Louisville mayoral candidates differ on new school bill, mayor's role with JCPS

08/26/2010 05:45 PM

(WITH VIDEO) LOUISVILLE — Mayoral candidates Hal Heiner, a Republican, and Greg Fischer, a Democrat, disagree on the role of the Louisville mayor in addressing problems with the Jefferson County Public Schools’ new student busing plan.

They also have opposite views on suggested state legislation that seems to target the school system’s bussing scheme.

Both candidates were among the throngs of politicians who attended the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s Ham Breakfast at the Kentucky State Fair on Thursday morning. That’s where cn|2 Politics caught up with them to get their views on the issue.

Heiner said he understands concerns parents have with young children facing long bus commutes to school and said as mayor he would want to be part of a “solution.”

But Fischer said the role of the mayor is to make sure students get the best education available — then step out of the way.

The two also disagreed on a new bill pre-filed by state Sens. Dan Seum, of Louisville, and David Williams, the Senate president from Burkesville. As first reported by the Louisville Courier-Journal, the bill is partly in response to frustration from concerned parents that have called the two Republican senators, they said. But Sheldon Berman, the superintendent of JCPS, as well as the Louisville NAACP, are against the new bill.

Fischer said he disagreed with the bill, believing that the issue could handled locally, without Frankfort’s help.

Heiner took a more distanced approach, saying he wanted to research the bill and hear from voters about their feelings on the new bill before taking a stance.

- Reporting and video produced by Kenny Colston


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