GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2003

 

 

SESSION LAW 2004-180

HOUSE BILL 1464

 

 

AN ACT to reduce by five the number of noninstructional teacher workdays; to provide that public schools shall open no sooner than August 25 and close no later than June 10 except in Year-round schools, in schools in any local school administrative unit in a county that have been closed eight days per year during any four of the last ten years because of severe weather conditions, energy shortages, power failures, or other emergency situations, or in certain schools with modified calendars; TO ALLOW THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO GRANT EXEMPTIONS FROM THE OPENING AND CLOSING DATE REQUIREMENT FOR PURPOSES OF ACCOMMODATING SPECIAL PROGRAMS and schools; to clarify that local boards of education may offer supplemental or additional programs outside of the school calendar; to ensure that teachers are paid in august; to provide that five noninstructional teacher workdays are protected for teachers to complete instructional and classroom administrative duties; to require that at least seven noninstructional days are designated as days on which teachers with accumulated vacation leave may take that leave; to provide that the reduction in teacher workdays does not reduce the annual rate of pay for teachers and other employees; to provide that nothing in this act shall be construed as changing the pay cycle for noncertified employees; to direct the state board of education to study noninstructional teacher workdays; to provide that nothing in this act requires the general assembly to appropriate funds for its implementation or requires local school administrative units to expend additional funds for its implementation; to provide that this act applies to schools beginning with the 2005-2006 school year; TO PROVIDE THAT THE ACT APPLIES IN ALL one hundred COUNTIES AND IN ALL LOCAL SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS; AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE ACT IS EFFECTIVE WHEN IT BECOMES LAW.

 

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

 

SECTION 1.  G.S. 115C-84.2 reads as rewritten:

" 115C-84.2.  School calendar.

(a)       School Calendar. - Each local board of education shall adopt a school calendar consisting of 220 215 days all of which shall fall within the fiscal year. A school calendar shall include the following:

(1)       A minimum of 180 days and 1,000 hours of instruction covering at least nine calendar months. The local board shall designate when the 180 instructional days shall occur. The number of instructional hours in an instructional day may vary according to local board policy and does not have to be uniform among the schools in the administrative unit. Local boards may approve school improvement plans that include days with varying amounts of instructional time. If school is closed early due to inclement weather, the day and the scheduled amount of instructional hours may count towards the required minimum to the extent allowed by State Board policy. The school calendar shall include a plan for making up days and instructional hours missed when schools are not opened due to inclement weather.

(1a)     (Applies only to 2002-2003 school year - See editor's note.) Notwithstanding subdivision (1) of this subsection, a local board may decide to make up a maximum of three instructional days by adding instructional hours to previously scheduled instructional days. A local board shall make this decision only if all of the following criteria are met:

a.         The days to be made up were missed when schools were unable to be opened due to unusual and extraordinary inclement weather conditions.

b.         It would cause undue hardship to parents, children, and teachers to make up those days.

c.         The school calendar continues to have a minimum of 1,000 instructional hours covering at least nine months.

d.         The additional hours must equal the regularly scheduled number of instructional hours at each school.

If a local board adds instructional hours to previously scheduled days under this subdivision, the local school administrative unit is deemed to have a minimum of 180 days of instruction, teachers employed for a 10-month term are deemed to have been employed for the days being made up, and all other employees shall be compensated as if they had worked the days being made up.

(2)       A minimum of 10 annual vacation leave days.

(3)       The same or an equivalent number of legal holidays occurring within the school calendar as those designated by the State Personnel Commission for State employees.

(4)       Eight Five days, as designated by the local board, for use as teacher workdays, additional instructional days, or other lawful purposes. A local board may delegate to the individual schools some or all of the eight days to schedule under subdivision (5) of this subsection. A local board may schedule different purposes for different personnel on any given day and is not required to schedule the same dates for all personnel.workdays. These days shall be protected to allow teachers to complete instructional and classroom administrative duties. The local school administrative unit shall not impose any additional tasks on these days. The local board shall schedule one of these days at the beginning of the school year and one at the end of each academic quarter.

(5)       The remaining days scheduled by the local board in consultation with each school's principal for any of the purposes allowed under subdivision (4) of this subsection. use as teacher workdays, additional instructional days, or other lawful purposes. Before scheduling these days, the principal consulting with the local board, each principal shall work with the school improvement team to determine the days to be scheduled and the purposes for which they should be scheduled. Days may be scheduled and planned for different purposes for different personnel and there is no requirement to schedule the same dates for all personnel. However, if during the last two years the local school administrative unit has made up an average of at least eight days for school closing because of inclement weather, the local board may designate up to two of these days In order to make up days for school closing because of inclement weather, the local board may designate any of the days in this subdivision as additional make-up days to be scheduled after the last day of student attendance.

Local boards and individual schools are encouraged to use the calendar flexibility in order to meet the annual performance standards set by the State Board. Local boards of education shall consult with parents and the employed public school personnel in the development of the school calendar.

Local boards and individual schools shall designate at least seven days scheduled under subdivisions (4) and (5) of this subsection as days on which teachers may take accumulated vacation leave. Local boards may designate the remaining days scheduled in subdivisions (4) and (5) of this subsection as days on which teachers may take accumulated vacation leave, but local boards shall give teachers at least 14 calendar days' notice before requiring a teacher to work instead of taking vacation leave on days scheduled in accordance with subdivision (5) of this subsection. any of these days. A teacher may elect to waive this notice requirement for one or more such of these days.

(b)       Limitations. - The following limitations apply when developing the school calendar:

(1)       The total number of teacher workdays for teachers employed for a 10 month term shall not exceed 200 195 days.

(2)       The calendar shall include at least 42 consecutive days when teacher attendance is not required unless: (i) the school is a year-round school; or (ii) the teacher is employed for a term in excess of 10 months. At the request of the local board of education or of the principal of a school, a teacher may elect to work on one of the 42 days when teacher attendance is not required in lieu of another scheduled workday.

(3)       School shall not be held on Sundays.

(4)       Veterans Day shall be a holiday for all public school personnel and for all students enrolled in the public schools.

(c)       Emergency Conditions. - During any period of emergency in any section of the State where emergency conditions make it necessary, the State Board of Education may order general, and if necessary, extended recesses or adjournment of the public schools.

(d)       Opening and Closing Dates. - Local boards of education shall determine the dates of opening and closing the public schools under subdivision (a)(1) of this section. Except for year-round schools, the opening date for students shall not be before August 25, and the closing date for students shall not be after June 10. On a showing of good cause, the State Board of Education may waive this requirement to the extent that school calendars are able to provide sufficient days to accommodate anticipated makeup days due to school closings. A local board may revise the scheduled closing date if necessary in order to comply with the minimum requirements for instructional days or instructional time. Different opening and closing dates may be fixed for schools in the same administrative unit. For purposes of this subsection, the term 'good cause' means that schools in any local school administrative unit in a county have been closed eight days per year during any four of the last 10 years because of severe weather conditions, energy shortages, power failures, or other emergency situations.

The State Board also may waive this requirement for an educational purpose. The term 'educational purpose' means a local school administrative unit establishes a need to adopt a different calendar for (i) a specific school to accommodate a special program offered generally to the student body of that school, (ii) a school that primarily serves a special population of students, or (iii) a defined program within a school. The State Board may grant the waiver for an educational purpose for that specific school or defined program to the extent that the State Board finds that the educational purpose is reasonable, the accommodation is necessary to accomplish the educational purpose, and the request is not an attempt to circumvent the opening and closing dates set forth in this subsection. The waiver requests for educational purposes shall not be used to accommodate system-wide class scheduling preferences.

The required opening and closing dates under this subsection shall not apply to any school that a local board designated as having a modified calendar for the 2003-2004 school year or to any school that was part of a planned program in the 2003-2004 school year for a system of modified calendar schools, so long as the school operates under a modified calendar.

(e)       Nothing in this section prohibits a local board of education from offering supplemental or additional educational programs or activities outside the calendar adopted under this section."

SECTION 2.  G.S. 115C-302.1(b) reads as rewritten:

"(b)      Salary Payments. - State-allotted teachers shall be paid for a term of 10 months. State-allotted months of employment for vocational education to local boards shall be used for the employment of teachers of vocational and technical education for a term of employment to be determined by the local boards of education. However, local boards shall not reduce the term of employment for any vocational agriculture teacher personnel position that was 12 calendar months for the 1982-83 school year for any school year thereafter.

Each local board of education shall establish a set date on which monthly salary payments to State-allotted teachers shall be made. This set pay date may differ from the end of the month of service. The daily rate of pay for teachers shall equal one twenty-second midway between one twenty-first and one twenty-second of the monthly rate of pay. Except for teachers employed in a year-round school or paid in accordance with a year-round calendar, or both, the initial pay date for teachers shall be no later than August 31 and shall include a full monthly payment. Subsequent pay dates shall be spaced no more than one month apart and shall include a full monthly payment.

Teachers may be prepaid on the monthly pay date for days not yet worked. A teacher who fails to attend scheduled workdays or who has not worked the number of days for which the teacher has been paid and who resigns, is dismissed, or whose contract is not renewed shall repay to the local board any salary payments received for days not yet worked. A teacher who has been prepaid and continues to be employed by a local board but fails to attend scheduled workdays may be subject to dismissal under G.S. 115C-325 or other appropriate discipline.

Any individual teacher who is not employed in a year-round school may be paid in 12 monthly installments if the teacher so requests on or before the first day of the school year. The request shall be filed in the local school administrative unit which that employs the teacher. The payment of the annual salary in 12 installments instead of 10 shall not increase or decrease the teacher's annual salary nor in any other way alter the contract made between the teacher and the local school administrative unit. Teachers employed for a period of less than 10 months shall not receive their salaries in 12 installments.

Notwithstanding this subsection, the term 'daily rate of pay' for the purpose of G.S. 115C-12(8) or for any other law or policy governing pay or benefits based on the teacher salary schedule shall not exceed one twenty-second of a teacher's monthly rate of pay."

SECTION 3.  For certified and noncertified employees employed on or after the effective date of this act, the annual rate of pay beginning with the 2005-2006 school year shall not be reduced as the result of this act. Furthermore, nothing in this act shall be construed to change the pay cycle for noncertified employees.  The State Board of Education shall report annually to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee on local compliance with this section.

SECTION 4.  The State Board of Education shall study the scheduling of and purposes of noninstructional teacher workdays.  As part of the study, the State Board shall consult with interested stakeholders that include members of local boards of education, school administrators, teachers, parents, and others the State Board considers appropriate. The State Board shall report any findings to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by December 15, 2004.

SECTION 5.  Nothing in this act shall require the General Assembly to appropriate funds to implement it or require a local school administrative unit to spend additional funds to implement it.

SECTION 6.  This act is effective when it becomes law and applies to school years beginning with the 2005-2006 school year. This act shall apply in all 100 counties and in all local school administrative units.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 18th day of July, 2004.

 

 

                                                                    s/ Marc Basnight

                                                                         President Pro Tempore of the Senate

 

 

                                                                    s/ Richard T. Morgan

                                                                         Speaker of the House of Representatives

 

 

                                                                    s/ Michael F. Easley

                                                                         Governor

 

 

Approved 1:17 p.m. this 9th day of August, 2004