After election, JCPS school board talks assignment plan

Carol Haddad
Carol Haddad
Debbie Wesslund
Debbie Wesslund
Diane Porter
Diane Porter

By Jon Chrisos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The election is finally over, but the work is just beginning for the Jefferson County School Board, where four of the seven seats were up for grabs. Now that we know who will fill them, we want to know about their plans for the student assignment plan.

As far as who is on the board, there's not going to be any change. The winners in all four districts were already serving on the board and were elected to another term, but several members promised they will make changes when it comes to the controversial student assignment plan.

"The last two years have been more upsetting than we had since '75," Carol Haddad (District 6) said.

Haddad didn't hold back when talking about the problems we've seen this year with the student assignment plan, including kindergartners riding the bus for hours.

"That's ridiculous," said Haddad, a 25 year board member who will serve another four years. "That should not be happening. We never had them in the plan before; they went to schools of choice."

In District 3, Debbie Wesslund beat her challengers and will also serve another four year term. Wesslund has her sights set on the student assignment plan.

"We have to deal with those issues and quickly. An assignment plan needs community support," said Wesslund.

To get that support, Wesslund said they will consider all the options, including scrapping the plan all together.

"I think everything should be on the table. If we need to make big changes that's what we need to do," Wesslund explained.

An analysis is going on right now. The board approved hiring school integration researcher, Dr. Gary Orfield at UCLA, to help with this complex plan.

Also re-elected was Diane Porter, who beat her District 1 opponents. Porter told us the plan still serves an important purpose even if it has some transportation problems that need to be worked out.

"I think the district is committed to diversity and to eliminate the plan would take us away from diversity based on neighborhood patterns and housing in the city," said Porter.

Dr. Orfield is on sabbatical in Mexico until next semester and wasn't available for a phone interview.

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