JCPS superintendent calls education bill 'inappropriate'

By Jon Chrisos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - As lawmakers in Frankfort consider a controversial education bill, the superintendent of the biggest school district is weighing in. JCPS Superintendent Dr. Sheldon Berman calls the bill "inappropriate."

"I think it's problematic legislation," Berman said. He didn't hold back when we caught up with him at Young Elementary. He's talking about the bill that would allow students to go to the public school closest to their home. It would put the brakes on the student assignment plan that buses kids to other schools.

"I think local communities have the best knowledge and insight into designing their own plan that shouldn't be legislated from Frankfort. It's inappropriate to be legislated from Frankfort," Berman said.

During Thursday's debate, Senate President David Williams (R) made the case that neighborhood schools would encourage parental involvement and help improve student performance.

"Twelve out of the 20 persistently low achieving schools in Kentucky are in the Jefferson County school system," Williams said. Berman says changes are needed to improve the plan, but he still stands by it.

As for what's next for Berman now that the school board didn't renew his contract, he wasn't ready to talk about specifics just yet.

"We'll continue to get the work done, and continue to do the best and end the year with a positive note," Berman said.

The education bill would also allow charter schools in Kentucky. Berman is against that part of the bill, too.

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