Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jefferson County busing madness takes hit in appeals court

The Republic from Columbus Indiana reports that the Jefferson County School Busing program doesn’t look too good to two of the three judges on a Kentucky appeals court. Opinions of a third jurist were not revealed during the hearing which did not render a final ruling in the case.

The reporter indicates that comments made during the legal proceedings show two of the judges believe Louisville’s “social experiment” needs to end.

The news article reports that Judge Kelly Thompson said:

"I'd like to ask that you concentrate on neighborhood schools and get out of the courtroom. You've got more litigation than any school district in the country."

Thompson said the school district needs to abandon plans that bus students way across Jefferson County.

The news story says that a second judge, Thomas Caperton, is apparently leaning in the same direction as Judge Thompson. Thoughts of the third panel member, Judge Sara Combs, who is the widow of former Gov. Bert T. Combs, remain unknown.

The legal issue under debate concerns a provision in Kentucky law that says if a large area is consolidated into a single school district, then parents have the right to “enroll” their children in a neighborhood school. Such a large area combination occurred years ago when several school districts in the Jefferson County area were consolidated into the enormous Jefferson County School District, which is one of the nation’s 50 largest today.

The school district contends that the term enroll only refers to the act of registering a student but does not guarantee attendance at that school. The parents contest this is just Jefferson County lawyers playing on wording and the statute clearly intended to allow parents to determine that their child would attend a neighborhood school and would not be involuntarily transferred at the whim of Jefferson County school bureaucrats to another school that could be more than a one hour school bus ride away.

In fact, some of those Jefferson County school bus rides are proving to be considerably longer than one hour, as I mentioned recently.

That probably starts to look like child abuse to reasonable adults.

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