been announced at least 10 days prior to the hearing, on the proposed plan of merger.
(8) A statement as to whether the question of merger, in accordance with the projected plan, is to be contingent upon approval of the voters in the affected area.
(9) Any other condition or prerequisite to merger, together with any other appropriate subject or function that may be necessary for the orderly consolidation and merger of the local school administrative units involved.
The plan referred to above shall be mutually agreed upon by the city and county boards of education involved and shall be accompanied by a certification that the plan was approved by the board of education on a given day and that the action has been duly recorded in the minutes of said board, together with a certification to the effect that the public hearing required above was announced and held. The plan, together with the required certifications, shall then be submitted to the board of county commissioners for its concurrence and approval. After such approval has been received, the plan shall be submitted to the State Board of Education for the approval of said State Board and the plan shall not become effective until such approval is granted. Upon approval by the State Board of Education, the plan of consolidation and merger shall become final and shall be deemed to have been made by authority of law and shall not be changed or amended except by an act of the General Assembly. The written plan of agreement shall be placed in the custody of the board of education operating and administering the public schools in the merged unit and a copy filed with the Secretary of State.
The plan may be, but it is not required that it be, submitted for the approval of the voters of the geographic area affected in a referendum or election called for such purpose, and such elections or referendums if held shall be held under the provisions governing elections or referendums as set forth in G.S. 115C-507, with authority of the board of county commissioners to have such election or referendum conducted by the board of elections of the county.
Upon approval of the plan of consolidation or merger by the State Board of Education, or upon approval of the plan of consolidation or merger by the voters in a referendum or election called for such purpose, and as soon as a provisional or interim board of education of the merged unit, or a permanent board of education of the merged unit, enters in and upon the duties of the administration of the public schools of the consolidated or merged unit, then the former boards of education and all public officers of the former boards of education of the separate units thus merged shall stand abolished, and said separate boards of education or administrative units thus merged shall stand dissolved and shall cease to exist for any and all purposes. All consolidations and mergers of county and city boards of education and of county and city school administrative units heretofore agreed to and finally approved, and all consolidation or merger proceedings entered into prior to June 9, 1969, are hereby declared to be effective, legal and according to law notwithstanding any defect in the merger or consolidation proceedings and notwithstanding any dissolution of the separate boards of education and public officers of the former, separate school units. (1967, c. 643, s. 3; 1969, c. 742; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 767, s. 3.)