A Superior Court judge in Guilford County has wisely put the brakes on North Carolina’s new teacher tenure restrictions. Here’s hoping the ruling will give state legislators pause to reconsider how the law they passed last year affects under-appareciated teachers.
It has been reported many times, but it bears repeating: North Carolina’s teacher tenure policy does not mean a teacher can never be fired. It simply means that veteran teachers who are dismissed have a right to a hearing.
A law passed last year by the N.C. General Assembly offered $500 “bonuses” to the top 25 percent of the state’s teachers, provided the teachers give up their tenure.
That proposition met fierce resistance from educators and from boards of education all over North Carolina. We can’t help but think it furthered the decline of morale of teachers, who have not received a significant pay increase for too many years.
Other news media have reported that more than 600 teachers left Wake County Schools last year.
Some of those teachers likely took better paying jobs in classrooms in Virginia, which has been competing heavily for North Carolina talent. Others probably left the profession altogether.
For all the lip service North Carolina leaders pay to quality education, we sure do a lousy job of encouraging the front line of educators in the challenging jobs before them.
Let’s hope lawmakers take the recent ruling to heart and look for better ways to improve North Carolina schools.