'Our district is in chaos.' Cincinnati Public Schools unions to take vote of no confidence

Cincinnati Public Schools’ teachers union will meet in May to take a vote of no confidence in Superintendent Iranetta Wright. Five other labor unions that contract with the district will do the same, according to an email sent to school board leaders Friday morning.

“None of the unions have faith in the superintendent’s leadership,” the letter reads. The Enquirer obtained the email through an Ohio Public Records Act request. “Our district is in chaos, and we need decisive action and a change in leadership to move forward.”

Wright and school board leaders did not immediately respond to questions about the unions’ plans.

Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Iranetta Wright was hired in spring of 2022.

Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Iranetta Wright was hired in spring of 2022.

Cincinnati Federation of Teachers leadership emailed school board President Eve Bolton and Vice President Mary Wineberg with the letter signed by all six union leaders:

Wright began in her role as superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools in 2022, and this isn’t the first time district employees have raised an issue with her leadership. Last spring, union leaders representing more than 200 Cincinnati Public Schools administrators, principals and assistant principals wrote a letter to the school board asserting that Wright had established a “culture of intimidation and fear.”

Administrators said in the letter that Wright “embarrasses employees in meetings,” micromanages to a fault and won’t collaborate with other district leaders.

At the time, Wright acknowledged she’d shaken things up in the district. But she maintained that those adjustments were for the greater good, to align with board approved goals and to best serve kids.

This spring, employees have voiced concerns during school board meetings about delayed building budgets that make it impossible to plan for next school year, plans to consolidate schools, overall district budget cuts and administrative bloat that slow down daily processes.

More: Why a CPS plan to add middle schools could both save and complicate the budget process

The school board gave Wright an overall satisfactory rating on her most recent evaluation, in December. Her lowest rating was for the state standard to “establish processes to communicate and collaborate effectively.” The board said Wright’s strengths were in establishing a vision and leading the district toward student achievement.

The school board will meet with the district’s union presidents Monday in executive session, Friday’s letter reads. All of the unions will meet with their members by May 14 to take a vote of no confidence in Wright.

The board will have a public meeting after executive session Monday at 5:30 p.m., at the Mary A. Ronan Education Center located at 2651 Burnet Ave.

This story will be updated.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: CPS unions will take vote of no confidence in Superintendent Wright

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