JCPS canât really get a clue, can they? The whole state, it seems, is striking down the student assignment plan, and they are still fighting to save it. WHY? Where are the stats that show this type of âbusingâ works? I canât believe they can approve a transportation budget of that magnitude and continue to underfund school lunches, art and music, for example. Â And while gas prices alone are not the reason it should be changed, it seems that money sure could be put to better use.
When I moved here in 1995, I couldnât believe the number of private schools here in Louisville. Now I know why.
What I canât believe is that they continue to ignore parents. We are not stupid. We purchase houses (or move to an area) with the specific intent to go to the school in THAT areaâthatâs not a Jefferson County thing, thatâs a people-with-kids thing, all across the country. I know so many realtors and the vast majority of them caution their clients, especially out-of-towners, about JCPS and its crap-shoot of school assignment.Â As a matter of fact, we bought a house when our kids were babies just so we could go to the same schools their father went to, our âresidesâ schools, could walk to them, and for 3 years denied enrollment. Â
For the record, I am very happy with our current school, but it wasnât without a fight.Â Just after kindergarten we were shipped to a school that was beyond inconvenient in our lives (it took 3 months of emails, letters, and in person appearances to get our SECOND choice).Â Speaking of inconvenient, there are parents in the West End that want their kids to go to THEIR neighborhood schools just as much as East End parents. One very important key to a childâs success is parental involvement.Â Would YOU go to a PTA meeting 30 minutes away after youâve been at work all day? Â No, neither would I.Â Not all parents have cars, either, and some by choice. So they TARC. Have you ANY idea how long it takes to get from 28th and Broadway to Hurstbourne Lane on a TARC? How can these parents pick up a sick kid when they are clear across the county?
Â I am SURE the Board has not even thought of these things.Â Is it advantageous for a West End child to attend a âbetterâ East End school, to sit on a bus for 2 hours a day? Or perhaps get an extra hours sleep (anyone with a brain knows that children need LOTS of sleep) and use the other hour to read with their parents (or someone?).Â And what about those West End kids who do go to their own neighborhood schoolsâwhatâs THEIR message? They arenât good enough to get to go to the âbetterâ school? When their neighbor comes home from school across town, an hour and a half later, what kind of atmosphere do you think is happening with those kids? Iâve been in social work in the West End. There are some great after school programs going on and some children miss half of that much needed one-on-one time riding the bus. Itâs CRAZY.
I am not a fan of magnet schools at the elementary level either, I know 40 year olds that still donât know what they want to do with their lives.Â Magnets have a purpose in education, donât get me wrong, but in kindergarten? Jeez. But I digress. Letâs focus on transportation.
You can view the entire JCPS budget here: http://www.jefferson.k12.ky.us/departments/FinancialServices/Documents/Financial_Working_Budget_11.pdf
Categorized as âFacilities and Transportation,â you can clearly see where money is being wasted. Iâm guessing the categories under âFacilities and Transportationâ are the ones that refer to âbusing:â
It doesnât take a rocket scientist to figure out if buses werenât criss-crossing each other all over the county and traveling unneeded distances to see that these numbers would dramatically decrease. Even a 10% budget decrease in this area could probably put SmartBoardsÂŠ in every classroom. Is anyone here with me on this?
There ARE bright aspects about JCPS, but from an elementary standpoint, I completely understand why people filter into the Catholic School System. Itâs too much work; Â we parents do all of our homework, research, visit, attend Showcase of Schools, and then BAM! â hereâs your school (and itâs one you have no idea where it is). It just doesnât make sense and these Board Members need to start putting the KIDSâ needs first, and not theirs. JCPS is a laughing stock and itâs time they buck-up and get serious. Kentucky has enough issues, canât we have a winning school system in our largest county? Come on people, speak up!