LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- The audit of Jefferson County Public Schools was released on Monday and the interim education commissioner recommended "state management" of Kentucky's largest school district.
Although the commissioner recommended state management, JCPS superintendent, Marty Pollio, would remain in charge.
The state began its audit in 2017 but last week the commissioner, Wayne Lewis, visited JCPS to make his final determination.
JCPS officials have been touting the improvements made over the last year before the recommendation was announced on Monday. They say the improvements include new board members and a new superintendent.
State Representative John Yarmuth released a statement:
“Governor Bevin’s announced takeover of the largest public school district in the Commonwealth is the latest and most disconcerting assault in his ongoing war on public education. Rather than working with Dr. Pollio and experienced educators on the progress being made and providing the resources necessary to improve our schools, Bevin has instead decided to pursue a personal agenda that demands our schools do more with less. The governor has spent the last several months trying to cheat our teachers out of their promised benefits, and now he has shown his intent to cheat more than 100,000 Jefferson County students as well. Louisville families want a voice in securing better futures for their children, and their governor has snatched that from them. I share the concern and outrage of parents in our community over this betrayal and will continue to work in any way I can to protect our schools from this reckless political ideology that seeks to divert money from public schools at the expense of Louisville’s children.”
Kentucky Democratic Party statement on JCPS takeover:
“Gov. Bevin’s stacked board of education has usurped elected officials and local control for Jefferson County schools, but more importantly they have circumvented democracy for us all,” Brad Bowman, spokesperson for the Kentucky Democratic Party said. “The Republican majority’s agenda to starve public education and drive down wages for working-class Kentuckians is more apparent now than ever. They continue to put private industry’s interests over the people of this state.”
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer releases statement:
"I am pleased that the audit recognized the strong leadership abilities of Dr. Marty Pollio. I am extremely disappointed that it is recommending state takeover, and for Dr. Pollio to report to the state, instead of JCPS’ elected local leadership. Providing assistance and resources to JCPS, and allowing Dr. Pollio and the local board to drive those changes, would have greatly helped us address the gaps we all acknowledge. All of us agree that every child must have every opportunity to succeed. And, until we address the societal challenges that lead half of our children to show up at JCPS unprepared to learn, many of our children will continue to struggle. The only agenda we should all have is creating the best large urban school district in the nation. Public education is the heart of our democracy, and we must all ensure a strong JCPS. I urge the state Board of Education to reject the audit’s recommendation and replace takeover with assistance."
JCPS Management Audit Findings on Scribd