CMS school board tackling the controversial 25 percent rule - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

CMS school board tackling the controversial 25 percent rule

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The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board (CMS) will decide on a resolution Tuesday night that will delay implementing a controversial new law state politicians passed during the last session of the General Assembly.

CMS is requesting the delay for one year. During the moratorium CMS would develop its own plan and allow teachers to help with it.

"We want more of our employees to have buy into this." CMS School Board Chairperson Mary McCray said.

As the law stands now school boards have to identify 25 percent of their best teachers. They would be eligible to receive a $500 bonus for the next four years. CMS school board members say they were concerned about implementing the new law.

"When you only set up a few to be rewarded," McCray said. "And nothing for the mass of your teaching force then you are looking for division."

Judy Kidd from the Classroom Teachers Association thinks the proposed resolution CMS will pass is not strong enough.

"We're always a day late and two dollars short," Kidd said. "I think it's a little bit weak. Wake county and Guilford had a backbone."

Wake, Guilford and Brunswick county school districts already passed resolutions stating they would not be following this law. Kidd thought CMS should have taken the lead on this issue.

CMS says those counties did what was best for them. CMS board members didn't want to do that because they say that would be disobeying state law.

While CMS waits to see if their resolution gets approved, state lawmaker Sen. Jeff Tarte believes this 25% rule set school districts up for failure.

"The ability for the school system to implement this," Tarte said. "Is probably beyond their means, which makes this thing is a big problem."

Tarte now says lawmakers are considering tweaking the law. He also says there should be lessons learned from creating the 25% rule.

"I think going forward," Tarte said. "We need to be listening to people who are directly impacted and have expertise in this."

Politicians could tweak the law either during its short session which starts in May or the longer session which begins next year.

"There's an endless supply of stupid in state government," Tarte said. "Part of our responsibility is to go fix a lot of that even when we create it ourselves."

CMS school board members say the intent of the law was good but it still needs work.

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