New Kentucky student assignment bill could be voted on this week - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New Kentucky student assignment bill could be voted on this week

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Lawmakers in the Kentucky House of Representatives could take a big step toward a big change for JCPS this week.

Last Thursday, a House education committee passed House bill 151 by an 11-4 vote.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Bratcher (R-29), calls for all Kentucky school districts to permit a student to enroll in the school nearest to their home starting with the 2019-20 year.

Given JCPS’s current student assignment plan, this would facilitate a major change for students.

However, the bill faces strong oppositions from JCPS administrators.

“We believe that the bill would have a negative impact on student learning and actually widen student achievement gaps,” said JCPS superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens on Thursday.

The bill says the children residing the shortest travel distance from the school shall be given first priority in assignment and that if that school exceeds the capacity, then the resident student shall enroll in and attend the next closest school to where they reside.

Many parents are praising the idea of the bill.

“We went through the whole process of signing up and choosing Lowe as our reside school. A few months later, we got a letter in the mail that she'd been chosen to go to Roosevelt-Perry,” said Peter Massey.

For the Massey’s, Lowe Elementary is only about a mile from their house. That is where he originally wanted to send his daughter. Instead, she was assigned to Roosevelt-Perry Elementary which is nearly 14 miles away.

“At that point, we made the decision to enroll her at St. Margaret Mary, which is where she is now,” Massey said.

Exceptions would be made traditional, magnet, alternative and charter schools. If passed, the bill would not go into effect until the 2019 school year.

If passed by the House of Representatives, it would then move onto the Senate for a vote. 

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