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15 April 2018, 12:25 | Bernice Figueroa
Bevin: 'I guarantee' a child was sexually assaulted because teachers attended protest
Kentucky lawmakers voted Friday to override the Republican governor's veto of a two-year state budget that increases public education spending with the help of a more than $480 million tax increase.
Over 30 school districts closed on Friday because of the teachers' protests. He spoke of children ingesting poison or being physically assaulted because they were home and "a single parent didn't have any money to take care of them". The Senate voted 20-18 and the House voted 57-40 Friday to override that veto.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin said that because public school teachers were protesting against proposed education cuts on Friday, resulting in over 30 school districts closing, children not in class were "sexually assaulted" and "physically harmed". Presently, educators need to work for only 27 years before receiving a deferred-benefits pension, while teachers hired after the end of 2018 will need to work until age 65 or until their years of service combined with their age exceed 87 (i.e. a teacher who begins work at 22 could retire at 55, assuming he/she faces no gaps in employment during those 33 years of work).
After a long day of teacher rallies across Kentucky, WHAS11 was able to speak with the governor to hear his opinion on the demonstrations. The budget passed the House with a vote of 66-27.
Bevin had vetoed both bills, warning the new taxes would not generate enough money to cover the new spending.
After thousands of teachers rallied at Kentucky's state capitol on Friday, the state's governor said their absence from the classroom did serious harm to children.
Educators say today they will be keeping a close eye on the "tweaks" expected to be made to the budget and revenue bills.
Lawmakers are also considering whether to override Bevin's veto of the state budget bill ahead of a deadline Saturday night.
"I don't think the governor's comments are in any way accurate", he told BuzzFeed News. "I don't agree with these comments & I find them repulsive". They are instead focused on education funding and a battle over their pensions. "Because what they were doing then was impacting me and all my fellow teachers". On April 2, thousands protested at the state Capitol in Frankfort.
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. "I feel like it's a cop-out - we have let them win by showing them they can behave however they want, and we'll eventually get exhausted and go home".
New teachers will also enter into a cash-balance plan, which is "less generous than traditional pensions but more reliable than 401 (k)-style plans", according to Daniel Desroches of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
This fall, all 100 seats in the state House are up for re-election and half of the 38 seats in the Senate. But the Oklahoma Education Association wanted teachers' raises to be $10,000 on average.
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