(NEWS RELEASE) -- The Jefferson County Board of Education (JCBE) has approved a new five-year contract with the Jefferson County Teachers Association (JCTA). This action follows the ratification of the contract by the JCTA membership and is effective immediately.
“The collaborative nature with which the district and JCTA approached these negotiations reflects an ongoing commitment to focus our collective efforts on those initiatives that will boost student achievement and help all students succeed,” said Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS)
Superintendent Donna Hargens. “This agreement will further enhance the systems and structures we have put in place to ensure schools remain the center of our universe.”
Brent McKim, president of JCTA, agreed and said he believes the contract reflects a commitment to managing resources efficiently.
“We were all trying to negotiate the best agreement possible at a time when we are dealing with federal sequestration and state budget cuts. It’s a particularly bad year to be bargaining for programs and services that require financial resources,” McKim said. “In spite of these challenges, we were able to make a significant number of improvements to the agreement, which will benefit students, teachers, and parents.”
Key provisions within the plan include:
• Revising the transfer process to provide principals and schools with more flexibility in hiring teachers who best meet the needs of individual schools.
• Providing parents with the opportunity to access grades and attendance information online via Parent Portal, a secure Web-based system.
• Making explicit that principals at the district’s 18 Priority Schools have complete autonomy in hiring.
The JCBE also approved the employee salary schedules for the upcoming school year. JCPS employees will not receive a cost of living increase and only eligible employees will receive a step increase.
Diane Porter, chair of the JCBE, believes the new contract reflects the JCBE’s, the district’s, and JCTA’s commitment to addressing the needs of students and the community by directing more resources into the schools.
Separately from the contract and as part of an ongoing effort to provide schools with additional resources, the JCBE has committed $5 million in fund balance to provide targeted interventions and extended learning hours for students across the district.
“Under the leadership of Superintendent Donna Hargens, the district has been deliberate in identifying and developing those initiatives that align with our Strategic Plan: Vision 2015 and support our 4 focus areas and 36 strategies,” Porter said. “Moving forward, the Board remains committed to putting the needs of students first and fulfilling our responsibility to ensuring the district produces graduates who are college- and career-ready.”