Record number of teachers file to run for General Assembly seats

01/31/2018 09:33 PM

FRANKFORT – Teachers are not happy at what they call an attack on education and they’re fighting back by running for seats in the General Assembly.

Educators gathered in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday for a rally to recognize 40 retired and current teachers and administrators who’ve filed to run for seats in the House and Senate.

Of the 40 educators running for the General Assembly, 34 are teachers and six are administrators.

In total, 23 women and 17 men are running; of which 33 are Democrats and seven are Republicans.

Tina Bojanowski, a special education teacher in Jefferson County, is challenging Rep. Phil Moffett, R-Louisville in the House District 32 general election.

Bojanowski said the movement of educators filing to run began with what they say is an attack on education by the Gov. Matt Bevin and some members of the General Assembly.

“It sort of started with high stakes accountability testing, and educators started tog et worried about education,” Bojanowski said. “Then we had last years session with the charter schools, and this years proposed budget and pension cuts.”

Bojanowski, who has been a resident of District 32 since 1968, feels that her platform will resonate with many voters in the district.

“I would like to hear the voice, the thoughts and concerns of my constituents,” Bojanowski said. “I think working people should have a living wage. I want to take care of those more vulnerable among us.”

Bojanowski feels that having more teachers in the General Assembly will bring about positive change which improves education, not damages it.

“We just need to step up and we need to communicate, and build relationships, and just be logical,” Bojanowski said. “To me, that’s why we stepped up and decided to run because this is not democracy in government as we feel it should be running.”

Jeanie Smith, a Warren County Middle School teacher is opposing incumbent Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, in District 32.

Smith believes that she, as well as other educators who are running for office, have a perspective on the reality of situation that many current legislators do not.

“Teachers are on the front line working to make positive changes for our communities every day,” Smith said. “Education has been under attack for the last several years in particular.”

Smith believes that educators have natural abilities which would lead them to be effective legislators.

“Teachers are natural born leaders,” Smith said. We’re in touch with what’s happening in our community, and we also work every day with students from diverse populations.
We work to facilitate conversation.”

The 2018 primary date is May 22.

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