Gov. Bevin says teachers should look for best employment opportunities

10/27/2017 11:25 AM

ERLANGER – As everyone waits for the finished pension reform bill to be released, many educators have indicated that they may be forced to look at going to teach in other states, and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin says that each teacher should look at their best options.

Northern Kentucky educators have pointed to Ohio, which pay teachers a higher salary, as a potential option if the current pension proposal is passed.

Dayton Independent Schools Superintendent Jay Brewer, who is close to 27 years of service for full retirement, says that for him, the stipulation that after 27 years, educators who stay on would go into a 401 (k) style plan for any income earned after that time, might force him to look elsewhere.

“I do think you’ll see teachers leaving the profession much earlier than they thought,” Brewer said. I do think you’re going to see the administrative leaders have an exit earlier than they thought. For example, I’m in year 26, and when I start looking at the numbers, year 27 might be the point that I start brushing off the application and go look for other opportunities.”

Gov. Matt Bevin says that he would encourage teachers to look for the best opportunity, adding that Kentucky can be that great opportunity.

“If you want to be in Kentucky, we are going to be able to make it as viable of an option for you as anywhere else,” Bevin said. “The reality is that anybody pursuing a career, should look at their options anywhere. Our job in Kentucky is to make sure we’re at least as attractive as any other alternative.”

The governor takes issue with educators who say that they would be taking a 3 percent pay cut because of additional contributions for retiree healthcare, stating that it’s contribution solely designated for that purpose.

“They can inflate that into whatever they choose it to but it is specific for the purpose for only paying for the health benefit that they are the recipients of,” Bevin said.

While there are arguments on both sides of the KTRS issue, Brewer is concerned that the focus on pensions has taken away the focus on how to better educate students in the commonwealth.

“I don’t sense the energy and excitement to say we want to make Kentucky’s education system the very best for kids and it feels like we’re settling for something and whenever you settle, someones going to suffer and those are going to be our Kentucky kids,” Brewer said.

It’s expected that the completed bill could be released next week.

No word on when Bevin will call a special session.


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