Fate of JCPS student assignment plan in the hands of Ky. Supreme Court


by WHAS11


Posted on April 18, 2012 at 4:06 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 18 at 6:47 PM

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The Kentucky Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in the lawsuit filed by parents nearly two years ago over the JCPS student assignment plan.
It's a fight that stems from the Kentucky state law passed during federal desegregation in the 1970s. It's even reached the U.S. Supreme Court in the past.
Jefferson County Public Schools fought the Court of Appeals ruling last year that sided with parents who want to keep their children at neighborhood schools. Now the fight appears to be over the definition of a word.
Seven judges heard arguments from attorneys for the parents and JCPS. The case reached the state's highest court when JCPS appealed the lower court's ruling last year.
Previously a judge sided with JCPS and threw out the lawsuit.
The legal debate is over the law says that students have the right to enroll in the school nearest their home. JCPS defends their busing policy, saying it doesn't mean students have to actually attend a neighborhood school.
"We're not questioning the policy," one Justice said. "No one is questioning the policy, at least we don't have an argument. It's not for this court to decide the policy of the school board. We just have to say what the statute means."
JCPS attorneys argued "enroll" and "attend" do not mean the same thing.
"It defies common sense,'" Plaintiff's attorney Teddy Gordon said. "It defies logic that the legislators, the 138 legislators or senators, would not have said something, 'Does this mean this?' The contemplation in 1990, because it's clear and unambiguous, is that enrollment is the placement of the school they enroll."
The attorney for JCPS also said if the court sides against the school system changing the long standing police would be difficult.
Attorneys expect the Kentucky Supreme Court to make a decision within about four months.