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Teacher Contract Concerns

Organizations advocating for North Carolina teachers are urging them not to sign contracts that erase tenure-type protections.

A new state law eliminates that kind of tenure and directs local school systems to offer four-year contracts and bonuses to 25 percent of teachers identified as top achievers.

The North Carolina Education Association is asking local teachers like Alex Masciarelli, who teaches Spanish at Waynesville Middle School, not to give up his "career status" and not to sign a contract.

He says most teachers he knows are in agreement against the law.

"And I think the teacher solidarity on this issue is really powerful saying, 'Hey, you know what legislators?'  We've got to do better than this," he says.

Masciarelli says picking twenty-five percent of teachers for a contract and bonus is arbitrary.

We don't completely understand the rationale behind the law or understand or see any benefit to it, says Haywood County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte.

Nolte adds, the school district will abide by the state law and is working to build a model to pick a top twenty-five percent.

"And if you want to give pay raises to people, we're going to argue that more than twenty-five percent of our teachers deserve that," he says.

If teachers like Masciarelli don't sign a contract, they'll keep their "career status" until 2018. But at that point, they'd be offered contracts.

By Rex Hodge
Follow Rex on Twitter @RexHodgeWLOS


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