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House resolution would condemn Bevin's comments

15 April 2018

The House and Senate ultimately overturned those decisions, but Bevin said children across the state suffered after several school districts closed either to allow teachers to attend Friday's events or because enough teachers absences triggered closures.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin said today that he guarantees a child was sexually assaulted due to absent teachers in over 30 school districts while they rallied at the state Capitol in Frankfort.

Asked about the protests, Bevin said he guaranteed a child who had been left home alone was sexually assaulted because the schools were closed.

Thousands of teachers rallied at the Kentucky Capitol on Friday, urging lawmakers to override the veto, holding signs and chanting "we love our children". It's unclear if the House will act on the resolution.

Minutes before the House voted to override the veto on the bill with a 57 - 40 vote, Bevin tweeted that he would call a special session if the means to pay for the budget is not "arbitrary & complicated".

Members of the teachers union also were critical of Bevin's vetoes of budget and revenue bills, both of which the union said are crucial to funding public education.

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Bevin had vetoed both bills, warning the new taxes would not generate enough money to cover the new spending.

McDaniel later told reporters he does not expect to see new budget and tax bills, only a "cleanup" bill to correct some errors made in House Bill 366, such as the inadvertent removal of a tax incentive used by Toyota and General Electric.

In the Senate Friday, responding to Bevin's comments, Democratic Leader Ray Jones of Pikeville warned Republican senators against springing any more surprise tax bills on the state.

The bill requires more working years from new teachers before becoming eligible for benefits. Kentucky has one of the worst-funded pension systems in the country, with the state at least $41 billion short of what it needs to pay retirement benefits over the next 30 years.

The Senate later voted 26 to 12 to override the funding veto.

He acknowledged Bevin's promise to call a special session to enact a better budget if lawmakers sustained his vetoes but then reminded colleagues Bevin promised to call a special session on pension reform.

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Save Our Schools Kentucky organized a rally in the Capitol rotunda Saturday, as legislators met on the last day of the General Assembly.

Sammi Hatfield teaches third grade in Montgomery County.

"I want to be in my classroom instructing future citizens, but I'm afraid that spending at the state level is getting worse and worse, and we need those dollars for a 21st century education", she said.

The budget bill vetoed by Bevin increased the SEEK formula, the main funding source for public education, but teaching advocates argue that the increase doesn't account for inflation. They are instead focused on overall funding. They are wasting the teachers' hard-earned money.

The budget would also issue 6.25 percent cuts to extended school services like after-school, summer school and pre-school programs.

Bracken County and Robertson County School Superintendents Jeff Aulick and Sanford Holbrook said the same about their teachers.

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As the session comes to an end, many are already looking to November. Goodman says Kentucky teachers historically knew there was a financial trade off in lower salaries for doing a job that support a public good.

House resolution would condemn Bevin's comments