FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – The Latest on protests by Kentucky teachers (all times local):
The Kentucky House has condemned Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s comments that children were sexually abused while teachers rallied at the state Capitol.
Teachers look on as The Senate votes on bills for increased funding and to changes to their state funded pension system, Friday, April 13, 2018, in Frankfort, Ky. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)
The extraordinary rebuke came on the final day of the legislative session Saturday.
The Republican-led House approved a pair of resolutions Saturday rebuking Bevin. One resolution was filed by Democrats. The other was offered by Republican Rep. John “Bam” Carney.
More than 30 school districts across Kentucky closed Friday so teachers could rally at the state Capitol and ask lawmakers to override Bevin’s vetoes of the state budget that included increased classroom spending. Lawmakers overrode Bevin’s vetoes and the new spending became law.
Asked about the protests, Bevin said he guaranteed a child who had been left home alone was sexually assaulted because the schools were closed. He also said children likely ingested poison or were introduced to illegal drugs for the first time if they were out of school while teachers rallied in Frankfort.
A teacher rebellion in Kentucky is testing the Republican party’s grip on the state.
The legislature’s rush to make changes to the state’s troubled pension system coupled with Gov. Matt Bevin’s comments targeting teachers have led to a wave of protests and prompted at least 40 current and former teachers to run for public office this year, most of them Democrats.
The surge of activism is enough to cast doubts on whether Republicans can keep control of the state House of Representatives in the fall and whether Bevin, an ally of the Trump administration, could survive a re-election campaign in 2019.
Republican Senate President Robert Stivers said he saw no political turmoil and predicted Republicans would still control state government next year.
Teachers from across Kentucky gather inside the state Capitol to rally for increased funding for education, Friday, April 13, 2018, in Frankfort, Ky. The unrest comes amid teacher protests in Oklahoma and Arizona over low funding and teacher pay. The demonstrations were inspired by West Virginia teachers, whose nine-day walkout after many years without raises led to a 5 percent pay hike. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)
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