At the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s annual business summit Tuesday, Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams called for the dissolution of the Jefferson County school board while praising alternative schools.
During the question-and-answer period, the state Senate President suggested the school system should be run by Louisville Metro Government instead.
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Observers have questioned if the comments were a campaign stunt to take advantage of widespread displeasure with the board’s decision on a myriad of issues, but Williams hold the Lexington Herald-Leader he was serious about the idea.
And the Williams campaign sent the following outline:
- Presently, the public schools in Jefferson County are governed by a school board that is completely controlled by the Jefferson County Teachers’ Union. The Williams’ plan would put parents and taxpayers in charge of local schools by placing governance responsibility with Metro Government.
- The Metro Mayor would appoint the Superintendent, subject to ratification of the Metro Council.
- Public policy decisions (i.e. decisions about the student assignment plan) would be made by the Superintendent but would be subject to approval by the Metro Council.
- The Superintendent would have broad latitude to manage the school system, but ultimately taxpayers and parents would have more input via Metro Council involvement than they do with the school board.
- Taxation issues currently made by the school board would be made by the Metro Council. The Jefferson County School Board has raised property taxes for three straight years, yet the county still has 60% of the worst schools and only 18% of the state’s total student population.
- Williams believes teachers’ union control over the school board has prevented needed changes in the student assignment plan and the implementation of programs like AdvanceKentucky. Williams believes now is the time to take action to restore public confidence in the local school system and improve educational opportunities for all Jefferson County children.