Kingsport Times News Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Sullivan negotiations with teacher groups held without notice, behind closed doors

October 20th, 2013 7:50 pm by Rick Wagner

Sullivan negotiations with teacher groups held without notice, behind closed doors

BLOUNTVILLE — Collaborative conferencing negotiations among the Sullivan County school system and two teacher groups were held behind closed doors with no public notice last month.

Two groups say that violates Tennessee’s open meetings law, called the “Sunshine Law,” although Director of Schools Jubal Yennie said the public does not have the explicit right to be present for collaborative conferencing.

Yennie informed a Kingsport Times-News reporter that was his view after the Oct. 7 Sullivan County Board of Education meeting, where the board had the first of three readings on a memorandum of understanding on health insurance agreed to during a collaborative conferencing session held Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. in the central office in Blountville.

Legal counsel for the Tennessee Press Association said the “Sunshine Law” applies to collaborative conferencing as it did to collective bargaining that the conferencing has replaced under a law called the Professional Educators Collaborative Conferencing Act (PECCA) of 2011.

Read more in the Monday print edition of the Times-News or in the expanded electronic edition. 

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