Brown School parents and teachers voice opposition of state takeover

Brown School parents and teachers voice opposition of state takeover
The rally was held April 25 at J. Graham Brown School.
Erin Barrett (Source: Greg Schapker, WAVE 3 News)
Erin Barrett (Source: Greg Schapker, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Parents gathered at one Jefferson County public school to rally against a state takeover of the school district.

The rally was held at J. Graham Brown School on S. 1st St. in Downtown Louisville.

The takeover would not only remove power from the superintendent and the school board, but each school's School-Based Decision Making council. SBDM councils are made up of teachers and parents elected by stakeholders. They are in charge of big decisions for their school including hiring principals and allocating the budget. According to the district's website, most JCPS schools have a SBDM council.

The council at J. Graham Brown School called a special meeting Wednesday to hear public comment on the state takeover and sign a resolution opposing it. They said they're worried a state takeover would mean parents would have less input into important school decisions, including curriculum and staff selection.

"It's extremely important to keep that control at the school level because the stakeholders know exactly what schools need and we know what's best for our students," Principal Angela Parsons said.

Brown School parent Erin Barrett said she was furious when she found out about the possibility of a state takeover of JCPS because she doesn't believe the state has the stake that parents and educators have in JCPS.

"Don't mess with the schools that are performing well," Barrett, the parent of two Brown School students, said. "I understand that changes need to be made, all the parents know that but there are ones that work and you don't need to change them."

The SBDM councils for Meyzeek Middle and Atherton High have also called special meetings later this week to take up similar resolutions.

According to SBDM parent representatives, other schools are also drafting resolutions.

The community is only five days away from learning if the state will take over control of the district.

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