A judge in Guilford County, North Carolina, ruled that the district and Durham Counties do not have to comply with a state law intended to take away tenure.

It’s not yet clear whether e the ruling applies statewide or only to the districts that opposed the law.

But for now, teachers view it as vindication of their claim that the law violates the state constitution.

Districts were supposed to offer $500 a year for the top 25% of their teachers if they abandoned due process rights.

“RALEIGH, N.C. — A Guilford County judge on Wednesday halted a requirement that North Carolina school districts offer a quarter of their teachers multi-year contracts as an enticement for them to give up their so-called “career status” protections.

“Special Superior Court Judge Richard Doughton issued an injunction that allows Guilford County Schools to evade the requirement, which lawmakers passed last year as part of the state budget.

“Durham Public Schools last month joined a lawsuit filed by the Guilford County school district, and more than a quarter of the 115 school districts statewide have expressed opposition to contract requirement.

“Under career status, commonly referred to as tenure, veteran teachers are given extra due process rights, including the right to a hearing if they are disciplined or fired.

“Lawmakers asked school districts to identify the top 25 percent of their teachers and offer them new four-year contracts with $500 annual salary increases. In exchange, those teachers would lose their tenure rights. The provision aims to move North Carolina to a performance-based system for paying teachers instead of one based on longevity.

“A spokeswoman for Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, who initially crafted the tenure elimination proposal, said legislative leaders plan to seek an appeal of Doughton’s injunction.

“It is hard to fathom why a single judge and a small group of government bureaucrats would try to deny top-performing teachers from receiving a well-deserved pay raise,” Amy Auth said in an email. “We will appeal this legal roadblock and continue to fight for pay increases for our best teachers.”

Because if low pay and the legislsture’s attacks on teachers, North Carolina has experienced unprecedented resignations among veteran teachers. The legislature, for example, abolished the respected five-year NC Teaching Fellows program while allotting $5 million to TFA.