Kentucky Board of Education Virtual Meeting, July 15, 2020

By Jacob Perkins

During a July 15 special virtual meeting, members of the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) approved the contract for Kentucky’s newest education commissioner, Jason Glass.

Glass, a Kentucky native, has been serving as superintendent and chief learner for Jeffco Public Schools in the metro Denver area since 2017. Prior to that, he served as the superintendent of Eagle County Schools in Colorado and as Iowa’s Director of Education, which is that state’s chief state school officer, from 2010 to 2013.

Glass’ contract is a four-year term, beginning on Sept. 14, 2020. He will receive an annual salary of $260,000.

There are no performance bonuses built into the contract and Glass’ benefits are the same as those of all Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) employees with the exception of a trust account contribution and capped relocation expenses, both of which were included in previous commissioners’ contracts. Glass has the option of receiving a monthly travel allowance in lieu of mileage reimbursement and use of a state fleet car for official business.

To provide for a smooth and efficient transition, Glass can work up to 15 days between Aug. 1 and Sept. 14. He will be entitled to travel reimbursement for airfare and mileage for actual travel between his home in Colorado and Frankfort. The reimbursement during the transition shall not exceed $1,200, according to the contract.

Glass’ salary is keeping in line with the salaries of the superintendents in Kentucky’s three largest school districts – Jefferson, Fayette and Boone – and commensurate with his experience and qualifications, said KBE board chair Lu Young.

“We are confident in Dr. Glass’ extensive experience, including having served as the chief state school officer in Iowa and as a school superintendent with urban, suburban and rural school communities,” she said. “Along with a strategic vision and a track record for moving a school transformation agenda at the state policy level, it will combine to make him a great fit for the Commonwealth.”

The KBE retained Florida-based Greenwood/Asher & Associates in March to lead the search for the next commissioner. The firm developed ads and accepted applications and nominations through May 31.

Throughout the search, the board and search firm made more than 211 contacts, received 49 nominations, reviewed 46 applications and interviewed 11 candidates on June 11-12. The board initially narrowed their search to six candidates on June 12, then to four on June 25.

On July 7, the KBE announced that it had selected a candidate to fill the position and would enter contract negotiations. Glass was one of three finalists interviewed for the position and was announced as the new commissioner of education at the July 10 KBE meeting.

“I am so incredibly grateful to the board for this opportunity to serve the Commonwealth and I am excited to embark on this effort to improve the future for all of Kentucky’s children,” Glass said during the July 10 KBE meeting. “Kentucky has given so much to me in a quality public education experience, the opportunity for a world-class university experience and a start to my professional career in the state. My wife Sarah and I look forward to relocating to the Bluegrass State and to our children growing up and going to public school in Kentucky.”

Glass will begin his new role as Kentucky’s chief state school officer on Sept. 14.

“Dr. Glass is excited about the opportunity to serve as commissioner and partner to the KBE as we work to advance public education for all students in the Commonwealth,” said Young. “I am certainly excited to welcome this native Kentuckian home to begin the tough but rewarding work we have ahead.”