Senate resolution filed to confirm Robbie Fletcher as Kentucky education commissioner 

Kentucky Lantern

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FRANKFORT — When Kentucky senators return to Frankfort next month for the two final days of the legislative session, they will have to decide whether to confirm the Kentucky Board of Education’s selection for education commissioner. 

The board announced its choice of Lawrence County Schools Superintendent Robbie Fletcher in a meeting last week. If approved by the Senate, Fletcher will become the state’s top education official starting July 1 through 2028. 

A  resolution has been  filed in the Senate to confirm Fletcher’s appointment along with several resolutions for several other appointments to various boards and positions. Sen. Phillip Wheeler, R-Pikeville, is the primary sponsor of Senate Resolution 285 to confirm Fletcher’s appointment.. 

Senate Republican Floor Leader Damon Thayer, of Georgetown, told reporters it’s possible the Senate will have a committee hearing to review Fletcher’s appointment during the 10-day veto period. He said the Senate is fast tracking a background check and reviewing Fletcher’s qualifications. 

“Everybody needs to go home and cool off after today,” Thayer said around midnight Friday after adjournment on the session’s last day before the break. “And I’m sure there’ll be an opportunity for us next week to decide whether or not Mr. Fletcher has a committee hearing during the veto recess, or if it’s going to happen on day 59 or 60.” 

Thayer said Fletcher would most likely appear before the Senate Education Committee. The final days of the session are April 12 and 15. 

The Republican-controlled General Assembly passed a law last year requiring education commissioners to receive Senate confirmation. Fletcher will be  the first to do so. 

The law was enacted amid tension between Republicans and former Education Commissioner Jason Glass. He left the role in September and said he did not want to be part of implementing a sweeping controversial anti-transgender law that included limitations on how schools can teach about human sexuality and gender identity and freed adult staff to misgender students.

While speaking about the selection, KBE Chair Sharon Porter Robinson said the board is ready to support Fletcher’s Senate confirmation after making a selection “with great confidence after great due diligence.” 

After some media reports indicated that some top Republicans in the Senate were unclear on their initial support for Fletcher, he said on social media that he looks “forward to the opportunity of earning ALL of our legislators’ trust in order to accomplish great things, together, for our students.” 

Senate Republican Whip Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, did say he was “encouraged by the initial reports” about Fletcher.

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