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Teacher contract policy gets first reading

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By Brian Wudkwych
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A policy change focused on teacher retention and job security for proven educators underwent its first reading during Monday’s Pitt County Board of Education meeting, moving it a step closer to taking effect. 

Revised Policy 7410 will give qualified teachers who have taught in Pitt County for more than three consecutive years a chance to earn two- and four-year contracts starting in July. Many teachers have worked on a year-to-year contract basis since a law enacted by the state General Assembly in December 2013 began the process of eliminating tenure.

Four-year contracts will be offered to teachers who had tenure before Dec. 19, 2013, and to teachers who started work on or before Dec. 19, 2013, and have remained employed by the school system since then.

Two year contracts will be offered to all other eligible teachers upon completion of three-year consecutive years with the district. Teachers could be eligible for four-year contracts after completion of a two-year contract. 

Contracts will be offered only to teachers who meet standards for “good standing.” The policy says good standing will be awarded if the teacher:

• Received a rating of at least “proficient” on all standards of the teacher evaluation instrument on the two most recent annual evaluations.

• Is not currently on a monitored, direct or mandatory improvement plan and has not been on any such plan at any time during the current or previous school year.

• Has not received a written reprimand, demotion, suspension without pay, or other documented disciplinary action during the current or previous school year.

• Has no other relevant performance information in the personnel file that would support a decision to disqualify the teacher from a multi-year contract.

• Based on overall performance, is recommended by the principal for a multi-year contract.

If a teacher leaves Pitt County Schools then returns, the prior service will not be considered when it comes to awarding contracts.

Teachers who do not meet good standing will be eligible for one-year contracts only.

The change in policy was triggered by state-mandates that required school districts to choose new contract standards in the post-tenure workplace. The standards will be in place by the the end of the current school year, when all remaining tenure is eliminated.

The board will have to hold another reading of the policy before it can voted on the matter. Monday’s reading did not prompt any discussion. The policy is expected to go into effect in July.

Contact Brian Wudkwych at bwudkwych@reflector.com or 252-329-9567 and follow @brianwudkwych on Twitter.

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