Education advocacy group asks JCPS to put "kids first" - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Education advocacy group asks JCPS to put "kids first"

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new education advocacy group calling itself "Kids First Louisville" has launched a strategically-timed radio ad.

"I hope we will all open our eyes -- the community as a whole," said David Nicklies of Kids First Louisville. "We look at this contract, look at our children, see how they're performing and we do the right thing for our kids."

Nicklies serves as President of the group of business leaders, parents and students. He launched the campaign Tuesday, just days before Jefferson County Public School leaders go into their first sit-down with the Jefferson County Teachers Association on a new union contract.

"This is coming from a political organization with a political agenda, and it is not about putting kids first," said Brent McKim, the President of the Jefferson County Teachers Association.

The spot piggy-backs on comments made by Kentucky's Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, saying the district should enter into special agreements with teachers at its lowest-performing schools.

Kids First says the union has a stronghold on JCPS leadership -- endorsing and campaigning for five of the seven school board members currently elected -- and won't allow such a deal.

Here's what's at stake: JCTA represents 5,750 teachers, serving more than 100,000 students.

This spot adds public pressure and scrutiny to both ends of the bargaining table as changes lie ahead.

For the first time in eight years, JCPS will start negotiating a new union contract with its nearly 6,000 teachers.

New teachers union contract talks start Friday.

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