LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS) -- Everyone can agree on the question - "How can we have positive impact on 101,000 kids within JCPS?" But when it comes to the answer, that's where the disagreements begin.
Kentucky Department of Education Interim Commissioner Wayne Lewis has reviewed the management audit of JCPS and is in town visiting schools and meeting with JCPS officials. He is expected to make a recommendation to the Kentucky Board of Education for the state to either provide assistance to JCPS, to takeover the district or the take no action.
"Realistically I think you're going to see either some type of assistance role or potentially a takeover," former Jefferson County Public Education Foundation director Sam Corbett said.
Corbett, who also formerly served as a member of the Jefferson County Board of Education, has spent 30 years working with JCPS. He said while the state of Kentucky has intervened in smaller school districts in the past, with the results being "a mixed bag," the size and diversity of JCPS would make a takeover like this unprecedented in the Bluegrass State.
According to Corbett, a takeover would have the state appoint a manager to take charge of the district who would work with the superintendent and the school board, but would have the final say on decisions.
"In effect, the school board would still be in office, but if they're not the final decisionmakers, it changes the realities," Corbett said.
Groups, like the Jefferson County Teachers Association, have rallied against a school takeover, arguing JCPS superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio has been making strides to improve the district and should get more time.
"Yes, JCPS has many problems and issues that I am sure that Dr. Pollio is taking into account, but he needs the chance to prove himself along with the board," Tamara Patterson with JCTA said Tuesday.
On the other side are those advocating for a state takeover, which includes the Kentucky Pastors in Action Coalition, of which Kentucky Board of Education chair Milton Seymore had been a member before leaving to take his current post with the KBE.
"In 2009 up until now, 2017, the gap between black and white children has escalated," Rev. Jerry Stephenson, the pastor of Midwest Church of Christ and a member of KPAC, said Tuesday. "Folks, things can't be business as usual."
"I think we'd be naive if we said that politics didn't enter into some of these decisions, and it's not so much partisan politics, one party versus the other," Corbett said.
Once Lewis makes his recommendation, the Jefferson County school board will have 30 days to either ask for a formal hearing before the state board or the accept the recommendations. After that, the state board will hold an open meeting to vote to either approve or reject the recommendation.