JCPS finalizing details of racial equity policy before school starts
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The state of Kentucky says there are too many African-American students in JCPS alternative schools, and the district is working on a plan to fix that before the first day of school.
JCPS already passed its racial equity policy, but the next step is actually putting the plan into motion.
Around 100 people gathered at Central High School on Thursday to learn more about the new policy.
"There is no road map for what we're doing," Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said. "In a way, we're doing some real pioneer work, and we need to. We have to do that right now."
The district passed its first racial equity policy earlier this year, which ties into how JCPS handles student discipline and placement in alternative schools.
"We have a lot of disproportionality in our alternative schools, and so our task force is tackling that right now," Pollio said.
Kentucky Interim Education Commissioner Dr. Wayne Lewis said he's encouraged by the new policy but thinks it's too early to tell if it will yield results.
"Between 75 and 80 percent of alternative programs are comprised of students of color, largely African-American students when African-American students comprise of about 35 to 36 percent of students in the district," Lewis said. "It could work out, but we'd just have to wait to see."
As for implementing the racial equity policy, Pollio said the goal is to have final details in place before the first day of school.
"This has to be done very quickly," Pollio said. "There's urgency about it. We don't want to hurry, but we also want to make sure that we do it in time to impact children right away.
As part of the new policy, all JCPS staff will have to go through implicit bias and cultural competence training by the end of the school year. The district is still developing that training.
Students return to school on Aug. 15.
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