Friday, June 5, 2015

Kentucky Elementary Turned Arts Magnet in High Demand

By Elizabeth Kramer

KENTUCKY---Just seven years ago, the Jefferson County Board of Education voted to create new magnet programs at more than 20 elementary schools. For Lincoln Elementary, the plan was to become Kentucky’s only public elementary arts magnet. That move set Lincoln on a path that is now a far cry from when it was under threat of closure in 2003. Then-Superintendent Stephen Daeschner had proposed closing the school, which faced declining enrollment and where nearly 90 percent of the 265 students qualified for free or reduced lunches. Half of its 265 students lived in the Clarksdale housing complex that was razed in 2004 to make way for mixed-income homes. Today, Lincoln Elementary has 546 students, with about 58 percent receiving free or reduced lunches. It is home to a diverse mix of students — 39 percent white, 43 percent African American and 12 percent Hispanic, with 6 percent identified as other ethnicities. [link]