Wednesday, August 25, 2010

David Williams Proposes Amending Law on Student Enrollment

Senate Pres. David Williams supports amending the law that Judge Irv Maze just used to uphold the Jefferson County Public School District student assignment plan.

The plan is voluntary, not court-mandated. Parents who want their children to attend neighborhood schools for which they were denied challenged the plan. The basis of the suit is a Kentucky statute that permits parents to "enroll" children at the neighborhood school. Because the Kentucky legislature amended the law to drop the language "for attendance," Judge Maze held that the right to enroll a child does not equate with the right for the child to attend the school where the parents enrolled him or her.

Republicans have pre-filed a bill to add back in the "for attendance" language -- making clear that JCPS must provide neighborhood schools now denied under its assignment plan.

Even aside from the obvious benefits of neighborhood schools -- and the drawbacks of making small children spend hours a day on a bus -- the bill makes sense from a budgetary standpoint. JCPS receives roughly $3500 per child per year in state "SEEK" money. JCPS spends more than $5 million to bus children all around the county. At a time when Kentucky cannot even afford to buy new text books for its students, that $5 million could be better spent.

No comments: