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

Leestown Road Wreck

Leestown Road Wreck

Bevin asked. "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". "I guarantee you somewhere today a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were home alone because a single parent didn't have anybody to take care of them".

Bevin, whose veto of a two-year spending bill with a almost half-billion-dollar tax increase was overridden by fellow Republicans in the legislature, has recently sparred with teachers groups amid educator protests across the country fueled by claims of low pay and underfunded school systems.

Thousands of public school teachers rallied Friday at the Capitol, urging lawmakers to override the vetoes anyway.

Bevin slammed the bills as "sloppy" and "non-transparent", calling for alternative options following his veto. It includes a 6 percent sales tax on a variety of services, including auto and home repairs, to pay for higher classroom spending.

"You can stand here all day and act like you are all for [education] until it comes time to pay for it".

McKim said Bevin's comments left him stunned, sentiments he's heard shared by JCTA members who contacted him after watching video of the governor's remarks. "Well that's a coward", said Republican Rep. Regina Huff, a middle school special education teacher. He said he met with House and Senate leaders all week to propose a more "responsible way to pay for 100 percent of the requested education funding".

The Republican-controlled state Senate will take up the veto next. "I want to be in my classroom instructing future citizens, but I'm afraid that spending at the state level is getting worse and worse, and we need those dollars for a 21st-century education", said Stephanie Ikanovic, a teacher of 21 years who participated in the demonstrations, the AP reported.

"Trying to divide teachers from kids is the vintage right-wing playbook used as an excuse to fail to fund public schools".

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin tweeted the it was "not true" that lawmakers had to vote for the new taxes to fund education.

"The disgusting comments by Gov. Bevin insinuating that a peaceful protest by teachers would lead to sexual assault are reprehensible", Wise said Friday on Twitter.

A number of districts closed schools on Friday, including Jefferson County Public Schools and Fayette County Public Schools. By Bevins' logic, we may as well blame teachers for not babysitting kids over the summer.

The final budget increases base funding for schools to $4,000 per student compared to $3,981 in the current school year, and also funds transportation and employee health insurance costs previously set to be paid for by local school districts. On April 2, thousands protested at the state Capitol in Frankfort. Kentucky has one of the worst-funded pension systems in the country, with the state at least $41 billion short of what it needs to pay retirement benefits over the next 30 years. Opponents worry this will discourage young people from becoming teachers.

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