New bill to end JCPS cross-county busing

Updated: Jan. 12, 2017 at 11:17 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Could busing Jefferson County Public School students from one side of the county to the other come to an end? A new bill was filed that would require students attend their neighborhood schools.

"This method has not worked. It's not working and it's time for a change," State Representative (R) Kevin Bratcher said.

Bratcher wants to put the brakes on the JCPS district's and any other school district's cross-county busing.

"There's no merit to sending a kid across town when he passes two or three schools in his own neighborhood," Bratcher said.

Bratcher recently filed House Bill 151, requiring students to attend their neighborhood school. He said the current system makes parent participation harder and that it's failing all students.

"I don't see how the remedy could be that a student stay on a bus for one or two hours a day," Bratcher said.

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"It seems to me like state over-reach in something that should be a local issue," Erin Korbylo a parent and vocal member of Dear JCPS, said.

Her son takes the bus from Middletown to Shawnee for aviation classes. She said it's not only saved them money towards college, but it's enriched his life in other ways.

"If we only segregate ourselves into our little pockets of where we live, we never get to experience other people from different parts of our county," Korbylo said.

While Korbylo supports the busing system, she thinks there should be more opportunities to attend neighborhood schools, if students wish.

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The bill proposes each school have its own attendance zone.

"A school has always been a part of a community, the neighborhood fabric," Bratcher said. "There's so many things that this fixes than it hurts."

With Republicans in control of the House and Senate, Bratcher thinks the bill will have a lot of support. He hopes for a hearing soon.

JCPS said they are reviewing the bill and are talking with state lawmakers about the impact the legislation would have on the district and its students.

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