Citizen members of JCPS task force announced ahead of first meeting

Republished from Kentucky Lantern

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Five citizens have been selected to join a legislative task force that will examine Jefferson County Public Schools’ governance. 

The General Assembly passed House Concurrent Resolution 81 to create the Efficient and Effective School District Governance Task Force during the last legislative session. The task force will review school districts with enrollment above 75,000 students. JCPS is the only school district in the state that meets that criteria. 

Citizens could submit applications to join the task force, with the exception of the person designated by the JCPS superintendent. The selections by the Legislative Research Commission are: 

  • Angela Madsen-Wilson and Brittany Abdelahad as resident-parent members. They met requirements, such as being taxpayers within the school district, having children either attending JCPS or are a recent graduate, and not being a school district employee. 
  • Jody Wurtenberger is the business member. To be eligible for this position, Wurternberger had “experience in the finance, management, and operations of large businesses that operate in the commonwealth.” Wurtenberger recently wrote an opinion column published by the Louisville Courier Journal supporting a proposed constitutional amendment for “school choice,” which would allow the General Assembly to fund nonpublic schools. 
  • George Nichols is the teacher member. To qualify, this person must be a current employee and have worked in the district for at least five years. He teaches at Iroquois High School and is the treasurer of the Jefferson County Teachers Association. 
  • Rebecca Nicolas is the principal member. She was chosen out of a list of three principals selected by the superintendent. She is the principal of Fern Creek High School. 

The task force’s first meeting will be held on Monday, July 15. The meeting agenda includes a presentation by Marty Pollio, the JCPS superintendent. 

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear had vetoed the legislation, calling it in his veto message “unconstitutional special legislation” aimed at one school district and “the General Assembly’s latest attempt to set the framework for the legislature to divide” JCPS — a decision that should be a local decision and not a legislative one, the governor argued. His veto was overridden. 

Six lawmakers are on the task force. Rep. Kim Banta, R-Fort Mitchell, and Sen. Michael J. Nemes, R-Shepherdsville, are the co-chairs of the task force.

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