Judge Blocks Kentucky Senate Bill Limiting JCPS Board’s Powers

The district lawsuit argued that parts of SB1 were unconstitutional, and a judge agreed.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A law that would have limited the powers of the Jefferson County Public School Board has been struck down by a Kentucky judge.

Senate Bill 1 would have taken the power away from the board of directors and given it to the superintendent. He also reportedly limited board meetings to once a month and required a supermajority for some votes.

When the lawsuit was filed in June, board member Sarah McIntosh said Jefferson County residents elected them, so lawmakers shouldn’t be able to take away their powers.

“Superintendents were held accountable for principals they had not been involved in hiring,” she said. “If they want to govern our local school board, maybe they should run for that office instead.”

Their lawsuit argued that the law was unconstitutional when it singled out JCPS and Judge Charles Cunningham Jr. agreed.

The Kentucky constitution prevents special legislation, where you would have laws that only apply to one locality or entity – Jefferson County.

“Voters, parents, students and taxpayers of Jefferson County are entitled to equal protection under the law,” Judge Cunningham said in his decision. “In this context, the Commonwealth of Kentucky cannot treat these individuals arbitrarily.”

In a statement, board chair Diane Porter said she was pleased with the decision.

This decision confirms our contention that portions of Senate Bill 1 unfairly and unconstitutionally singled out Jefferson County and would interfere with our ability to represent the interests of citizens and students in our school district. The words of Judge Cunningham confirm the necessity of this lawsuit: “These provisions constitute a significant transfer of power from the Council and no member worthy of his position would accept such a transfer insofar as the enactment of the General Assembly was unconstitutional. “

With this distraction behind us, the board will continue to focus on the needs of every JCPS student as we prepare for the upcoming school year.

A spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Education said the commissioner, Dr. Jason Glass, appreciates the court’s decision and urges the General Assembly to consider banning special or local legislation in the future. .

Glass does not plan to appeal the decision.

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Norman D. Briggs