State takeover looms over JCPS

State takeover looms over JCPS
The debate over a potential JCPS takeover continued on Tuesday. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The debate over a potential JCPS takeover continued on Tuesday.

Kentucky Pastors in Action Coalition presented their case on why they think a JCPS takeover is needed. A larger group showed up urging to keep control local.

Miltone Seymour of K-PAC recently took on the role as chair of the Board of Education.

K-PAC started the morning sharing numbers on the widening education gap. Pastors from around Kentucky and the president of the Bluegrass Institute say something new needs to be done. They believe a state takeover would help.

Those against the takeover say superintendent Marty Pollio just started. They believe some of his initiatives will lead to JCPS improvements.

K-PAC says they aren't timely enough.

"The plan is to come up with another five-year plan and then after five years to come up with a two-year plan and then a three year plan," Michael Ford, a K-PAC chairman said. "Then 20 years later we are still at the same place. Our children are still failing. That's not good. And that is why we are here to say something has to change."

JCTA, Elected School Board Officials, parents and Metro Louisville Officials were all there.

"We have offices in the west end, so we have better outreach to families and parents in the west end," Lisa Wilner, School Board member said. "We have a number of changes under way the deeper learning initiative are all equity based so the work is already happening."

Jim Waters with the Bluegrass Institute said a widening achievement gap between students in different schools is partly due to union contracts not allowing administrators to place experienced teachers where they are most needed.

"It's not fair to hold principals and administrators accountable for the performance in our schools, when they are not given the authority and the flexibility to make the decisions that are best for our kids," Waters said.

Waters is also urging for more public input on union contracts.

"We reject attempts to put our schools into the hands of out of touch Bevin appointed Frankfort bureaucrats," Richard Becker, a Union representative said.

Becker said bargaining does more than set wages and working conditions for their members.

"We in Jefferson County elected our school board in an election process," Metro Council President David James said. "They were democratically elected. They stand to represent their constituents. Removing them creates a monarchy."

At Tuesday's school board meeting members will discuss a new diversity plan.

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