Burton and Narendra, together with co-counsel Ann McColl of the North Carolina Association of Educators, yesterday moved for summary judgment in their lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s elimination of teacher tenure.
Since 1971, North Carolina’s teachers who earned “career status” have benefited from two basic employments protections: first, the assurance that they could be dismissed or demoted only for one of several statutorily enumerated causes, and second, the right to a hearing in which they could contest the grounds offered for a dismissal or demotion. In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation purporting to eliminate career status. The legislation would strip career status protections from teachers who had previously earned them, and would deny probationary teachers the ability to qualify for career status.
Patterson Harkavy represents the North Carolina Association of Educators and six individual plaintiffs. They allege that the repeal violates the United States Constitution’s Contracts Clause and the North Carolina Constitution’s Law of the Land Clause by impermissibly denying teachers their contractual employments rights.