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. Public Schools of North Carolina . . State Board of Education . . Department Of Public Instruction .

PUBLIC SCHOOL LAWS

PART 3. TEXTBOOKS


§ 115C-85. Textbook needs are determined by course of study.

When the State Board of Education has adopted, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, a standard course of study at each instructional level in the elementary school and the secondary school, setting forth what subjects shall be taught at each level, it shall proceed to select and adopt textbooks.

As used in this part, "textbook" means systematically organized material comprehensive enough to cover the primary objectives outlined in the standards course of study for a grade or course. Formats for textbooks may be print or nonprint, including hardbound books, softbound books, activity-oriented programs, classroom kits, and technology-based programs that require the use of electronic equipment in order to be used in the learning process.

Textbooks adopted in accordance with the provisions of this Part shall be used by the public schools of the State except as provided in G.S. 115C-98(b1). (1955, c. 1372, art. 24, s. 1; 1959, c. 693, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 677, s. 20; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 716, s. 18.)


§ 115C-86. State Board of Education to select and adopt textbooks.

The Board shall select and adopt for a period determined to be most advantageous to the State public school system for the exclusive use in the public schools of North Carolina the basic textbooks or series of books needed for instructional purposes at each instructional level on all subject matter required by law to be taught in elementary and secondary schools of North Carolina. (1955, c. 1372, art. 24, s. 2; 1959, c. 693, s. 2; 1965, c. 584, s. 18; 1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)


§ 115C-87. Appointment of Textbook Commission.

Shortly after assuming office, the Governor shall appoint a Textbook Commission of 23 members who shall hold office for four years, or until their successors are appointed and qualified. The members of the Commission shall be appointed by the Governor upon recommendation of the Superintendent. Five of these members shall be teachers or principals in grades K-5; five shall be teachers or principals in grades 6-8; four shall be superintendents, teachers, or principals in grades 9-12; one shall be a superintendent of a local school administrative unit; three shall be parents of students in grades K-5 at the time of appointment; three shall be parents of students in grades 6-8 at the time of appointment; and two shall be parents of students in grades 9-12 at the time of appointment. The Governor shall fill all vacancies by appointment for the unexpired term. The Commission shall elect a chairman, subject to the approval of the Superintendent. The Commission shall meet four times a year or at the call of the chair. The members shall be entitled to compensation for each day spent on the work of the Commission as approved by the Board and to reimbursement for travel and subsistence expense incurred in the performance of their duties at the rates specified in G.S. 138-5(a). Compensation shall be paid from funds available to the State Board of Education. (1955, c. 1372, art. 24, s. 3; 1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1977, c. 1113; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1999-237, s. 8.30(a).)


§ 115C-88. Commission to evaluate textbooks offered for adoption.

  1. The Commission shall evaluate all textbooks offered for adoption.
    Each proposed textbook shall be read by at least one expert certified in the discipline for which the textbook would be used. The Commission may use external experts if no Commission member or advisory committee member qualifies as an expert certified in a particular discipline.

    The Commission may consider any review of a proposed textbook by other experts certified in the discipline who are not involved in the textbook adoption process. However, these reviews may not substitute for the direct examination of the proposed textbook by a Commission member, an advisory committee member, or any other expert retained by the Commission.

  2. Each member shall examine carefully and file a written evaluation of each proposed textbook for which the member is responsible.

    The evaluation report shall give special consideration to the suitability of the textbook to the instructional level for which it is offered, the content or subject matter, whether the textbook is aligned with the Standard Course of Study, and other criteria prescribed by the Board.

    Each evaluation report shall be signed by the member making the report and filed with the Board not later than a day fixed by the Board when the call for adoption is made. (1955, c. 1372, art. 24, s. 4; 1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 777, s. 3(a); 1999-237, s. 8.30(b).)


§ 115C-89. Selection of textbooks by Board.

At the next meeting of the Board after the reports have been filed, the Textbook Commission and the Board shall jointly examine the reports. From the books evaluated the Board shall select those that it thinks will meet the teaching requirements of the State public schools in the instructional levels for which they are offered.

The Board shall request sealed bids from the publishers on all the books being considered.The Board shall make all necessary rules and regulations concerning requests for bids, notification to publishers of calls for adoption, execution and delivery of contracts, requirement of performance bonds, cancellation clauses, and such other material matters as may affect the validity of the contracts. (1955, c. 1372, art. 24, s. 5; 1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1989, c. 798.)


§ 115C-90. Adoption of textbooks and contracts with publishers.

The publishers' sealed bids shall be opened in the presence of two persons designated by the State Board of Education and one person designated by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Board may then adopt the books required by the courses of study and enter into contracts with the publisher of adopted books. It may refuse to adopt any of the books offered at the prices bid and call for new bids. When bids are accepted and a contract entered into, the contract may require, in the Board's discretion, that the total sales of each book in the State be reported annually to the Board.

All textbook contracts shall include a clause granting to the State Board of Education the license to produce Braille, large print, and audio-cassette tape copies of the textbooks for use in the State public schools. Also, the General Assembly urges the State Board of Education to request such a license from textbook publishers with whom a contract was entered into prior to August 1, 1987. (1955, c. 1372, art. 24, s. 6; 1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1983, c. 549, s. 1; 1987, c. 738, s. 190; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1025, s. 10.)


§ 115C-91. Continuance and discontinuance of contracts with publishers.

When an existing or future contract expires, the Board may, with the publisher's approval, continue the contract for any particular book or books for a period not less than one or more than five years. If a publisher desires to terminate a contract that has been extended beyond the original contract period, he shall give notice to the Board 90 days prior to May 1. The Board may then proceed to a new adoption. (1955, c. 1372, art. 24, s. 7; 1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)


§ 115C-92. Procedure for change of textbook.

The Superintendent may at any time communicate to the Board that a particular book is unsatisfactory for the schools, whereupon the Board may call for a new selection and adoption. If the Board votes to change a textbook, it shall give the publisher 90 days' notice prior to May 1, after which it may adopt a new book or books on the subject for which a book is sought. (1955, c. 1372, art. 24, s. 7; 1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)


§ 115C-93. Advice from and suits by Attorney General.

The form and legality of contracts between the Board and publishers of textbooks shall be subject to the approval of the Attorney General.

When requested by the Board, the Attorney General shall bring suit against any publisher who fails to keep his contract as to prices, distribution, adequate supply of books in the edition adopted, or in any other way violates the terms of his contract. The suit shall be brought for an amount sufficient to enforce the contract or to compensate the State for any loss sustained by the publisher's failure to keep his contract. (1955, c. 1372, art. 24, s. 8; 1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)


§ 115C-94. Publishers to register.

Any publisher who submits books for adoption shall register in the office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction the names of all agents or other employees authorized to represent that company in the State, and this registration list shall be open to the public for inspection. (1955, c. 1372, art. 24, s. 9; 1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)


§ 115C-95. Sale of books at lower price reduces price to State.

Every contract made by the Board with the publisher of any school textbook on the State-adopted list shall be deemed to have written therein a condition providing that if that publisher, during the life of his contract with this State, contracts with any other governmental unit or places that textbook on sale anywhere in the United States for a price less than that stipulated in his contract with the State of North Carolina, the publisher shall immediately furnish that textbook to this State at a price not greater than that for which the book is furnished, sold, or placed on sale anywhere else in the nation. (1955, c. 1372, art. 24, s. 10; 1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)


§ 115C-96. Powers and duties of the State Board of Education in regard to textbooks.

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).)


§ 115C-97. State Board of Education authorized to discontinue handling supplementary and library books.

The State Board of Education may discontinue the adoption of supplementary textbooks and, at the expiration of existing contracts, may discontinue the purchase, warehousing, and distribution of supplementary textbooks. The Board may also discontinue the purchase and resale of library books. Funds appropriated to the State Board of Education for supplementary textbooks shall be transferred to the State Public School Fund for allotment to each local school administrative unit, based on its average daily membership, for the purchase of supplementary textbooks, library books, periodicals, and other instructional materials. (1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)


§ 115C-98. Local boards of education to provide for local operation of the textbook program, the selection and procurement of other instructional materials, and the use of nonadopted textbooks.

  1. Local boards of education shall adopt rules not inconsistent with the policies of the State Board of Education concerning the local operation of the textbook program.

  2. Local boards of education shall adopt written policies concerning the procedures to be followed in their local school administrative units for the selection and procurement of supplementary textbooks, library books, periodicals, audiovisual materials, and other supplementary instructional materials needed for instructional purposes in the public schools of their units.

    Local boards of education shall have sole authority to select and procure supplementary instructional materials, whether or not the materials contain commercial advertising, to determine if the materials are related to and within the limits of the prescribed curriculum, and to determine when the materials may be presented to students during the school day.

    Supplementary materials and contracts for supplementary materials are not subject to approval by the State Board of Education.Supplementary books and other instructional materials shall neither displace nor be used to the exclusion of basic textbooks.

    (b1) A local board of education may establish a community media advisory committee to investigate and evaluate challenges from parents, teachers, and members of the public to textbooks and supplementary instructional materials on the grounds that they are educationally unsuitable, pervasively vulgar, or inappropriate to the age, maturity, or grade level of the students. The State Board of Education shall review its rules and policies concerning these challenges and shall establish guidelines to be followed by community media advisory committees.

    (b2) Local boards of education may:
    1. Select, procure, and use textbooks that have not been adopted by the State Board of Education for use throughout the local school administrative unit for selected grade levels and courses; and

    2. Approve school improvement plans developed under G.S. 115C-105.22 that include provisions for using textbooks that have not been adopted by the State board of Education for selected grade levels and courses.

      All textbook contracts made under this subsection shall include a clause granting to the local board of education the license to produce braille, large print, and audiocassette tape copies of the textbooks for use in the local school administrative unit.

  3. Funds allocated by the State Board of Education or appropriated in the current expense or capital outlay budgets of the local school administrative units may be used for the above-stated purposes. (1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1074, s. 23(a); 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 716, ss. 8.7, 19.)


§ 115C-99. Legal custodians of textbooks furnished by State.

Local boards of education are the custodians of all textbooks purchased by the local boards with State funds. They shall provide adequate and safe storage facilities for the proper care of these textbooks and emphasize to all students the necessity for proper care of textbooks. (1955, c. 1372, art. 25, s. 3; 1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 777, s. 3(b).)


§ 115C-100. Rental fees for textbooks prohibited; damage fees authorized.

No local board of education may charge any pupil a rental fee for the use of textbooks. A pupil's parents or legal guardians may be charged damage fees for abuse or loss of textbooks under rules adopted by the State Board of Education. All money collected from the sale of textbooks purchased with State funds under the provisions of this Part shall be paid annually as collected to the State Board of Education. (1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1983, c. 549, s. 2; 1985, c. 581, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 777, s. 3(c).)


§ 115C-101. Duties and authority of superintendents of local school administrative units.

The superintendent of each local school administrative unit, as an official agent of the State Board of Education, shall administer the provisions of this Part and the rules and regulations of the Board insofar as they apply to his unit. The superintendent of each local school administrative unit shall have authority to require the cooperation of principals and teachers so that the children may receive the best possible service, and so that all the books and moneys may be accounted for properly. If any principal or teacher fails to comply with the provisions of this section, his superintendent shall withhold his salary vouchers until the duties imposed by this section have been performed.

If any superintendent fails to comply with the provisions of this section, the State Superintendent, as secretary to the State Board of Education, shall notify the State Board of Education and the State Treasurer. The State Board and the State Superintendent shall withhold the superintendent's salary vouchers, and the State Treasurer shall make no payment until the State Superintendent notifies him that the provisions of this section have been complied with. (1955, c. 1372, art. 25, s. 8; 1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1.)


§ 115C-102. Right to purchase; disposal of textbooks and materials.

  1. Any parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis may purchase any instructional material needed for any child in the public schools of the State from the board of education of the local school administrative unit in which the child is enrolled or, in the case of basic textbooks, from the State Board of Education.

  2. Notwithstanding Article 3A of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes, G.S. 143-49(4), or any other provision of law, the State Board of Education may adopt rules authorizing local boards of education to dispose of discontinued instructional material, including State-adopted textbooks. (1955, c. 1372, art. 25, s. 2; 1969, c. 519, s. 1; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1991, c. 328, s. 1.)