Keeping with last week’s happy birthday start, join me in wishing a happy, happy birthday to Senate Education Chair Max Wise. (Like I said, Cancers are overrepresented in the Kentucky statehouse.)
Major court decisions
In case you were also on vacation, the U.S. Supreme Court dropped bomb after bomb last week.
(FYI: Two-thirds of Louisville students already live at or near the poverty line. Classrooms are often led by people capable of pregnancy but whose salaries would make child care cost-prohibitive. There is also a teacher shortage.)
Some companies said they would now cover travel expenses for employees who need to travel out of state to access abortion — like Kentuckians. A JCPS spokesman said this is not part of the district's benefits package.
The Supreme Court ruling stoked fears of what other rights could be erased.
In response to a tweet from former President Barack Obama, Texas Sen. John Cornyn said "Now do Plessy vs Ferguson/Brown vs Board of Education." While subsequent tweets clarified he was making a point about striking down 50-year-old court precedents, Twitter is not known for its nuanced arguments about school integration when tempers are high.
Also on the Supreme Court beat, the court ruled in a school-choice case that could mean state tax dollars go to religious schools. But, as my colleague Mandy McLaren pointed out, it doesn't look like it will affect Kentucky's education opportunity account program (which is idling in front of a separate court system).
Also at the federal level
Congress extended a few key waivers allowing schools to be more flexible in how they got meals to kids during the summer — but it may be too late.
As WFPL's Jess Clark reported, the extension came after districts set up their summer feeding programs, which require kids to eat on-site instead of taking meals to-go. Many districts are already halfway through summer break.
JCPS is waiting for more guidance from federal and state leaders to see exactly how this would impact the district.
Clark also reported that mass COVID-19 testing in school districts may be in limbo because of a lack of federal funding. On average, JCPS was administering 25,000 COVID-19 tests a week last school year, she said.
A light board agenda
There is not much happening during tonight’s JCPS board meeting, outside of the likely approval of Superintendent Marty Pollio’s annual evaluation.
Oh, and some nonresident student policies, which districts need to have in place by July 1 to meet a 2021 school choice law.
There was some discussion over the last year about how JCPS would approach nonresident students so that popular magnet programs like duPont Manual aren't overrun by kids living in surrounding counties, making it more difficult for low-income, students of color to make the cut.
It looks like JCPS is recommending a policy that would allow nonresident students in a handful of situations. First, high-schoolers in Anchorage Independent, which doesn't have a high school, would get to attend JCPS. (Nearly half of them end up attending Manual.)
Kids of JCPS employees would be allowed to attend, too, as long as their parents paid a nonresident tuition fee. And that's it.
Speaking of school boards
I've talked a lot about the "parents' rights" energy and the coming school board election cycle in this newsletter. So, I merged the two into a deep-dive examining a trend that may flip the board's majority come November.
In other board drama news, it appears Gay Adelmann set her Twitter cover photo to a screenshot showing James Craig, her board representative and political competitor, blocked her on Twitter. So there’s that.
What's a 'bad' school?
The Courier Journal's "A 'Bad' School" podcast is back with a follow-up episode, this time following now JCPS graduate Zyrann Hibbitt through his final days at Iroquois. (For the Zyrann fan club members out there, here's how you can help him jumpstart his culinary career.)
Looking for more on the "good" vs. "bad" school debate? Check out this newsletter from JCPS graduate turned Washington Post columnist Perry Bacon.
More on Miller
James Miller, the former duPont Manual journalism teacher now facing child pornography charges, was slated to be reassigned to noninstructional duties when his personal leave ended in the spring, his personnel file shows.
A JCPS spokesman said the district learned that law enforcement was looking into Miller in mid-February, prompting the move. But Miller resigned before his leave ended, so he never switched roles.
Amanda Averette-Bush grew up in the "choice zone." Now, meet the woman charged with implementing JCPS' new student assignment overhaul.
Kentucky's 2022 Teacher of the Year Willie Carver is leaving his job after saying repeatedly, including in a federal hearing, LGBTQ discrimination (among other things) was making it nearly impossible to do his job well.
On the teacher shortage topic, the JCPS school board is slated to discuss teacher retention during its Aug. 16 meeting. Considering that's a week after classes restart, it seems … a bit late.
Kentucky Department of Education spokeswoman Toni Konz Tatman once again had a horrific flying experience that she publicly documented for us. This time, she got a happy ending: Getting a Kentucky teacher to D.C. in time to see her former first-grader get confirmed as a U.S. District Court judge.
No homework this week. OK, bye.
Reach Olivia Krauth at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @oliviakrauth.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Not the best week for time off