In 2013, our Republican-dominated legislature passed a bill offering a (pitifully small) supplement to teachers designated as being among the top 25 percent of their colleagues. If they accepted it, they would give up tenure, which in this state doesn’t ensure lifelong employment, but requires a hearing for teachers threatened with losing their jobs.
A number of schools and teachers’ groups signed “decline-to-sign” pronouncements, and two school systems challenged the program in the courts. Judge Robert Hobgood ruled that it is unconstitutional to rescind tenure from teachers who already have it.
Now Sen. Phil Berger’s proposal offers a large increase in teacher pay but demands that anyone accepting the increase give up tenure. So a teacher who accepts the salary increase must surrender rights to a hearing. Let’s call this situation what it is: bribery.