No meeting planned between KDE and JCTA

Terry Holliday
Terry Holliday
KDE responded with an eight page letter.
KDE responded with an eight page letter.
Dr. Donna Hargens
Dr. Donna Hargens

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Jefferson County Public School's superintendent has no plans to facilitate a meeting between Kentucky's Commissioner of Education and the Jefferson County Teacher's Association.

KDE Commissioner Terry Holliday has been very vocal in the last few months about his concern with JCPS' 18 failing schools.

Last month, he wrote a letter asking Dr. Donna Hargens and School Boar Chair Diane Porter to address perceived contract barriers caused by JCTA.

When JCTA President Brent McKim learned of KDE's concerns, he asked for specifics. "We want to understand what the Association can do to be supportive."

On April 19, KDE responded with an eight page letter.

In the letter, KDE cites everything from being months behind in training for a new system to evaluate teacher effectiveness to denying contract deviations for teachers to have an extra prep period.

McKim said the examples are just finger-pointing. In the case of contract deviation requests, he said they've granted most. "We've had 140 requests for those and we've approved 138. To give you a sense of what this letter does, it picks one of the two where we said no and ignores the 138 where we said yes."

McKim said the letter does not help them understand how they can work with the KDE. "I think we should be able to sit down directly. I think it'd be very reasonable to have the district administration in the room as well."

A KDE spokesperson said Holliday would be happy to meet with McKim, but only if JCPS calls the meeting.

Dr. Hargens said she has no plans to set up a meeting. "What I'll be doing is meeting with Mr. McKim regarding any issues. We've already talked about the letter, so that is the best way to proceed and I will communicate with KDE as we do weekly."

Dr. Hargens said when there's an issue she will talk with both sides and deal with it.

To read the full letter from, Terry Holliday, Ph.D. click here.

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