Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams is praising a court decision that could possibly dismantle the controversial student-assignment plan for Jefferson County Public Schools.
On Friday, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled students have the right to enroll and attend the school nearest to their home, effectively allowing neighborhood schools in the district.
Earlier this year, Williams, who is the state Senate president, drafted a neighborhoods school bill that passed the Republican-controlled Senate but stalled in the Democratic-controlled House.
From the Williams campaign:
“This ruling validates what I and thousands of concerned citizens in Jefferson County have long argued. This failed social experiment should be scrapped and replaced with a neighborhood schools plan, putting kids in classrooms closer to home and allowing for greater participation from parents and grandparents.
Unfortunately, Governor (Steve) Beshear and his running mate Jerry Abramson have long opposed my plan for neighborhood schools despite overwhelming evidence that the current student assignment plan has done nothing to improve test scores.
I hope the school board leaves this misguided policy behind and moves forward with a neighborhood schools plan that will accomplish what we all want—the best possible education for every child in every part of Jefferson County.”
The plan was originally setup to desegregate the school district, but has since been championed as a policy to put diversity in the classroom.
JCPS won’t have to change the plan for this year, but the appeals court orders the district to develop a new plan for the 2012-13 school year. The school district is likely to appeal the decision to the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Williams has assailed the county’s assignment plan, school board and teacher’s union, highlighting the county’s poor performing schools as reason to end it.