No changes after 4-hour JCPS board meeting to discuss settlement offer from state

The JCPS board meeting lasted four hours - but little information was given to the public....
The JCPS board meeting lasted four hours - but little information was given to the public. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Aug. 17, 2018 at 10:52 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Could there be a settlement to avoid a state takeover of Jefferson County Public Schools? There's no answer yet.

Board members met for four hours on Friday night but there still was no decision from JCPS.

Friday afternoon members of the school board met behind closed doors during an executive session to discuss the latest proposal by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).

Closed sessions mean that the public is not privy to what was being discussed. Members just said they're getting closer to a consensus - but that was basically it.

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KDE provided a revised proposal last week, JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said. The district now has to decide whether to accept that proposal, decline it or produce yet another counteroffer.

The board members entered the closed session at 5:06 p.m. Friday.

Linda Duncan, who represents District 5, said before she entered the meeting that no decision on the latest offer had been made.

The question is -- how much oversight is JCPS willing to accept to avoid a takeover?

Pollio has declined to provide details about the negotiations or exactly what is on the table.

If JCPS wants to avoid a takeover, like superintendent Pollio has said over and over, then they'll have to make some concessions - like agreeing to an audit in 2019.

One of the things some critics of the this process complained about Friday was the lack of transparency. Parents claim they've been kept in the dark about what's being agreed to and what's not. Despite a 4-hour long meeting, no new information was given. Not even an interview from Pollio; only a statement read by board member Diane Porter.

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"We ask for the community's understanding that we can only operate as a board," Porter said. "Coming to consensus takes time. We have come close to a consensus with the interim commissioner."

The original deadline for a settlement was August 1. Since then, there have been two sets of counteroffers. Before a settlement was offered, JCPS planned to appeal during a hearing set to begin in September. Pollio has said he wants to avoid a legal battle.

Another session has been set for Monday. A time for that meeting has not been set.

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