HB 151/HCS

House Bill 151: Understanding Its Impact on JCPS

Dear JCPS families/employees:

There are four days left in the 2017 session of the Kentucky General Assembly. At this time, the Senate Education Committee has chosen not to consider House Bill 151, in large measure because legislators have heard from citizens. The Courier-Journal reported that “several senators said they've heard from a huge number of opponents of the bill from Jefferson County.”

It is very important during these waning days of the Legislative Session that people who are concerned about HB 151 continue to call legislators in opposition to the bill and in support of local control of student assignment.

The Legislative Message Line is 1-800-372-7181. People can request to leave a message for members of the Senate Education Committee and Senate Leadership.

The Jefferson County Board of Education (JCBE) has unanimously adopted a position in support of local control of student assignment. The position states:

Retain Local Control Over Student Assignment

Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) supports keeping the responsibility for student assignment to schools with local school boards, and strongly opposes legislation that would reduce or eliminate local control of student assignment. If legislation is enacted that requires any local school board to change its current student assignments, the legislation should also provide that the additional expense to the school district will be paid with state General Fund appropriations.

The JCPS analysis of HB 151, as it passed the House, shows that it would have a significant impact on JCPS and create:

  • Less choice—Limiting choice by potentially reducing seats in popular magnet programs and eliminating transfer opportunities.
  • Less certainty—Significantly reducing certainty for families about which school their child would attend.
  • Less equity—Reducing access to high-performing schools and schools with special programs for students who live farther away from those schools.
  • Less diversity—Creating more schools that are more segregated by race and income.
  • Lower student achievement—Increasing the number of students attending high-poverty and high-minority non-magnet schools. 
  • Less innovation—HB 151 would prohibit JCPS from creating new magnet schools or traditional schools.

In the coming months, JCPS will create a working committee and engage in a process with broad public input to review the JCPS student assignment plan and recommend changes to the JCBE.

More information regarding the impact of HB 151 on JCPS families and students can be found below.

Sincerely,

Donna M. Hargens, Ed.D.
JCPS Superintendent


Mar. 3, 2017

Dear JCPS Parents/ Guardians:

House Bill 151, also known as the "Neighborhood Schools Bill," is coming up for a vote in the Senate Education Committee soon.

Many of you have asked how you can express your concern to legislators about this bill as it is written. The Legislative Message Line is 1-800-372-7181.

Wednesday night, the Jefferson County Board of Education (JCBE) unanimously adopted a position in support of local control of student assignment. The position states:

Retain Local Control Over Student Assignment

Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) supports keeping the responsibility for student assignment to schools with local school boards, and strongly opposes legislation that would reduce or eliminate local control of student assignment. If legislation is enacted that requires any local school board to change its current student assignments, the legislation should also provide that the additional expense to the school district will be paid with state General Fund appropriations.

The JCPS analysis of HB 151, as it passed the House, shows that it would have a significant impact on JCPS and create:

  • Less choice—Limiting choice by potentially reducing seats in popular magnet programs and eliminating transfer opportunities.
  • Less certainty—Significantly reducing certainty for families about which school their child would attend.
  • Less equity—Reducing access to high-performing schools and schools with special programs for students who live farther away from those schools.
  • Less diversity—Creating more schools that are more segregated by race and income.
  • Lower student achievement—Increasing the number of students attending high-poverty and high-minority non-magnet schools. 
  • Less innovation—HB 151 would prohibit JCPS from creating new magnet schools or traditional schools.

More information regarding the impact of HB 151 on JCPS families and students can be found below.

Sincerely,

Donna M. Hargens, Ed.D.
JCPS Superintendent


Feb. 22, 2017

Based on district modeling, if the bill passed as currently written, only about half of all JCPS high school students, about 38 percent of middle school students, and about 34 percent of elementary school students live close enough to their current school that they would have been accepted there.

These current and proposed student school map models highlight this impact.

On each of the current maps, green dots represent current students who live close enough that they could have attended this school. However, red dots represent current students who could have been placed at other schools.

Here’s what HB 151 would do:

  • Permit a child to enroll in the school nearest to his or her home, except if that school has academic/skill prerequisites or is currently a traditional school;
  • Give first priority to students residing the shortest travel distance to a school when the capacity of the school is exceeded;
  • If a student is denied attendance at the school closest to his or her home, give the student priority to attend the next-closest school;
  • Prohibit a student currently attending a school from being displaced;
  • Permit a student to attend a school other than the one closest, if there is capacity and if:
    • He or she meets academic or skill prerequisites;
    • He or she was admitted to a traditional school; or
    • The student is already attending the school.
  • Establish implementation in 2019-20; and
  • Require at least two school districts to testify before the Interim Joint Committee on Education during the 2018 Interim.

Based on data, we know HB 151 would have a far-reaching impact with significant unintended consequences, creating serious disruptions for JCPS families.

HB 151 would change the JCPS student assignment plan so that there would be:

  • Less certainty—Significantly reducing certainty for families about which school their child would attend.
  • Less equityReducing access to high-performing schools and schools with special programs for students who live farther away from those schools.
  • Less diversity—Creating more schools that are more segregated by race and income.
  • Lower student achievementSending more students to schools with high concentrations of poverty, where low-income students do less well.

HB 151 Documents

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