Neighborhood Schools Bill Introduced Again in Kentucky Senate

by Devin Katayama on March 7, 2012

For the third year, a neighborhood schools bill has been introduced in the Kentucky state Senate.

Republican Sen. Dan Seum of Louisville introduced Senate Bill 9 Monday, the final day bills were allowed to be submitted to the legislature.

Two other measures have previously won Senate approval but failed in the House. Seum said there’s no strategic reason for waiting to introduce the bill this late in the session and that the issue is not new. Jefferson County students are spending too much time on buses in order to satisfy diversity requirements in the JCPS assignment plan, he said.

“The big issue for me quite frankly is where we’re spending the money. We have 930 some buses that we’re spending a tremendous amount of money for and I would like to get these kids back to their neighborhood schools and get the money in the classroom,” said Seum.

JCPS rewrote its student assignment plan earlier this year after years of protest from parents who say their children should be able to attend their neighborhood school. But the new JCPS assignment plan has not eased concerns of parents who say their children are spending too much time on buses, said Seum.

“I think the school district has done a pretty good job of moving the chairs around to make it look like they’re doing something about it but it’s my opinion they’re doing nothing,” he said.

The House has twice shot down a neighborhood schools bill supported by Seum, and he said the House continues to neglect the side effects of the JCPS diversity plan.

In April, Kentucky’s Supreme Court will rule on whether current state law allows students to attend the school closest to their homes.

 

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