Teacher Tenure Wins in Court

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by Will Kennedy
Bio | Email | Follow: @willkennedynews by Photojournalist Terrence Walker

 CHARLOTTE, NC --  More money, and protection for tenure.

North Carolina teachers are ready to fight for their futures. It's a battle taking place in Raleigh, in the courts and in classrooms across the state.

"North Carolina declared war in its teaching corps," says Judy Kidd, president of the Classroom Teachers Association.

The battle has been brewing, now it's reaching a tipping point. 'Tenure' is a dirty word when it comes to our teachers, who feel their livelihood is under attack.

"What career status actually is, it is a means with which a good teacher can protect themselves from subjective firing," says Kidd.   

 A Wake County judge ruled that the legislature's action to end teacher tenure is unconstitutional, ordering a permanent injunction against implementing a law that ends career status.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrisson tells WCCB Charlotte, "We're hopeful today's ruling will allow all NC schools the opportunity to work collaboratively with lawmakers to develop a solution."

The eventual outcome of this case may affect the future for thousands of North Carolina teachers, and the profession itself.

Pamela Grundy has a 7th grader at Randolph Middle in South Charlotte. Two of her son's teachers left during this school year.

"It's the combination of things that has led to a real low morale among teachers, and I certainly understand why they'd be leaving," says Grundy

Governor Pat McCrory wants to raise teacher salaries by an average of two percent starting July 1, but sees a paid performance plan as the best way to reward outstanding educators. 

"It's going to be a great plan which gives longevity to teachers who are showing leadership, who show results and also have good experience," says Gov. McCrory.

Republican state senator David Curtis is trying to help get more money for teachers. He sponsored a bill filed Thursday requiring at least 51percent of money spent on public education go to classroom teachers.

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