Education
12:00 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Group Attacks Jefferson County Teachers Union Ahead Of Contract Negotations

A group has launched a campaign against the Jefferson County Teachers Association ahead of contract negotiations that are expected to begin June 3.

Education Commissioner Terry Holliday and Superintendent Donna Hargens address the community earlier this year.
Credit Devin Katayama

Kids First Louisville organizers say the teachers union contract proposal impedes changes that could improve student outcomes. They echo Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, who told JCPS it needs to address the apparent issues the union contract creates, or be in further jeopardy of state sanctions. 

In a statement to WFPL, Kids First Louisville president David Nicklies said, "Kids First Louisville believes the JCTA contract is one of the most restrictive union contracts in the country and as such, has created a barrier to success for Louisville's students."  

Spokesman Joe Burgan says Kids First Louisville will begin running radio ads for at least the next two weeks. The ads mentioned Holliday's remarks where he refers to some JCPS schools as creating an environment of "academic genocide."

The ad further says: “The contract makes it difficult to place experienced teachers in the failing schools that need them most. It excludes student achievement from teacher evaluations and it makes it nearly impossible to remove ineffective teachers from the classroom.”

JCTA president Brent McKim says Burgan’s  group has a political agenda to villainize  the union and the group includes several people who want charter schools.

Both sides argue the others’ viewpoint is not in the best interest of students.

Burgan, who has also been involved in the Kentucky charter schools movement, would not say how much the campaign is costing.