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Wed February 12, 2014
Guilford County Will Sue North Carolina to Change Teacher Tenure Law
The Guilford County Board of Education plans to sue the state of North Carolina.
In North Carolina, tenured teachers can't be dismissed without due process and are protected from salary reductions. Last year, North Carolina’s Republican controlled General Assembly passed a law ending teacher tenure. It goes into effect in 2018. Tuesday night, Guilford County school board members voted unanimously to challenge the law and Superintendent Maurice Green calls it unconstitutional. "The board actually is not opposed to doing away with tenure. It would be ok with teachers working under multi-year contracts," says Green. "The issue is whether you can end tenure retroactively by a law." According to the law, teachers can give up their tenure this year (2014) in exchange for a four year contract. Also, for each year they would get a salary bonus totally $5,000. Superintendent Green says about 1,000 teachers in Guilford County would be eligible for these new contracts this year.
Guilford County's school board members also complain the language of this new law is too vague. Again Superintendent Green. "What is meant by the term teacher. We have two definitions. One says teacher means classroom teacher. Another is broader to include counselors and advisors."
Over the next several weeks, Superintendent Green says he will go to Raleigh to speak with state legislators about changing this law. At the same time, the board will file the lawsuit in Guilford County Superior Court. School leaders across the state have until July 1 to select teachers for new four-year contract.