Bevin: 'I guarantee' a child was sexually assaulted because teachers attended protest

Credit Ryland Barton

The walk-in to show support for public education, and to call for lawmakers to fully fund public schools before they voted on overriding Governor Bevin's veto on the two-year budget.

Gov. Matt Bevin said children were "harmed, some physically, some sexually" because they were left alone while people attended Friday's rally supporting teachers in Frankfort. Most teachers and school staff arrived on school buses, disembarking while the Crosby Stills, Nash and Young song "Teach Your Children" played from some loud speakers.

The governor began his remarks by attacking students for "hanging out", "smoking", and "leaving trash" during the walkout.

Bevin said, that in some "communities", his fellow Kentuckians knew children would be home alone and "took advantage of it".

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".

"Surely as we're having this conversation, children were harmed. some physically, some sexually, some were introduced to drugs for the first time, because they were vulnerable and left alone.it's offensive, frankly, it really is", Bevin told the Courier-Journal. "I'm offended by the idea that people so cavalierly and so flippantly disregarded what's truly best for children". Kim Farris, a Dixon Elementary teacher for almost 25 years, says it affects how she teaches and supplies students.

"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", she said.

Bevin had vetoed both bills, the budget and tax bills, warning the new taxes would not generate enough money to cover the new spending. The bill raises revenue for the state over the next two years.

Gov. Matt Bevin took to Twitter on Friday, voicing his frustration at Rep. Jeff Hoover as they squabbled over veto overrides from the House and Senate.

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

Before students arrived by bus or auto, their teachers arrived by foot to walk in to Webster County High School as one.

Teachers who clogged the halls of Kentucky's Capitol when lawmakers last met are set to return in force as they loudly demand that the legislature defy a Republican governor and restore increases in education funding.

The increase is possible because of a more than $480 million tax increase approved in a separate bill.

The Republican governor has been a sharp critic of the Kentucky Education Association in recent weeks as the group has protested his pension reform bill that he signed into law this week.

By asking them to vote for another period to get the tax increase in a election 25, the veto put law makers at a position. Senate President Robert Stivers is confident the tax bill will produce enough revenue to balance the budget.

The Senate later voted 26 to 12 to override the funding veto. The demonstrations were inspired by West Virginia teachers, whose nine-day walkout after many years without raises led to a 5 percent pay hike.

An Arizona lawmaker who chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee is questioning how Republican Gov. Doug Ducey can get the cash to increase teacher pay 20 percent by 2020. But the Oklahoma Education Association wanted teachers' raises to be $10,000 on average. But they also applauded Republicans who said they were voting to override the vetoes in order to fund education. 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. The governor could call lawmakers back for a special session to pass a new budget and revenue bills.

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