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N.C. teachers encouraged to protest

By WCTI Staff
Published On: Feb 03 2014 08:58:15 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 05 2014 01:51:15 PM CST

On Wednesday, a group representing North Carolina teachers plan to increase efforts to fight a state law that phases out more than 40 years of job protections.

On Wednesday, a group representing North Carolina teachers plan to increase efforts to fight a state law that phases out more than 40 years of job protections in favor of employment contracts.

The North Carolina Association of Educators is urging teachers statewide to protest Wednesday against the state's decision to scrap requirements that school administrators follow a defined process when firing a teacher. NCAE is calling it the "Decline to sign" campaign. They are asking teachers to wear red Wednesday and sign petitions against the new law.

The new law ending teacher tenure starts a five-year process moving all educators into employment contracts that make it easier for them to be dismissed.

The North Carolina Association of Educators Vice President Mark Jewell says tenure in North Carolina means teachers have a right to appeal their termination. Jewell said it doesn't guarantee a career for life similar to professors with tenure at the university level.

The association wants teachers to sign a pledge that they won't accept offers of a four-year contract with pay raises totaling $5,000 in exchange for giving up tenure rights. The law asks school districts to select 25% of their teachers to sign these contracts. Criteria to select teachers for the contracts is not very specific said Jewell.

"They're letting every local school board decide the teachers. So, there is no rhyme or reason to it.  You could have the one teacher across the hall teach the third grade  receiving the bonus and another third grade teacher on the same team not getting the bonus. That's destructive," Jewell said.

Supporters say the contracts will promote sharper classroom performance.