Education

The coalition #OurJCPS on Monday released an 11-point plan to improve the district. The proposal came on the day that the hearings for a potential state takeover would have started in Frankfort. The coalition was against a state takeover.

#OurJCPS is made up of educators, parents, members of the the teachers union and other labor unions.

The plan, called A Better Way Forward For JCPS, addresses issues including class size and wages for workers in the district.

Sue Foster is president of JCAESP-AFSCME Local 4011, which represents JCPS workers. Foster said all JCPS workers — including bus drivers, food service workers and office staff — deserve a living wage.

“In order to get quality employees and to keep them, we’re asking the district to step up and provide affordable living wages to our classified support personnel,” she said.

Foster said workers in the district should get a minimum of $15 per hour.

The plan also aims to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and advocates for more investment in public education.

“We believe that learning needs to go far beyond just test prep and assessments,” said Tammy Berlin, vice president of the teachers union. “That [students] should have opportunities for active and hands-on, engaging learning, apprenticeships, and projects and all kinds of active learning.”

The Kentucky Department of Education and JCPS agreed on a settlement in late August to avoid a potential state takeover. Interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis recommended state management of the district in April after an extensive audit. The district appealed the recommendation in May.

The Jefferson County school board voted 4-3 to agree on a settlement. Part of the agreement includes a corrective action plan to fix problems identified in the audit. Some board members wanted a more clearly defined corrective action plan before settling on the agreement.

The corrective action plan is currently being worked on by JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio and the Kentucky Department of Education. If both sides can’t agree on a plan, Lewis will have final say.

The deadline to come up with the corrective action plan is September 20. 

Roxanne Scott covers education for WFPL News.