State education department cuts four jobs, creates new division

The Kentucky Department of Education is planning a reorganization that would include the elimination of four high-level positions and the creation of a division to help low-performing schools.

State Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said the plan should save about $500,000 a year in salaries, improve operating efficiency and better position the department for tackling issues such as educational reform.

Two deputy commissioner positions and two associate commissioner positions would be eliminated under the plan, and some other employees would be reassigned to new jobs, according to education department spokeswoman Lisa Gross.

One new feature would be the "Division of District 180," created to help turn around low-performing schools as now required by state and federal laws. Kentucky education officials are working on several efforts to help such schools, including plans to pump more money into them to boost student achievement.

The new division would be responsible for much of the "grunt work" in improving the schools, Gross said.

An executive order from Gov. Steve Beshear to implement the reorganization will be forthcoming, education officials said.