Kentucky's GOP Governor Says Teacher Protests Enable Child Sexual Assault

15 April, 2018, 01:03 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Interactive map: Which KY districts are closed Friday

The educators don't all agree on whether the General Assembly should override Gov. Matt Bevin's veto of the state budget bill, but there is a consensus that teachers will keep up the pressure until they get the funding result they want.

Protesters prevailed, as both the House and Senate voted to override Bevin's veto of the budget and tax plan.

"I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them", the Republican governor told reporters Friday afternoon, according to CNN affiliate WDRB.

"We have several teachers planning to go to Frankfort Friday, but we have no intentions of closing school", he said.

"The disgusting comments by Gov. Bevin insinuating that a peaceful protest by teachers would lead to sexual assault are reprehensible", Wise tweeted. It's unclear if the House will act on the resolution.

The two-year operating budget includes record new spending for public education, fueled by a 50-cent increase in the cigarette tax and a 6 percent sales tax on some services including home and auto fix. "If the legislature overrides the budget but fails to override the veto of HB 366, $480 million will need to be raised to make things balance".

"The only reason we did not have a special session previous year is because Jeff Hoover, a married man, was sexually involved with a very young, single member of his staff and was paying hush money to hide his actions..." He said they would not raise enough money to cover the new spending.

The governor began his remarks by attacking students for "hanging out", "smoking", and "leaving trash" during the walkout.

Republicans - with an eye toward the gallery filled with red-clad teachers - said Democrats were hypocritical because they champion education while voting against the revenue bill and budget which funds increases to education.

Also at issue is the state's pension legislation, signed by the governor on Tuesday, providing new guidelines for most state workers.

The Republican-controlled House voted 66-28 to override Bevin's vetoes of House Bill 200.




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.

A Pike group official said the effort in that Eastern Kentucky county goes against the wishes of the Kentucky Education Association, which has taken a cautious approach to school closures that is frustrating many Pike County teachers. But they also applauded Republicans who said they were voting to override the vetoes in order to fund education. "I don't know that it's true for them", said Goodman.

But some teachers said they were not surveyed before the walkout was called off.

Kentucky teachers at the state Capitol on Friday, April 13, 2018.

The Kentucky Education Association sharply criticized Bevin's vetoes in calling for Friday's "day of action".

Sherri Botts teaches fifth grade in Lexington.

"The funding needs to be staying in our public education system and we can not afford a charter school experiment with all these other financial threats in our state and in our Commonwealth", said Adelmann.

"There are protests and rallies going on all across this commonwealth".

This fall, all 100 seats in the state House are up for re-election and half of the 38 seats in the Senate. Goodman says Kentucky teachers historically knew there was a financial trade off in lower salaries for doing a job that support a public good.

This post has been updated.

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