Skip to Content

NEA President: North Carolina ruling protects students, educators

Decision recognizes a state may not strip teachers of due process protections

WASHINGTON - May 16, 2014 -

A North Carolina Superior Court judge has issued a ruling today in a lawsuit against the state over a repeal of teacher tenure. Six classroom teachers, supported by the North Carolina Association of Educators and National Education Association, filed a lawsuit on Dec. 17, 2013, alleging that the North Carolina General Assembly’s repeal of Career Status violates the federal and state constitutions by eliminating basic due process rights for experienced teachers.

Before the court was undisputed evidence from school superintendents and school board members establishing that due process rights in no way prevent school districts from ensuring there are competent and caring teachers in every classroom. Today, Judge Robert Hobgood agreed and ruled in favor of due process protections for North Carolina’s teachers.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“Misguided initiatives, like the one thrown out today by the court in North Carolina, hurt students by forcing teachers to give up basic protections against arbitrary discharge and serve only to undermine the ability of school districts to recruit and retain high quality teachers. The National Education Association stands with the North Carolina Association of Educators in fighting for what students need to succeed.

“Teachers give up a great deal in terms of status and compensation by choosing to devote their careers to instructing students. In North Carolina, teachers already are paid less than the national average—and less than teachers employed in neighboring states. As school funding continues to be slashed, we’re at risk of losing an entire generation of students who won’t get a second chance. We need to focus on what helps students the most, like supporting new teachers, providing ongoing training, paying teachers a decent salary, and developing reliable evaluation systems to measure teacher effectiveness.”

Follow us on twitter at


The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Staci Maiers, (202) 270-5333 cell,