CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Overruled!
Judge says new teacher tenure law unconstitutional
A judge's decision Friday could have a major impact on teachers across our state.
The ruling shoots down a controversial move legislators made last year that would have changed the way teachers get hired and fired.
An impossible position, that's what CMS Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison says the teacher tenure law created for school districts when the legislators hurriedly passed it last session claiming it was a move to get rid of previously protected bad teachers.
I think there's many ways that could have been done. I just didn't feel that this piece of legislation actually gets us to that point, Morrison told us.
A lot of people don't. Several school boards, a handful of teachers and the North Carolina Association of Educators sued about the law and today a judge agreed, saying it was unconstitutional.
The new law basically got rid of teacher tenure. North Carolina teachers currently get tenure upon completion of their fourth year. It offers them, among other things, the right to due process before they can be fired. The new law instead told districts to find the top 25 percent of teachers and reward them with a four year contract and cash bonuses.
Morrison says, We are very opposed to this 25 percent rule and our board has been very vocal about it. The determination for the 25percent who would get the four year contract poses some challenges because it doesn t start off with what constitutes our best teachers.
Instead he says the law is just plain arbitrary.
You can t find any school district across the country or state that is operating that way. There is no Fortune 500 company that operates that way.
That's why he's been in Raleigh a lot and chatting with legislators by phone daily.
I get a sense there are a lot of legislators that are not fans of this that are now realizing maybe it didn t have the impact we thought it was going to. But there are some legislators that feel like it was the right thing, so trying to get folks to reverse a decision that they felt good about in the first place is never easy, the superintendent says.
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