If the Kentucky Board of Education selects an interim commissioner tomorrow, that person won't be eligible to apply for the permanent post, the board chairman said yesterday.
Keith Travis said the board is looking for someone who can temporarily lead the state's education department while the search continues for a permanent commissioner.
"If you put an interim in and allow them to be a candidate for the permanent position, it may give them an unfair advantage for the permanent position, and it could discourage other applicants from applying," he said.
The board is expected to name an interim commissioner during a special board meeting tomorrow in Frankfort. Among those being considered is Leon Mooneyhan, a retired superintendent from Shelby County...
...Bonnie Lash Freeman, vice chairwoman of the board, said the board hopes that a large number of Kentucky applicants will apply for the position.
"We were a little disappointed that not too many (from Kentucky) applied last time around; we hope it will be different this time," said Freeman, who is from Louisville.
She said the board would like the interim person to serve "no more than two months."
"We want to get someone in the permanent position quickly, because we really need someone who can lead and help us move forward," she said.
In the school business there is a hiring season - and this isn't it.
We don't need someone quickly - as much as we need someone excellent. The board is already unhappy with the results of its first national search. Nobody new is going to emerge in late July. Any superstars who were willing to move have already done so.
Select a solid interim and let that person get you through the gubernatorial election.
In the spring, political picture in Kentucky will be a settled issue and there will be a whole new crop of potential candidates. To the extent Kentucky's leaders commit to adequate funding for excellent schools, that crop will be improved.
Repeat the national search then.