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7 people attend latest JCPS School Choice Proposal forum; survey responses in hundreds

The sparsely attended forum raises questions about the process.
Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 11:35 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - At the third public forum to discuss the School Choice Proposal for Jefferson County Public Schools, just seven members of the public attended in person.

The forum was held Thursday evening at Marion C. Moore School in the southern part of the district. JCPS canceled class for students Thursday due to storm damage across the district, but the planned forum commenced.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: JCPS School Choice Plan

As for virtual feedback, the district has had this online survey available for weeks, yet just 440 responses have been recorded as of Thursday in a district responsible for around 96,000 students, many of who could be greatly affected by the proposal.

“I think that means that everyone is really happy and pleased with my proposal,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said, though he was quick to clarify with a laugh. “No, I’m just kidding.”

Pollio’s jokes aside, the sparsely attended forum raises questions about the process. Yet Pollio is clear: even if few people attend, the forums must be held to educate and both stakeholders and the administration.

“It is something we have to continue to do,” said Pollio.

But how much will the feedback matter?

“We have some things, some concepts that are really things that are the foundation of this plan that probably aren’t going to change,” Pollio said. “But we do want to hear specifically from folks, and specifically from parents, how this might impact the changes in their assignment. Are they pleased with that? Or are these something they’re concerned about?”

WAVE News spoke with three parents at the forum who didn’t want to go on camera who said that’s exactly what they’re concerned about. They don’t mind the plan overall, but they worry what it means specifically for their children’s options. While they can apply for a transfer to the very school they want for their children, they also know their kids won’t get bussed there.

“We believe we’ll have more and more feedback moving forward,” said Pollio.

Those who would like to attend an in-person or virtual forum can check the upcoming dates here.

The full plan for the School Choice Proposal, including the interactive map, can be found here.

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