(FRANKFORT, KY) – Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis has extended the deadline for Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) to hire a chief for exceptional child education services.

As part of a settlement agreement signed on Aug. 28, 2018, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and Jefferson County Board of Education (JCBE) agreed that JCPS would fill this position by Jan. 1, 2019. The deadline was extended because the district has not yet been able to identify a suitable candidate from the applicant pool. The person selected to fill the position must be an educator with at least 10 years’ experience in the area of exceptional child education.

“This leadership position is key to addressing many of the district’s special education challenges identified in the recent management review and management audit,” said Lewis. “Identifying a candidate for this position soon is critical so that she or he can immediately get to work, but it is essential that it is the right candidate. There are few elements of our agreement as important as the addition of this cabinet-level position. I expect that the district will do everything within its power to ensure that the right candidate is identified and hired in the next two months.”

As part of a settlement agreement between the Kentucky Department of Education and JCPS, the district agreed to create a cabinet-level position with responsibility for oversight and management of exceptional child education services, including special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Superintendent Marty Pollio has selected current exceptional child education director Scott Hooper to serve as the acting chief as the district continues a nationwide search. 

“As with many areas in JCPS, our goal is to transform educational outcomes for our students.  Dr. Hooper’s experience will be invaluable during the interim and his knowledge of the program will help to guide the department,” said Pollio. 

KDE has proposed amending the settlement agreement to give JCPS until March 1 to fill this position. The JCPS Board of Education will vote on this amendment to the settlement agreement during its meeting on Jan. 8.