JCPS superintendent says district's response to state takeover is 'imminent'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Less than a week before school starts, JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio fielded questions from the community Thursday night about a potential state takeover.

After hours of board meetings in closed session Tuesday, Pollio said the district's "agreement proposal" to the state is now in the hands of JCPS attorneys.

"This is not something that our board takes lightly," he said. "This is not something I take lightly. These are tough decisions.

"There will be a response to KDE. It's imminent, I believe."

The Louisville Urban League and Metro United Way hosted a forum Thursday for people to ask questions after the state's audit found 58 problems with JCPS. Pollio talked about how the district is making changes for students and teachers.

"We are committed to providing the support for our staff, the training for our staff, but also the oversight and accountability for our staff," he said.

In May, Interim Education Commissioner Dr. Wayne Lewis handed down the recommendation for state management. Officials are trying to avoid a 12-day hearing, spread over two months, and offered the district a settlement.

But one of the main items targeted is the student assignment plan. It's a divisive issue in the community, but something the district doesn't want to give up.

"I would rather have us do it locally, as a community, than have someone else do it for us." Pollio said. "So we are committed to doing that and tackling that, but without a doubt, it's one of the most difficult issues we have to face."

Lewis says at this point, KDE is getting ready for next month's hearing. But if JCPS sends a proposal, they'll definitely consider it.

On Wednesday, Lewis said KDE would respond to the district within the hour.

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