Decision 2022: Where JCPS District 3 candidates stand on the issues

The field is crowded for the JCPS District 3 seat. Four people are on the ballot.
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 2:08 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - School board is a non-partisan race, which is part of the reason that the field is so crowded for JCPS District 3. No one was eliminated in a primary earlier this year so four people are on the ballot.

Steve Ullum has lived in Louisville his whole life, has a daughter who attends a JCPS school, and has also served on the PTA board.

Steve Ullum's full answers to the slate of questions.

Safety is one of his top priorities, and he believes that current procedures don’t go far enough, especially when it comes to weapons on campus.

“Instead of hearing the gun was not used in a threatening manner or the child was disciplined according to JCPS policies. Parents need to hear the child was expelled. Criminal charges have been pressed. None of that identifies the child. None of that violates any privacy laws,” said Ullum.

He also believes that a lack of discipline, in general, is the main reason why there’s a teacher shortage.

Gay Adelmann, a mother who has founded several education organizations like Dear JCPS, wants a different approach to guns on campus.

Her son graduated from the magnet program at Shawnee. She says many of these students don’t feel safe on their way to and from school and that should be the focus.

“A student might have something in their pocket that flags the system and the next thing you know we’re arresting our students when all they were there to do is go to school. They weren’t there to cause harm. So we have to look, we have to break it down. We can’t treat every situation the same, what are the root causes and then what are we doing to address the fact that students need to carry guns to feel safe,” said Adelmann.

Adelmann has been actively involved in reaching out to lawmakers too. She says if elected, she and the board would do a better job standing up for JCPS in Frankfort.

Sam Cowan, a retired teacher and principal, wants to use his experience to help the district.

Part of his plan is to add mental health counselors to each and every school. He also wants more of an emphasis on early education. He says that’s where the achievement gap begins.

“What happens before kindergarten is so important and this district has not given credence in putting resources and money to make that happen. Early childhood education, there should be, we should be putting so much more emphasis and time into that so kids don’t enter kindergarten unprepared,” said Cowan.

He also wants to put more money into the Academies of Louisville, a program that connects students with businesses and trades and potential future jobs.

James Craig is the incumbent for District 3. He’s had the job for the last four years.

He knows firsthand that it’s hard to find teachers, not just in Jefferson County, but across the country. The board approved a pay raise last year and he plans to add another 4% raise if re-elected

He recognizes that students have different needs across the district.

“So we’re resourcing those buildings that have higher poverty differently right now than those who don’t have high poverty. That’s the, in my opinion, the right way to go about trying to solve things like the achievement gap, trying to keep our students inside the classroom. You know we have more than 7,000 JCPS students who are homeless right now. Those are the types of calculations you have to make when you make funding and decisions for the district,” said Craig.

Here are James Craig's answers to the full slate of questions.

You can find the full answers to the same slate of questions in the videos throughout this story.