Reasons for No JCPS Tax Hike

Help Us Roll Back the JCPS Tax Hike

JCPS has increased the property tax rate 9.5%, which will increase taxes by more than $64.2 million per year.  In the 2018-19 school year, JCPS spent $17,382 per student.  Of that amount, only $8,000 was spent on instruction, as reported by The Courier-Journal.  By comparison, for the same year, Fayette County Public Schools (Lexington, Kentucky) spent $12,165, Oldham County KY spent $11,180, and Nashville TN spent $11,077 per student.

Our group gathered signatures on a petition, which was certified by the county clerk, so the tax hike will be on the ballot in November.  A “No” vote will be a vote against the tax hike.  Even if the tax hike is voted down, JCPS still will receive a 4% increase, of at least $22.1 million per year, which is sufficient to build new schools and repair existing schools.

This report about how JCPS spends its money is a bit dated, but things have not changed much since then.  JCPS has far too many highly paid administrators.  Not only are taxpayers paying their high salaries; they also are paying for their budgets, staffs, and all the red tape they create.  The bureaucracy has grown too big to be in touch with the people it is intended to serve.  It ties the hands of teachers and principals, who are closest to the students being served and who know best how to serve them.

In order for a school to be successful, it must foster an atmosphere of mutual respect among students, teachers, administrators, and staff, all of whom have the same goal – educating students.  Students cannot learn when they are being bullied and are under stress.  Teachers cannot teach when they do not have control of the classroom.  In a recent survey, 32% of JCPS teachers report that they have been assaulted by a student.  We need leadership at JCPS that will support the teachers and ensure that one disruptive student is not allowed to disrupt the education of an entire class.  This does not require more money.  It requires leadership.

JCPS has repeatedly increased taxes and spending, promising each time that it will improve educational outcomes, but the improvement never comes.  Clearly, increased spending at JCPS does not correlate to increased educational outcomes.  National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores for JCPS show that large numbers of students are not being properly prepared for a successful life.  87% of black 8th graders cannot read proficiently.  55% of white 8th graders cannot read proficiently.  This is not acceptable.

Some years back, Kansas City did a court-ordered experiment, spending an additional $40,000 per student and building state-of-the-art facilities with all the latest technology.  There was no improvement in educational outcomes.  The conclusion was that, “in the absence of drastic reforms, more spending just means more waste”.  That is where we are today with JCPS. It is time to hold JCPS accountable and demand drastic reforms to improve educational outcomes and give taxpayers their money’s worth.

JCPS has filed a lawsuit to try to prevent our votes from being counted.  They are using taxpayer money to pay a large team of lawyers, who are filing pleadings, sending subpoenas, and taking depositions, all of which require a response.  They know it will be very difficult for a poorly-funded, grassroots group like ours to defend against them.  They are trying to lawyer us to death in order to prevent the voters from having a voice.

We can use any help you can provide to hold JCPS accountable.  Please make a financial contribution to our effort, spread the word to friends, and be sure to vote “NO” in November.  In addition to our direct fundraising, there is a 501c4 non-profit corporation that is raising money to help us.  They can be found at Thank you.

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