Beshear has options in how he can appoint a new state school board

Beshear has several options in how he can appoint a new state school board

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - When Governor-elect Andy Beshear takes office, he could follow a precedent set by Governor Matt Bevin.

The State Supreme Court said it was legal when Bevin replaced a state board by executive order.

Beshear could use the same tactic to replace members of the State Board of Education, as he promised to do in his first days in office.

But Superintendent Wayne Lewis said such a move would lead to a court battle.

“Kentucky law also clearly provides guidance in what it would take to remove members of the Kentucky Board of Education,” Lewis said. “So again, regardless of who the governor is, the governor is held accountable for following Kentucky law.”

Lewis signed a four-year contract in October of 2018 and said he will not be resigning. He said he would serve until replaced by the Board.

But sweeping changes seem almost guaranteed. Issuing an executive order is just one of the paths Beshear could take.

“Under the existing statute, the Governor can replace half of the Board almost immediately,” Jefferson County Teachers Association President Brent McKim said. “However, if he chooses to use an executive order, The Kentucky Supreme Court said he can replace all of the board members and even change the number of people on the Kentucky Board of Education. So if he uses the statute, he can replace half. If he does an executive order, he can replace everybody.”

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