JCPS canâ€™t 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 â€śbusingâ€ť works? I canâ€™t 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 couldnâ€™t believe the number of private schools here in Louisville. Now I know why.
What I canâ€™t 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 areaâ€”thatâ€™s not a Jefferson County thing, thatâ€™s 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 â€śresidesâ€ť 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 wasnâ€™t 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 childâ€™s success is parental involvement.Â Would YOU go to a PTA meeting 30 minutes away after youâ€™ve 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 â€śbetterâ€ť 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 schoolsâ€”whatâ€™s THEIR message? They arenâ€™t good enough to get to go to the â€śbetterâ€ť 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? Iâ€™ve 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. Itâ€™s CRAZY.
I am not a fan of magnet schools at the elementary level either, I know 40 year olds that still donâ€™t know what they want to do with their lives.Â Magnets have a purpose in education, donâ€™t get me wrong, but in kindergarten? Jeez. But I digress. Letâ€™s 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 â€śFacilities and Transportation,â€ť you can clearly see where money is being wasted. Iâ€™m guessing the categories under â€śFacilities and Transportationâ€ť are the ones that refer to â€śbusing:â€ť
It doesnâ€™t take a rocket scientist to figure out if buses werenâ€™t 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 SmartBoardsÂ© 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. Itâ€™s too much work; Â we parents do all of our homework, research, visit, attend Showcase of Schools, and then BAM! â€“ hereâ€™s your school (and itâ€™s one you have no idea where it is). It just doesnâ€™t make sense and these Board Members need to start putting the KIDSâ€™ needs first, and not theirs. JCPS is a laughing stock and itâ€™s time they buck-up and get serious. Kentucky has enough issues, canâ€™t we have a winning school system in our largest county? Come on people, speak up!