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NEW HANOVER COUNTY TEACHER'S COURT BATTLE SETTLED

 NEW HANOVER COUNTY TEACHER'S COURT BATTLE SETTLED
 WILMINGTON, N.C., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- A long court battle


involving a teacher treated unjustly was settled this week. Elizabeth Williams, an NCAE member and former teacher in New Hanover County, reached a settlement with members of the New Hanover County Board of Education, who denied her a merit pay promotion in 1987.
 Williams and NCAE-sponsored attorney Thomas M. Stern, were able to negotiate a settlement so that Williams will receive her full Career Status II pay plus interest compounded annually.
 "This was a complete victory for Williams," said NCAE President Julia Kron. "We maintained all along that she was an excellent English teacher and had earned a merit pay promotion to Career Status II. I am delighted to see her receive the full merit pay increase plus interest."
 When Williams was denied the promotion, she appealed to a review committee, then to the New Hanover County Board of Education. When the decision was not changed, NCAE attorneys took the case to Superior Court.
 The Board of Education argued that Williams did not have the right to a court hearing based on the law creating the Career Ladder Program, which says that school boards make the final decision in the administrative appeal process.
 When the Superior Court dismissed the complaint, NCAE attorneys appealed the case. In November, 1991, the Court of Appeals ruled that the law creating the Career Ladder Program did not overrule Williams' right to court review. It was then sent back to the New Hanover Superior Court.
 "The Williams case established an important legal principle that a Board of Education does not have the final say on decisions which affect school personnel, such as merit pay promotions," said attorney Stern. "Instead, teachers have the right to have these Board decisions reviewed by a Superior Court judge."
 Kron added that NCAE will continue to fight for the due process rights of its members. "This case provides an important measure of protection against arbitrary actions at the local school level."
 -0- 10/21/92
 /CONTACT: Beth Gargan, NCAE, 919-832-3000 or 800-662-7924/ CO: North Carolina Association of Educators ST: North Carolina IN: SU:


MM -- CH010 -- 3062 10/21/92 15:56 EDT
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Date:Oct 21, 1992
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