Guilford school board to sue state over law abolishing tenure
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.