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School board to discuss changes to contracts, career status

By Rebecca Rider
rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education will consider a recommendation Monday that would dispense with career status for teachers unless it had been earned by Aug. 1, 2013.

The proposed change is due to an omnibus education bill passed by the state legislature in June  2017. The original change to career status was made in a 2012 legislative session, but was set to not come into effect for teachers until June 30, 2018.

Under this law, local school boards would be forbidden from conferring career status to any teacher who had not earned it by Aug. 1, 2013.

According to the local school board’s agenda, teachers who have already earned career status and have remained in the district will not have it taken away.

In the past, career status was granted to any teacher who worked in the same district for four years, and prevented teachers from being unfairly fired or demoted. According to the North Carolina Association for Educators, a career status teacher could only be fired for inadequate performance, insubordination, neglect of duty or a sharp decrease in enrollment numbers. The status also means dismissed teachers have the right to hear an explanation for their dismissal and the right to discuss the issue with an impartial hearing officer.

But Monday’s proposal could usher in a new structure for teacher contracts. Beginning July 1, non-career status teachers could be offered a one, two or four-year contract with the district, depending on teaching experience and performance.

According to the agenda, any teacher with less than three years teaching experience in Rowan-Salisbury Schools would only be offered a one-year contract.

If, after three years, the teacher is rated as “accomplished” on certain evaluation measures, they may opt for a two-year contract. If they are rated as “distinguished,” they may request a four-year contract.

Another recommendation would offer the two- and four-year contracts if teachers were rated “proficient” or “accomplished” for all three years.

Other measures, such as employee conduct, individual PDP, teacher attendance or student growth may also be considered in determining eligible contract lengths.

This is the only discussion action item on Monday’s agenda.

The board will meet Monday in the Wallace Educational Forum board room, 500 N. Main St. The meeting begins at 4 p.m. with closed session; Celebrations are held at 5 p.m. and public comment begins at 6 p.m.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 

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