Community leaders weigh in on JCPS settlement offer

Community leaders weigh in on JCPS settlement offer
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Community leaders are weighing in on news that a settlement has been offered that would help Jefferson County Public Schools avoid a state takeover.

All of the details of the settlement remain unknown as of Tuesday.

Interim Education Commissioner Dr. Wayne Lewis did speak to WAVE 3 News on Tuesday to provide some details.

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"What I have offered to JCPS is an agreement for us to come to terms by August 1st," Lewis said. "It would include coming back in and doing another audit in fall '19 in which I would make another recommendation to whether the state should go into state assistance/state management or if anything has been remedied, than the state would walk away gladly."

Sam Corbett, a former JCPS board member, told WAVE 3 News he heard rumblings earlier last week about Monday's announcement of a settlement.

"From what I understand one of the big features (of the settlement) is that the elected school board -- the Jefferson County Board of Education -- which is elected by people in Jefferson County, would remain in place," Corbett said. "Under Dr. Lewis' original proposal, the elected school board would have moved to the advisory-only capacity."

Corbett said it's important for the board to remain in place, but he also believes Lewis and the Department of Education will be very hands on with the school board and Dr. Polio, taking a close look at different areas like special education.

Gay Adelmann, of Dear JCPS, has been opposed to a state takeover. Tuesday she said not knowing what exactly the settlement entails is wrong.

"No back room deal that we can't see what is in it that doesn't give our elected board members the opportunity to get feedback from our constituents is never a good idea," Adelmann said.

Pastor Jerry Stephenson and Bishop Michael Ford have been outspoken supporting a state takeover. Despite not knowing the details of the settlement, they said Tuesday they are confident in Lewis' offer.

"If he feels that he can accomplish what needs to be accomplished-- it's not what we would have preferred," Stephenson said. "We would have preferred full management, but I'm keeping in sync with what he is indicating."

JCPS has until Wednesday, Aug. 1 to make a decision on the settlement.

If the district rejects the terms of the settlement -- the appeal would take place in September as scheduled.

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