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CMS board to hold nose, vote on 25 percent plan for teacher pay

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The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board will vote Tuesday for a teacher contract plan that members hope to toss out.

Last summer, the state ordered all school districts to choose 25  percent of eligible teachers who will be offered four-year contracts and $500-a-year raises. It’s part of a plan to phase out tenure by 2018.

Superintendent Heath Morrison and board members have been vocal about how much they dislike that plan, which they say forces them to choose an arbitrary number for rewards while doing nothing for large numbers of good teachers. The board unanimously voted earlier this month to ask state lawmakers to set aside the mandate for a year and let CMS come up with a better plan.

But the General Assembly doesn’t convene until May 14, and until it is revised, the law says the four-year contracts must be signed by June. So Morrison and his staff have spent months talking with teachers and coming up with a selection process that will go to the school board Tuesday.

A state lawyer has warned that districts that fail to comply could criminal charges, the (Raleigh) News & Observer reports.

Once the board signs off, CMS will move ahead with making the offers, even as teacher groups and school districts across the state fight to block the state plan. Guilford and Durham school districts filed suit last week, challenging the constitutionality of the plan. The N.C. Association of Educators had filed a similar suit late last year.

Also Tuesday, the CMS board will vote on a legislative agenda that calls for raising teacher pay and getting more flexibility on issues such as the school calendar and summer camps for third-graders who fail reading exams.

Helms: 704-358-5033; Twitter: @anndosshelms
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