North Carolina's Teacher Tenure Law Challenged in Court

North Carolina's Teacher Tenure Law Challenged in Court

5:37pm Apr 16, 2014
Guilford County School Board plans to sue North Carolina to force it to change the law that ends teacher tenure in 2018.
Guilford County School System

The Guilford County School Board is taking its fight against North Carolina's new teacher tenure law to court.

A Guilford County Superior Court judge wants more time to decide the fate of a North Carolina education law that ends teacher tenure. On Wednesday, representatives from The Guilford County School Board and from The Durham Public School System were in court trying to block the state's law that ends teacher tenure in 2018. Guilford County Superior Court Judge Richard Doughton is hearing the case.

School leaders claim the state is trying to retroactively force 25 percent of teachers to give up tenure after they’re already earned it. Last year, the Republican controlled General Assembly passed the new law.

Earlier, WFDD News spoke with Guilford County School Superintendent Maurice Green who calls the statute unconstitutional. "The board actually is not opposed to doing away with tenure. It would be OK with teachers working under multi-year contracts," explains Green. "The issue is whether you can end tenure retroactively by a law."

The state argues the school systems don’t have grounds to challenge the law’s constitutionality. Judge Doughton requested more information from both sides and is expected to make a ruling next week.School leaders have until June 30 to select 25 percent of their tenured teachers for four-year contracts. For each year, they will also get a $500 bonus, totaling $5,000.

Guilford County School administrators say in February, they received a memorandum from the president pro tem of the North Carolina Senate suggesting if school board members do not comply with this statute, they could face criminal prosecution.

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