The Jefferson County Public School System:
JCPS is the 27th largest district in the United States with 90 elementary schools, 23 middle schools, 18 high schools, 10 special education, and 14 other school sites serving over 100,000 preschool through high school students. Enrollment has remained steady for the past 3 years serving just over 100,000 students.
There are over 100 languages spoken at JCPS- in fact, our English as a Second Language (ESL) population has grown at a rate of over 11% this past year. Forty-seven percent of the student population is White, 37% African-American, 9% Hispanic, 3% Asian, and 4% identify as other ethnic minorities. Sixtysix percent of JCPS students qualify for free or reduced lunch and over 12,000 receive exceptional childhood education (ECE) services.
The economic downturn has provided a challenge to the Louisville community and affected many JCPS students as evidenced by the increase in the number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch from 55% in 2006-07 to 66% in 2015-2016. JCPS also serves over 6,400 homeless students. This translates to approximately 6.4% of JCPS students experiencing instability in living situations ranging from shelters to families doubling up in single family housing by staying in relative’s or friend’s homes.
In a 2008 study conducted by Richard G. Innes, ‘‘How Whites and African Americans Perform In Jefferson County Public Schools,’’ he concludes that during the 18 years since KERA’s (Kentucky Education Reform Act) enactment, serious questions have arisen regarding the performance of Kentucky’s public schools in meeting that goal for all children, especially African American students. The Jefferson County district holds the state’s largest number of African American students, that is, 48.5%.
The study shows:
African Americans remain well behind academically in the key subjects of reading and mathematics. In a significant number of Jefferson County schools — 47 out of the 120 schools with usable data on reading and 44 out of 120 for math — the gap between White and African American students is widening.
Graduation rates remain extremely low for significant numbers of African Americans — especially African American males — in the majority of Louisville’s public high schools. African American males in only three of the 19 high schools in the study had graduation rates equal to or greater than the statewide graduation rate for all students. The graduation rate also is low for African American females and even for White students in these 19 schools. Two of these schools reported abysmal graduation rates of less than 60%.
Blacks Continue Falling through the Cracks 2016
Still Blacks Falling through the Gaps 2012
Executive Summary Schools Falling through the Gaps