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Guilford school board to sue state over law abolishing tenure

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Credit: Guilford County Schools

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Guilford County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday night to stand up for its teachers by taking legal action against the state.

The lawsuit challenges a new state law concerning teacher tenure.

“There’s nothing about this legislation that was going to assist children or benefit children. In fact, quite the opposite. It, along with other legislation, has been totally demoralizing to not just our employees who we value greatly but demoralizing to teachers across the state,” said Alan Duncan, chairman of the board.

The new law, called the Appropriations Act of 2013, requires school leaders to offer a four year contract to 25 percent of teachers with at least three consecutive years of experience.

Those teachers would receive a $500 raise every year, in exchange for giving up tenure status. The law also ends tenure, or career status, for all teachers on June 30, 2018.

Board members argue the state doesn’t have the right to take away contracts teachers have already earned.

“Taking away already earned rights, contractually earned rights, retroactively is not the way we do things in this country,” said Duncan.

Teachers from across North Carolina travelled to Guilford County Tuesday night to see what board members would do.

“We seek to be the catalyst of a statewide movement that says enough is enough,” said Amos Quick, vice-chair of the Guilford County Board of Education.

Board members say negotiating with legislators is the desired outcome, but they are serious about the lawsuit.

Superintendent Maurice Green says he does not know when lawyers will officially file the suit against the state.

20 comments

    • Fritz Marble

      Contracts or no contracts… teachers do not DESERVE tenure. I teach locally at a university. I do not have tenure. Guess what, I have to prepare and do an excellent job, so that I have the PRIVILEGE of continuing at my place of employment.
      The short version is… there are no guarantees in life. Tenure is guaranteed employment… like at the post office… and look where that got them! Teachers, have a good attitude and do a good job, and you will probably be able to keep your job. Drag around and perform poorly, and you SHOULD be replaced. Welcome to the real world!!

  • Faye skeen

    We have far too manyteachers that are unsuitable for teaching.Still paying them for unsatisfactory work. Our children deserve better.

  • Linda neese

    you say children deserve better teachers what you going to say when all the good ones are gone because their hard work and years of being there for them putting hours in after school time and weekends too. this is not the way to get better. who is going to mentor them. It takes experience to become a good teacher. Appreicate what they have.

  • Robyn

    Tenure just means they don’t have a year-to-year contract. Any teacher can be fired if there is cause to. A teacher should know they have a job the next year – there should be no question. A 15 or 30 year veteran especially shouldn’t have to wonder whether their contract will be renewed for the next year. Very few professional careers have that level of uncertainty. Revoking tenure is not the way to weed out “bad” teachers.

  • Ronald E. Lee

    Due process goes down the drain if their tenure is taken away.

    The name given to this Act says it all “The FAIR employment and
    DISMISSIL Act”

    Sen.Burger likes disorganized workers,but is in bed with special Interest like Duke Power,like our Gov , who once was employed by Duke Power.

  • thomas

    If we cannot remove incompetent or questionable teachers (some who may even be involved in illegal activities), then this is yet another reason to send our children to private schools or to home-school them. In addition to us voting some of these board members out of office, I hope the legislature will next address the issue of school vouchers to aid parents who choose to send their children to non-government schools.

  • frank sinner

    Job performance is the best job security !! To many teachers and board members spend more time on politics than their jobs and then want to get more money for less performance !!

  • Steve

    I’m sorry but the voucher system is ridiculous! It takes money away from public schools that are already being bled dry by the legislature! If you don’t want a free public education for your kids then pay for it yourself!

    • Will Grant

      The schools get plenty of money; they just exercise extremely poor stewardship. Then of course, they pander to the pseudo-intellectual yet easily manipulated folks like yourself when they whine about having to be honest with themselves about why they are where they are.

  • Ronald E. Lee

    The best way to improve private schools is to level the playing field with public schools. To do that you must take away what advantages in
    salary,fringe benefits,and due process that the public school teachers have gained over the last five decades.
    If Sen. Berger and his allies get their way,their will be many levels of K-12 from the very expensive private,middle class private,lower class private,and then at the bottom,public schools that they will continue to underfund. The voucher they approved,that would not be enough for a poor student to enroll in an expensive or some middle class private schools,is a foot in the door. The Berger boys will be after more this spring.

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