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Breaking News

ESEA Agreement Nears!!!

As reported in The Washington Post, Politico and Education Week, the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), America’s biggest education law that governs our schools, is entering its final phases in the House and the Senate.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress met this week to begin to iron out the final version of the bill, and to make sure it includes what students and educators need in the classroom, they need to hear from you.

The details in this reauthorization of this bill will matter. Call your representative now by dialing 866-331-7233, and then entering your ZIP code. We’ll give you everything you need to advocate over the phone.

When we started on this journey, we had a short list of important asks:

  • Ensure students have access to the supports they need to succeed by making opportunity for all students a priority.
  • Reduce the absurd amount of testing our students face and end the high-stakes and punish decisions attached to them.
  • Give educators an increased voice as part of the education policy process.

We are optimistic that Congress is listening, but we have to ensure that these elements remain in the new ESEA. Call your representative now: 866-331-7233. It will only take a few minutes!

The passage of this law will not be the end of an effort. It will actually be the beginning of our effort to implement the law that is a victory for students in every zip code.

We’re nearly there. Thank you for taking action!


Mary Kusler
Director of Government Relations
National Education Association



JCTA was first established in 1968. Over thirty-five years later we are the recognized bargaining agent for over 6,000 certified personnel employed by Jefferson County Public Schools. We represent teachers, librarians, speech clinicians, physical therapists and occupational therapists in every one of the public schools in Jefferson County. 

Our mission is to serve as the active voice of our members; promote quality and equity in public schools; expand and protect the rights and interests of our members; and advocate human, civil and economic rights for all.

» Job Posting for Program Assistant

Lighthouse Academy at Newburg
5312 Shepherdsville Road
Louisville, Ky. 40228
Phone # 502-964-5909

Program Assistant

The Lighthouse Academy at Newburg is looking for a person to provide academic assistance and oversee gym activities for children, K-8, in our after school and summer programs at the center.

The hours are:
• During school year: Mon. through Thursday, 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. each day JCPS is in session.
• During Summer: Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during a 5 week summer session.

Applicants need to be willing to work both during the school year and during the summer.

The pay is $10/hr for anyone with a college degree and $8/hr for anyone without a college degree.

Contact person: Al Kirkpatrick, phone # 502-245-7160
e-mail resume to alakirk@gmail.com (preferred) or mail resume to the Lighthouse Community Center at address above.

» JCTA Human and Civil Rights Commission MLK Jr Diversity Contest

2015-2016 JCTA Martin Luther King, Jr Diversity Contest:

JCTA’s Human & Civil Rights Committee invites our members' students to participate in the 2015-2016 JCTA Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Visual Arts, Writing and Drama Contests. First Place Winners will be awarded $75, be invited to attend the MLK Jr Dinner with two guests. All entries must be received in the JCTA office by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 2, 2015. Click HERE to download the contest information. Contact UniServ Director Dawn Moretz at 454-3400 or dawn.moretz@jcta.org if you have any questions.

» 2015-2016 MLK Scholarship Application

JCTA is offering Exemplary Student Scholarships to two Jefferson County Public School seniors. The Jefferson County Teachers Association will honor these two JCPS seniors during its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dinner with a $1,000 scholarship for each recipient. The dinner will take place during January 2016. (Details regarding the location and time will be provided to the winners in December.) The scholarship winners are requested to attend the memorial dinner and will be provided two complimentary tickets for guests.

Click here to get the scholarship requirements and scholarship application.

Students should send their completed scholarship application package to the JCTA office (located at 1941 Bishop Lane, Suite 300) by Wednesday, December 9, 2015.  If you have any questions, contact UniServ Dawn Moretz at dawn.moretz@jcta.org or 454-3400.

» KTRS Clarification from JCTA President Brent McKim

One VERY BIG aspect of the Governer's race is where each candidate stands on KTRS funding.  Click here to watch a brief, but important video from JCTA President Brent McKim regarding why it matters who is elected governer in part due to each candidate's plan for funding KTRS.

» It's Time to Ramp up the Pressure to get ESEA Right!

It is time to ramp up the pressure!

It would seem, of all things, that Speaker John Boehner’s resignation has resulted in some activity on the ESEA front. The chairs and ranking members of the education committees (Sens. Alexander and Murray, and Reps. Kline and Scott) have been in actual negotiations and staff have begun to go quiet – typically a sign an agreement is nearing and could be released in the next few weeks. (It’s either that or they are planning an epic Halloween party.) Let’s play it safe and assume that we are going hear a formal announcement soon followed by the appointment of conferees.

What does this mean? It means the finish line is in sight! NEA is partnering with ten other national education groups (the same ones we have been pressing Congress with for months now) for an online media campaign that will run next week pushing for a completed bill that can reach the president. It also means that your continued advocacy is more important than ever to ensuring the conference committee produces a completed bill that can reach the president’s desk.

As you may have heard, the Obama administration made an announcement over the weekend about working to limit over testing (NEA’s statement on the announcement). Momentum continues to build around the priorities NEA has outlined for ESEA Reauthorization. We must keep our foot on the gas pedal to drive this thing home.

How can you help? It’s simple!

Go to GetESEARight.com to send an email, or call 1-866-331-7233 to urge Senator Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul to finish the job. Also, schedule back home meetings with your Representatives – they are on (another) recess the week of November 9th, the Senate will still be in DC. Stay tuned for more information on activities we are planning to drive home this bill.


Our students should not live under the broken system of No Child Left Behind or a patchwork of waivers any longer. Push your legislators hard and remind them that we will not stand idly by while students aren’t receiving the opportunities and resources they need and deserve simply because of the zip code they live in. For rank and file members, urge them to push Committee leaders and Congressional leaders to finish their work swiftly and bring a final bill forward. Finish the job - get ESEA done and get it right.

We want a bill that more closely resembles the Senate bill (S. 1177) and:
• Includes student and/or school supports in state accountability plans to create an opportunity “dashboard”
• Reduces the amount of standardized testing in schools and decouples high-stakes decision making and statewide standardized tests.
• Ensures that educators’ voices are part of decision making at the federal, state and local levels

It truly is make or break time right now. Congress has a lot of self-imposed distractions that are currently weighing on the minds of many on Capitol Hill but if you keep up the amazing work you have done this year I know we will be successful. Thank you for all you do! Have a safe and spooky weekend!

» KY Health Insurance Information

There have been many with questions regarding changes in the KY Health Insurance Plan.  To assist members, we are reposting a "Letter from the President" written by Brent McKim for the October 2, 2013 edition of the ACTION newsletter.CLICK HERE to read President McKim's letter.

» The Devaluing of Head Start

Know WHO you are voting FOR and WHAT you are voting AGAINST:

At a recent event in Jessamine County, Republican Lt. Governor candidate Jenean Hampton continued her campaign's pattern of disparaging early learning programs, stating that Head Start is being used for "indoctrination."

HAMPTON: "See I remember when Head Start began and it was just for low income, very low income kids because they were not getting at home the training they should have gotten. That's what that was for. But I suspect, I truly suspect that now it's just being used to get the kids at an even earlier age and just start the indoctrination sooner. That's my feelings."

Click here to view Jenean Hampton's remarks.

» JCTA Holds Press Conference to Address JCPS Student Misconduct

On Thursday, September 24th, JCTA President Brent McKim held a press conference during which he addressed the lack of district level support in regards to JCPS student behavior problems.  McKim cited results from the most recent TELL Survey which had been completed during the spring of 2015 by JCPS teachers across the district. JCTA is strongly encouraging the JCPS Board of Education and Superintendent Donna Hargens to work with the Teamsters and community members to both acknowledge the overwhelming problem of student misconduct and then commit to finding solutions for the betterment of learning and teaching conditions within the schools of Jefferson County. 

Read President McKim's full remarks below:


"The number of teachers contacting JCTA with significant concerns regarding student behavior problems in their schools has increased in recent years and the reported severity of the problems has also increased. To better understand the current reality for the teachers in Jefferson County, JCTA recently conducted a teacher survey regarding student behavior issues. Almost 1,100 teachers took part in the survey. The results are so alarming and so consistent with the problems being experienced by our bus drivers and other educational employees that we felt the best course of action would be to share the results with the superintendent, the school board, and the community, so that we can all work together to take action that will lead to real improvement.

To illustrate the point, I would like to highlight a number of the teacher survey findings:

• 95% of teachers say they usually or always build relationships with students who are having problems with misbehavior as a strategy for improving the situation (Q30)
• Shockingly, only 3% of teachers believe that JCPS usually or always supports schools that are having problems with student behavior; 75% of teachers believe that JCPS rarely or never supports schools that are having problems with student behavior (Q25)
• 79% of teachers say that being required to “teach to the test” causes increased misbehavior in students (Q17)
• Only 15% of teachers say their school collaboratively involved teachers in the development or selection of their school’s discipline plan (Q5)
• Consequently, more than half of the teachers surveyed say their school’s discipline plan rarely or never works in areas outside the classroom (hallways, cafeteria, etc.) (Q7)
• 72% of teachers say their administrators do not implement the Code of Conduct effectively and consistently (Q27)
• And maybe the most shocking response of all is that the majority of teachers surveyed say they believe their administrators are actively discouraged by their superiors from implementing the Code of Conduct effectively (Q28)

In June of this year, the Association urged the school board to work with the superintendent to develop clear, specific, realistic, and constructive goals for improving the alarming and unacceptable state of student behavior in JCPS. To our knowledge, this has not been done.

To be clear, the Association is not suggesting that these problems are all due to the superintendent. Certainly, student behavior has been a longstanding challenge in JCPS, long before our current superintendent arrived. However, both JCTA’s information and statewide TELL Survey clearly indicate that student behavior is getting worse, rather than better.

These are serious issues that deserve to be a focal area for the board and the superintendent and clear goals should be set for improvement. Our students deserve to learn in a safe and orderly school environment conducive to learning and our teachers, bus drivers, and other school employees deserve to feel supported. JCTA and the Teamsters look forward to working collaboratively with the school board, the superintendent, and community partners to positively impact student behavior and school safety. We ask that all these stakeholders acknowledge this problem and commit themselves to work together to make a difference for the benefit of our students and our staff."

» NBCT Reimbursement Opportunity Through NT3 Grant

To help achieve the goal outlined in KRS 161.131of having one National Board Certified Teacher in every Kentucky school by 2020 and to overcome the barrier that teachers in schools without colleagues who are board-certified are half as likely to pursue National Board certification, the Kentucky Network to Transform Teaching will reimburse candidates from schools without National Board Certified Teachers $275 after the submission of one component for out of pocket expenses, as long as funding allows and in the order applications are received.

If you have any questions about this reimbursement, please e-mail Suzanne.Farmer@ky.gov.


» Sowing a Nonviolent City - September 26th Gun Violence Conference

 In just a few days...
Gun Violence Conference in Louisville.

We hope you have heard about the September 26th Gun Violence Conference in Louisville. It will be an impressive convening of groups and individuals in the Louisville community around the issue of gun violence. The conference will be held from 8:30 to 4:30 at Christ Church Cathedral, 421 S. Second St. For over a year, The Sowers of Justice Network has brought together in conversation a number of community leaders, representing a variety of interests relating to how we can positively and proactively stop gun violence in the community. This conference of different voices is a first step toward the broader discussions which we will continue to face as a community.

See an overview of the conference content and speakers

Register soon! We need to plan the space and the number of lunches by Wednesday, September 23rd.
Tickets for all day Saturday, including lunch are $20. Scholarships are available for anyone needing them. Contact us here: sojky.events@gmail.com



» 55,000 Degrees Presents Movie: Ivory Towers

» Reimagining College: Higher Education for the 21st Century


The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is seeking educators and non-educators interested in serving on teacher tribunals. Individuals who are currently in the pool for assignment to a teacher tribunal or who have already served on a tribunal will need to reapply and undergo the training to continue to serve. For more information, click: KDE SEEKING INDIVIDUALS TO SERVE ON TEACHER TRIBUNALS

» Mind Full or Mindful? A Taste of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

» JCPS Seeking LGBTQ+ Subcommittee Members

Jefferson County Public School district is continuing to promote equal opportunities. As a result, a LGBTQ Advisory Committee was formed to provide perspective to JCPS related to LGBTQ matters impacting students, parents, faculty, staff, and other constituents. Advisory Committee chairs invite interested individuals to join the following sub-committees: Policy, Student Supports, Stakeholder Supports, Training, and Outreach.

A brief description of each sub-committee is provided below. Members are sought who are passionate, purposeful, and can work well on a team to move forward in positive direction. If interested in joining one of the sub-committees or for further information, please contact either Dr. Monica Lakhwani at monica.lakhwani@jefferson.kyschools.us or Ms. Brittany Andrews at brittany.andrews@jefferson.kyschools.us.

Policy Sub-Committee - this group is about understanding policy and procedure in JCPS as it relates to LGBTQ issues, from Board policy to school procedures. We will be locating resources, suggesting policy language, and identifying where support may still be needed. This may include suggestions on policies to put in place locally based on others already in place elsewhere in schools and districts that work to support LGBTQ students, staff, and families. It may involve understanding how policy applies to real world situations, and what might need to be adjusted to better fit current needs. Finally, we can also look at finding questions that may need answers, such as how adoption rules affect parental status or benefits or gender identification on documents we use daily.

Outreach Sub-Committee – this group will focus on broadening and processing communications among LGBTQ Advisory Committee work and JCPS staff members, students, families, and the community. This group will assist to increase communicative access to various internal and external members in educating or informing staff, students, families, and the community on LGBTQ issues. This may involve establishing beneficial connections between people and/or organizations or envisioning ways to disseminate information and raise awareness on LGBTQ related issues within the district.

Stakeholder Sub-Committee – this group of the JCPS LBGTQ Advisory Committee exists to develop proposals for ways in which JCPS can more effectively: 1) Foster support and acceptance of LGBTQ administrators, faculty members, and support staff throughout the JCPS community; and 2) Meet the needs of families of LGBTQ students and families headed by LGBTQ parents/guardians.

Training and Curriculum Development Sub-Committee - this group's focus will be on identifying training and professional development needs within the district regarding LGBTQ issues. We will collaborate with others to develop and provide appropriate training opportunities to help support our LGBTQ students, staff, and families. These may include topics such as positive school culture, building resilience, and embracing diversity of all kinds. Additionally, this group would investigate ways to make curricula (literature, science, social studies, history, psychology, health/sex education, etc.) more inclusive of LGBTQ individuals.

Student Supports Sub-Committee – The focus of the Student Support Subcommittee centers on supporting the needs of JCPS students who identify as LGBTQ as well as those students who support LGBTQ students, friends, and family members. This subcommittee will work with schools and other agencies to collect data on issues faced by students who identify as LGBTQ, so as to drive the decision making and actions of this subcommittee. Foreseeable actions of this subcommittee may include, but are not limited to, supporting JCPS GSAs/Alliances, developing student leadership and voice within JCPS, developing partnerships with community members that support JCPS students, etc. Students will actively participate in this subcommittee, from providing perspectives and ideas to planning and implementation.






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Jefferson County Teachers Association

1941 Bishop lane, Suite 300, Louisville, KY 40218
(502) 454-3400, Fax: (502) 452-2794

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