Kentucky’s outgoing Republican Governor Matt Bevin made clear that he wanted funding for charter schools, but he lost the recent election to Democrat Andy Beshear. The new governor made clear that one of his top priorities was supporting public schools.

However, the State Board of Education and the State Commissioner were appointed by Bevin, and they seem to be holding on until their terms expire.

The Bevin-appointed State Board met to announce its priorities for the 2020 legislative session, which begins in early January. Its list did not include funding for charter schools, which was one of Bevin’s demands. Bevin was a close ally of Betsy DeVos, who visited the state earlier this year to promote school choice.

Even though the board was appointed by Bevin, the members’ priorities show that they heard the voters’ message.

Kentucky Board of Education members unanimously approved a legislative agenda Wednesday that they may not be able to see through. 

Education officials plan to push for full-day kindergarten, reading interventions for the youngest learners and more flexibility for schools in Kentucky’s 2020 legislative session, according to documents made public Wednesday morning. 

And they’ll ask lawmakers to solidify Gov. Matt Bevin’s reorganization of an education board through executive order — the very power Gov.-elect Andy Beshear said he will use to disband the Board of Education.  

School choice initiatives, including funding for charter schools, are missing from the proposed list. Citing waning appetite for charters, Lewis said he only wanted to include legislation that had “some chance of passing.” 

It’s a shift toward the education priorities of Kentucky’s superintendents and its largest school district after more than a year of disconnect between educators and their leaders….

Beshear, who takes office in less than a week, vowed to replace the education boardon “day one.” The new board, he has suggested, would then oust Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis. 

Beshear ran on an education-fueled platform, and said his board replacements would value public education more than “a for-profit charter school company.”

It is possible a new board will elect to push for different education bills in 2020. 

Lewis’ contract allows the board to fire him without cause but requires a 90-day notice. He told reporters Tuesday night he would stay for those 90 days — which would last most of the legislative session. 

The 2020 legislative session begins on Jan. 7.

KDE’s legislative wish list for 2020 signals a slight shift from 2019’s agenda, which focused on school choice measures and increasing flexibility for districts….

Unlike last year, KDE does not specifically ask for a third grade retention law, a controversial measure that holds back third graders until they read at grade level. 

A retention law filed last session was ultimately gutted before failing to make it to a vote.