The children of the public elementary and secondary schools of the State shall be provided with free basic textbooks within the appropriation of the General Assembly for that purpose. To implement this directive, the State Board of Education shall evaluate annually the amount of money necessary to provide textbooks based on the actual cost and availability of textbooks and shall request sufficient appropriations from the General Assembly.
The State Board of Education shall administer a fund and establish rules and regulations necessary to:
(1) Acquire by contract such basic textbooks as are or may be on the adopted list of the State of North Carolina which the Board finds necessary to meet the needs of the State public school system and to carry out the provisions of this Part.
(2) Provide a system of distribution of these textbooks and distribute the books that are provided without using any depository or warehouse facilities other than those operated by the State Board of Education.
(3) Provide for the free use, with proper care and return, of elementary and secondary basic textbooks. The title of said books shall be vested in the State. (1955, c. 1372, art. 25, s. 1; 1965, c. 584, s. 19; 1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 900, s. 81(a).)