Tuesday, March 23, 2010

KIPP, union settle Baltimore dispute

It's good to see this dispute resolved, though it's only for a year.  The real solution is that Maryland needs to change its terrible charter law.  Here's Jason Botel's letter and below is a blog post by Jay Mathews:

March 18, 2010

Dear KIPP Baltimore Supporter:

I am writing to let you know that KIPP Baltimore has reached an agreement with the Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) that will allow KIPP Ujima Village Academy and KIPP Harmony Academy to operate the KIPP program through the 2010-2011 academic year.
Since November 2009, KIPP Baltimore has been negotiating with the BTU to restore our full extended school calendar at a rate that is financially sustainable for us.  KIPP's long school day, week, and year have been integral to KIPP Baltimore's track-record of success since it began in 2002.   Under Maryland's charter school law, the BTU had to agree to an amendment to its collective bargaining agreement with the Baltimore City School System to allow our teachers to work the extra time and to specify compensation.

Under the newly forged agreement, KIPP Baltimore schools will return to a 9.5-hour daily schedule for teachers with some Saturday instruction and a summer school session. In return for their hard work, KIPP teachers will receive a premium of 20.5% above BTU pay scale, matching contributions to their pension funds, and up to $300 for classroom supplies.

While this ensures the continued existence of KIPP Baltimore through 2010-11, the agreement with the BTU is only for one year.  Over the long term, we need to establish a system in Baltimore where teachers in high performing public schools like KIPP can choose to work an extended day within an affordable pay structure. Ultimately, this will require a change to Maryland's charter school law.

KIPP Baltimore's parents, teachers and staff deserve praise for their patience over the past six months as we have worked to reach resolution, and we are grateful for their unwavering commitment to KIPP and to our students.

Thank you for your support and belief in KIPP's mission. Please let me know if you have any questions about our agreement with the BTU for next year.


Jason Botel
Executive Director
KIPP Baltimore


KIPP, union settle Baltimore dispute

Jay Mathews


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