SCALA extends invitation to Pollio day after he's named next JCP - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SCALA extends invitation to Pollio day after he's named next JCPS superintendent

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Steering Committee for Action on Louisville's Agenda, a group of business and community leaders that's listed the city's public education system among its top priorities, has invited acting Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Marty Pollio to join a day after he was offered the full-time position.

Michael Tierney, a SCALA spokesman, told WDRB News in an email Monday that Humana co-founder and SCALA co-founder David Jones Sr. has extended an invitation for Pollio to join. He would be the lone JCPS representative in the 69-member group.

The Jefferson County Board of Education unanimously chose Pollio, 46, as the district's next superintendent on Sunday pending contract negotiations and set an April 1 deadline to reach a deal.

It's unclear whether Pollio, who earns $185,000 a year as acting superintendent, will join the group. Allison Martin, communications director for JCPS, said the invitation "is under consideration."

In a Jan. 31 Courier Journal story, Jones had said that Pollio and other JCPS officials were not invited to join because the district did not have a permanent leader at the time.

SCALA commissioned a report from Bellwether Education Partners that looked at the district's governance structure and how other school districts have handled state intervention efforts, a possible outcome of an ongoing Kentucky Department of Education audit.

The group has also been critical of student achievement at JCPS, saying the district hasn't done enough to educate its students and prepare graduates for life after high school.

In an interview with WDRB News last week, Pollio said he wasn't sure whether he would join SCALA if offered a spot on the board.

“I think it would depend upon what the stated goals and mission of the organization are, and so I would have to balance that out,” he said. “Any organization that’s going to make an impact or decision about the future of JCPS, then yes, I would like to be at the table.”

Chris Brady, a school board member and former chairman, has criticized SCALA's approach toward public education issues at JCPS, and he declined to say whether he thought Pollio should join the group and "put him in a position to decide one way or the other."

He noted his personal reservations about SCALA and said he would like to see JCPS focus more on existing community partnerships like Louisville Promise.

"I would like more efforts be put into that organization rather than put into an organization that is actively seeking to disband the school board," Brady said.

Reach reporter Kevin Wheatley at 502-585-0838 and kwheatley@wdrb.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinWheatleyKY.

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