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Chapter Nine

Reasons for Having a State Board of Education; Oath of Office for the State Board of Education; and Powers and Duties of the North Carolina State Board of Education

Reasons for Having a State Board of Education
The State Board of Education reflects the separation of education policy making from partisan politics while advocating education for all children. The Board communicates a vision for redefining and improving education and ensures that all students have equal educational opportunities. State boards work in partnership with the public to include all stakeholders in their decision making.

The State Board of Education exists to make sure that the opinions of the public are considered. The Board provides adequate checks and balances to maintain a clear line of authority, to provide a balance of power for the education system, and to avoid total control by the executive and legislative bodies.

Oath of Office for the State Board of Education
I, ________, do solemnly swear (affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.
I, ________, do solemnly and sincerely swear (affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of North Carolina, and the constitutional powers and authorities which are or may be established for the government thereof; and that I will endeavor to support, maintain and defend the Constitution of said State, not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States.
I________, do solemnly swear (affirm) that I will well and truly execute the duties of my office as a member of the North Carolina State Board of Education according to the best of my skill and ability, according to law, so help me God.

Powers and Duties of the North Carolina State Board of Education
The State Board consists of the Lieutenant Governor and the State Treasurer serving ex-officio with 11 other members appointed by the Governor. The Governor appoints two Student Advisors who participate in State Board deliberations in an advisory capacity only. The State Teacher of the Year and the immediate past Teacher of the Year are selected to serve two years as ex-officio advisors to the State Board. The State Board traditionally meets the first Thursday of each month and the Wednesday preceding it, unless otherwise voted upon by the Board.

By the Constitution, the "State Board of Education shall supervise and administer the free public school system and the educational funds provided for its support, and shall make all needed rules and regulations subject to laws enacted by the General Assembly."

Responsibilities Include

  • General supervision and control over funds for education provided by the state and federal government.
  • Establishing minimum qualifications for teachers and other professional employees as well as job descriptions for non-certified employees.
  • Regulating salary grades and benefits for teachers and other public school employees.
  • Allotting teachers to meet class size regulations.
  • Altering school district lines, approving mergers and consolidations.
  • Approving waivers from state laws and Board policies under the Performance-Based Accountability Program.
  • Setting rules and regulations for exceptional children's programs and other educational programs.
  • Establishing policies related to the Board's organization and internal procedures.
  • Developing content standards and the standard course of study in core academic areas.
  • Developing and implementing exit exams and grade-level student proficiency benchmarks.
  • Establishing, implementing, and enforcing the School-Based Management and Accountability Program in order to improve student performance, increase local flexibility and control, and promote economy and efficiency.

For more information on the Powers and Duties of the North Carolina State Board of Education, please refer to the North Carolina General Statutes, Subchapter II, Article 2: State Board of Education, Sections 115C-10 through 115C-17.

The State Constitution of North Carolina
1971, Article 9, Sections 1-10

Section 1. Education encouraged. Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools, libraries, and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.

Section 2. Uniform system of schools. (1) General and uniform system; term. The General Assembly shall provide by taxation and otherwise for a general and uniform system of free public schools, which shall be maintained at least nine months in every year, and wherein equal opportunities shall be provided for all students. (2) Local responsibility. The General Assembly may assign to units of local government such responsibility for the financial support of the free public schools as it may deem appropriate. The governing boards of units of local government with financial responsibility for public education may use local revenues to add to or supplement any public school or post-secondary school program.

Section 3. School attendance. The General Assembly shall provide that every child of appropriate age and of sufficient mental and physical ability shall attend the public schools, unless educated by other means.

Section 4. State Board of Education. (1) Board. The State Board of Education shall consist of the Lieutenant Governor, the Treasurer, and eleven members appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly in joint session. The General Assembly shall divide the State into eight educational districts. Of the appointive members of the Board, one shall be appointed from each of the eight educational districts and three shall be appointed from the state at large. Appointments shall be for overlapping terms of eight years. Appointments to fill vacancies shall be made by the Governor for the unexpired terms and shall not be subject to confirmation. (2) Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall be the secretary and chief administrative officer of the State Board of Education.

Section 5. Powers and duties of the Board. The State Board of Education shall supervise and administer the free public school system and the educational funds provided for its support, except the funds mentioned in Section 7 of this Article, and shall make all needed rules and regulations in relation thereto, subject to laws enacted by the General Assembly.

Section 6. State school fund. The proceeds of all lands that have been or hereafter may be granted by the United States to this State, and not otherwise appropriated by this State or the United States; all moneys, stocks, bonds, and other property belonging to the State for purposes for public education; the net proceeds of all sales of the swamp lands belonging to the State; and all other grants, gifts, and devises that have been or hereafter may be made to the State; and not otherwise appropriated by the State or by the terms of the grant, gift or devise, shall be paid into the State Treasury and, together with so much of the revenue of the State as may be set apart for that purpose, shall be faithfully appropriated and used exclusively for establishing and maintaining a uniform system of free public schools.

Section 7. County school fund. All moneys, stocks, bonds, and other property belonging to a county school fund, and the clear proceeds of all penalties and forfeitures and of all fines collected in the several counties for any breach of the penal laws of the State, shall belong to and remain in the several counties, and shall be faithfully appropriated and used exclusively for maintaining free public schools.

Section 8. Higher education. The General Assembly shall maintain a public system of higher education, comprising The University of North Carolina and such other institutions of higher education as the General Assembly may deem wise. The General Assembly shall provide for the selection of trustees of The University of North Carolina and of the other institutions of higher education, in whom shall be vested all the privileges, rights, franchises, and endowments heretofore granted to or conferred upon the trustees of these institutions. The General Assembly may enact laws necessary and expedient for the maintenance and management of The University of North Carolina and the other public institutions of higher education.

Section 9. Benefits of public institutions of higher education. The General Assembly shall provide that the benefits of The University of North Carolina and other public institutions of higher education, as far as practicable, be extended to the people of the state free of expense.

Section 10. Escheats. (1) Escheats prior to July 1, 1971. All property that prior to July 1, 1971, accrued to the State from escheats, unclaimed dividends, or distributive shares of the estates of deceased persons shall be appropriated to the use of The University of North Carolina. (2) Escheats after June 30, 1971. All property that, after June 30, 1971, shall accrue to the State from escheats, unclaimed dividends or distributive shares of the estates of deceased persons shall be used to aid worthy and needy students who are residents of this State and are enrolled in public institutions of higher education in this State. The method, amount, and type of distribution shall be prescribed by law.

For more information on the structure and duties of the North Carolina State Board of Education, please refer to the North Carolina General Statutes, Subchapter II, Article 2: State Board of Education, Sections 115C-10 through 115C-17.


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To provide comments or feedback regarding specific agenda items, please email the State Board members individually or send your comments/feedback to publiccomments@dpi.nc.gov.