South Carolina Legislature

1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Updated through the end of the 2008 Session


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Title 59 - Education





SECTION 59-24-5. Importance of leadership of principal recognized.

The General Assembly finds that the leadership of the principal is key to the success of a school, and support for ongoing, integrated professional development is integral to better schools and to the improvement of the actual work of teachers and school staff.

SECTION 59-24-10. Assessment of leadership and management capabilities before appointment as principal.

Beginning with the school year 1999-2000, before permanent appointment as a principal for an elementary school, secondary school, or career and technology center, a person must be assessed for instructional leadership and management capabilities by the Leadership Academy of the South Carolina Department of Education. A district may appoint a person on an interim basis until the assessment is completed. A report of this assessment must be forwarded to the district superintendent and board of trustees. The provisions of this section do not apply to a person currently employed as principal on the effective date of this section or to a person hired as principal before the beginning of school year 1999-2000.

SECTION 59-24-15. Rights of certified education personnel employed as administrators.

Certified education personnel who are employed as administrators on an annual or multi-year contract will retain their rights as a teacher under the provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 19 and Article 5 of Chapter 25 of this title but no such rights are granted to the position or salary of administrator. Any such administrator who presently is under a contract granting such rights shall retain that status until the expiration of that contract.

SECTION 59-24-20. Requirements for admission to graduate programs in school administration.

Beginning with the school year 1986-87, the Commission on Higher Education, with the assistance of the State Board of Education, shall require all state-supported colleges and universities which offer graduate degrees in school administration to increase the entrance requirements for admission to these graduate programs and shall specifically enumerate what increases are necessary to each college and university offering these programs.

SECTION 59-24-30. Individual professional development plans.

All school administrators shall develop an on-going individual professional development plan with annual updates which is appropriate for their role or position. This plan shall support both their individual growth and organizational needs. Organizational needs must be defined by the districts' strategic plans or school renewal plans. Individuals completing the assessment for instructional leadership will develop their professional development plan on the basis of that assessment. The Department of Education shall assist school administrators in carrying out their professional development plans by reviewing the school and district plans and providing or brokering programs and services in the areas identified for professional development.

SECTION 59-24-35. Expenditure of funds.

Funding authorized to be expended for assessments of prospective principals and for administrator leadership seminars must be expended for the new leadership assessment and for support of the school administrator professional development planning.

SECTION 59-24-40. Development and adoption of statewide performance standards for principals; annual evaluation of principals; training program for principals receiving unsatisfactory rating.

For the purposes of assisting, developing, and evaluating principals, the State Board of Education, through the State Department of Education, shall adopt criteria and statewide performance standards which shall serve as a foundation for all processes used for assisting, developing, and evaluating principals employed in the school districts of this State. The State Department of Education shall select or cause to be developed and the State Board of Education shall promulgate regulations for the evaluation of the performance of all principals based on those criteria and standards. School districts shall use the standards and procedures adopted by the State Board of Education for the purpose of evaluating all principals at least once every three years. The State Department of Education shall ensure that the criteria and standards are valid and reliable and are appropriately administered. Evaluation results must be provided in writing and a professional development plan established based on the principal's strengths and weaknesses and taking into consideration the school's strategic plan for improvement for the purpose of improving the principal's performance. Any principal whose performance on an evaluation is rated unsatisfactory must be evaluated again within one year. Nothing in this section limits or prohibits school districts from setting additional and more stringent standards for the evaluation of principals. A satisfactory rating on the evaluation is one of several criteria for overall performance evaluation and is not sufficient for reemployment as a principal by a school district.

The State Department of Education shall review the implementation of the principal evaluation in the school districts for the purpose of providing technical assistance and ensuring the evaluations are appropriately administered.

The provisions of this section must be implemented according to the following schedule:

1997-98 school year: Identification of criteria and standards;

1998-99 school year: Development and testing of criteria, standards, and procedures in selected districts;

1999-2000 school year: Statewide implementation.

SECTION 59-24-50. Continuous professional development programs.

By January 1, 1999, the South Carolina Department of Education's Leadership Academy shall develop, in cooperation with school districts, district consortia, and state-supported institutions of higher education, continuous professional development programs which meet national standards for professional development and focus on the improvement of teaching and learning. By July 1, 1999, programs funded with state funds must meet these standards and must provide training, modeling, and coaching on effective instructional leadership as it pertains to instructional leadership and school-based improvement, including instruction on the importance of school improvement councils and ways administrators may make school improvement councils an active force in school improvement. The training must be developed and conducted in collaboration with the School Council Assistance Project.

SECTION 59-24-60. Requirement of school officials to contact law enforcement authorities when criminal conduct occurs.

In addition to other provisions required by law or by regulation of the State Board of Education, school administrators must contact law enforcement authorities immediately upon notice that a person is engaging or has engaged in activities on school property or at a school sanctioned or sponsored activity which may result or results in injury or serious threat of injury to the person or to another person or his property as defined in local board policy.

SECTION 59-24-65. Principals' Executive Institute (PEI); program design task force; purpose; governing regulations; focus.

The State Department of Education shall establish a Principals' Executive Institute (PEI) with the funds appropriated for that purpose.

(1) A task force appointed by the State Superintendent of Education shall begin on or before July 1, 1999, to design this program so that the first class of participants shall begin during school year 1999-2000. The task force shall include, but is not limited to, representatives from the State Department of Education, business leaders, university faculty, district superintendents, school principals, South Carolina Teachers of the Year, representatives from professional organizations, members of the Education Oversight Committee, and appropriate legislative staff.

(2) The purpose of the PEI is to provide professional development to South Carolinas principals in management and school leadership skills.

(3) By January 1, 2000, the State Board of Education shall establish regulations governing the operation of the PEI.

(4) The focus of the first year of the Principals' Executive Institute shall be to serve the twenty-seven principals from impaired schools and other experienced principals as identified by the South Carolina Leadership Academy of the Department of Education and as approved by the local public school districts which employ such principals.

(5) The creation of the Principals' Executive Institute shall not duplicate the State Department of Educations Leadership Academy programs but shall provide intensive, in-depth training in business principles and concepts as they relate to school management and the training and developmental programs for principals mandated under the 1998 Education Accountability Act.

SECTION 59-24-80. Formal induction program for first year principals.

Beginning with school year 1999-2000, each school district, or consortium of school districts, shall provide school principals serving for the first time as the head building administrators with a formalized induction program in cooperation with the State Department of Education. The State Board of Education must develop regulations for the program based on the criteria and statewide performance standards which are a part of the process for assisting, developing, and evaluating principals employed in the school districts. The program must include an emphasis on the elements of instructional leadership skills, implementation of effective schools research, and analysis of test scores for curricular improvement.



SECTION 59-24-100. Establishment and funding of school principal incentive program.

The State Board of Education acting with the assistance of the Education Oversight Committee shall cause to be developed and implemented a school principal incentive program to reward school principals who demonstrate superior performance and productivity. Funds for school principal incentive programs must be provided by the General Assembly in the annual general appropriation act.

SECTION 59-24-110. Guidelines for development of program; promulgation of regulations; distribution of funds to school districts on per principal basis.

The school principal incentive program must be developed based on the following guidelines:

(1) The State Board of Education shall identify incentive criteria in school year 1984-85. The State Board shall cause no more than three programs to be developed or selected in nine school districts in school year 1985-86. Pilot testing of no more than these three programs must occur in nine school districts, designated by the State Board upon the recommendation of the Education Oversight Committee, in school year 1986-87 and by regulation implemented statewide beginning with school year 1987-88.

(2) No school principals shall receive funds under the incentive program unless the individual meets or exceeds all eligibility standards set out in the district's program.

(3) Prior to the 1987-88 school year, the State Board, with the assistance of an advisory committee it appoints, and acting through the State Department of Education, shall establish by regulation an incentive program for rewarding and retaining principals who demonstrate superior performance and productivity.

(4) The incentive program shall include: (a) evaluation for instructional leadership performance as it related to improved student learning and development; (b) evaluation by a team which includes school administrators, teachers, and peers; (c) evidence of self-improvement through advanced training; (d) meaningful participation of school principals in the development of the plan; and (e) working with student teachers whenever possible.

(5) Funds for the school principal incentive program must be distributed to the school districts of the State on a per principal basis. Principal incentive rewards may not exceed five thousand dollars a principal.

The State Board of Education shall promulgate regulations that ensure that the districts of the state utilize the funds in an appropriate manner and establish a procedure for redistributing funds from districts that do not require all of their allocations.

SECTION 59-24-120. Apprenticeship for principal.

The State Board of Education shall establish guidelines for selected school districts of this State to implement programs whereby persons who demonstrate outstanding potential as principals in the opinion of the district may be given the opportunity to serve an apprenticeship as a principal in the selected districts.

SECTION 59-24-130. Principal, defined.

For purposes of funds appropriated in the annual general appropriations act and program eligibility for the School Principal Incentive Program and the School Administrator Evaluation Program, the term "principal" also includes the administrative head of a career and technology center.

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