Gov. Bevin and Mayor Fischer react to potential state takeover of JCPS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Derby week brings every one out into the spring sunshine, including thoroughbreds, fans, and local leaders.

For Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, the high-profile week also means answering tough questions about the other big story in town: the problems at Kentucky's largest school district. 

"We have got to provide a quality education to every single child in the state," Bevin said Tuesday at Churchill Downs.

On Monday, we learned about the results from a more than year-long audit. The recommendation from Kentucky's interim education commissioner was a state takeover of Jefferson County Public Schools.

"There's no question that these gaps need to be addressed. People recognize that, but it's going to require the whole community coming together to do that," Fischer said. "The proper assistance from the state is what needs to be considered here so that people can say. 'Hey, we're in this together utilizing the people of Louisville and the skills that we have here."

Interim Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis said many children in JCPS have "neither been protected nor served well."

"We've got to make changes. We've got a less-than-stellar end result right now," Bevin said. "We have too many kids coming from the west end of Louisville, in particular, that are falling farther and farther behind."

Bevin and Fischer, who sit on opposite sides of the political aisle, agree the man to lead the district out of this dark time is already at the helm: Superintendent Marty Polio.

"He really truly has done a great job," Bevin said. "His enthusiasm, the respect that he has, his approach, his willingness to take on hard things is truly exemplary. It really is. And I'm grateful he'll be part of the solution."

When that solution will come is what concerned parents want to know now.

"Whether it takes a month, a year or three years, let's just get it right," Bevin said. "It's about the kids."

When asked a possible appeal to the state's recommendation, Pollio said he'll go over options with board members this week. JCPS has until May 30 to file an appeal.

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