Some of the stiffest criticism you hear about school administrators comes during the winter months when tough decisions have to be made about cancelling classes due to inclement weather.
If a local superintendent makes a call too soon based on a forecast -- and then that dreaded snow and ice just doesn't materialize -- they get bashed.
If they wait too long and kids have to make their way to school during a snow squall, they get bashed.
Superintendents and the folks that help them make these decisions can't control the weather. But they do have to make difficult decisions based on it. And in Kentucky, where we go from zero to 60 faster than a 1969 Corvette, it's dicey.
On Wednesday, classes were out in all three local districts. Somerset is out through Thursday because illness is rampant, while Pulaski County and Science Hill opted to close Wednesday because of the bitter cold temperatures. The high Wednesday was below 20 degrees and the low was in single digits with an icy cold wind to boot.
As a parent, I appreciate our local administrators calling off classes to allow a nasty virus to run its course -- or to prevent children from having to walk to school or stand at a bus stop when the wind chill is around zero.
Gov. Matt Bevin -- Kentucky public education's No. 1 enemy -- weighed in on Tuesday with a comment so utterly ridiculous that it has (once again) put him in the national spotlight.
Bevin told WHAS radio on Tuesday that closing schools for cold weather "sends messages to our young people that if life is hard you can curl up in the fetal position somewhere."
He said it's making our kids "soft."
I wonder if Bevin or his children ever had to walk to school in sub-zero temperatures, or had to wait at a bus stop while the arctic wind chilled them to the bone.
In those temperatures, frostbite is a real possibility for youngsters who have to be outside for any length of time.
Of course, defenders of common sense -- not to mention political rivals -- immediately took aim at the governor for his comments.
Republican Rep. Robert Goforth, who is challenging Bevin in the primary, tweeted, "Easy for a guy to say who went to the @gouldacademy -a $60k/yr prep school. I'm with KY's kids!"
Goforth added in a Facebook post: "Protecting our children from freezing temperatures with subzero windchills is not something to be cavalier about, and it is not funny. Some of our precious kids don't have adequate coats and other items to safeguard them from this dangerous weather."
Democratic Rep. Rocky Adkins, who could face Bevin in the upcoming gubernatorial election, tweeted, "The governor doesn't understand public education and he is out of touch with everyday families. It's about the safety of Kentucky kids."
"Kids have to sit on bus stops and or walk a mile or more in that," Doug Stafford, Republican chief strategist for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul tweeted. "No one wants to hear your old man stories about walking uphill both ways in that when you were a kid."
"I wish there were better words to describe the things our governor says than 'dumb and mean'. But there aren't," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Adam Edelen tweeted.
The bi-partisan verdict? Bevin once again sounds like a knucklehead.
Even "Today" show host and longtime NBC weatherman Al Roker called Bevin out on Wednesday.
"This nitwit governor in Kentucky, saying, 'Oh, we're weak,' " Roker said on MSNBC on Wednesday morning. "These are kids who are going to be in subzero wind chills!"
Not only is Bevin not qualified to talk about the weather, Roker said, the governor shouldn't be weighing in on educators' weather decisions.
"No, cancel school!" Roker said. "Stop it. You know, adults, if they want to be out there -- but these are our children. I'm glad you're not a teacher."
The thought of Bevin teaching children is only slightly more frightening than the fact that he's our governor.
Maybe that will be corrected in May or November. Fingers crossed.
JEFF NEAL is the Editor of the Commonwealth Journal. Reach him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jnealCJ.