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Hardship Transfers Giving Hard Times

A little over four hours since “Hardship Transfers” have been able to be distributed and accepted by the Jefferson County Public School system, and there are already reports of frustration and distress coming from various citizens, (primarily mothers), attempting to get their children into the school of choice. Typically, their “school of choice” is the one closest to home.

  It makes sense in this economy to keep the children closer to their home so that they are easily accessible in case of an emergency, or even to keep them from riding a bus and accumulating expenses that the residents pay for in taxes. The Mayor Jerry Abramson has stated that there is a $20 million shortfall that could be accumulated in revenue this year, and has asked his city workers to figure out ways to bring about the goods that the city distributes in a way that is not as draining on the revenue that the city currently brings in. This applies to every department, but apparently not to the school system.

  Kathy McGinnis, the JCPS official in charge of handling the hardship transfers, has already upset some individuals who are finding that they must stick their children into the public school system after years of being in private schools. “I didn’t want to send my children to public school to begin with, and I told her that”, stated one upset mother. “Why they feel the need to send children miles away from home when schools that are closer to home have openings are beyond me.”

  After speaking with school representatives, it is the responsibility of the principals of each school to inform the JCPS officials if there are openings in the school, and in the grade level for which openings occur. “The problem is that the principal may not have an accurate assessment, but a general assumption”, stated one worker. “That is why many parents are getting frustrated that they have to spend more time and money filing the hardship transfers.”

  Even more troubling is the manner in which some of the parents are learning that their children are not going to be enlisted in their school of choice. “We have yet to receive the original letter stating that my children were to be sent downtown. I had to find out by calling the school that I thought that they were going to be at, and they looked it up in the system, which is exactly what the school district office stated that they could not do,” stated one mother from the PRP area.

  “Not only do I not want them to not attend public schools- I certainly do not want them to attend one in Jefferson County. If this is the best that the district can do in communicating the educational assignment of our children, then why should I believe that they have proper communication while educating them?” she asked.

  “You tell me why you are sending my children clear across town!” demanded one angry mother at the district offices this morning. “It does not make sense to send them twenty miles away!”

  Frustrated, dejected, and angered, the various parents are left to penning down their frustrations in the form of hardship transfers, with absolutely no assurance that their requests will be answered, or communication improved.

May 4, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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