Jesse Alred has some of the details:
The Baltimore Sun on July 21, 2009 published a story about union-management conflict at the KIPP Ujima school.
It seems the KIPP Ujima Village Academy was paying overtime less than the rate set by the labor contract protecting all Baltimore teachers.
The Sun presented both sides in the article but did so in a way to encourage sympathy for the KIPP school.
The title of the article was "Successful charter school cut staff, hours over union contract." The subtitle ran "KIPP Ujima says it can't afford overtime."
The first paragraph ran: "Baltimore's most successful middle school is laying off staff and shortening its school day to meet the demands of a teachers union contract in what is one of the first major disputes over teacher pay between a charter school and a union."
The Sun is balanced in noting the union ignored the contract violation for seven years. The required pay rate for the mandatory overtime KIPP teachers put in is 33% of their regular salary. KIPP had been paying 19%.
Much of the article either heaped praise on KIPP's achievement, recounted its history, or described the potential dangers to KIPP's future if higher pay was required in the future at KIPP Ujima or at other KIPP schools.
The Sun quoted David Stone, the only board member to vote against the union contract's ratification, but not any other board member.
While providing a lot of favorable background information about KIPP, The Sun did not address criticisms of the KIPP model, mainly that it tends to segregate motivated students and committed parents from the rest of the school system--and then declares it is performing better than neighborhood schools on a level playing field.
The article received responses the next day in the form of editorials in favor of the union and for KIPP's management position. Union President Marietta English wrote The Sun created an "innacurate picture" of union activities. She also mentioned the KIPP Director and his wife, the prinicipal at the school, received salaries above $100,000.
KIPP and its allied school reformers are typically flush with cash. Michelle Rhee in D.C. was offering $100,000 salaries to any teacher who would give up tenure rights. Houston-KIPP has raised $100 million in private funds for expansion.
Hopefully the pay increases, which seem fair considering how hard these young teachers work, will become the norm through the charter network and help reduce KIPP's high teacher turnover rate.
Favorable treatment for KIPP, without nuance, seems to be a trend in the media.
Here are links to the three articles.