NC teacher tenure debate. How much is this property worth?

5th_amendmentThe NC Legislature made two attempts to last year to end “career status” or tenure, both of which were shot down by two different judges in May. Although Judge Hobgood’s official opinion isn’t published yet, he ruled that tenure is a property right that teachers have earned and cannot simply be taken away without fair compensation. The law that tried to wipe tenure out of our school systems in 2018 was declared unconstitutional, based on the 5th amendment. It does not appear that ruling will be challenged because the NC Senate made a third attempt to remove tenure, this time compensating teachers for it by voluntarily moving to a new, higher payscale than the current one.

This begs the questions: What is fair compensation for teacher tenure? Would moving to the new payscale be worthwhile? Fair compensation for property is a lump sum payment, not annual payment that maybe changed to an unknown amount at some point in the future, every summer when new budgets are created.

To keep it simple, I compared the current bachelor scale (state base, no local supplements) to the newly proposed “No-Tenure” scale to see what the NC Senators thought your tenure is worth if they wrote one big check today, instead of yearly payments down the road.

Assuming a traditional 30 year career, a teacher with five years experience would be paid $130,500 to give up tenure for the remaining 25 years of her career. Ten years of experience would be $107,000 to forego 20 years of tenure, a 15 year teacher would receive $84,250 and 20 year teacher would get $41,520.

  Years of        Lump Sum       Years Without
Experience       Payment             Tenure
5                 $130,500               25
10                $107,500               20
15                 $84,250                15
20                 $41,250                10
25                 $18,900                 5

What are your thoughts? Would you consider this fair?

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