Leaders from Kids First Louisville—one of the groups that have criticized the Jefferson County Teachers Association—now say they’re pleased with progress the district and union have made on the new teachers’ contract, which will be voted on by the school board Wednesday night.
The JCTA contract was negotiated over three weeks in June and was approved by union members last week.
The negotiations were under increased pressure this year following remarks made by Kentucky’s Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, who said the union created barriers to turnaround efforts in the district’s lowest-achieving schools, called priority schools.
The union has refuted these claims and its members voted to ratify the agreement last week.
Two groups, including Kids First Louisville, also came out in opposition of the union. Kids First Louisville president David Nicklies says in a written statement to WFPL that there are still many areas to improve upon in future negotiations but he appreciates the “progress toward student achievement evident in this agreement.” He further thanked the school board, union and superintendent for their work.
WFPL received no response from a second group made up of African-American pastors who were also critical of the union negotiations and wanted them done openly in public.
Holliday has also not responded to our request for comment.
JCPS District 7 board member Chris Brady says he’ll vote to approve the contract, adding that it does address some of Holliday’s concerns by reiterating that priority schools are exempt from some of the contract’s provisions. Holliday claimed some teachers working at priority schools were not following this policy.
“In this particular agreement we spelled that out just a little bit more clearly so everyone is on the same page on that,” Brady says.