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Kentucky education commissioner a finalist for Maryland job, as LGBTQ stance puts him in Republican crosshairs

Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason Glass speaks at a hearing during the 2023 legislative session
Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason Glass speaks at a hearing during the 2023 legislative session

Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason Glass is in the running for a superintendent position in Maryland. The top education official has become a magnet for criticism from the right.

A finalist for superintendent in Baltimore County, Glass told the Herald-Leader he’s been grateful to work with Kentucky educators and he is seeking a place where his family can put down roots and he can have a “long-term and meaningful impact on an educational system.”

Republicans, including candidates for governor, have increased their attacks on Glass since the commissioner came out strongly opposed to recent sweeping legislation affecting how schools treat transgender students, calling it “ignorant and shameful.”

"The Kentucky legislature is following a terrifying, but sadly well-trodden path. In the long run, history does not reflect well on such regimes. And in the short-run, we should all be concerned about who will be their next target," he wrote.

In a KET debate, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Daniel Cameron took direct aim at Glass.

"Jason Glass needs to find another job," the Republican said. "As the next governor of the commonwealth of Kentucky, I will make sure to work with our legislature to appoint new board members to the board of education that reflect our values, that are more concerned about reading, writing, math, as opposed to schools being incubators for progressive ideas."

Glass drew the ire of Republicans for suggesting that teachers who couldn’t follow district rules surrounding the use of students’ preferred pronouns or other policies should potentially seek other employment. Glass reiterated that position during the 2023 session.

"I stand behind that statement," he said. "If a teacher cannot execute the policies of the district, if they can't execute the laws in the state or in our nation, then they do need to find something else to do."

If Glass is chosen for the Baltimore County job, he would leading one of the 30 largest districts in the country. The district is expected to announce which of its four finalists has been selected by June 1.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.