North Carolina judge to rule against teacher tenure state law

  • Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 12:47 a.m.

GREENSBORO (AP) — A Guilford County judge is backing two school districts fighting a North Carolina law that phases out job protections for public school teachers in favor of employment contracts.

Superior Court Judge Richard Doughton said in court on Wednesday he would issue an order blocking the teacher tenure law.


Greensboro attorney Jill Wilson represents Guilford County Schools in the lawsuit that also includes Durham schools. Wilson says it won’t be known until Doughton issues a written order in several days whether it will apply statewide.

Lawmakers last year directed all school districts to pick the best 25 percent of classroom teachers this spring and offer them tenure-ending, four-year contracts with pay raises totaling $5,000.

Supporters say ending job protections will promote sharper classroom performance.

The Durham and Guilford school boards sought a court order freeing them from the requirement to select a quarter of their teachers for contract offers. They argued the new law is too vague and leaves them vulnerable to lawsuits. School districts have until June 30 to offer the contracts.

Attorneys representing the state argued school districts could not sue.

North Carolina law for more than 40 years has said veteran teachers can’t be fired or demoted except for a series of listed reasons that include poor performance, immorality and insubordination. Career teachers also have the right to a hearing where they can challenge the reasons offered for their firing or demotion.

Gov. Pat McCrory and other state leaders want to eliminate tenure for all teachers by 2018. McCrory’s teacher advisory committee recommended in January that he work to modify the tenure law with “concrete standards” for selecting teachers who receive contracts and bonuses.

Notice about comments:

Salisburypost.com is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. Salisburypost.com cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not Salisburypost.com. If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.