For several months Superintendent Tipton has met with teachers, principals, central office staff, and board members to seek input on this plan. As the plan evolved some questions asked were, “Who will this plan include?” and “Are we looking at only our very best teachers?” “Is this plan fair?”
Superintendent Tipton has responded, “Not necessarily. Many of our teachers have opted out, I.E. chosen not to participate, as they feel that this requirement from the General Assembly by design will divide teachers, is very unfair, and does absolutely nothing to improve instruction.”
All eligible, certified staff in Yancey County Schools were given the opportunity to respond in one of three ways.
- I opt-out (reject the offer)
- I opt-in (accept the offer), or
- I am unsure at this time
Options 2 and 3 allowed teachers to wait until later in the year before opting out of the offer. Based on the plan approved by the Board, the 25% of certified teachers will be selected from those teachers choosing Option 2 or 3 - which means the offer will include some of our best teachers but not necessarily all of our best teachers.
Chairman Mike Orr added, “We want parents and citizens alike to understand that this plan does not represent the 25% of our best teachers here in Yancey County. It simply represents our best attempt to comply with state law and remain as fair as possible to our employees.
Vice Chairman Jack Tipton added, “Our legislature has determined that 25% of the teachers in Yancey County are eligible for a raise. Obviously, many of our quality teachers will not receive raises under any plan that is limited to 25% of our staff.
I do not think there is a right way to develop a plan to do the wrong thing. However, this plan does fulfill our lawful obligations.”
In addition to accepting the plan for review, the Board signed a Resolution requesting the Board the General Assembly allow it to retain its prorated share of the $10 million dollars allocated for the 25% contract plan to be used for alternative pay or compensation for additional duties such as mentoring or leadership roles. The Resolution further states that the Yancey County Board of Education urges the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal the 25% contract plan and develop a more effective long-term compensation plan for teachers tied to career paths with input from the education and business community.