Kentucky governor says teachers' strike left children vulnerable to sexual assault

Kentucky governor says teachers' strike left children vulnerable to sexual assault

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.

Some educators are calling for an override; others are breaking with the Kentucky Education Association's pro-override position because they say Northeast Kentucky lawmakers have made the case that the region needs a different spending 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", Bevin said.

Districts also closed on March 31-another Friday-after Bevin and Kentucky's Republican-controlled state legislature passed a pension reform law on March 29, according to CNN. It's unclear if the House will act on the resolution.

Bevin said he will veto the legislature's proposed two-year state budget and a tax bill that generates hundreds of millions of dollars to help fund it.

The Kentucky Education Association strongly opposes a pension reform bill that Gov. Matt Bevin signed this week under which new hires will have to enter a hybrid cash-balance plan, as opposed to a traditional pension.

Lawmakers approved a $480 million tax increase to pay for it, including a 6 percent sales tax on services such as auto and home repairs, and higher income taxes for some individuals and businesses.

"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", Bevin responded on Twitter. He said they would not raise enough money to cover the new spending. But 57 Republicans eagerly voted to override, asserting their independence after a tumultuous year marred by a sexual harassment scandal.

Kentucky's lawmakers have struggled with the complexities of passing a two-year state budget, searching for education funding and trying to fix one of the country's worst-funded pension systems.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin blasted the bills as
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin blasted the bills as"sloppy and"non-transparent

The state will contribute more to teachers' pensions every month because they aren't eligible for Social Security. The vote was 66 to 28 in the House with only four Democrats joining 62 Republicans and 26-12 in the Senate.

When asked by a WDRB News reporter about the teachers who rallied on Friday, Bevin spent more than a minute describing how he believed the closed schools may have contributed to people preying on children.

Sammi Hatfield teaches third grade in Montgomery County. They are instead focused on overall funding. Democratic lawmakers said they supported the school spending but protested the secretive way the tax plan was created and the way it raises additional revenue. They are wasting the teachers' hard-earned money. "But what they're doing now impacts my students and their students".

In Fayette County, public schools Superintendent Manny Caulk invited everyone to go with him to Kentucky's Capitol Friday to fight for issues important to Lexington schools.

"We have to get this revenue to finance schools", explained a Republican and middle school special education teacher, consultant Regina Huff.

Friday is the 59th day of the 60-day legislative session, which must end by law Saturday at midnight.

This fall, all 100 seats in the state House are up for re-election and half of the 38 seats in the Senate.

This post has been updated.

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