Kentucky teachers

Ryland Barton

Kentucky voters will head to the polls on Tuesday to decide who will compete for seats in the state legislature this fall.

This year’s statehouse primary elections feature a handful of crowded contests for seats vacated by retiring legislators. And dozens of teachers are hoping to ride a wave of outrage into Frankfort after launching massive protests at the state Capitol this spring.

Travis Brenda has been teaching at Rockcastle County High School for the last 19 years. He lives on a farm in Cartersville in southern Garrard County. Brenda is a Republican but he said he’s disappointed in how the fully-Republican controlled legislature is doing business.


Nonviolent Owensboro

As mass shootings and other violence seems to occur ever-more frequently in our country and around the world, an Owensboro organization has the goal of encouraging peace, one person and one community at a time.

Nonviolent Owensboro is working with other local organizations to support peaceful public dialogue, even among those with differing opinions. The group is sponsoring a workshop on how to step out and offer an opinion – peacefully.

Daviess County teacher Peggy Wilson is a member of Nonviolent Owensboro.

Kara Lofton, WVPB

When Oklahoma teacher Sally Salmons saw momentum building toward teacher protests in her state, she immediately reached out to family ties and educators in West Virginia. She said teacher walkouts in the Mountain State provided her and colleagues across the state with the courage they needed to take a stand.

“We looked at West Virginia and said, ‘Now’s the time to get on it.’ I think it gave us confidence to really, finally cross that line,” she said.


Teacher Victory: Kentucky Lawmakers Override Budget Veto

Apr 13, 2018
Ryland Barton

With the chants of hundreds of teachers ringing in their ears, Kentucky lawmakers voted Friday to override the Republican governor's veto of a two-year state budget that increases public education spending with the help of a more than $480 million tax increase.

The votes came as thousands of teachers rallied inside and outside the Capitol, forcing more than 30 school districts to close as Kentucky continued the chorus of teacher protests across the country.

Patrice McCrary Facebook

A Warren County teacher is joining thousands of her colleagues from across Kentucky at the state Capitol Friday.  Busloads of educators arrived in Frankfort to continue their activism, exercised many times throughout this year's General Assembly.

Lawmakers increased funding for K-12 education and restored cuts to school bus transportation in the next state budget.  Governor Bevin vetoed the spending plan, and educators will rally in hopes of convincing lawmakers to override the governor’s veto.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky lawmakers passed a two-year state budget and a surprise overhaul of the state’s tax code this week.

It was the first time Republicans were solely in charge of writing the budget and thousands of teachers showed up to protest changes to the pension benefits that passed out of the legislature last week.

Plus, a sexual harassment complaint was dismissed against three Republican lawmakers, but will proceed for former House Speaker Jeff Hoover.


flickr creative commons Gage Skidmore

The Democratic National Committee is paying close attention to recent teachers’ rallies in Kentucky and other states. Kentucky educators have been rallying at the state capitol in an effort to fight for their pension benefits and increased state support for public education.  

DNC chair Tom Perez said the teacher rallies in Kentucky, West Virginia and Oklahoma are inspiring. He said he’s glad to see teachers standing up and taking action. He told WKU Public Radio the renewed activism and energy is an opportunity for the Democratic party.

Ryland Barton

Thousands of teachers have packed into the State Capitol building in Frankfort to protest the Republican-led legislature’s passage of a bill overhauling the state’s pension systems last week and other policies.

The pension changes would no longer give conventional pensions to future teachers, instead providing them with cash-balance retirement plans that depend on the stock market but are guaranteed to not lose money.

Flickr/Creative Commons/James Case

A school safety expert told state lawmakers Thursday there’s “no way” arming teachers would make schools safer in the wake of the mass shooting at Marshall County High School.

The Kentucky House and Senate Education committees held a special meeting on Thursday to discuss school safety issues, though no specific pieces of legislation were up for a vote.

President Trump, Gov. Matt Bevin and some Republican lawmakers in the General Assembly have called for allowing teachers to have access to guns on campus in order to defend students against school shooters.

Ryland Barton

Hundreds of teachers and other state employees packed the Kentucky Capitol on Wednesday as Republican lawmakers presented their new plan to overhaul the state’s ailing pension systems.

Supporters of the measure say it would save the state $4.8 billion over the next 30 years by requiring the legislature to put more money into the pension systems and reducing benefits to current and future retirees.

Kentucky Educators Announce Pension Reform Plan

Nov 6, 2017
Creative Commons

Leaders from several Kentucky education groups have announced a pension reform plan that they say is a sustainable approach.

The Courier Journal reports the plan announced Monday would leave most retirement benefits in place for current and retired teachers, while a hybrid plan would be created for new teachers hired beginning next summer. Those teachers would participate in a defined benefit system and be able to supplement retirement savings with voluntary contributions to an investment account.

Hundreds of KY Teachers Earn Top Certification

Jan 9, 2013

More than 260 Kentucky teachers were awarded national certification in 2012, ranking the state seventh nationally for the number of teachers earning that achievement.

National Board Certification is administered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as is considered a top achievement in the profession.

The Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board says in a news release that the top ten states with the highest number of teachers certified in 2012 were North Carolina, Washington, Illinois, California, Arkansas, South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland and New York.

A team of experts examining ways to improve teacher quality in Kentucky is using its second meeting to discuss recruitment and preparation. The Prichard Committee Team on Teacher Effectiveness meets Tuesday in Frankfort.