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Moving Ahead With Teacher Contracts

Lawmakers voted this summer to eventually eliminate teacher tenure, replacing it with temporary contracts. The State Board of Education will discuss a model contract this week.

 The State Board of Education is expected to approve a model employment contract for teachers this week, as teacher tenures will end within the next few years. 

The model is expected to give local school boards some guidance when drafting their own pacts with teachers.

The new contract system is the replacement of teacher tenure, which ended this summer under new legislation and will be phased out within the next few years. Also known as career status, it gave teachers of more than four years the right to a hearing if ever dismissed or demoted.

The teacher contracts will offer teachers temporary contracts of one to four years. Teachers deemed to be the best 25 percent will receive the four-year contracts, which also come with a bonus.

The model contract was drafted by State Board of Education attorney Katie Cornetto, who pulled inspiration from existing contracts in Indiana and Mississippi, and collected feedback from teachers, local superintendents and other stakeholders.

She adds that the model contract was designed to offer local school boards flexibility when creating their own agreements with teachers.

At the legislative education oversight committee on Tuesday, Senator Jerry Tillman commended the contract, saying that a general framework will keep local school boards out of “legal entanglements” and prevent future problems.

Once the model is approved, the board will set out permanent contract-making rules for local school boards to follow.

Reema Khrais joined WUNC in 2013 to cover education in pre-kindergarten through high school. Previously, she won the prestigious Joan B. Kroc Fellowship. For the fellowship, she spent a year at NPR where she reported nationally, produced on Weekends on All Things Considered and edited on the digital desk. She also spent some time at New York Public Radio as an education reporter, covering the overhaul of vocational schools, the contentious closures of city schools and age-old high school rivalries.
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