The plan includes improvements to facilities, leadership development, and more.
The Jefferson County Board of Education (JCBE) took a significant step towards investing in Kentucky’s largest school system. Board members say the action taken in September of 2020 allows Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) to create educational equity for all students, build new facilities and further support teachers.
The move by the board includes the approval of a plan that will generate more than $50 million a year for the district.
Right now the district has more than a billion dollars in unmet facility needs. The additional funds will also give JCPS the capacity to renovate and build new state-of-the-art facilities that board members say will help enhance instruction.
The funds could also help create a smooth transition to proposed changes in the student assignment plan. A part of the proposed changes include giving students in West Louisville an option to attend school close to home or travel outside their community. In order to do this, it would require the construction of two new middle schools ($64 million) and a new high school ($74 million) in West Louisville.
The additional revenue would also give JCPS the opportunity to:
- renovate four new magnet schools (est. $68 million);
- double the amount of school renovations per year ($50 million);
- Increase annual facility improvements ($12 million);
- renovate high school athletic facilities ($25 million);
- extend instructional time;
- and leadership development.
JCPS had a lower property tax rate than many surrounding counties and the district had not explored any other options for additional revenue in the past. JCBE members authorized a property tax increase of 7 cents in September of 2020. That full amount wasn’t billed to taxpayers last year due to a pending court decision. A decision by the Jefferson Circuit Court cleared the way for the collection of this revenue. The remaining amount from last year and the new tax rate for this year will appear on property tax bills in November of 2021.