State task force that could lead to split of JCPS is looking for members. How to join

During his annual State of the District address, Superintendent Marty Pollio addressed lawmakers in Frankfort for their efforts against DEI and the commission to split up the district. Feb. 20, 2024
During his annual State of the District address, Superintendent Marty Pollio addressed lawmakers in Frankfort for their efforts against DEI and the commission to split up the district. Feb. 20, 2024

Got ideas about how to reform Jefferson County Public Schools?

Kentucky lawmakers want members of the JCPS community to provide input to a new task force focused on the school system.

The task force is looking for the following members:

  • Two parents who have children who attend JCPS or who have graduated within the past five years and who have “competency and experience or knowledge in the field of education”

  • One business member with experience managing a large business that operates in Kentucky

  • One teacher with at least five years of experience working in JCPS

The task force will also appoint one person from a list of three names suggested by JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio.

What is the task force? Will it split up JCPS?

The state legislature created the task force this year to study “efficient and effective school district governance” in districts with more than 75,000 students. Though the resolution does not name JCPS, the district is the only Kentucky system that falls into that category.

The task force has a wide ambit, with the legislature empowering it to study every aspect of JCPS, from funding to transportation to athletic programs.

The task force could take up whether JCPS should be split up into smaller districts. But Republican leaders deny that is the main purpose.

"That is not the intent of the task force. We're gonna look at all options," said Rep. Ken Fleming, R-Louisville, who proposed the initial resolution to create the task force and will serve on it. "There's a commitment to look at all options ... what's going to be able to be data-driven and try to get as many resources as possible into this process to make the best decision possible."

The task force has drawn criticism from Democratic legislators as well as JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio, who earlier this year told lawmakers in Frankfort that he views the task force as an attack on the system.

Now that the task force is moving ahead, JCPS leaders want to make sure selected members represent the district.

"We expect the legislature to ... choose a diverse group who support public education," JCPS spokesman Mark Hebert said in a statement.

The task force is expected to submit a list of recommendations to state House and Senate leaders by Dec. 1, 2024.

How much work is required of task force members?

Selected members will need to attend all task force meetings. Fleming said the position will be a “heavy lift” and that he is planning for at least two meetings per month.

Task force members will also have homework outside of the meetings: They will be expected to work on research and projects, Fleming said.

“We want to make sure that the students, the children of Jefferson County are going to be put first and make sure that the end result will put our students ... in a better spot when they graduate,” he said.

Who else is on the task force?

The task force will have a total of 13 members. Besides members of the public, other members include:

  • Co-chair Sen. Michael Nemes, R-Shepherdsville

  • Co-chair Rep. Kim Banta, R-Fort Mitchell

  • Sen. Gerald Neal, D-Louisville

  • Sen. Lindsey Tichenor, R-Smithfield

  • Rep. Tina Bojanowski, D-Louisville

  • Rep. Ken Fleming, R-Louisville

  • State auditor Allison Ball or her designee

  • Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg or his designee

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How to apply

The state government will start accepting applications on Monday, June 17, and the final submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 30.

People who want to apply must submit a resume with work and education history and a letter of intent that includes:

  • Contact information for the applicant;

  • The position sought (resident-parent, business or teacher);

  • An explanation of how the applicant meets the requirements for the position; and

  • Three potential references.

People wanting to apply will need to send their materials to the following addresses:

Meeting schedule

Below is a list of the meetings that have so far been scheduled, though Fleming said he expects more to be added. Most meetings will be in Frankfort with others in the Louisville area.

  • Monday, July 15, 2024 at 1 p.m.

  • Monday, July 29, 2024 at 3 p.m.

  • Monday, August 19, 2024 at 1 p.m.

  • Thursday, August 22, at Kentucky State Fair in Louisville, time T.B.D.

  • Monday, September 16, 2024 at 1 p.m.

  • Monday, October 21, 2024 at 1 p.m.

  • Monday, November 18, 2024 at 3 p.m.

Reach Rebecca Grapevine at rgrapevine@courier-journal.com or follow her on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @RebGrapevine.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Kentucky task force aimed at studying JCPS is seeking members