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NAACP reacts to the Board of Education Commissioner's resignation

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Posted at 10:11 PM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 22:11:06-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Kentucky Commissioner of Education has resigned, following the new Governor's overhaul of the state Board of Education.

Dr. Wayne Lewis was appointed by former Gov. Matt Bevin to lead the Kentucky Board of Education. Following Bevin's loss, Governor Andy Beshear immediately terminated all board members and replaced them. A judge ruled against the former board to appeal the changes, but then Thursday morning, Kentucky Education Commissioner Dr. Wayne Lewis sent in his resignation letter.

"I always want to see a man of color in positions do well. But Wayne Lewis and I will differ on public education," Adrian Wallace, chairman of the Political Action Committee for the NAACP of Kentucky.

Dr. Wayne Lewis and the Kentucky Educational Association had been at odds over the teacher protests in the capitol and whether or not the teachers had violated the law by creating a work stoppage.

"Wayne Lewis was an advocate for Charter Schools and the NAACP nationally has been opposed to charter schools. Because we say segregation is not innovation. And charter schools by and large, are typically segregated and they leave behind poor and minority children," Wallace said.

The former board members could still appeal this entire upheaval. But their efforts having been rejected so far, including one today at the Supreme Court level, further action doesn't seem likely. The odds are more in favor of Gov. Andy Beshear's administration hiring a new commissioner as promised. While moving on with 11 newly sworn in board members.

Chairman Wallace says the NAACP state chairwoman is on Governor Andy Beshear's transition team. "Our President here in Lexington, Abdul Mohammed is on the Equity Counsel for Fayette County Public Schools so NAACP stays involved and engaged in education is one of our top tier issues. I believe that we will hopefully, at least be able to help inform the decision for a commissioner who wants to support all of our children."

Robin Kinney will serve as interim commissioner.