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Schools to offer multi-year teacher contracts

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools will be offering multi-year contracts to experienced teachers in good standing, an option that has not been allowed by the state legislature for the past five years.

In an effort to eliminate tenure, the N.C.General Assembly voted in 2013 to only allow one-year teacher contracts, a decision some state lawmakers felt would make it easier for school districts to rid themselves of teachers who weren’t making the grade.

However, the most recent state budget went a step further in increasing teacher contracts by allowing school districts the option of now extending multi-year contracts of up to four years to teachers under certain circumstances.

“We were given four options by the state,” said Brian Miller, chief of staff for Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools. “We choose the second option.”

Under the new policy, which was adopted unanimously last week by the school board, “a new or renewed contract will be for a term of one school year for teachers who have been employed by the board as a teacher for less than three years.”

Teachers who are employed by the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools for three or more years and who are in good standing will receive a two-year contract initially, the policy states. If they remain in good standing when it comes time for the two-year contract to be renewed, their subsequent contracts will be for four school years, according to the policy.

For contract purposes, a teacher will be considered in good standing if they rate at least “proficient” on all standards of teacher evaluation for the two most recent evaluations; have not been on a corrective action plan for the past two academic years; have not received any written reprimands, demotions or suspensions without pay during that same time period; don’t have any other relevant negative performance information in their file; and are recommended by their principal for a multi-year contract.

“We reviewed our neighboring districts with regard to their contract options and most have chosen this option,” Miller said. “Edgecombe, Franklin, Johnston, Wilson and Pitt counties have adopted policies similar to this. Wake is using a modification of this policy and Roanoke Rapids is using a rolling two-year contract.”

Teachers who are not in good standing can only have their contracts renewed for one year, the policy notes. The school district also retains the right of non-renewal of contracts and can dismiss teachers under certain conditions at any time.

“Employment contracts for teaching will be granted or renewed only for individuals of proven ability who strive for excellence,” the policy states.

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