FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Jefferson County Public Schools district has a long list of needs during a challenging time.

“It’s a tough job, it really is,” JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said. “I don’t know that there’s a tougher time to be an educator.”

What You Need To Know

  • Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Marty Pollio testified in front of state lawmakers Tuesday

  • Pollio spoke about many of the district’s needs, which centered on upgrading its aging buildings and helping the growing number of kids from low-income families

  • Republican lawmakers questioned Pollio about a few different JCPS policies, include masks and armed officers

Pollio highlighted some of those needs and challenges to lawmakers in Frankfort, most of which were centered around the need for new buildings, more teachers and more help for kids from low-income families.

Pollio said he was glad to get the chance to speak.

“I think sometimes a lot of people don’t know the work that’s happening to take place to really transform JCPS, that’s been the same for many, many years,” he said.

The superintendent faced several questions about specific policies, including a new law requiring school resource officers in every building.

Sen. Max Wise (R-Campbellsville) said the district’s school board “skirted around” recent legislation requiring armed officers in every school building. Pollio said afterwards that he believes the district’s plan complies with the law.

“The funding for SSOs, SROs, is fantastic if we can get that. That’s not the biggest challenge facing us,” he said. “The biggest challenge facing us is personnel. I believe LMPD is down 250 positions vacant right now as well.”

Pollio has clashed with lawmakers before, whether its over COVID-19, armed officers in schools or just school funding in general.

Sen. Stephen Meredith (R-Leitchfield) specifically questioned Pollio about comments he made in March where he insinuated tax dollars from Jefferson County were funding schools in the rural districts of Meredith, Senate President Robert Stivers, and Senate President Pro Tempore David Givens.

“Are we building bridges or are we burning bridges?” Meredith asked.

Pollio said he’s willing to work with lawmakers, but the discussion around JCPS last session was personal.

"The dialogue that I heard in this room, I took that personally, so I was upset about a lot of the conversation about West Louisville; I was upset about a lot of the direct pointing fingers at outcomes of JCPS," Pollio said.

But Pollio said he thought the meeting went well.

“I think in the end, they all showed they want to support JCPS and help,” he said.