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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It appears the Jefferson County School District's controversial student assignment plan is here to stay for the foreseeable future. The school board candidates who ran on strong anti-busing platforms were all defeated in yesterday's election.
There will be three new faces on the Jefferson Co. School Board, but none of the winners want to immediately scrap the student assignment plan in favor of neighborhood schools.
The student assignment plan may have been the hottest issue, but the three winners, David Jones, Chris Brady and Chuck Haddaway, all focused instead on increasing student achievement.
They believe parents were alarmed by the low scores in the new achievement test released last week.
"It Really kind of refocused the campaign, and I think the voters looked at who put student achievement and performance first," said District 7 winner Chris Brady.
But the winners also know they must deal with some lingering dissatisfaction with the student assignment plan. Roughly one-third of the votes cast in the school board race were for anti-busing candidates.
Busing opponent Ted Gordon believes the new board members will me more willing to seriously evaluate the student assignment plan.
"If we're going to spend $100-million a year and have 80% failing schools and continue to say that all we want to achieve in this community is to sit a black child next to a white child, or green child, or red child, or whatever color they may be, and we don't care about educational outcome, I don't think these new school board members will tolerate it," said Gordon.
"We should revisit it all the time, making sure that it is something that doesn't deter kids from succeeding in the classroom," said District 4 winner Chuck Haddaway.
And the new board members say they're confident they can unify their districts behind student achievement.
"I think when you hear everybody's point of view, you can come to consensus that we can all agree upon," said Haddaway.
"At the end of the day, we all care about kids. I think that's the first thing. That's our common ground. So once we have that common ground, to work toward finding other areas of agreement and trying to bring those folks together. It's something we have to do. It's not an option," said Brady.
Ted Gordon says he still plans to file suit against District 2 winner David Jones for alleged conflict of business interest. He says Jones is connected to several companies that do business with JCPS, including Humana.
Jones was out of town today but, in the past, has called the charge "misleading and ridiculous."