Kentucky Senate Approves Neighborhood Schools Bill

The Kentucky Senate has approved a bill, SB 9, that would allow students to attend the school nearest their homes, but a similar bill has twice cleared the Senate and then died in the House.

Under the bill all school districts would be subject to the law. Two amendments that would have allowed local school boards to overrule the law were voted down.

Sen. Dan Seum of Louisville has sponsored the two previous measures that later died in the House. He continues to argue that transportation costs for more than 900 buses in Jefferson County Public Schools are too high, and the district’s assignment plan is failing.

The plan transports thousands of students around the district to meet diversity goals. This year, the JCPS board approved changes to the plan that will allow 1,700 fewer students to be transported longer distances around the county.

The Kentucky Supreme Court will hear arguments in a dispute over whether state law allows students to attend the school nearest their home. That hearing is scheduled in April.