CMS School Board Reluctantly Approves New Teacher Pay Plan

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by Christine Noel

 CHARLOTTE, NC-- A new teacher pay plan was a hot topic at Tuesday night's CMS school board meeting.

 In a majority vote, the CMS Board reluctantly approved the selection process for a teacher pay plan that will be extended to about 1,500 eligible teachers. That plan, aimed to phase out teacher tenure over the next several years was mandated by the state last summer. It will give 4-year contracts and a $500-a-year raise to a quarter of teachers in each district state-wide. 

Earlier this month, CMS passed a resolution asking state lawmakers to postpose the law for a year.
 
The selection process revealed Tuesday night is determined on a point system based on specific criteria. Eligible teachers must have at least three years of proficient or higher ratings. And teachers are assigned points for teaching classes that are hard to fill, if they have advanced degrees, are Nationally Board Certified, or have multiple licensure areas.
 
Dr. Terri Cockerham, CMS Chief Resource Officer, says her team spent more than 300 hours on the plan. "We worry about our teachers, and we want what's best for them. We're not sure this is it," says Cockerham.
 
West Charlotte resident Faye Jones says she has grandchildren and great-grandchildren in CMS. She worries the plan will weaken teacher moral and scare off solid educators.
 
"I don't want the kids to get the worst education because of what they're doing to the teachers," says Faye, "...That's why we are losing good quality teachers to private and charter schools... because we are not doing our part."
 
The State Legislature convenes May 14. There's no word if lawmakers will consider that request from CMS and other districts to delay the new teacher pay law.
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