Kentucky Gov. Bevin blasts teacher sickouts: ‘No reason to be walking out on students’


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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin posted a Fb video Monday night wherein he criticized state educators who’ve staged “sickouts” to protest a pair of training payments earlier than the state legislature.

“There’s no purpose to be strolling out on college students, leaving college students within the lurch, hurting them and their dad and mom and the numerous companies in Kentucky which might be affected by this,” Bevin stated within the practically four-minute video, which was captioned “Sick of ‘Sickouts?'” ” … Don’t let all of the noise of the power-hungry, money-hungry folks, on the [Kentucky Education Association] and others, distract you from the truth that placing the kids first is the best duty now we have.”

Instructor absences have pressured faculties throughout the state to shut as lecturers and school-system workers have congregated on the state capital in Frankfort to make their voices heard at legislative hearings. For instance, faculties in Jefferson, Meade, Oldham and Bullitt counties have been all closed this previous Thursday. Every week earlier, a minimum of six faculty districts have been closed, together with the 2 largest within the state.

Probably the most hotly disputed invoice would change how persons are nominated to the Kentucky Academics Retirement System’s board of trustees, which controls the pensions for about 126,500 folks. At present, Proper now, the Kentucky Training Affiliation — which has about 43,000 members — controls nominations for seven of the pension board’s 11 members. The invoice would change that, letting teams just like the Kentucky Retired Academics Affiliation, the Kentucky Faculty Boards Affiliation, and the Kentucky Affiliation of Faculty Superintendents nominate members.


“One group specifically controls the method of nominating seven of these positions, successfully locking out different educators from the very choices that affect their monetary future,” stated Republican Rep. Ken Upchurch, the invoice’s sponsor.

In a room packed with teachers last month, Kentucky State Representative Ken Upchurch spoke on a bill that would change how individuals are nominated to the Kentucky teachers retirement systems board of trustees. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston, File)

In a room filled with lecturers final month, Kentucky State Consultant Ken Upchurch spoke on a invoice that might change how people are nominated to the Kentucky lecturers retirement techniques board of trustees. (AP Picture/Bryan Woolston, File)

Bevin, who’s up for re-election this 12 months, has criticized lecturers previously over their opposition to his efforts to reform the state’s struggling pension techniques, that are among the many worst-funded within the nation. State officers are a minimum of $39 billion wanting the cash required to pay advantages over the following 30 years. The lecturers’ retirement system alone is a minimum of $14.three billion wanting what it might want to pay advantages.

In his video Monday, Bevin defended the actions of his administration when it got here to educator pensions.


“I’m the one administration, ours is, that’s the first to ever fund the pension system, in its entirety,” he stated. “We’ve put extra money into the pension within the final three years, within the final two budgets, than the earlier governor [Democrat Steve Beshear] did in eight years. We’re the one ones to really be bringing consideration to the duty now we have to those that are accountable, to our college students.”

Bevin additionally accused the instructor’s union in Jefferson County, probably the most populous within the state, of “reloading sick days into the accounts of lecturers to allow them to name in sick once they’re not sick.”


“That is the sort of stuff that the taxpayers of Kentucky, which is these of you watching this, you ought to be offended by this,” he stated. “You actually needs to be. And should you’re dad and mom whose children are at school, as I’m, you ought to be offended by this. We’ve a duty to deal with our younger folks, we simply do. It’s so simple as that.”

The Kentucky protests are the newest instance of lecturers leaving the classroom to protest at state capitols, a motion that started final 12 months in West Virginia earlier than spreading to Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Arizona.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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