Court ruling on teaching tenure case could impact local schools - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Court ruling on teaching tenure case could impact local schools

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The New Hanover County School system is closely monitoring a developing story out of Greensboro, to determine what action needs to be taken locally in order to protect teacher pay.

Special Superior Court Judge Richard Doughton granted temporary protection Wednesday to the Guilford County and the Durham School district to not enforce a new rule on teacher tenure.

The ruling means that those districts will not be forced to pick 25% of teachers to get new contracts in exchange for giving up tenure.

Dr. Tim Markley, the Superintendent for New Hanover County Schools said he believes that local teachers will be happy to hear the news. However, before taking action, the school system is waiting to find out how ruling could affect teachers in New Hanover County.

Markley says that New Hanover County was one of the first school districts in the state to push for merit pay instead of 25% rule.

"We think the execution of this rule was not well done. We would rather see the money come to local districts to use to help decide how to improve teacher pay," said Markley. "So we want to see how this plays out before we start implementing."

State law allows school districts until June 30 to select teachers and offer the new contracts. However, it is not clear if the recently approved protection extends to districts outside of Guilford County.

"I think teachers will be happy to hear the news but until we see a final ruling, I'm limited in what I can say about what we plan to do moving forward," said Markley "Hopefully this ruling will send legislature back with something to think about a better way to implement this rule and get more input from the educational community from teachers, principals. Merit pay is worth doing but let's make sure we do it right."

Markley expects to be presented with more information and devise a game plan for the next steps starting next week.

This is the first round of what looks to be a lengthy court battle. Governor Pat McCrory and other state leaders hope to eliminate tenure for all teachers by 2018.

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