LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Board of Education at Jefferson County Public Schools unveiled new details of its student assignment plan during a meeting Tuesday night, which has been years in the making.
“Every other child in Jefferson County gets the opportunity to go to a middle or high school close to their home, and it’s important to acknowledge the only students who don’t are the students who predominantly reside in West Louisville,” Dr. Marty Pollio, JCPS superintendent said.
Pollio told WAVE 3 News nearly 95 percent of students who are forced out of their neighborhoods to attend school are black students from West Louisville. Under the proposed plan, all students would be given two school choices, including one close to home, called “dual resides.”
“Our goal is that families have two options, and they struggle to pick the right one for them because they’re both great options,” Pollio said.
Pollio said in order to make the options great, the board must provide supports to its schools.
JCPS wants to spend $91.7 million to make school improvements and build a new middle school. The middle school would cost $42 million. The rest of the money would be spent on reducing class sizes, providing wifi and a device for all students to take home, and boosting teacher salaries at the Academy at Shawnee.
In addition, the student assignment plan would include replicating popular magnet schools and creating new ones based on students’ interests so more children can take part.
Pollio told WAVE 3 News he wants both the board and community to feel comfortable and confident in the plan before it goes for a vote.
“This has been an argument or an issue within our community for the better part of five decades, so this is something I don’t want to rush,” Pollio said.
Pollio hopes the board will vote on the plan by early 2021.