The public has been denied the opportunity to speak at JCPS board meetings since COVID forced all public meetings to be held virtually in March.
On July 16, Gay Adelmann and Tyra Walker met with Dr. Pollio over Zoom, to make him aware that a handful of powerful players were continuing to derail grassroots groups’ efforts to support the tax increase. Gay sent a follow-up text message to Dr. Pollio demonstrating these concerns. To date, there has been no reply to these text messages.
On July 27, Dear JCPS severed ties with the local chapter of the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, due to continued microagressions from leadership delaying and dismantling grassroots efforts to coalition-build.
On Aug. 6, leaders from four Black-led and Black-allied organizations requested an “URGENT” meeting with Dr. Pollio to let him know we had concerns that the consulting firm’s strategy for the tax increase was out of touch with many in the Black and West End communities and could backfire. With major changes to the Student Assignment Plan anticipated to be voted on at the August 17 board meeting, it was imperative these voices be heard before that meeting.
On Aug. 11, the co-chairs of the Kentucky Alliance sent a request to district leadership to allow public comment.
On Aug. 17, we continued to express our concerns about not being heard, and invited allies to join us in next steps, which included reaching out to Board Members to demand Justice for Black JCPS Students. We learned that the Student Assignment Plan decisions would not be made at that time.
On Sept. 1, members of the Coalition for the People’s Agenda sent the following email to the JCPS Board, asking that it be included in the minutes: We, the People, Object!
Later that night, during the Sept. 1 board meeting, Dr. Pollio told the board and the public that a REAP had been done on the current student assignment plan, when in fact, it hadn’t. We published a summary here: Where’s the REAP?
On Wednesday, Sept. 23, more than a dozen Black-led and Black-allied grassroots leaders finally had their first opportunity to share their concerns with Dr. Pollio since July 16.
On Friday, Sept. 25, Dr. Pollio sent a text message explaining the misunderstanding and has agreed to conduct a REAP on the current, entire plan at the next Student Assignment task force meeting, but we still don’t know when that is. We are running out of time!
On Tuesday, Sept. 29, in lieu of being able to speak publicly at that night’s board meeting, Dear JCPS co-founder, Gay Adelmann, sent another email regarding the REAP to the JCPS Board and allied organizational leaders, to be included in meeting minutes. It included Friday’s text message from Dr. Pollio and four follow-up questions.
During the Board meeting, @JCPSSuper appeared to be responding to some of the Coalition’s demands for an “anti-racist budget” during the budget discussion, further defining the resolution that was passed on Sept. .
- “New and innovative learning spaces in schools throughout the district, especially in West Louisville. We will be breaking ground on two schools this coming month.”
- “New investments in our athletic facilities all over the district.”
- “All of our AIS schools with more teachers, smaller class sizes, multiple mental health professionals in the school and social workers.”
- “This is the work to provide those mental health professionals. I’d like to see three [mental health professionals] in each of our AIS schools, more time for professional development, and extended learning in our AIS schools.
- Fund the racial equity initiatives, like bridging the digital divide, expansion of restorative practices across all of our schools, providing quality choice for every student in the district and expansion of our teacher residency program, so that our teacher demographics directly reflect our student demographics.“
- “Finally, we’ll see 10,000 targeted students in summer learning programs to increase outcomes for students, especially in reading and math.”
On Thursday, Oct.1, we received an email from Dena Dossett letting us know they were planning to conduct the REAP at the Oct. 7 task force meeting.
Join us for a watch party on our Facebook page beginning at 5:00 PM Wednesday.
On October 14, we met with the district’s communication chair and asked for introductions to the tax increase strategy team so that we could collaborate the last two weeks of the campaign.