Kentucky Democratic lawmakers to speak against neighborhood scho - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky Democratic lawmakers to speak against neighborhood schools bill

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The Kentucky State Capitol building (WDRB News file photo) The Kentucky State Capitol building (WDRB News file photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Sen. Gerald Neal and other Kentucky lawmakers will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. Monday to voice opposition to the neighborhood schools bill that is making its way through the state legislature.

House Bill 151, which calls for Kentucky school districts to permit a student to enroll in the school nearest to their home starting with the 2019-20 year, passed the Kentucky House on Feb. 23. According to the legislative record, the bill had two readings in the Senate last week and was returned to the Senate Education Committee, however, the legislation has not been discussed.

The press conference will be held in Room 327 of the Kentucky State Capitol.

Neal, D-Louisville, will be joined by Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, and Rep. Reginald Meeks, D- Louisville, as well as some community members, including the Rev. David Snardon and other members of the Kentucky General Assembly.

HB 151 allows for certain exceptions, including cases in which the school closest to a child's home has academic or skill prerequisites -- such as a magnet school, or was designated as a traditional school by the local district as of the 2016-17 year. 

It further states that if the number of children living in an attendance area exceeds the capacity of a school, 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.

It adds that no child shall be displaced "in order to permit the attendance of another child."

Right now, JCPS students don't currently have that assurance because the district assigns and places students according to a formula to ensure racial and socioeconomic diversity in its schools.

WDRB will be at the press conference and will update this story.

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You can reach reporter Toni Konz at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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