The Utah Education Association (UEA), Utah’s largest teachers’ union, has fired their Government Relations Director and Associate Executive Director Kory Holdaway.
Holdaway, who resigned from the Utah State House in 2009 to work with UEA, sent a letter to lawmakers about his resignation Monday. “At this time UEA and I have moved in different directions and will no longer be working together,” said Holdaway.
In Holdaway’s letter, he cites two media reports showing him making (apparently) unauthorized contact with lawmakers without the consent of the UEA. The first media item Holdaway referenced was an article published on November 4th on Utah Political Capitol, quoting Holdaway advising legislators against changing assessment standards in Utah schools (a copy of the recording of that committee meeting can be found here). The second media report he quotes is a photograph of Holdaway with Representative Greg Huges, which appeared in The Salt Lake Tribune on November 5th after a school tour that took place the day prior.
In the letter, Holdaway said “because these incidents were reported by the press of which I had no control, the UEA has asked that I seek new employment.” Following the two reports, Holdaway was put on administrative leave with the association. In a quote with the Deseret News, Holdaway says that the association had asked him to not make public comments on behalf of the UEA in October.
Holdaway continued in his letter to lawmakers saying that he leaves UEA with a sense of accomplishment, with no reason to hang his head. And that even though he no longer is with the UEA, he plans on working with the Legislature on education issues in the upcoming session.
“I hope to be able to visit with you before the session and share some of what I am working on currently,” said Holdaway.
Holdaway has been a familiar face on Utah’s Capitol Hill for many years, and has been an outspoken advocate for teachers and neighborhood schools. It is unclear why the UEA would choose to let him go over his comments at that committee meeting.
The UEA did not return our requests for comment.