Under the Dome

Guilford County school board votes to sue to stop end of teacher tenure

Smiles one day, conflict the next.

The day after the state’s Republican political leaders went to Guilford County to announce their plan to raise teachers’ starting pay, that county’s board of education voted to sue to stop the implementation of another GOP education initiative, ending teacher tenure.

The Guilford County School Board voted Tuesday to go to court to have the law phasing out tenure declared unconstitutional.

Under the law, districts are to offer 25 percent of their teachers raises of $500 a year over four years in exchange for those teachers giving up their tenure.

A number of school boards have passed resolutions opposing the law.

Guilford has gone farther, with the board deciding to file a lawsuit. The resolution says the law is “remarkably vague and subject to multiple, inconsistent interpretations.”

Senate leader Phil Berger, who was with Guilford Superintendent Maurice “Mo” Green at the pay announcement Monday, sent him a letter Tuesday warning the board about defying the tenure law.

“I am deeply troubled by reports that Guilford County School Board is considering ignoring a law enacted to recognize and reward excellent teachers,” Berger wrote. “Doing so would not only be illegal, but also represents a ‘picking and choosing’ of which laws to follow and punishes top teachers for purely political reasons.”

The Greensboro News & Record reported that about 200 teachers and community members attending the board meeting cheered the board effort.