Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt Has Resigned

Apr 17, 2018

Credit J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

The Kentucky Board of Education has voted to accept the resignation of Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt.

Wayne Lewis was named the interim commissioner with a salary of $150,000.

Pruitt has been commissioner since September 2015. Bevin said Tuesday before the board's vote he was unhappy with the state's recent decline in test scores but said the decision to keep Pruitt was up to the board.

Original story:

Governor Matt Bevin says the future employment of Kentucky’s education commissioner is not his call.  The state Board of Education is holding a special meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss a personnel action.

According to the agenda, the board is meeting in closed session to discuss the “appointment, discipline or dismissal of an individual employee.”  The only employee the board has authority over is Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt. 

During a news conference on Tuesday, Bevin said he was not happy with Kentucky's recent test scores which showed the state remaining flat in reading and math.  However, Bevin added that the decision on whether to keep Pruitt was entirely up to the board.

"I like him as a person, but my two cents worth, I'm not happy to see 16,000 more kids falling below a level of proficiency than just two years ago."

After Bevin appointed seven new education board members on Monday, the panel is now entirely composed of people appointed by the Republican governor.