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Gov.-elect Beshear, education commissioner on collision course

Posted at 6:40 AM, Dec 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-03 06:53:58-05

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Kentucky education commissioner may be on the chopping block.

Gov.-elect Andy Beshear said once he is in office, one of his top priorities is replacing the Kentucky Board of Education.

During an interview with LEX 18, Beshear said he is committed to an "education first budget." He said his budget will include a $2,000 raise to teachers across Kentucky.

But some of Beshear's ideas for Kentucky education clash with the current commissioner's.

"I have a contract with the Kentucky Board of Education, which provides the board with the ability to terminate me without cause," said Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis. "If they do, there are guidelines that the board would have to follow, including I'd have to have at least 90 days prior written notice."

Tuesday night, Lewis is expected to deliver the State of Education in the Commonwealth speech in Frankfort. The annual speech should highlight K-PREP, ACT and NAEP test scores as well as transition readiness. Additionally, four awards for excellence and innovation in educational leadership are expected to be given.

Despite the imminent decision from the future governor, Lewis said he is focused on doing his job.

"You know, I intend to work for the children of the commonwealth every day, as I have since I've been appointed. I really don't have the time to worry about what the actions would be of the new administration," said Lewis. "As long as I'm here, I'm going to work with whoever's here to serve the kids."