'Kids First' group takes aim at teachers union contracts but JCTA leader says claims are false

05/29/2013 11:09 AM

A group called “Kids First Louisville” has launched a new ad campaign taking aim at the Jefferson County Teachers Association before contract negotiations begin with the school district.

As WFPL first reported , Kids First Louisville said they are trying to raise awareness about the upcoming negotiations while also criticizing the union’s contract.

The ad highlights Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday’s comment about Jefferson County Public Schools creating an environment of “academic genocide.”

“Home to 40% of the state’s failing school and a drop out rate of nearly double the state average, Louisville’s public schools are failing our children, but why is this happening?” the ad asks. “One serious problem is the Jefferson County Teachers Association union contract. It puts the desires of union bosses ahead of the needs of our children.”

Audio of the ad below (from WFPL):

The ad continues to say the current contract makes it difficult to place experienced teachers in the failing schools that need them most and makes it nearly impossible to remove ineffective teachers from the classroom.

Jefferson County Teachers Association President Brent McKim says the claims in the ad are false because in the first four years of a teacher’s career they can be let go for any reason.

“This organization is a political organization with a political agenda and it is not about kids,” McKim said. “It is about privatizing education and taking away tax dollars from our public schools.”

The ad campaign began running Tuesday and will run for two weeks. JCTA contract negotiations begin on June 3rd.

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Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.

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