JCPS school board unanimously votes to oppose neighborhood schoo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS school board unanimously votes to oppose neighborhood schools bill

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JCPS school board members made it publicly known Wednesday that they oppose House Bill 151, also known as the neighborhood schools bill. 

During a special-called meeting, board members voted unanimously against the bill, calling it government overreach into local affairs. The vote was met with applause by a crowd of parents and students.

The purpose of the vote was to re-affirm the district's opposition of the bill.

"If this passes, we will do as told," said District 1 board member Diane Porter. "I worked for this district in 1975, and I did as I was told to do. Not a good time. We do not need to go back."

Board members compared the HB151 to dark times in the city's history.

"White pro-segregation rioters burned school buses, threw rocks and attacked police, the KKK organized and led several such riots in Louisville, all in the name of neighborhood schools," said District 2 board member Dr. Chris Kolb.

"The reason I think that Louisville doesn't have the intensity of racial issues that you see in Ferguson or Baltimore is because we send our kids to school together," said District 7 board member Chris Brady. "You fear what you don't understand, and you don't understand what you're not around." 

Other concerns include logistics. Twenty schools are already committed to non-neighborhood school kids.

Board members also shared personal stories about their experiences in integrated schools.

"Jefferson County Public Schools gave me the opportunity to go to the school that best suited who I was as an individual," recalled District 4 board member Benjamin Gies.

"We want to retain local control," said District 3 board member Stephanie Horne. "I don't disagree with that. But what that means is getting control of the situation."

Parents and students held signs and shared stories of success in diverse schools. 

"School is for everyone. There's no reason to separate people," said sixth grader Kieran Miller. "It's just school."

The bill passed the House last week. It's now awaiting discussion in the Senate Education Committee.

Related Stories:

Kentucky House passes neighborhood schools bill that would shake up JCPS

Revised neighborhood schools bill would 'shake up' JCPS student assignment plan

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