At Dear JCPS, we agree that changes to the district's student assignment plan are long overdue. However, HB151 is not the right approach and will cause more harm than good. Contact your senator today and stop this bill before it becomes law!
Dear JCPS has been asking JCPS school board and administrators to revisit student assignment to look for ways that our district could reduce unnecessary busing without sacrificing much-lauded diversity, opportunity, equity and choice that make our district great. In September, board members were provided with an updated report on student assignment during a work session, which gave a proposed timeline for reviewing the district’s current plan, which is already in the works, with possible revisions to submitted for board approval in June.

Unfortunately, HB151 will upend all of those efforts currently underway, and will tie our school board's hands from making improvements going forward. Furthermore, this over-reaching bill will preclude them from creating any new magnet schools, and put everything we've accomplished over the last decade or more at risk. Not to mention, it will place undue stress on the school district to build new schools in areas where neighborhood schools do not exist, without providing any of the badly needed funds to accomplish this task. 

Tell Senators to Vote NO on HB151!

HB151 (with an amendment that adds an exemption for charter schools and magnet schools) has already passed the House and is now on to the Senate. This bill is wrong for JCPS students and families. It will "blow up" our district's existing student assignment plan, giving charters an unfair advantage over public schools by ending our district's most successful features, such as diversity and choice, and will put our beloved magnet programs at risk. It will create a great deal of uncertainty for families, will resegregate our schools and will harm our most vulnerable students the most.

From WDRB Toni Konz: SUNDAY EDITION | For JCPS, 'neighborhood schools' bill would force big changes, unforeseen consequences

Schools with magnet programs are not protected by this bill, and therefore these programs would be at risk if those schools fill up with resides students. Magnet programs (not to be confused with magnet schools) often increase diversity and school success because they are able to "attract" students to high poverty/low-performing schools in the West and South End. Magnet programs in areas where schools have been shuttered over the years will no longer have seats available, therefore exacerbating the concentrations of poverty and segregation in those areas. And it won't even accomplish a reduction in busing legislators promise, since many students will still have to be bused to the second or third closest school, as the ones closest to them will be full!

The unintended consequences from this poorly researched and overreaching bill will be devastating. Our community has an elected school board, with a brand new board chair, and we need to work with them to devise the best student assignment plan, not leave this decision up to legislators in Frankfort, who often do not have kids in our public schools and who do not understand how this bill will impact students in Jefferson county.

From Insider Louisville - State House passes ‘neighborhood schools’ bill over objections that it’s ‘overreach’ and will ‘resegregate’ JCPS


What can you do?

Call 800-372-7181 and ask to leave messages for your senator as well as the entire Senate Education Committee to vote no on HB151. You can also email the Senate Education Committee Members by clicking here and adding your own message. Please do so today!
Dear JCPS was at Saturday's town hall with Rep. Kevin Bratcher, the bill's sponsor. Here are videos we live-streamed on Facebook:

More info from the JCPS website:

House Bill 151: Understanding Its Impact on JCPS

On Feb. 22, the Jefferson County Board of Education (JCBE) discussed the impact of House Bill (HB) 151 related to neighborhood schools.

Based on district modeling, if the bill passed as currently written, only about half of all JCPS high school students, about 38 percent of middle school students, and about 34 percent of elementary school students live close enough to their current school that they would have been accepted there.

These current and proposed student school map models highlight this impact.

On each of the current maps, green dots represent current students who live close enough that they could have attended this school. However, red dots represent current students who could have been placed at other schools.

Here’s what HB 151 would do:

  • Permit a child to enroll in the school nearest to his or her home, except if that school has academic/skill prerequisites or is currently a traditional school;
  • Give first priority to students residing the shortest travel distance to a school when the capacity of the school is exceeded;
  • If a student is denied attendance at the school closest to his or her home, give the student priority to attend the next-closest school;
  • Prohibit a student currently attending a school from being displaced;
  • Permit a student to attend a school other than the one closest, if there is capacity and if:
    • He or she meets academic or skill prerequisites;
    • He or she was admitted to a traditional school; or
    • The student is already attending the school.
  • Establish implementation in 2019-20; and
  • Require at least two school districts to testify before the Interim Joint Committee on Education during the 2018 Interim.

Based on data, we know HB 151 would have a far-reaching impact with significant unintended consequences, creating serious disruptions for JCPS families.

HB 151 would change the JCPS student assignment plan so that there would be:

  • Less certainty—Significantly reducing certainty for families about which school their child would attend.
  • Less equityReducing access to high-performing schools and schools with special programs for students who live farther away from those schools.
  • Less diversity—Creating more schools that are more segregated by race and income.
  • Lower student achievementSending more students to schools with high concentrations of poverty, where low-income students do less well.

HB 151 Documents:

Save Our Schools Kentucky invites you to join the conversation in their private Facebook Group and be sure to sign up for emails. Thank you!

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Dear JCPS · · Louisville, Kentucky 40222 · USA

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