LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Marty Pollio has rejected an invitation to join the Steering Committee for Action on Louisville’s Agenda, a group of local business and community leaders that’s called for a state takeover of Kentucky’s largest school system.

Pollio cited that stance in a statement Monday announcing his decision against joining SCALA, saying he would participate at the conclusion of an ongoing state audit of JCPS “or if the group considers stepping away from that position.”

“With the result of our audit still uncertain, I do not think it’s an appropriate time to consider the invitation,” he said in a news release. “Although I believe community and business partners are critical to the success of our district, I cannot join a group that is actively advocating for state takeover of our district and removal of our board.”

“We are poised to do great things in JCPS and need all voices at the table working together to support students,” he added.

Pollio, who was named the next JCPS superintendent Feb. 11, was not invited to join the group until the Jefferson County Board of Education picked him as the district’s next leader.

SCALA co-founder David Jones Sr. said no one from JCPS was asked to join the group at its formation because the district lacked a full-time leader.

“As superintendent of JCPS, Dr. Pollio would have added valuable insight and perspective to the group," SCALA co-chair Sandra Frazier said in a statement.

The group, which has drawn criticism from the Jefferson County Teachers Association and other local education groups, commissioned at $50,000 study that examined how other large school districts across the U.S. handled state takeovers, something that could be recommended in the Kentucky Department of Education’s audit of JCPS.

Members of SCALA have also criticized JCPS for its performance in student achievement and preparing graduates for life after high school.

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

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