KONZ | Questions remain about JCPS creation of teaching job for - WDRB 41 Louisville News

KONZ | Questions remain about JCPS creation of teaching job for ex-central office lawyer

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An official with Jefferson County Public Schools says the district will not create another position for an ex-central office lawyer who accepted -- then turned down -- a new $84,000 teaching job created for her.

But many questions remain.

Stephanie Malone's job was eliminated by JCPS in May as part of Superintendent Donna Hargens' decision to outsource legal work to save money. The district then created a new $84,000 teaching job in the law magnet program at Central High School created specifically for Malone -- double the salary of a starting educator despite not yet having teaching credentials.

As part of the plan, Malone was to pursue certification through the state's career and technical education program, which allows potential educators an alternate route to becoming a teacher. But on Monday, she withdrew her "extensive application" seeking alternate certification.

On Wednesday, WDRB News requested a copy of the letter JCPS sent Malone in May reassigning her as a teacher to Central High School, as well as the letter Malone sent to the district Monday rescinding the offer, but a spokeswoman said Friday she didn't have a copy of the letters.

Stephanie Bateman, interim communications director for JCPS, also said that Malone had started earning the $84,000 teaching salary on July 1, a day after her other position as assistant general counsel was eliminated. She had been making $148,600 annually.

"She has been aiding in the transition of  the legal department," Bateman said. "As of July 1, her rate of pay transitioned to her new teacher rate."

However, since Malone has rescinded the teaching job, it is not clear how much the district is paying her and for what job. Her teaching contract would not have started until Aug. 10.

District officials told WDRB News last week they created the job for Malone "because there was no other place for her to go and because Central High School had expressed the desire to expand their law program."

However, Central High's budget for the upcoming academic year makes no request for an expanded program, and the school’s former principal -- who retired June 30 -- said the school did not ask the district to fund a third law magnet teaching position. No additional students are entering the law magnet program and no additional classes were added to the schedule for this fall, he said.

Bateman said she wasn't sure if JCPS would still plan on expanding the law magnet.

"We will consult with Central's new principal regarding the needs of the law magnet," Bateman said.

PREVIOUS | Ex-JCPS central office lawyer withdraws alternate teaching certification request

PREVIOUS | JCPS defends creating $84,000 teaching job for ex-central office lawyer

PREVIOUS | Former JCPS lawyer gets Central High teaching job at double starting pay

PREVIOUS | Divided JCPS school board approves Hargens' proposal to shake up central office

Reporter Antoinette Konz covers JCPS and education issues for WDRB News. She can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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