LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A state audit of JCPS began today though it was closed to the public.
WHAS11 was told that dozens of auditors were sent from Frankfort to investigate the way JCPS reports and handles student behavior, which is among the state’s chief concerns.
After decades as a principal in Jefferson County Public Schools, Terry Brooks knows audits are a way of life as a school administrator.
"I for one welcome the audit as an objective external lens on what we can do to help kids in the Jefferson County schools,” said Brooks.
However, he admits the Kentucky Dept. of Education audit of JCPS has a different feel to it.
"The folks who should be worried are the crew at the Van Hoose Education Center and the elected board members,” said Brooks. “If you're about the status quo the audit should scare you to death."
"I think it is a little scary for everybody involved, but for the most part I think we're going to get questions about what is going on,” said JCTA President Brent McKim. “We're going to get facts and information, and that's positive."
A notice sent to district administrators indicates that JCPS has been under a management review since July of 2016, but JCTA President Brent McKim says the issues run deeper than that.
"There's certainly concerns about some of the information that's being communicated from the district to Frankfort not being accurate,” said McKim. “Some of that involves student behavior outcomes."
But is a lack of transparency enough for a district-wide takeover by the state? Brooks and McKim say that remains to be seen.
"I certainly don't get a sense that the state is looking to take over the district,” said McKim. “I think we have a great deal of capacity. We're in the process of finding a new leader for the district and I feel sure the state will want to give the new leader of the district an opportunity."
"To me, right now, being superintendent of JCPS is about as attractive as becoming president of the University of Louisville,” said Brooks. “Neither of those positions are going to attract top-notch candidates."
WHAS11 reached out to both JCPS and the Kentucky Dept. of Education for comment on this story, and since it is an ongoing audit both declined to comment at this time.