FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — In one of his first actions as governor, Andy Beshear kept his promise to overturn the Kentucky Board of Education. The Kentucky Board of Education has responded by filing a lawsuit against the governor.
Beshear abolished the previous board and appointed several new members. In his executive order, Beshear added Holly Bloodworth, Patrice McCray, Mike Bowling, Sharon Porter Robinson, Lu Young, JoAnn Adams, Cody Pauley Johnson, Lee Todd, David Karem, Claire Batt and Alvis Johnson, citing that the Commonwealth is committed to the public education.
David Karem will serve as the interim Board chairperson until the group is able to convene to vote for a new leader.
The members of the KBE are challenging the move to remove the entire board before their terms have ended.
"The Kentucky Supreme Court has upheld the right of governors to reorganize state boards. But Kentucky law also explicitly carves out protections for members of the Kentucky Board of Education and the Council for Post-Secondary Education, stipulating that members of these boards may not be removed prior to the ends of their terms without cause," reads a statement sent to LEX 18 from Rich Gimmel who was from the previous board.
The Kentucky Education Association's president, David Campbell, released a statement supporting the action.
“The KEA supports Governor Beshear’s decision to reconstitute the Kentucky Board of Education. Under the previous Administration, board appointees were based more on political pedigree than on their experience and knowledge of educational issues," wrote Campbell. "We have confidence that the Beshear Administration will make appointments based on merit, and choose board members who possess a foundational understanding of the challenges facing public education in the Commonwealth. The students of Kentucky deserve a board of education that works for the improvement of public education and not for partisan purposes.”
KY 120 United also released a statement regarding the decision.
Click here to read the complaint and motion for injunction.