Jefferson County Republicans call for special session to fix JCPS

One proposal calls for creating a commission to study breaking JCPS apart.
Published: Aug. 11, 2023 at 4:36 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2023 at 4:37 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Republican lawmakers across Jefferson County say enough is enough. They want Governor Andy Beshear to call a special session so lawmakers can take their shot at fixing JCPS. Democrats say that’s not the solution.

The Republicans have a proposed a slate of ideas. Having kids go their closest neighborhood school, charter schools, and a commission to investigate possibly breaking up JCPS.

“It wasn’t just this one thing, which was a complete disaster but we call it an epic failure what this district is going through, its been a series of things,” State Representative Kevin Bratcher (R-District 29/Louisville) said.

Bratcher said JCPS has shown it can’t solve its own problems. He supports lawmakers creating a commission to study breaking up the district, among other ideas.

“Break it into two or three different districts because it’s too big, it’s obviously too big if they can’t even run a bus schedule,” Bratcher said.

JCPS superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said that idea should be a non-starter. He doesn’t even know how JCPS, the 28th largest district in the country, would even begin to split.

“We have so many students who are crossing what would be their resides, or their district lines like how would you possibly peel that apart,” Pollio said.

State Senator David Yates (D-District 37/Louisville) said calling a special session is a waste.

“Calling in a special session, asking the governor to do that at what $65,000 a day, for what?” Yates said.

Yates said JCPS needs help, but he disagrees with the Republicans ideas on more charter schools, studying a breakup, and possibly ending busing.

“It’s irresponsible to be throwing things around right now while people are upset and angry about things we can’t do,” Yates said.“What we can do is be supportive making sure that my kids and those kids can get home quickly safely, efficiently,” Yates said.

Lawmakers head back into session in January. JCPS could certainly be a hot topic as education reforms are discussed.