LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It wasn't on the board meeting agenda for Tuesday, but it was certainly discussed during the meeting .. and before.
It started outside the JCPS board meeting Tuesday, where the cheers were loud and clear.
Support staff want better pay and better treatment from JCPS.
"We're being nurse, doctor, counselor to those kids, and we just think we deserve a little more respect and pay than we are getting right now," said Sandy Mays with the Jefferson County Association of Educational Support Personnel.
But for Highland Middle School parent Susan Bruner, the issue isn't about pay.
"On numerous occasions, there are not enough subs, and I've been witness to it three times myself," Bruner said.
Instead, Bruner and her son Thomas say support staff are overseeing the classroom.
"When they don't have enough, they'll pull five and six classes into one room. They'll be sitting on floors and watching movies all day," Bruner said.
We just sit and watch movies," Thomas Bruner said. "And when we have substitutes, the whole class just goes crazy, and they don't know how to fix it."
JCPS says there are plenty of subs available.
"We have 1,300 subs in our substitute teacher pool," said Allison Martin, spokesperson for JCPS. "That is up from about 1,100 earlier in the year."
But those who rallied outside the board meeting say that isn't enough.
"Our biggest issue with subs is there are none," Mays said. "We have come to the board and asked them to hire permanent subs, and that doesn't seem to be an option."
JCPS says it's crucial to have certified teachers in the classroom at all times.
"That's the expectation, and I know that was communicated to our principals and has been multiple times throughout the year," Martin said.
For Bruner and her son, they just want the best teacher possible.
"I want to learn and get good grades so I can go to college and get a good job," Thomas Bruner said.
As far as the support staff who were outside, they will be negotiating a new contract and hope to have a new one by summer.
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