Accountability, District Boundaries, EARN the People's Vote, Pattern or Practice, Privatization of Public Education, Racial Equity, Student Assignment, Teacher Shortage

Run for THEIR Lives!

Get ready for the blowback when they find out we’re having a candidate interest meeting on Wednesday afternoon. Exact time and location will be sent via email to those who complete our contact form. In the mean time, please read some insider tips on how to file for one of the four open JCPS seats, as well as one in Anchorage, and enjoy a little tea on me. If you want more of that delicious, righteous-tasting tea, look for another related story at the end of this one. We need people who  Not only will those who step up to run for JCPS School Board be running for our kids’ futures, they’ll be running for their lives. All of our lives. This situation is dire. June 4 is the deadline to file for school board or as an independent. Please contact us if you wish to know more. You can’t win if you don’t enter. What do you have to lose?

Run for JCPS School Board

Sorry for the duplication of the first few blocks in the page. There’s an error with the editor and I will have to look into it next week. If it sounds familiar, skim on down until you get to the map. Please consider throwing your hat into the ring. For the kids.

Accountability, Pattern or Practice, Privatization of Public Education, Racial Equity, Teacher Shortage

US Congressman Morgan McGarvey (D-KY) Has Some Explaining To Do

NOTE: There’s a 59-minute documentary video about this day’s events somewhere too, and somehow, both keep getting scrubbed off the internet. Luckily I keep backups of everything. 🙂

I honestly don’t remember what led me to look for this file today, but when I realized evidence I had posted from a meeting we had with Senator Morgan McGarvey in 2019 was no longer coming up on any of the websites and hosting services I use most frequently, and search engine results were proving unsuccessful, I remembered this wasn’t the first time I had run into a similar challenge finding these files, before finally locating an offshoot in an obscure location and resharing it in the appropriate spaces.
 
And that got me to thinking. What is in these clips that powerful people don’t want the public to know? It must be powerful people, because what other explanation could there be to explain these strange, repeated occurrences? So I located the files in my hard drives, and I listened to the 22-minute recording again for the first time in years. Immediately I knew. Maybe it was a coincidence, or maybe something divine led me to listen to this recording, but it hits totally different today, after JCTA leadership manufactured lies against one of their own members because she dared challenge their Dear Leader and his hand-picked successor for President of the largest teachers’ union in the state, and voted her off their board. A role a majority of JCTA MEMBERS elected her to fulfill. But a cult regime of just five people can apparently remove anyone who dares try to hold them accountable? ESPECIALLY given the audacious doubling down of lies, fraud, racism and retaliation currently coming out of JCTA Executive offices in the process.

Here is the hit piece the media was complicit in sliding into home on their behalf. Efforts to get the reporter to correct misstatements of fact that she had obviously simply regurgitated from the lying regime, instead of doing her own research, and to present a fair and balanced story, were met with so much resistance, I quit wasting my time trying, and decided to use my channels to do her job and tell the parts they want to keep buried and under the rug. They keep pointing me to their skeletons by manipulating the truth.
 
https://www.lpm.org/news/2024-05-10/jcta-member-removed-from-board-after-contesting-union-election-results
 
 
Here is a response I started to write shortly thereafter, but had to take several breaks from, because it was such a pressurized situation, by design by those who perpetrated it, and it was so overwhelming and exhausting and triggering — and I wasn’t even the victim. Plus, I had other things going on in my life and had to focus on family, health and safety due to the predicament my advocacy puts me in.
 
The fierce Black woman who JCTA discriminated and then retaliated against deserves justice and vindication, even if she doesn’t have a mean enough bone in her body to seek it herself. She is the President of the teachers union that JCTA members deserve, and you can’t prove to me she DIDN’T win. There should be an independent outside investigation and a correction of the error, as well as a PUBLIC APOLOGY and JAIL TIME for the criminals who were involved. These bullies felt threatened by her ability to captivate audiences and build member engagement so they pushed her out instead of inviting her to their table. They failed at holding themselves accountable when they got caught tampering with internal elections, again, most likely so they and their anti-feminist, white supremacist, closet secret swinginist, compromised cult friends can stay in power and maintain access to the riches of the kingdom.

DEBUNKING THE JCTA’S BOGUS CLAIMS

There are so many bogus allegations in this JCTA cult leaders’ petition. It is clear this highly qualified Black teacher, who has spent her entire JCPS career in Title 1 schools, and most recently as an ECE teacher no less, was retaliated against for challenging the election results after anomalies were reported by several other members. It is also clear that the anomalies occurred by a handful of white leaders who made up the tallies, (because who is checking them?), to make it look like they did nothing wrong and she is just being a sore loser (instead of acknowledging that they tampered with ballots and destroyed evidence,) and to make it to look like I have done something wrong yetthey haven’t done themselves times 100,000.  As if any of this is about me. Creepers! Get a life!
 

Members, if this is not reflective of your views on how members who advocate and speak the truth should be treated, you should let your objections be heard. LOUDLY and IMMEDIATELY!

So, here is the revealing audio recording from our meeting with Morgan McGarvey for Congress before Gary Houchens, a known charter school predator, was confirmed to the KY Department of Education on the FINAL DAY of session in 2019. We had a chance to stop it, but we failed to stop it by one vote.

My, my, my. Why do #JCTA leaders keep doubling down on their white supremacist ways, when they know I keep receipts??? This is so telling in hindsight. So performative. Everyone involved in these plots and schemes deserves an Oscar!

But seriously, thank you JCTA crime ring leaders. These most recent events and the lies associated with them just have me shaking my head in disbelief. How can they continue to be so brazen in their grift? Am I misremembering things? That’s what sent me looking for cues, that ultimately led me to noticing I could not find this recording on the internet, AGAIN. It occurred to me that someone very powerful must be trying to keep this evidence from being seen/heard. I went to my backup files and found this conversation we had with Kentucky’s highest ranking Democratic Senator in between sessions before SINE DIE. Listening to it again now that their plan is almost complete, has opened my eyes to the entire scam you all have been pulling.

Funny how my story has been consistent for years. And JCTA Leaders keep showing us who they are. Damn, this is kryptonite all the way to the end! Listen to me ask this man how I can help him whip the votes of the senate (his job) to try to stop this resolution from passing. Lol. I’m just a PTA mom. This was five years ago. He tells me to reach out to rural republican senators who have been sympathetic to public education, so I do.

Sadly, the resolution we needed Senators to stop only passed by one vote. A JCTA endorsed senator from Jefferson County, the one and only, mamma traitor, Senator JULIE RAQUE ADAMS, left her seat to make a call to find out what to do and came back in and did us dirty. She could have been the deciding “no” vote. But instead you can see her panic. Working the room, begging to swap votes with her colleagues, so she can come out smelling like a rose.

Why did she betray us? Who did she talk to that day? Who is calling all the shots? Was it Mitch? Trump? Bevin? McKim? McGarvey? Taxpayers deserve to know. People need to go to jail for what these leaders have conspired to do. Why have they done it? Because our schools don’t look like their grandkid’s private and rural schools? How horrible.

Now, lemme go dig up that video. Please listen and share. Make these co-conspirators go viral. They don’t want a scandal because a lot of them are compromised and up for reelection. Who do you report these crimes to when law enforcement and media are complicit or worse, in on it?


#IGotReceipts#DontTryMe#CanIGetAWitness#SaveJCPS

NOTE, this is part of an ongoing independent audit of JCPS. A first draft timeline of events, including this one, can be found here:

Accountability

We Are Buying Bitcoin

And we want to encourage others to, as well. More information about our reasoning and strategy is available to our subscribers. Email moderator@dearjcps.com if you would like to know more.

Once you are ready to get started, we recommend using a direct ledger like Ledger Live to protect your assets. You can get started below. As an affiliate, Dear JCPS will receive a small referral fee at no extra cost to you. The Ledger Nano S Plus is completely sufficient, but Ledger Nano X is also great, if you have a little extra to spend for some added flexibility.

 

As soon as we have a dozen or more folks ready to get started, we will start having regular training and Q&A sessions to share what we have learned, helping bring serious folx up to speed, shortening learning curves and avoiding common mistakes. There is risk associated with cryptocurrency and only funds that you can afford to lose should be put in speculative investments. However, it is our opinion that the upside potential between now and November’s elections is worth taking some risk with the funds we accumulate in the event that it allows us to participate in the democratic process more competitively. Our goal is to make it possible for others to donate to our efforts using crypto assets, as well.

Below is a good overview of some of the things to avoid. We will cover this in more detail in our trainings.

Accountability, Admin, Behavior/Discipline, Budget, Pattern or Practice

Child Sex-Trafficking Rings, Fraud, Cover-ups, Self-Dealing?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: (502) 565-8397
Email: dearjcps@proton.me

Date: March 8, 2024

FIRST DRAFT OF “PRELIMINARY JCPS AUDIT” ANTICIPATED EARLY MAY

LOUISVILLE, KY — These are just some of the patterns and practices that are evidenced in a new “Preliminary Audit” of JCPS that is currently being compiled by Dear JCPS, LLC. Not long ago, we reached out to the state auditor’s office to ask for their consideration in allowing us to provide preliminary input into an all-but-guaranteed $1.5 Million Dollar audit of Louisville’s mostly non-white school district.  An undefeatable quorum of GOP lawmakers have already budgeted the Midas pot during this current legislative session, which ends at midnight on April 15, 2024, no doubt for their own powerbrokers to funnel back into their campaign coffers. It’s apparently one of the oldest tricks in Kentucky’s legislature, going all the way back to their “BOPTROT” racketeering days. 

In addition to keeping the state auditor’s office apprised of current events, we are in the process of streamlining and compiling more than a decade worth of prior events that we feel clearly demonstrate pattern after pattern of waste, fraud and abuse for their review. This mountain of evidence includes numerous coverups that have been orchestrated by bad actors exploiting flawed processes, quickly followed by secret settlements as payoffs, resulting in fewer tax dollars for our students. Meanwhile, leaders turn a blind eye while our kids are permanently and irreparably delayed, harmed and wounded, some mortally, as a result of political games of oneupmanship, set-ups involving compromising positions used to blackmail, retaliation, bullying and intimidation, preferential treatment and self-dealing. The worst part is, these offenders, some of them child sexual predators, are returned to school buildings, only to repeat the same offenses again and again. ON OUR DIME!

So, before our lawmakers approve spending any more of Kentuckians’ hard-earned tax dollars on a possible political witch hunt (because, let’s face it, that’s what this is for a lot of them), encourage them to first look at the changes our community has been demanding of our district leaders, and the evidence of patterns and practices of lies, waste, fraud, denial, cover-ups and abuse (and worse!) that JCPS taxpayers, parents, employees and community leaders have been met with in return.

This is YOUR audit. You’ve been with us along the way. We’ve also uncovered our own smoking guns by way of open records and confidential informants. Your stories may already be included. But if not, we will have several phases where community input is solicited, so we can make sure any related stories receive the state auditor’s attention, in addition to the mountains of evidence, recordings, witness testimonies (and even a few confessions), our volunteers have been collecting, researching and documenting for the past 12+ years.

Whether you want to submit your own experiences, or sign up to receive notifications as sections of the audit roll out, or you want to participate in the review and any next steps which will likely arise, completing the signup form on the next page is how we can make sure you get all of the updates.

BEST OF ALL, THIS PRELIMINARY AUDIT WON’T COST TAXPAYERS ONE DIME! We’ve already done the research. We just have to index, compile and present it, which we anticipate early May we will be ready for our first round of reviews. There are steps along the way, so sign up so you don’t miss a beat.

Keep reading to find out how you can participate in the process, receive updates about the audit, and sign our pledge, which encourages lawmakers to START HERE before committing another tax dollar that isn’t directly benefiting our already struggling schools! 

Accountability, Mayes, Racial Equity

“What’s All This Fuss I Keep Hearing About God Hating Cigarettes?”

We recently became aware of a cult family’s hate group out of Kansas and their plans to demonstrate their bigotry in front of Manual and Male high school next month. In gathering information to share with our followers, I became aware of the group’s website and primary target, and it left me feeling nostalgic.

Remember Gilda Radner’s Saturday Night Live character Emily Litella, who would provide an “opposing editorial viewpoint” by going on and on about a controversial subject she completely misunderstood?

Ironically, some quick research revealed that this character debuted in 1975, when she confused the word “busing” with “busting,” while apparently attempting to mock the public’s resistance to desegregation of public schools (an episode I am still trying to locate). The most memorable might be this episode where she begins with, “What’s all this fuss I keep hearing about violins on television?”

Instead of violins, it turns out the topic she was responding to was “violence” on television.

This is when Chevy Chase gently interrupts the sweet, elderly woman who misunderstood the assignment to explain the miscommunication, whereupon Ms. Litella would respond,

“Oh! Well that’s different.

Never mind!”

Instead of trying to dance around the offensive word choice a certain hate group has selected for their website and campaign, I’d like to draw upon the Emily Litella character to demonstrate the ridiculousness of Westboro Baptist Church‘s entire argument. 

“What’s all this talk I keep hearing about ‘God hating cigarettes?’ There is a group coming to Male and Manual high school in Louisville, KY to demonstrate, and that’s what it says on their website. I looked the word up on vocabulary.com and it says it’s a cigarette, especially in England? God hates English cigarettes?

Well. That may be true. I hate them too. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. If I don’t like them, I can just not have one. So can you!

And if you are still bothered by them, you can simply avoid them. And whatever you do, don’t go to Britain, because apparently they are everywhere!

If people are so bothered by cigarettes that you feel the need to protest other peoples’ rights to have them, then you really should examine that with a mental health professional. Because I think they would help you figure out that it’s not God that hates cigarettes, it’s just you.”

In the case of Westboro Baptist Church, it’s really just Fred Phelps and nine of his children who hate cigarettes. And Fred has been dead since 2014!

Why Manual?

You may remember Manual High School was also recently targeted for a SWATTING incident. Is it possible the same group is behind both incidents? This activist thinks it’s a possibility. Why haven’t we heard anything else about that incident, anyway?

You may also remember the time Manual’s principal, Jerry Mayes, fell into controversy and was eventually forced into retirement after an outraged community demanded the district investigate complaints of racist and anti-LGBTQ sentiment by him. By allowing Mayes to remain in the building during the investigation, the former coach was able to continue gaslighting witnesses, targeting victims and spreading toxicity.

Due to the length of time it took before he was removed from the building, many more students, parents and alumni came forward to share their experiences. This is not to say EVERYONE in the building agreed with the victims. In fact, we received more reports of bullying, intimidation, retaliation and threats against those who were believed to be involved with the events that led to the investigation. It’s entirely possible that some of the same unsavory individuals involved have not moved on, and in fact may be connected to the upcoming demonstrations.

Manual is not the only high school targeted. But then again, it wasn’t the only school targeted during the SWATTING incident, either. Perhaps it’s to distract from something else going on. Or, perhaps they are also targeting Male because of the rivalry between the two most prominent high schools in Louisville. The image to the right is an email sent out from Male’s principal about the upcoming threat.

 

What Would Gilda Do?

In my parody, Chevy gently taps Ms. Litella on the shoulder and explains that these people are bigots. He then whispers the hate group’s message in her ear, and a look of horror appears on her face, as she responds,

“Oh, well that’s even worse.

“We are not talking about cigarettes. We are talking about people!

God doesn’t hate people. God loves us all!

Then, both she and Chevy look straight back at the camera and say,

STOP THE HATE!

Please comment on our Facebook post if you wish to share your thoughts about this impending disruption to learning and threat to safety of our students. No hate speech will be tolerated. Thank you.

 

 

Accountability, Pattern or Practice, Police Free Schools

Did Disgraced ex-LMPD Cop Violate JCPS Graduate’s Civil Rights?

That’s what a jury will determine at the end of what is expected to be a two week trial in Federal Court as jury selection for ex-LMPD officer Brett Hankison’s trial begins today. Hankison was one of four LMPD officers whose actions were condemned by the DOJ in a scathing report after they murdered JCPS Graduate, Breonna Taylor, in a botched “no-knock” raid in 2020. Here’s what we’ve been able to find out so far. This story will be updated.

Ex-LMPD Cop Goes on Trial

Accountability, Mayes, Pattern or Practice

Welcome Back! No, Really!?

How did everyone’s second first day of school go? Be sure to complete our survey 2.0 so we can compare notes with what district leaders are telling everyone. Some of the results we complied from survey 1.0 can be found here. Those who provide their email address will receive a summary once it’s complete.

What’s really going on behind this latest catastrophe, and will we ever find out? What if it was sabotaged intentionally? Board Member Shull has called for an outside audit. We deserve one that we can trust and if there’s one thing we know in Louisville, Kentucky is that internal investigations cannot be trusted. At the end of the day, our children need to be kept safe and need to receive a quality education. What will it take for us to get to a place where anything else is an exception and not the rule? Normalize that.

Well, I promised you some stunning revelations, so here’s the first one. A recent spate of events involving reports of sexual abuse in our schools made me do some deeper digging into human trafficking. After all, Louisville, KY is a hub and Jefferson County Public Schools has access to nearly 100,000 innocent children as prey. It would be a dereliction of duty as guardians of the children in our community to dismiss this notion out of hand. We have to ask hard questions, and some of the questions asked by our members include:

What if there’s something sinister happening in Jefferson County Public Schools?

Is the Problem Limited to Manual? No.

Is it High School Sports? Coaches?

Or Is It Something Worse? Like Human Trafficking?

What are JCPS Leaders Hiding?

Who can forget the 2017 incident with principal Jerry Mayes and his racist beratement of two students who tried to have a conversation with him about students who wanted to “take a knee” during the Manual/Male football game. Here are some of the testimonies of those who came forward during the investigation.

Speaking Out About Jerry Mayes, Manual Principal

But very few may have heard about the mom/teacher/mandatory reporter who reached out to Principal Farmer in May of 2019 about concerns students were involved in sex and drug trafficking on school property. Heck, even Dr. Pollio managed to avoid seeing her URGENT email concerning FELONIES involving STUDENTS on CAMPUS in his inbox for nearly six months.

A meeting in December of 2019 finally put a stop to that plausibly deniable excuse (more links to come). Most of these allegations have been deemed unsubstantiated, but given what we know from our own research, JCPS internal investigations often involve bias, retaliation and tampering with evidence when whistleblowers have come forward. Not to mention, there was a former Manual journalism professor who was found guilty of charges he possessed child pornography. But the most recent news involves not one, but two, brothers who are coaches at Manual High School, who are currently under investigation for sexual assault of students that appear to go back a decade. Given all of this, can we really trust the internal investigation’s findings?

FBI STING!???

And what about other coaches after a former JCPS coach, teacher was federally charged with seeking sex from minor after FBI sting earlier this year.

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2023/02/24/former-jcps-coach-teacher-federally-charged-fbi-enticement-minor/69939668007/

Or what about this former JCPS employee, coach indicted for multiple sex abuse charges involving teens?

https://www.wave3.com/2022/08/31/former-jcps-employee-coach-indicted-multiple-sex-abuse-charges-involving-teens/

What if there’s something much more sinister happening in Jefferson County Public Schools?

Isn’t it time the public gets serious about demanding an outside audit of internal investigations and secret settlements of the largest public schools system and one of the largest taxpayer funded employers in the state?

A JCPS Employee Was Accused of Having Sex With Students

Once you’re caught up on some of the past history of events at Manual, don’t miss the latest on the Stoner Twins including an EXCLUSIVELY OBTAINED police report showing the daughter of one of the twin brothers tried to file a report with LMPD, alleging three years of sexual abuse, when she was 17. We’ve also updated our Timeline of Events, and centralized the Investigation Reports into both brothers at the end of the article.

Dear JCPS strives to serve as an ally to those who want people to know the truth, but justifiably fear repercussions for doing so. More dots will continue to be connected throughout the weekend. Share your thoughts, experiences, clarifications or corrections at moderator@dearjcps.com.

Accountability, Privatization of Public Education, Racial Equity

None of This Is New, Unexpected or Unavoidable

COMPLETE DEAR JCPS’s “FIRST DAY BACK ON THE BUS” SURVEY HERE

Below is an email that was sent to the board by a JCPS employee back in March, 2023. We originally posted it last month.

To members of the Board, or whomever else it may concern,

What are your thoughts about the proposal?

First, since I was only allowed to select one role in the previous question, I do want to point out that I am also a School Staff member as well. I have been a teacher in JCPS for 14+ years. I am also a father of 2 JCPS students, a 7 year old and 5 year old. And I live in Louisville, and I am a Community Member. So I’m not sure why we had to choose just one that we most identify with, because my reaction to the proposal isn’t just through one lens, but through many. I chose to identify more as a parent/family member because in the end, personally, I believe this proposal will affect my family more than it will affect me as a teacher in my specific situation. But I think it will affect the community as a whole more than anything. I think all 3 of those roles need to be considered when taking into account my response.

On to the proposal…I have A LOT of thoughts, and could very easily turn this into an emotional venting session. However, I will attempt to keep my thoughts organized and respectful in the hopes that this is not just for optics, and will not fall on deaf ears, but will actually be taken into account before this proposal is considered, voted on, and implemented.

If I had to summarize my thoughts, again, without getting too emotional, and trying my best not to just sound like I am venting, I truly think this proposal is a joke. I can’t think of a better, more professional word, so unfortunately that is what I am sticking with. I think this could be a disaster for the entire community and city of Louisville, let alone JCPS. I think there were so many factors that were not considered when making this proposal, which I will detail in the questions below. I think the district set out to solve one very specific (and admittedly one very important) problem. They believe they have found the solution to this problem, but are so narrow minded in their solution, they do not see how negatively this will affect so many people, both immediately and well into the future. In the end, this looks more like an ill-advised attempt to just cover up a major underlying problem instead of actually solving the problem as a whole.

What do you see as benefits of the proposal?

The only benefit I see to this proposal is that it is bringing to light a very real, very unfortunate, and very important problem that absolutely needs to be solved. The issue of students getting to school late, or being stuck at school late, is truly unacceptable, and needs to be addressed swiftly and decisively. Any student, parent, and family member, along with the bus drivers, who are all having to deal with this on a daily basis, deserve to have this issue brought to light, and solved in a realistic and effective manner. That cannot be denied.

What do you see as challenges that need to be considered?

I am going to attempt to organize this into subheadings, to make sure it is easy to follow and I don’t miss anything. I don’t necessarily think there is one issue more important than the other, so I will just try to organize this in a logical way. Every item touched on below I believe has equal importance and needs to be considered.

  1. Lack of an interdisciplinary committee of stakeholders: The lack of an interdisciplinary committee in the formation of this plan is very disturbing. This survey is asking Community Members, District Staff, School Staff, Parents, Family Members, and Students for feedback, all of whom are important stakeholders in what is being proposed. However, if I’m understanding correctly, there was little to no stakeholder involvement in the formation of this plan. Instead, it was outsourced to “MIT coders,” who used an algorithm, apparently, too advanced and complex for us to understand, to solve our problem. After seeing the presentation made to JCPS staff, and then watching Dr. Pollio’s press conference, what became very evident to me is that these coders were paid, probably a good deal of money, to solve what ends up being a complex math problem. What can we do, using math, to solve the “transportation crisis?” It looks like they took into account bus routes, bus employees, the physical layout of the city, locations of the schools, and start times. With all due respect to the incredibly smart people who solved this problem, the district could have paid mathematicians, scientists, and engineers here to solve this problem, and they could have come up with a similar solution. However, no evidence has been presented to us whatsoever to show that they took any other information into account, or how this plan could have a cascading negative effect on the entire city of Louisville, its economy and its community, as I will detail below.
  2. Teacher Transfers: As a teacher, selfishly, the one thing that stood out to me, and all of my peers, was the point made in the presentation to us and in Dr. Pollio’s press conference about Teacher Transfers. If the new start times don’t work for you, then you can put in to transfer to another school for next school year. I am one that is not easily offended, but to me, that is incredibly insensitive to those of us who have stuck around through the mass exodus of JCPS teachers (and bus drivers) over the past few years. Many of us have worked very hard to have the opportunity to work where we are now. We have built relationships with our peers, our administrators, and most importantly our students. It doesn’t seem like this was considered in the proposal. 
  3. JCPS Employee Morale: The previous two points logically lead into this. In my almost 15 years working for JCPS, I would say that employee morale is at an all-time low. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know personally, my responses in the Comprehensive School Survey have gotten more and more negative as the years have gone on. And it doesn’t seem like that matters to anyone, because teachers and staff members continually get dumped on. Optically, how does it look that we weren’t included in this proposal? Optically, how does it look that we are being told if the proposal doesn’t work for us, then we can move. Has anyone actually analyzed WHY we have a transportation and why there has been a mass exodus of teachers out of JCPS (more on this later)? In what other profession are employees consistently treated the way we are treated, without addressing why there is so much discontent? 
  4. Staffing Shortage (Teachers and Bus Drivers): While it is obvious that this proposal does not at all address the reason behind the staffing shortage, it is possible that it could make it even worse. Were bus drivers consulted about this proposal? Does this help the hours that they are expected to work, or the overall distances that they are expected to drive? That was not very clearly addressed in the press conference. Don’t we have a transportation crisis because of our bus driver shortage? Is the district not concerned with the REASON behind the staffing shortage across the district (again, more on this later).
  5. Student Transfers Logistics: Similar to the proposal’s plan for teachers to have to transfer if the new times don’t work for them, the proposal and press conference also made it clear that students can apply to transfer as well, and the district will work with every single family to make it work. Were the logistics of this considered by the MIT coders? I’m not going to speculate on how many students will actually need to transfer, but let’s assume that there are some. Does the algorithm take into account how those kids will get to school? How those bus routes will work? On the district side, do we realistically think we have the capacity and manpower to solve these problems, on the fly, just over the summer? And if a parent can’t justify or make it work that their student can get to a new school, is the district ok with parents pulling their students out of JCPS to attend Catholic or Private schools, or even worse, forcing families to have to consider moving to other counties or states? I know this seems a little extreme, but I can promise you it will be a reality for some families.
  6. Adolescent Sleep Schedule and Chronic Absenteeism:  When this topic first came up, it was to use the research on the adolescent sleep schedule to help solve the problem of chronic absenteeism. While these buzzwords and phrases were still used in the proposal and press conference, the reality is that this proposal is not really solving that problem. It is only concerned with making the bus routes more efficient. If this truly was about older students getting more sleep, which in turn would guarantee that they get to school more often, wouldn’t the most logical solution be to just swap the high school and elementary start times?  This plan only changes some high schools, and makes some elementary schools later than they already are. It is very inconsistent, the message that is being sent. In regard to chronic absenteeism, as a teacher and parent, I would very much like to see the research that was done specifically in our city of Louisville showing the main causes of chronic absenteeism. Is it truly sleep related? Is it transportation related? Is it safety related? Is it demographic related? Is it related to a student’s home life? All questions don’t seem like they were considered, or at least answered by the proposal.
  7. Working Parents: Dr. Pollio mentioned in his press conference that families are going to have to figure out how to make this work. Well let’s think about that logistically for a minute. If you have one parent who works and early job, or works the night shift and is sleeping, or is a teacher at a different school, and then you have another parent who works a traditional 9-5+, how exactly are they supposed to make this work? Previously, and elementary school student could be dropped off at 8:45 AM, letting the other parent get to their 9:00 AM job. Now, let’s assume that their employer is not ok with them getting to work 30-45 minutes later, every day. Parents are now going to be strong armed into paying for CEP. What if the CEP site is not close to where the family lives, and causes even more of a morning inconvenience? What if a family hasn’t budgeted for this and can’t afford it, but they also don’t qualify for government aid for the CEP program? I also don’t see how using CEP as a solution solves the problem of kids being at school for too long. If a parent has to drop their kid off at CEP early, then have to pick them up, possibly later than before at a CEP site, which will now be affected by a newer rush hour traffic pattern, kids can still be at school many more hours than they should be.
  8. After School Activities – JCPS Related: I heard a few times during the press conference about it only ever being an hour different than it was before, or the latest it will be is 4:20 PM. However, was it really taken into account how much of an impact that hour, or the 4:20 PM end time would affect students and staff alike? And I’m not just talking about the problem about high school sports starting later, and at different times, and how that could be perceived as unfair for the athletes with different practice times, game schedules, travel times for away games, etc. What about the JCPS employees who coach, or lead clubs, at different schools or even different districts? What if they do that, not just because they are passionate about it, but because they also need the additional income? What about the JCPS employees who have a second job immediately after work to support their families? What about the high school students who have jobs immediately after school, whether it is just something they do to prepare for the real world, or because they also have to support themselves and their families? This cuts into work hours, which in turn cuts into income, which may be the difference between being able to pay rent and afford food or not. Does the proposal take into account all of these employers probably not being ok with this new schedule (more on community impact later)? Do we really think these students will be able to retain their after-school jobs with the time changes? WHERE IS THE EQUITY IN THIS?
  9. After School Activities (Non-JCPS related) and Community Impact: First, I want to acknowledge that I am in a very fortunate situation, that my wife and I worked hard for, to be able to afford our kids the privilege and ability to participate in non-JCPS after-school activities. I want to give an example of our situation, and how that will not only affect our kids’s ability to participate in these activities, but how it also will impact local businesses and the community. Our kids have played soccer at Mockingbird Valley Sports Club. It is the after-school choice that we made, because it is relatively close to our home, with a schedule that worked for us. We would pick our kids up from school, and get them to their lesson at 4:00 PM. With this proposal, that will no longer be an option for us. So let’s extrapolate this situation to other families who are also in similar situations at Mockingbird. If they, Mockingbird, are unable to adjust their hours to accommodate these changes, then they will be losing a lot of business due to something completely out of their control. Then we, as the parents and families, have to look into other options for our kids. An example of another option for our age group would be Javanon Football Club, which is a rival of Mockingbird, that has a similarly aged lesson available at 6:00 PM. So this could work for our families. But Javanon is about 15-20 minutes away, so then you have to take into account the small influx in traffic this will cause, during rush hour. Again, this is a very small, very specific example of a very small demographic of JCPS students and families. But now, extrapolate all that data to every single activity that many JCPS students participate in, all of the changes that will have to be made due to this proposal, and how that affects the community and local businesses at large, both economically and logistically. 
  10. Traffic/Rush Hour: I have now mentioned a few examples for a potential increase in traffic closer to rush hour. Did the MIT coders take that into account when coming up with this solution? Was it considered what life is like in larger cities with worse rush hour traffic than what we have now? How that impacts other professionals leaving their jobs, less time spent with family due to getting home later, how the increase in later after-school activities would all be impacted? Not only that, but more new high school drivers and more staff members would be leaving schools and after school events and activities later in the day. Is it safe for these new drivers to be on the road in heavier traffic conditions?
  11. Budget and Government Money: I will admit that I am not as well versed or researched in this area, but from my understanding, JCPS receives a pretty sizable amount of money from the government every year, and that has not decreased in recent years, even with the mass exodus of teachers, bus drivers, and students in some cases. If this proposal goes through, and causes even more of an exodus of teachers, bus drivers, and students, how will that affect the budget going forward? Also, is it fair for me to ask, if JCPS is still receiving the same amount of money each year, where is all the extra money going that used to be paid to the teachers and bus drivers that have left these past couple of years? There is another topic I would like to discuss in regards to money, and its allocation. I’m sure this issue has been beaten to death, but hear me out.
  12. Busing: Again, I am admittedly not the most well versed or researched in the history and reasoning for busing in Louisville. What I do know is that it has been going on in this city for a very long time, and was originally initiated in an attempt to desegregate our schools due to geographic location, provide equal opportunity and equity to all students of all races and demographics, and to help close the achievement gap. In my opinion, that was truly a valiant attempt at solving a very serious problem in our city at the time. But can we objectively analyze the climate of our city and schools today and say that it has worked? In reality, busing is a large part of the reason why we have a transportation crisis in the first place. Now let’s look at our schools, and what busing has caused. Is the achievement gap really being closed, or is everyone just normalizing to the median, rather than everyone being raised to the higher outliers? Does busing kids all over the city truly promote equity and provide equal opportunities to all students? Or is it causing more resentment in our community? What does this outdated busing plan imply about the schools they are busing away from? Are we more concerned with getting the underprivileged kids to the “better schools” than we are about lifting up all of our programs and schools to an equally high level?I think these are important questions that need to be discussed and answered.
  13. The Real Problem: I have been beating around the bush for some time now, so let’s talk about what the real problem is in our district. What is it that has caused our staffing shortage of teachers and bus drivers, which has led us to have overpopulated classrooms, and a “transportation crisis” due to too few bus drivers? Student behavior and lack of discipline leading to a general overall feeling of JCPS schools and buses no longer being safe for all students and staff members. I can attest to this as a tenured JCPS teacher, a parent, and a community member. JCPS has allowed itself to become a victim of modern, “woke” society, and its employees and students are the ones paying the price. Fifteen years ago when I first joined JCPS, administrators ran the schools, took care of their employees, and demanded respect from the students.They received support from the district. Students were disciplined in a variety of ways, which to today’s modern “woke” society might seem archaic, but the results were clear. The students respected the staff members, their elders, and if they didn’t, they learned to. This lead to a healthy and positive work environment, where, for the most part, students and staff members felt safe and cared for. It also prepared students for the real world of college and careers where they couldn’t just do or say whatever they wanted with no repercussions. Over the past 15 years, as society changed, JCPS began to slowly start enabling problem students (AND problem parents) until we got to where we are today. Enabled students led to more enabled students. Now, students think they are invincible, that there are no repercussions for their actions, because there truly are not. Not any more. I have seen, personally, violent acts between students, violent acts directed towards staff members, gang violence in many schools, extreme destruction of school property, excessive bullying, complete disrespect and insubordination from students in the classroom, that is literally being live streamed to Facebook or YouTube. How are these kids disciplined? They aren’t. They don’t even get a “slap on the wrist” any more and sent back to class. They get spoken to kindly and with empathy and are sent back to class. No lessons are learned, and our problem continues to snowball. I know some will argue that there are other reasons why there is a staffing shortage, including COVID. I don’t want to generalize and say that is not the issue, because for some it definitely is. But a large reason why students are choosing to attend Pathfinder School of Innovation virtually, or are leaving the district all together, is because they feel unsafe in their “home” schools due to violence, bullying, and lack of discipline. A large reason why teachers and the poor bus drivers are leaving in droves, is because of the extreme behavior exhibited by our students that is met with silence, indifference, or even worse, the blame is turned back on us. We don’t believe we feel heard or supported by our administrators and district, and in turn, JCPS has become a toxic work environment for many staff members. I have spoken to friends who work at other schools around the district, schools that at one time felt safe, and where the adults in the building felt like they were in control. What they say now is that the students run the building, and they are just there to collect their pay check and get to retirement. How sad is that? That teachers who once held a high passion for teaching now feel like they are just trying to survive. Over the past 15 years, I have witnessed the shift in JCPS from the adults being in charge and running things, to some problem students beginning to hold certain schools hostage, to our modern problem of an entire generation of enabled, undisciplined students and parents holding an entire school district, city, and society hostage. Seriously, what is it going to take for not only our district, but society as a whole to recognize how bad things have gotten in public education? Students are already killing other students. And I’m not talking about mass shootings, I’m talking about gang violence or neighborhood violence that has now been allowed to leak into many schools where it never was before, where problems are exacerbated and perpetuated without swift and decisive intervention from school and district officials. What happens when a student eventually kills a teacher? There already has been a recent report in this country of an ELEMENTARY school child bringing a gun to school and shooting a teacher through the hand. What is it going to take?
  14. Possible Solutions: As I think I have made abundantly clear, I don’t think this time change proposal is going to solve the real underlying problems. Sure, it may solve the problem of decreasing the number of bus routes so that our students can possibly get to school or leave school on time, regardless of our massively understaffed bus drivers. But as I’ve mentioned, this will create a slew of new problems that will affect many people in the entire city, and will not solve the real problem. So what can we really do to exact real and lasting change? First, consider stopping busing, and go back to at least a hybrid of the neighborhood school model. And if the district doesn’t trust its own stakeholders to help put together a proposal, ask the MIT coders how this would affect bus routes, start times, and attendance. Secondly, discipline kids, both in school and out. Make alternative schools matter again. Every child has a right to free public education. That is irrefutable. But every child does not have the right to a free public education at the “better school” all the way across the city, where they are causing so many problems that they are negatively impacting the safety and learning of others in the building. The same goes for the buses. Dr. Pollio even alluded to this in his press conference. Free transportation to school can go away. And in my minimal research, I found that State and federal laws don’t require schools to provide transportation, except for students with disabilities. So if that is the case, and a student is misbehaving on the bus, they are no longer allowed to ride the bus. If the district feels obligated to provide them with another option, if they are old enough, give them TARC tickets. If they are not old enough, it should be the responsibility of their parents or guardians to get them to school. That is what is being asked of us with this new bus proposal anyway. It is up to the family to figure out how this is going to work. If misbehaving students were kicked off the bus, maybe bus monitors and bus drivers wouldn’t leave JCPS. Now, we can use, what I understand to be, a significant amount of money saved on busing to fill other buckets. Pay JCPS bus drivers and teachers more in general. Offer monetary incentives to bus drivers and teachers willing to work in these more difficult areas at the more difficult schools. But I also don’t believe we should offer more money to work in those schools and let that be the end of it. I know the district has identified difficult schools and areas, so let’s be a little more proactive in the recruitment, application, and interview processes in choosing the right candidates to work in those schools. Make the monetary incentive to work in these schools enough to attract a large number of applicants, but be deliberate in who is selected. Who will be good in these schools long term? There would probably still be enough money leftover to upgrade and update these schools, and make them more attractive, modern, and progressive for students and staff alike. Have MIT do the math and come up with an algorithm of that. How much money could be saved, where it could be allocated, and how that will positively affect buildings, students, and staff in our district. I think this next point is very important; instead of constantly playing catch up and trying to match what other “large districts” are doing around the country, we could lead the way in educational reform. Does it really matter if we are one of the only large districts in the country not doing staggered start times? No, it doesn’t. But instead of solving our own, not very unique problem, we are just playing catch up to what other districts are already doing. What if instead we addressed the real problem, discipline in and out of schools, and how that has affected school and bus staff numbers? Then other districts around the country could model their reform after us. Because let’s be honest, we’re not the only district with a discipline problem. It’s a nationwide, societal problem. In the end, no one asked me for my opinion. No one asked any of us who still work for JCPS, who stuck around despite everything continually going against us. No one asked us as parents of JCPS students, who are constantly impacted by these decisions made for us. No one asked us as active, invested members of the Louisville community. But the reality is that there is a lot more that needs to be addressed here than just solving the bus route transportation crisis. I know I speak for many JCPS employees, parents, guardians, and community members in saying that I hope the issues and possible solutions I have brought up do not fall on deaf ears. That at least we can be active participants in a conversation before this proposal is voted on and mandated. Thank you.

Accountability, EARN the People's Vote

Email to Board: WARNING, Perfect Storm Coming

Below is an email I sent to the JCPS Board of Education to be included with the official minutes from last night’s Board meeting. It asks a series of questions about internal investigations and secret settlements, but it also addresses the superintendent’s raise and the untold headaches and disasters employees and students are about to face due to a perfect storm of so many changes happening at once. 

Here are some excerpts:

Continuing to create an imbalance between the C-Suite executives and those literally working themselves into sickness and death to keep this ship afloat, is exactly the opposite of what taxpayers want. Those same individuals, now, also have to be your buffer between lost, misused and abused students, angry parents and ignorant community members, as they get bombarded by the bell schedule changes, student assignment changes and everything else all at once.

How do you think it makes them feel to see while they’re doing all of your dirty work and only getting scraps, their kings are feasting? “Tone deaf,” would be an understatement. Not to mention, you gave fodder to the hypocritical GOP, some of whom are the same members who continue to skate by with a nod of endorsement and financial support from the most powerful union in the state. Find your backbones, please. Stand up to the powerful elites who continue to exploit our public school system for their own personal and/or political benefit.

These are the questions I asked:

  • What are the types of cases and what changes are being made to prevent them from recurring?
  • How much are these recurring settlements costing taxpayers?
  • [After an open records request was unsuccessful.] Do you know if there is another method or report that we could request in order to find out the information?
  • If it’s paid by insurance, who is the insurer and how much do taxpayers pay in premiums each year?
  • Also, when will the tax increase dashboard that was promised in 2020 be made available to the public?
  • What kind of reporting exists for the complaints that are submitted via the intake form on the JCPS website?
  • What types of incidents are reported, how are they resolved, what systemic changes are made to prevent them from happening again or leading to lawsuits?

Read the entire thing here:

2023-07-25 | Email to JCPS BOE to Include with Minutes – Dear JCPS

Also during last night’s meeting, the board refused to protect trans students from oppressive and discriminatory legislation passed by vengeful and ignorant Kentucky lawmakers, at least for now. They tabled the vote until up to August 15. At least they passed a resolution giving lip service to them, which is more than they were willing to do for Black students.