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Committee Recommends 25 Percent Plan Criteria, Watauga School Board To Approve Monday Night

By Jesse Wood

April 14, 2014. The Watauga County Board of Education will receive an update on the selection of teachers for the “25 Percent Plan,” which is a bill passed by the N.C. General Assembly last summer that will eradicate teacher tenure by 2018-19.

This law requires local school districts to offer 25 percent of teachers a four-year contract with bonus before the 2014-15 school year as long as they give up their career status. The remaining 75 percent will only receive one-year contracts for the next four years. Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, all teachers will either receive one-year, two-year and four-year contracts.

According to minutes from the Watauga County Schools’ Personnel Advisory Committee meeting in March, WCS Human Resources Director Dr. Stephen Martin mentioned that recommended criteria for selecting eligible teachers for the four-year contracts has been determined after tallying the results of a survey sent to all teachers hired on or before September 1, 2013. The following criteria is what has been recommended to the school board:

  • each eligible teacher will be notified they meet the eligibility requirements (three consecutive years and at least proficient ratings) given the opportunity to “opt-in” or “opt-out” of the final selection
  • longevity as defined by total years in education will be used to determine the 25 percent of the eligible teachers who “opt-in”
  • advanced degrees and National Board Certification will be used to determine any tiebreakers
  • if more than 25 percent of eligible teachers “opt-out” then the 25 percent list of teachers would be created from the teachers with the most total years in education

Other criteria identified in the meeting’s packet: teachers with three years experience and teachers evaluated as at least proficient on all five standards of summative evaluations since 2011. 

The criteria above will be presented to the school board at its monthly meeting on Monday, April 14.

According to the meeting minutes which were included in tonight’s meeting packet, “Once approved, letters will be sent to those surveyed letting them know they have or have not met the criteria.” 

Contracts – whether for one year or the four-year with bonus – must be accepted by June 30, 2014. 

See previous articles on this topic below. It is not one that educators have supported and the local school board even adopted a resolution stating opposition to the plan. In the survey, 78 percent of the teachers disagreed with the state law. See the survey results here (on page 105 of pdf). 

Nov. 8, 2013: Watauga County Schools Dealing With State Law Regarding Elimination of Teacher Tenure, New Contracts

Jan. 14, 2014: School Board Receives Update on Selection Process for 25 Percent of Teachers To Receive Four-Year Contracts

Feb. 14, 2014: Watauga County Board of Education Resolution States Opposition to ’25 Percent Plan’ for Teachers