School seat belts, additional audit, graduating age discussed at - News, Weather & Sports

School seat belts, additional audit, graduating age discussed at JCPS meeting

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The JCPS board met on Monday. The JCPS board met on Monday.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Monday nights Jefferson County Public School board meeting covered a lot of territory. 

The districts plan to replace 47 of its school buses and a few members questioned whether the new fleet should come equipped with seat belts. 

The district's advisor recommended against seat belts and added that the school buses meet or exceed current state safety criteria. The seat belt concern was not specially voted on by the board, but could be discussed down the road. 

The school board did vote unanimously to accept a resolution regarding Kentucky's recently-passed Graduation Bill which keeps students enrolled in school until they turn 18. The JCPS board will formally vote on the full bill this summer. 

An issue that seemed to raise controversy among the board focuses on an additional, optional audit the superintendent wishes to have done. 

"The word audit is not a negative," JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens said. 

She sent that message to the board and to the community with her request for the Kentucky State Auditor to also audit the district. It is on top of the state's required audit that is done annually

 "This is best practice, this is superintendent 101 to do a comprehensive financial review. It is good business, it is routine in large organizations. We are really committed to directing all of our spending toward student achievement," Dr. Hargens said. 

Those feelings were not completely mutual with the entire school board, "Sometimes audits need to end and we need to get on with the business of educating kids and finding innovative strategies for schools. This is another $125,000 which is two teachers. Do you know how many teachers are possibly overstaffed this year because we don't have money for them, and we are going to keep doing audits because maybe we haven't found every little thing we're not doing right," said JCPS Board Member Debbie Wesslund. 

Five of the seven members voted in favor; Wesslund and Linda Duncan voted against, meaning the $125,000 audit gets the green light.

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