Jefferson County Public Schools is facing a takeover.
Referencing the low performance of several Louisville schools as well as abuses in student discipline, Interim Commissioner of Education Dr. Wayne Lewis stated on Monday that he will attempt to give control over the JCPS district to the state.
JCPS is one of the nation’s largest school districts, and the largest in the Commonwealth. If the takeover indeed happens, authority would be removed from all elected school board officials and handed over to Lewis.
His attempt to takeover the district, however, has been met with criticism from local teachers and unions.
Brent McKim, the president of the Jefferson County Teachers’ Association, pointed to the negative impact that the takeover may have on teachers and students. “This is incredibly disruptive to the community and the public school system and that will make it harder to both attract and keep good teachers in Louisville,” he stated.
Lewis would likely disagree, as evidenced by his concern for the growing achievement gaps in the district’s schools.
JCPS could appeal the decision, and thus force the newly-appointed Kentucky Board of Education to hold a public hearing.
It remains to be seen if the takeover will occur, but the news has definitely come as a shock to students and teachers in the Louisville area. What do you think — is this the right direction for JCPS?
Read more about the looming takeover in this AP piece and decide for yourself.
Photo by Pen Waggener, CC-Licensed.