Analysis of Collective Bargaining Agreements in Kentucky Districts

Bargaining2Analysis of Collective
Bargaining Agreements in
Kentucky Districts

Project Staff
Marcia Ford Seiler, Director
Ken Chilton, PhD
Albert Alexander
Gayla Cissell
Brenda Landy
Deborah Nelson, PhD
Sabrina Olds
Keit h White, PhD
Pam Young

Research Report No. 377
Legislative Research Commission
Frankfort, Kentucky
lrc.ky.gov
Accepted December 7, 2010, by the
Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee

Summary

This report focuses on the impact of collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) on teacher hiring,
teacher evaluation, and school-based decision making in nine Kentucky districts: Boone, Bullitt,
Jefferson, Kenton, Knott, Martin, McCracken, and Wolfe Counties; and Newport Independent.
About 22 percent of all Kentucky students and 23 percent of all Kentucky teachers are in districts
with CBAs. Review of CBAs is important because contract provisions affect education reform
efforts such as differential pay for highly effective teachers, the use of student performance data
in teacher evaluations, tenure reform initiatives, and the implementation of charter schools in
struggling districts. All districts struggle with recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers.
The staffing challenges vary by district depending on factors such as region and location of the
district and school, and the student body demographic

This report finds that CBAs create different challenges across the state, with Jefferson County’s
CBA the most comprehensive and cumbersome. KRS 160.380(1)(c) permits CBAs to set out
processes for staffing before declaring a vacancy. All CBAs except Jefferson County’s have
limited impacts on school staffing. The Jefferson County contract, however, strongly affects the
staffing policies in the district. The staffing policy is seniority driven, providing the most
experienced teachers preference in transferring to open positions across the district. In addition,
Jefferson County’s contract includes a paper transfer provision that constrains the autonomy of
principals and councils to potentially retain new hires made after August 1 of each school year.

Analysis of Collective Bargaining Agreements in Kentucky Districts

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