RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's statewide school board has picked the first academically low-performing school to be taken away from local control and turned over to hired school operators.

The State Board of Education on Thursday voted that Robeson County school leaders must turn over Southside Ashpole Elementary School or close it.

A decision deadline for Robeson school officials in February will come about the same time the state decides which charter school operator or other organization would be hired to run it.

The state school board expects to select five low-performing schools in the coming years that will be transferred to what the state is calling the Innovative School District.