In a unanimous decision, the North Carolina Supreme Court held that state lawmakers had violated the constitutional rights of veteran teachers when they retroactively stripped them of their tenure protections.
In 2013, Republican lawmakers pushed through legislation that would phase out job protections for all teachers by 2018. The state’s teachers’ union swiftly challenged it.
Taking tenure away from teachers who had already earned it violates the contracts clause of the U.S. Constitution, the court said. The ruling means that while those teachers will maintain their tenure rights, teachers hired since the law went into effect still don’t have a route to “career status.”
A version of this article appeared in the April 27, 2016 edition of Education Week as N.C. Supreme Court Rejects Teacher Anti-Tenure Law