Teachers Protest the Budget Plan


Victoria Steward, Managing Editor/Arts Editor

First, they fought for their pensions. Now, they are fighting for our funding. The original budget that was proposed by the house was vetoed by Governor Matt Bevin. Now, legislators have until Saturday, April 14th, to decide on a new budget or to override the Governor’s veto. If they cannot decide on a budget, Kentucky will not have a budget plan. On July 1st, the government will shut down, giving Governor Bevin complete control over the budget for schools and prisons.

The following counties have called off school for Friday April 13th to allow teachers and students to protest the budget: Bath, Bourbon, Burgin, Clark, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Garrard, Jessamine, Knox, Lincoln, Mercer, Owen, Pike, Pineville, Scott, and Wolfe.

The drastic cuts to education would leave school districts without essential funding.

Governor Bevin reportedly vetoed the budget because he “cannot support a proposal that ignores fiscal reality and continues to kick the can of financial responsibility down the road”.

What Governor Bevin doesn’t realize is that this budget would restore funding for transportation in Kentucky school districts, as well as raise SEEK funding (Support Education Excellence in Kentucky) from $3981 per student to $4000 per student. In the Governor’s first draft of the budget, he kept this funding at the same amount and cut close to $17 million allotted for textbooks. The Governor’s draft also cut all of the funding for transportation, leaving the cost in the hands of local school districts. This is a cost most Kentucky school districts would not be able to afford unless they cut other programs. If the state legislators had not decidde on a budget, Bevin will be given control of the state’s finances. If this happens, we can assume that he will use his original budget plan, which would make drastic cuts to education.

Legislators did vote to override Bevin’s veto, and therefore schools are getting well-deserved funding. Had Bevin’s budget plan passed, Fayette county would have had to cut over 304 teachers. These cuts would’ve mostly impacted the new teachers, who have yet to gain tenure. Lafayette hired roughly 20 new teachers this year. These teachers would’ve been directly effected by staffing cuts.

First, Kentucky teachers fought for their pensions and now, they are fighting for their jobs and for our funding.