February 18, 2019 2:59pm
Senate Bill 250 gives JCPS leadership the flexibility it needs to deliver results
Last week, Senator Julie Raque Adams (R-Louisville) filed a key piece of legislation that would allow Jefferson County Public Schools to operate more efficiently and effectively. Senate Bill 250 would improve school board functions, streamline central office bureaucracy, and dramatically improve the ability of JCPS leadership to unify the district around a single-cohesive vision.
The changes proposed by SB250 are sorely-needed. Despite multiple changes in the leadership of JCPS in the past several years, bureaucratic hurdles continue to hold the district back from reaching its full potential and fully delivering for students. This problem not only affects the future of students in Jefferson County but the well-being of our economy as a whole. Today’s economy increasingly demands a well-trained workforce, and the status-quo leaves too many students behind. Unless we act now, Kentucky will continue to face challenges in attracting investment and jobs from industries leading the new economy, as our workforce falls further behind regional competitors.
Senate Bill 250 empowers JCPS leaders with the flexibility to lead while holding them accountable. The bill makes three critical changes to state statute:
Change Board Approval Procedures for Immaterial Actions: Raising the threshold for board approval of expenditures and consolidating approvals into limited meetings will improve board functions and better empower the JCPS Superintendent to lead and make positive change.
- Current rules force the JCPS Board to spend countless hours approving minor expenditures and simple administrative decisions best left to local managers. JCPS Leaders should be free to focus on major strategic issues instead of minutiae.
Revise Senior Executive Tenure: JCPS executives reporting to the Superintendent in the Central Office who choose not to work with students should bear the same responsibility for delivering results as their boss. Tenure protections should be for teachers, not bureaucrats.
- Large administrative bureaucracies divert critical resources desperately needed in the classroom while hampering the ability of JCPS leadership to chart the proper overall course.
Empower JCPS Superintendent with Principal Selection Duties: Empowering the JCPS Superintendent to select principals, with board oversight, will dramatically improve his/her ability to make positive, system-wide change by ensuring leaders across the district are committed to the same, unified vision.
- JCPS serves more than 100,000 students at 160 different sites, including multiple, specialized magnet academies. In a district as large, complex, and diverse as JCPS, it is essential for the superintendent, central office, and principals to support and implement the same unified vision.
Only the General Assembly can provide JCPS with the flexibility it needs to truly turn the district around, break out of the status quo, and deliver for students.
GLI strongly encourages legislators to support this vitally important bill.
See below for more information.