JCPS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Jefferson County Board of Education will soon give its input on potential revisions to the district’s student assignment plan during a work session in the coming weeks.

The Student Assignment Review Advisory Committee on Tuesday evaluated its proposed guiding principles — choice, equity, diversity, access for marginalized communities and ease of understanding — based on the racial equity policy recently enacted by Jefferson County Public Schools.

The panel has met for more than a year to discuss the district’s student assignment plan, which is slated for changes by the 2020-21 school year under a settlement agreement reached with the Kentucky Department of Education to avoid state management of JCPS.

The district, which revisits its student assignment plan every five to seven years, began work on amending the plan in October 2017, about six months before the Kentucky Department of Education recommended a takeover of JCPS.

Cassie Blausey, executive administrator of school choice for JCPS, said the board is set to discuss progress on the student assignment plan during an April 23 work session and offer its feedback on the recommended guiding principles.

Still, at least one member of the review committee expressed her dismay that the panel has not had a chance to formulate or scrutinize any proposed plans.

“I’ve invested a lot of time into this process, and if something has already been decided, I just want to know,” said Marian Vasser, director of diversity education and inclusive excellence at the University of Louisville. “If there is a plan that we’re going to have a look at and be able to give some serious input in, can we get there?”

Blausey, however, said nothing had been decided and that the school board’s input will be vital in determining how to proceed in revising the JCPS student assignment plan.

“We really need their next steps before we do anything,” she told the committee.

Once the board gives its feedback, Blausey said work could begin on actually revising the plan. The committee is scheduled to solicit community input on the proposal in June before its ideas are presented to the school board.

But Vasser remained frustrated at what she perceived as slow progress on drafting an updated student assignment plan.

“It almost feels like we’re going through guiding principles, and one week we come in and we say, ‘OK, we’re going to write them in blue,’ and then the next month we come and say, ‘OK, let’s write them in red,’ and then the next month, ‘OK, let’s do circles around them,’” Vasser told WDRB News. “Let’s get past that and actually get to a plan.”

“I want to see the plan,” she added. “I want to give feedback on the actual plan.”

Blausey says a plan will come in due time.

“We’re not at the phase of building the actual plan, and I think people want that part,” she told WDRB News. “People want that clarity, but we’re trying to do this as deliberately and intentionally as possible by building  as much evidence from our committee and from the community to really figure out what that framework should look like, and then the plan comes.”

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