AN ACT TO CLARIFY THE ELIGIBILITY OF CHARTER SCHOOLS FOR CERTAIN STATE FUNDING TO IMPROVE OR MAINTAIN ROADS, DRIVEWAYS, ENTRANCES, AND PARKING FACILITIES USED BY SCHOOL BUSES FOR TRANSPORTING STUDENTS AND TO MAKE OTHER CHANGES TO STATE LAW CONCERNING REQUIREMENTS FOR ROAD IMPROVEMENTS ADJACENT TO SCHOOLS.
Amends GS 136-18, which sets out the powers of the Department of Transportation (DOT), as follows. Authorizes and requires the DOT to maintain and keep in good repair roads, sufficiently to accommodate school buses, leading from the state-maintained public roads, including roads owned or leased by charter schools, to all public school buildings, and charter school expansion buildings, to which children are transported on school buses to and from their homes. Further authorizes and requires (previously, only authorized) the DOT to construct, pave, and maintain school bus driveways, sufficient parking facilities, and all other driveways and entrances, including those owned or leased by charter schools, for the school buses at those schools. Makes conforming changes throughout GS 136-18(17) to include charter schools in the required improvement and maintenance of roads, bus driveways, parking facilities, and all other driveways and entrances under subsection (17). Defines charter school. Provides that subsection (17) does not apply to driveways, entrances, and parking facilities used by a charter school located in a multi-tenant facility where the driveways, entrances, and parking facilities are shared. Requires reimbursement requests under subsection (17) to include a copy of the contractor's invoice for the work performed. Effective July 1, 2016.
Also amends the power of the DOT to oversee improvements to public roads adjacent to but not located on any school property of any K-12 school in GS 136-18(29a). Provides that the DOT has power to grant final project design approval, but that schools can engage private traffic engineers for the design as specified. Provides that the DOT can only require improvements required for safe ingress and egress to the State highway system and that are physically connected to a school driveway. Also provides that improvements made to the State highway system provided by the school must be reimbursed by the DOT, including those improvements pursuant to subsection (29) of the statute. Defines school and improvements.
Enacts GS 160A-307.1, Limitation on city requirements for street improvements related to schools, providing that a city can only require street improvements related to K-12 schools that are required for the safe ingress and egress to the municipal street system and that are physically connected to a driveway on the school site. Specifies limits for required improvements, providing the improvements cannot exceed those required pursuant to GS 136-18(29), concerning the size, location, direction of traffic flow, and the construction of driveway connections. Sets out further details concerning agreements for improvements as well as reimbursement requirements by the DOT. Defines school to include charter schools authorized under GS 115C-218.5.
Sets out that any rule or policy adopted by the DOT that does not comply with the act is null, void, and without effect. Authorizes the DOT to adopt temporary rules to implement the act, which will remain in effect until permanent rules that replace the temporary rules become effective. Effective July 1, 2016.