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Wake School Board opposes teacher tenure law

The Wake County School Board passed a resolution Tuesday evening opposing a controversial teacher tenure law.
March 5, 2014 4:57:13 AM PST
The Wake County School Board unaminously passed a resolution Tuesday evening opposing a controversial teacher tenure law.

The law would eliminate tenure for teachers, and Wake County isn't the first school district to challenge that legislation, which would take effect in 2018.

School leaders called it counterproductive and harmful to education.

Under the legislation, 25 percent of teachers will be offered four-year contracts and a bonus in return for them giving up tenure.

Wake County School Board members want legislators to repeal the law by the end of June and come up with a more effective plan for teacher pay.

"This legislation creates division among teachers, when we know the better way to improve our schools is through collaboration," said Board Chairwoman Christine Kushner. "We applaud the General Assembly for its efforts to improve teacher pay, but we ask them to do more. Talented teachers are walking away from Wake County, and away from North Carolina. We are asking the General Assembly to reconsider this legislation, and in its place, develop a compensation plan that is tied to career growth and pulls North Carolina teacher salaries up to the national average."

School Board Vice-Chair Tom Benton says teacher morale is the lowest he's seen it in 40 years.

"We have yet to find a single system in the state that has found a positive way to deal with this law," said Benton. "Not only have they not found a positive way, but they all consistently talk about the negative impact that this particular law will have on the culture on our schools and be a further insult to our teachers that are working as hard as they can work."

The North Carolina Association of Educators has filed a lawsuit to repeal the law. The Guilford County school board also plans to file a lawsuit.

The next step for Wake County Schools is to set up meeting with State House Speaker Thom Tillis and State Senate Majority Leader Phil Berger.

Durham Public Schools will tackle the same tenure issue Wednesday when the board holds a special meeting at 3 p.m.

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