A bill that would allow parents to override Jefferson County Public Schools’ controversial student-assignment plan cleared a Kentucky Senate committee Thursday — even as its sponsor conceded he doesn’t expect it to become law.
Sen. Dan Seum (R)
Senate Bill 9 would give parents the right to enroll their children in the school closest to home, undermining Jefferson County’s controversial system of busing students to other neighborhoods to help promote diversity and equality in education.
The measure — sponsored by state Sen. Dan Seum, R-Fairdale — passed the Senate Education Committee 7-5 vote and heads to the full Senate, where Seum said he hopes to keep the issue alive with a floor debate.
But Seum, a longtime busing opponent, said SB 9 likely won’t get the support it needs to pass the House this year.
“We are spending millions of dollars moving kids around the community when we have parents who would love to have them stay in their neighborhoods,” Seum told the committee Thursday. “This whole process has just been absurd.”
The legislative push comes as the Kentucky Supreme Court is set to hear arguments this spring in a legal challenge over the district’s controversial integration policy, which became highly politicized and continues to anger some parents because of longer bus rides....