Education

The Kentucky Board of Education has voted unanimously to officially dismiss the state’s call for a takeover of Jefferson County Public Schools. The vote took place Wednesday afternoon in Frankfort.

On Monday, the JCPS board voted 4-3 in favor of an agreement with the KDE that kept the two from facing off during a series of hearings set to begin next month.

The terms of the agreement include:

  • The Kentucky Department of Education will complete another management audit of JCPS by September 15, 2020;
  • until that audit is completed, JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio will provide monthly status reports to the state;
  • Pollio will remain superintendent at least through the 2020 audit unless the state approves the grounds for his removal;
  • the Kentucky Department of Education will be able to place one or more employees within JCPS to observe the inner workings of the central office or individual schools;
  • the district will give the state any copy of policy changes proposed “within the areas of special education, physical restraint or seclusion of students, early childhood education, career and technical education, and facility maintenance and replacement.” The state will provide comments on the policy change, and will have final right of approval over any changes that affect JCPS’ corrective action plan;
  • the Jefferson County Board of Education agrees to create by January 1 an internal auditor’s office to investigate all JCPS complaints;
  • JCPS agrees any changes to the student assignment plan will be in place by the 2020-2021 school year.

“Our teams are committed to working together to develop corrective action plans,” said Interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis following the vote. “I would be surprised if we created something that both parties did not agree to.”

Lewis recommended Kentucky’s largest school district be taken over by the state in late April after the release of a scathing audit. The district appealed the recommendation in May. This summer, Lewis offered the district a settlement in lieu of recommended state management.

This story will be updated.