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Parents pushing for dismissal of JCPS superintendent

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – The leadership of the Kentucky’s largest school district is under fire, and parents are calling for a change in leadership.

A petition with more than 6,000 signatures asking for Donna Hargens to be removed as the superintendent of JCPS is expected to be delivered to the board tonight.

A large crowd is expected at Van Hoose Education Center before the start of Tuesday night’s board meeting hoping that the board hears their pleas to remove Donna Hargens as district superintendent because they claim her administration has teacher morale at an all-time low, and is putting students at a disadvantage.

For concerned parents Barbara Boyd and Gay Adelmann the issues here at Maupin Elementary have been a microcosm of a failed JCPS.

"There's been a huge disservice one to Maupin,” Gay Adelmann said. “It was supposed to be a district of innovation school, and within the first year promises were broken."

"The teachers were not given what they needed to roll the program out the way they should of,” Barbara Boyd said.

Their concerns combined with a recent report from the state leads them to believe that these issues may be district wide, .and have some questioning whether the district needs a change in leadership.

"There have been areas that we have wanted more progress in,” JCPS board member Linda Duncan said. “Areas that we've wanted more attention to. For me sometimes I've seen incomplete planning, last minute decision making, and minimizing of problems."

However as a former principal JCPS board member Linda Duncan see's the flip side of the coin, and the progress Superintendent Donna Hargens has made since taking office in 2011.

"The complete context of student achievement that she has emphasized has made an impact on all of us,” Duncan said.

But with a nearly unprecedented state audit looming, parents are calling for Hargens to stay true to her word, and do what they feel is right for their children.

"My hope moving forward is that she will pass the baton to someone that has experience teaching in an urban school district,” Boyd said.

"Our superintendent really needs to step down from her position and allow a genuine audit to take place,” Adelmann said.

"It's important for everyone to know that we're moving toward a resolution, and we hope to be able to share that before long,” Duncan said.

“I am focused on making sure that I do whatever is in the best interest of students, in terms of making sure that we’re preparing them for the future,” Hargens said.

It is important to note that she is under contract with the district through 2019 with a salary that pays her $276,000 per year.

About Dr. Donna Hargens:

In 2011, Hargens joined JCPS as the superintendent, serving 172 schools in the district. Her current salary is $276,000, and her contract with JCPS goes through 2019.

For more on Hargens’ history as an educator, visit http://on.whas11.com/2mj99n0.

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