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Decision In JCPS Suit Expected Thursday

A Jefferson circuit judge will issue a ruling Thursday in a challenge to the Jefferson County Public Schools' student assignment plan.Plaintiffs' attorneys today accused JCPS officials of mounting a public relations campaign in hopes of affecting the decision.School officials have held some back-to-school media availabilities over the past week in advance of JCPS classes resuming next Tuesday.Attorney J. Bruce Miller represents several parents in the student assignment lawsuit. He calls the publicity a ploy to influence Judge Irv Maze's ruling."You don't do that kind of thing, you give the judge the opportunity to reach a conclusion without being influenced out of court," Miller said at a press conference at his downtown law office.JCPS Superintendent Sheldon Berman says the district has been doing late summer back-to-school stories for years."This is a lawsuit but it isn't of significance that we should be interrupting the standard way we operate and the standard way we inform parents," he said.A JCPS spokesperson says in some cases officials were approached by the media for back-to-school stories.Thirteen parents claim in their lawsuit that JCPS is in violation of a state law that says parents have the right to enroll their children in the school closest to their home. JCPS attorneys say the law is being misinterpreted.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.