Education

Cumberland school board supports repealing tenure law

Posted March 11

— The Cumberland County Board of Education unanimously voted Tuesday night to support the repeal of a new law that offers bonuses to top teachers who give up their tenure rights.

Under the law, the current "career status" available to teachers with four or more years on the job will be phased out by 2018 and replaced with a plan that requires local school districts to pick the top 25-percent of teachers who will be offered four-year contracts and bonuses.

Currently, North Carolina teachers who have "career status" can’t be dismissed without a specific due process.

Teachers are paid in part based on seniority – their years on the job. That pay scale is determined by the state legislature. Some local school systems augment the state allotment for teachers in their districts.

The new law eliminates tenure, or career status, by 2018.

Lawmakers asked districts this year to identify their top 25 percent of high-performing teachers and offer each a new four-year contract with a $500 annual salary increase. In exchange, those teachers lose the chance at tenure.

Durham public schools voted last week to join Guilford County in a lawsuit to overturn the law. More than a dozen local school boards across the state have passed resolutions opposing the law, including Wake County.

The North Carolina Association of Educators filed a separate lawsuit against the law in December.

Opponents of the law say cutting tenure and replacing it with a system that only rewards a small percentage of teachers discourages collaboration among educators and undermines public education.

Gov. Pat McCrory said last week that his staff will review the impact of the law between now and the short session in May.

26 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • NCCoachSE Mar 12, 1:53 p.m.

    Figures CCS school board would want to support the repeal, they are completely useless. Time for a move. The school board is completely unresponsive and all the years around here I have never heard of one teacher being let go that had tenure. Perhaps for just once they would listen to WHAT THE PARENTS WANT. Every parent I talk to wants tenure gone, because they have gotten stuck with sub standard teachers also.
    Hey i changed my mind can I have a school voucher too!!! Oh wait not poor enough and...

  • 2coolkids Mar 12, 11:46 a.m.

    Ah "due process". Really? So I am to accept that somehow TEACHERS are to be granted special... View More

    — Posted by whatelseisnew

    But you realize this budget provision doesn't do that right? Not at all. You should be up in arms against this big government, unfunded mandate on local districts from Raleigh Republicans. This budget provision still requires teachers to work under contracts that give them job protections making them "impossible to fire" for up to 4 years. It does not make teachers "at will" like the private sector. It requires teachers to still give 30 days notice or risk losing their license for a year. It is still anti-free market because it holds excellent teacher's salaries artificially low by mandating from big government Republicans in Raleigh how much districts must pay all teachers, regardless of performance. Republicans could revamp the whole system next year and make teachers "at will" if that's what they really wanted. They don't which is why they are kicking the can down the road until 2018. Republicans are playing you for a fool.

  • mpetnc Mar 12, 10:41 a.m.

    WHATELSEISNEW - "So I am to accept that somehow TEACHERS are to be granted special protections? Private sector jobs are subject to State and Federal Laws. "

    The answer is yes you are supposed to accept that "public" school teachers are to be granted special protections. Consider this. You are a public school teacher and you have little Jimmy Smith in your class who just so happens to be the child of a city official. The official visits you at the beginning of the school year and indicates that they know Jimmy will get an straight A's. Later the principal visits you and indicates they know Jimmy will do very well too. It turns out Jimmy earns 2 B's. At the end of the school year (without tenure protection) your are dismissed without cause by the principal. BTW you will never get a job teaching again because you are black listed for that day forward. Public schools are very political places, tenure or no our teachers need protection or some sort just like other civil servants.

  • whatelseisnew Mar 12, 10:06 a.m.

    Ah "due process". Really? So I am to accept that somehow TEACHERS are to be granted special protections? Private sector jobs are subject to State and Federal Laws. The same laws should apply to teachers. Tenure should not exist. Keeping your job should be based on your performance of that job. This argument about "working together" and not competing is bogus and if that is the mindset of teachers we have the wrong people teaching and controlling the system. Collaboration and mentoring need to be established as part of the job requirements as is done in the private sector. Amazing how the public system wants absolute control over EVERY education dollar and ZERO accountability. This is one of the reasons why I firmly believe it is time to rid ourselves of the current system and replace it. Sort of like the blob it cares only about its continued existence and not at all about education. I know many of the teachers still care and work very hard, but the system is their worse enemy.

  • Stilllearnin Mar 12, 9:55 a.m.

    "For teachers in NC all it amounts to is a set of due process rights before a teacher can be dismissed"

    If that is all it is then the same school boards who are rising up in arms control your fate and set the policies and procedures that govern your employment. They control due process so why is it an issue, either they have due process on their books or they don't. By protesting they appear that they want to continue to side step employment issues by pointing the finger at the state and saying "we have no control". They as the employers set the rules so if you want "due process rights" take it up with your school board!

  • Stilllearnin Mar 12, 9:46 a.m.

    "there's a strong correlation with states that pay better getting better results."

    Check 2013 NAEP scores of both 4th and 8th grade for New York. They spend twice as much yet we beat them in all categories. Although the District of Columbia is not a state, check their expenditures vs their results, "horrible" as you put it.

  • mpetnc Mar 12, 9:10 a.m.

    Regarding "Tenure", based on many of the comments here and other places I have read I believe there is a stigma with the word. For teachers in NC all it amounts to is a set of due process rights before a teacher can be dismissed, it does not mean they can't be dismissed. So it would seem if they called it something else everyone would be happy, just like calling prunes dried plums (people don't mind the latter). As far as a pay increase, heck teachers are not even looking for that, how about our state just pays what they have agreed to. Every year for the past 6 years the state has decremented the salary schedule "they" created. The solution is simple, just increment it to where it should be and pay the people what you published on salary schedule. If our officials do not plan on honoring a salary schedule why publish it to begin with, that is just mean and fraudulent.

  • Plenty Coups Mar 11, 7:53 p.m.

    Stymie-"How well were the students doing when the teachers HAD tenure???? Hmmmm?"

    It's not that hard to find out...that is if you use actual evidence, like NAEP scores and don't rely on your "facts" from talk radio and FOX news. They've consistently shown NC to be around the national average. The best state is that state that not only has strong teacher unions, but...gasp...also has tenure and much better pay. Massachusetts. In fact, there's a strong correlation with states that pay better getting better results. Certainly, there are no states that pay horrible getting great results. Why is that acceptable?

  • 2coolkids Mar 11, 6:46 p.m.

    PAULEJ - apparently common sense offends many. "If you like your doctor, you can keep your... View More

    — Posted by stymieindurham

    Common sense says if Republicans really wanted to take away career status (aka tenure to the uninformed) they would have actually done that instead of kicking the can down the road to 2018. If they really wanted to they could eliminate career status this June. All teachers could start in August as "at will" employees. All this budget provision does is continue to give teachers contracts with job protections (making them "impossible to fire" during the year), interfere with the free market by holding the best teachers salaries artificially low, and force a big government, unfunded mandate on local districts. This is just big government, anti-free market Republicans in Raleigh imposing their will on local districts.

  • stymieindurham Mar 11, 6:25 p.m.

    PAULEJ - apparently common sense offends many. "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor". We know now that was a lie. If we give teachers tenure and HIGHER pay, the students will do better. Well, . . . . . . I believe that's a lie as well. How well were the students doing when the teachers HAD tenure???? Hmmmm?

More...