Lewis to JCPS: 'It's going to be ugly'

RAW: Kentucky Education Commissioner addresses JCPS takeover battle

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Dr. Wayne Lewis, state Interim Education Commissioner, advised Jefferson County Public Schools that the district's planned appeal of his recommendation of a state takeover will not go well for the district.

"If we're forced to uncover and discuss in great detail all of the findings of the audit, it's going to be ugly," Lewis said. "I can't see how that's going to be good for the district or the community. I think we would all be much better served, with school getting ready to start in August if we could all get together and have some conversations of how we move forward about what role we will have in the management of the district."

During an interview at his Frankfort office, Lewis gave no indication that JCPS would win its appeal before the state Board of Education and avoid a state takeover of the district.

"We will probably end up in a situation where we have a district that is more difficult to put back together that even it is right now," Lewis said.

Lewis was appointed to his position in April and quickly recommended a state takeover of JCPS. JCPS appealed the recommendation in May and is awaiting a hearing to begin in September.

Lewis described JCPS as a district where policy has been made placing the benefit of adults running the system over the needs of the children served by it.  He said JCPS's continuation with its appeal would also have an impact on students.

"We're going to send kids back to school in a couple of weeks in a district that's going to be on display for the state and for the nation to see," Lewis said. "And the Department of Education is forced to uncover things about their district (and) put things on display that are less than flattering to say the least."

JCPS declined to comment on Lewis' remarks.

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