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Diversity Or Choice: Pollio Says JCPS Has A Decision To Make

Jess Clark, WFPL |

This story is the last in a 5-part series on the proposed student assignment plan, and what it could mean for JCPS’s legacy of integration, and the future.

Jefferson County Public Schools is at a crossroads. For decades the district has been looked to as a leader in school integration efforts. And now the district ponders a new student assignment plan that would most certainly increase segregation.

But JCPS superintendent Marty Pollio doesn’t see it that way.

“I am not a proponent of keeping kids in the neighborhood or segregating schools,” Pollio said.

For Pollio, this proposal is about giving families in the majority-Black West End and downtown areas the choice to go to a middle or high school close to home. Since 1984, most West End students have been assigned to schools across town in wealthier, whiter suburbs. It’s how the district has maintained school integration in a city with severely segregated housing.

“What I am saying is that it should be a parents’ choice, just like every other family in Jefferson County has….The only ones that don’t are primarily Black and Latinx kids who live in West Louisville,” Pollio said.

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