JCPS Student Assignment Plan: What's most equitable for our kids? | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

JCPS Student Assignment Plan: What's most equitable for our kids?

We all want the same thing for our kids: for them to be able to go to a school that’s the right fit for them, a school that will give them a great education in an environment that’s safe for all students and staff.

The Jefferson County School Board is currently considering decisions that will have an impact on every student in Jefferson County Public Schools. We want to make sure that they hear from us all about how these decisions will impact our kids and all students.

The Student Assignment Plan

Right now, any student who is not accepted to a magnet or other special school program attends their “reside” school. For most students, that means a school close to where they live. But students in West Louisville have been assigned to “satellite resides” in order to increase diversity – their “reside” school is often on the other side of the county from them!

The proposed new plan would create “dual resides” for these students in West Louisville. Under this plan, Shawnee would be opened to more local students and a new middle school would be built in West Louisville. Impacted students could choose to attend their current school or the new, local school as their “reside”.

There are benefits to this plan! Right now, JCPS sends poor, black and brown students from West Louisville across the county in order to encourage diverse schools. The change would make required bus rides more equitable across the school population. 

On the other hand, there are significant risks. 

  • This plan could decrease diversity and create re-segregated schools with very high percentages of poor students – schools with high poverty have been shown to provide worse educational outcomes to their students. 

  • The superintendent has already acknowledged that this plan will require significant resources devoted to schools in West Louisville, but the plan is moving forward without any such commitment being made yet. 

  • A student’s reside school is only part of the student assignment plan – current rules around who can apply to magnet and special programs also discriminate against poor, Black, and brown students by prohibiting students with low GPAs or “discipline issues”, including attendance problems, from even applying.

We are calling on the JCPS school board to commit to full, robust funding of all West Louisville schools and to institute “teacher magnet” programs to attract the best teachers to West Louisville schools. We also call on the school board to remove entrance requirements for who can apply to non-reside schools and magnet programs. Finally, we call on the school board to investigate additional options for updating the student assignment plan. Other options they could consider include the possibility of returning to a plan similar to the 1975 student assignment plan, where all students are bussed for at least a few years and are assigned to schools based on multiple considerations including race and family income. Another option is to investigate creating “satellite resides” in East Louisville and requiring some students in East Louisville to take a bus to West Louisville to school.


Take Action: Contact Your School Board Rep

Click here and scroll down to find a board member. Enter your street address to get your school board member’s name and contact information

Suggested Email or Call Script

Hi, my name is ___. I am one of your constituents within district [number]. I am also [any connections you have to JCPS, such as: I am a graduate of JCPS, a parent of a current or former JCPS student, a teacher, etc]. I am writing to you about your upcoming work on the Student Assignment Plan.

The Student Assignment Plan is important to me/my children because…[share your story and concerns]

I am asking you to…

[commit to robust funding and resources for schools in West Louisville]

[commit to teacher “magnet” programs to bring great teachers to West Louisville]

[reduce or remove requirements that bar students from applying to magnets and other non-reside schools and programs]

[investigate additional options for changing the student assignment plan, such as east-to-west-bussing or an updated version of the 1975 bussing plan that is organized based on multiple considerations including race and family income]


Take Action: Attend a School Board meeting or hearing

October 1: The School Board will vote to hire a consultant to build a final proposal for the Student Assignment Plan updates.

Location: TBD
Time: TBD

Join the Jefferson County KFTC Educational Justice team

Join our next Education Justice team meeting on Tuesday, October 12 at 2:30 p.m. We will be meeting at the KFTC office, 735 Lampton St. If you can’t make it, click here to join our mailing list and hear about upcoming events and actions!