FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Senate Bill 250, one of several closely-watched, education-related measures being considered during the final days of the legislative session, passed the House late Tuesday afternoon.
Pertaining only to JCPS, the bill would give more power to Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio, whose district is the largest in the state, serving nearly 100,000 students. If Gov. Matt Bevin signs it into law, Pollio will have the authority to choose school principals if he doesn’t approve the choice made by site-based decision making councils.
The Jefferson County Teachers Association had protested the measure, choosing instead to support the SBDM approach in the event that an unfavorable leader takes power.
Those against the bill said the current principal selection process works well, includes local voices, and SBDMs at failing schools already can’t pick their principals.
“They’re yelling because they don’t feel heard," Rep. Charles Booker, D-Louisville, said of the teachers in Frankfort. "And so I want to vote no because I want them to know that I hear you, that you do matter.”
Opponents added, if more power is given to a superintendent, it may backfire if an unfavorable leader takes power in the future.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Julie Raque Adams, said JCPS needs the law, and the added power for Pollio, to avoid the state takeover that has loomed over the district for a year.
An amendment to the bill announced Monday by Representative Jerry Miller placing a 5-year sunset on the Superintendent's ability to have final say on principal selection was ultimately not filed.
House Speaker David Osborne said the amendment was dropped because it didn’t convince additional legislators to sign onto the bill.