KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Charter Schools came to Baltimore in 2002 with the founding of the Ujima Village Academy, a middle school serving mostly low income students. They’ve since expanded with an elementary school, KIPP Harmony Academy. They have some of the highest performing students in the school system, with the Ujima Village Academy students scoring the highest scores in Baltimore on both the reading and math sections of the Maryland School Assessment. But despite these successes, this year could be KIPP’s last in Baltimore, if negotiations between KIPP and the Baltimore Teachers Union are unsuccessful.
KIPP teachers are currently operating on a year-by-year contract that allows them to work longer hours than other city teachers without a full pay increase for the extra work. If KIPP and the BTU are unable to agree on a multiple year agreement, KIPP may pull out of Baltimore, closing their two schools here.
Joining us to discuss the negotiations are:
Marietta English, President of the Baltimore Teachers Union
Jason Botel, Executive Director of KIPP Baltimore