Todd Allen, the general counsel for the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), began serving the agency as deputy commissioner in a new role announced on Oct 16.
His appointment to serve in dual roles as general counsel and deputy commissioner was made by Interim Commissioner of Education Robin Fields Kinney. She said Allen will serve alongside Thomas Woods Tucker as deputy commissioner with the goal of “having the department in the very best shape possible to hand off to the next permanent commissioner.”
“Todd’s knowledge and experience here at KDE, as well as his thoughtful approach to all things, is an incredible asset to all of us at the agency and in the Commonwealth,” Kinney said.
Allen has worked in KDE’s Office of Legal Services since 2014, previously holding the positions of assistant general counsel and deputy general counsel. He served as interim general counsel from June through August of 2018, and again from January through July 2020. He was named general counsel for the agency on Aug. 1, 2022, by former Commissioner Jason E. Glass.
“I’m excited to serve in this capacity to assist Interim Commissioner Kinney and my KDE colleagues as we prepare for our next commissioner,” he said. “We are dedicated to providing excellent support to our schools and districts as they continue to provide vibrant learning experiences for all students.”
In his time at KDE, Allen has provided counsel on many legal issues, including advising multiple offices and the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, compliance with Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, regulations to update the Kentucky Academic Standards, compliance with state and federal changes to assessment and accountability; labor and employment; and policy and ethics.
“For nearly nine years, KDE has provided me with the opportunity to learn and grow in my career each day. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to apply my knowledge and experience to serve KDE, the KBE and Kentucky’s public education system – a system from which I’ve benefited greatly myself as a former public school student,” he said.
A native of Meade County, Allen earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Kentucky (UK) in 2007 and his law degree from the UK College of Law in 2010. He spent four years as an associate attorney in the Lexington office of Landrum & Shouse, LLP, practicing civil litigation, which included defense of school districts, officials and staff.
A resident of Lexington, he has served as an officer in the National Council of State Education Attorneys, including as president, and has been chair of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Education Law Section.