The Jefferson County Teachers Association is sending mailers this week, asking its member to vote on the tentative contract agreement reached between the union and the school system.

JCTA and district officials have spent the last few weeks updating contract language that hasn’t been changed since 2005.

JCPS and the union were under increased pressure from Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday and community groups that have criticized the union contract, saying it has  prevented students from reaching their full potential.

The union has argued against those claims and officials say its preparing to mail the new contract to its members this week. Teachers will vote either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ by next Friday, Jul. 12.

The new contract allows principals to choose from a wider pool of teachers when filling new positions. It also expands the online program teachers and parents use to update individual student progress.

The Jefferson County school board will also vote on the contract. Board members say they wish to reserve comment until they know the results of the teachers vote.