Acting JCPS superintendent outlines criteria which will be used in revised student assignment plan

09/18/2017 05:43 PM

LOUISVILLE – It’s been 10 years since Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) last revised their student assignment plan, and acting JCPS superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio appeared before the Interim Joint Committee on Education on Monday to give an update on criteria which will be used to revise the plan in the next 12 to 18 months.

Since 2007, the district has used a geographical plan to achieve diversity taking into account the demographics of race, income, and educational attainment of census blocks.

Pollio told committee members that the district will look at a number of factors which will be taken into consideration to come up with an effective revised plan to serve in the best interest of all students in the district.

“We want to know what’s working and what are the challenges, talk about that changing demographics and population shift in our community,” Pollio said. “We also want to research other large districts; we don’t want to think we have to answers to everything so it would be critical for us to research other districts.

Pollio admits that there are numerous issues affecting students with the current assignment plan, including not everyone gets to the school which was their first choice, and wants to invite community input in revising the plan.

“We have recently launched efforts for community involvement for a committee to dive into our community assignment plan,” Pollio said. “This must be done thoroughly; this must be done with a lot of community input as we move forward to make sure that we are addressing the needs of our community.”

Pollio wants the new plan improve culture and climate by creating opportunities to learn in diverse settings with students from different backgrounds, increase student learning and achievement by providing equitable opportunities to access varied programmatic options for all students regardless of where they live, and build organizational coherence by maximizing efficiency in the use of school facilities, transportation, and other capital operational resources.

A number of Republican lawmakers were not happy with what was not mentioned in the plan.

Rep. Tim Moore, R-Elizabethtown questioned Pollio about why quality of education was not mentioned in the list of criteria that he presented to the committee.

“I’m curious why, even as you present to us a plan, there’s been no emphasis on the quality, there’s been no focus on the academic achievement, and why the prioritization of choice and diversity is the matter that gets the primary attention,” Moore asked.

JCPS is the 28th largest school district in the country with 100,981 students and 172 school sites, and faces many challenges. 6,128 students are classified as homeless, 62.3 percent are on free and reduced lunch, 249 students move in and out of schools each day and 65,000 students ride the bus every day and more than 104,000 meals, including breakfast and lunch, are served every day.


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