Quick Takes

Kentucky Board of Education looking for search firm to find next education commissioner

By: - August 21, 2023 11:27 am

The Kentucky Board of Education approved the first steps for its upcoming education commissioner search, which will include a naming an outside search firm. . (Getty Images)

The Kentucky Board of Education approved the first steps for its next education commissioner search Monday. 

Board members authorized the Kentucky Department of Education to seek outside services for a national search and established a team to review Requests for Proposals (RFP) from search firms. The board will reconvene in a special meeting next month. 

The national search will aim to replace Education Commissioner Jason Glass who will leave the education department at the end of September. In recent months, Glass has often been at odds with Republicans in Frankfort for the department’s inclusive guidelines toward LGBTQ+ students, particularly transgender students. 

Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason Glass addresses reporters’ after a student advisory council’s
presentation on school safety measures. (Photo for the Kentucky Lantern by McKenna Horsley)

In a presentation the board, Robin Kinney, associate commissioner in the Office of Finance and Operation within KDE, suggested the board hire an outside firm to conduct the search due to time constraints. The process to consider executive search firm proposals is guided by Kentucky law. 

A search firm’s duties would include identifying candidates that meet the board’s criteria, which will be decided at a later time. RFPs will require a firm to give a technical proposal as well as a proposed cost. The goal to begin work is no later than Dec. 1. 

“You may recall we had to open the call for proposals for a search firm a second time because we were not satisfied with the first candidate pool,” said board chairwoman Sharon Porter Robinson of the previous commissioner search. “And I think all of us experienced a very satisfactory relationship with the ultimate search firm that served us in our previous search for a commissioner.”

In 2020, the board decided to reopen the bid process that February. It later selected Florida-based Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc.

Because it received board approval, the RFP is likely to be open for search firms starting this week. 

The board also created a special committee, which will include members Alissa Riley, Steve Trimble and Julie Pile, to evaluate proposals from search firms. The committee will select its chair and set meeting dates. 

The board’s next special meeting will be Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 9 a.m.

Earlier this year, the Republican-led General Assembly passed a law requiring future education commissioners to be confirmed by the Senate.

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McKenna Horsley
McKenna Horsley

McKenna Horsley covers state politics for the Kentucky Lantern. She previously worked for newspapers in Huntington, West Virginia, and Frankfort, Kentucky. She is from northeastern Kentucky.