Teachers plan on being at the State Capitol if a special session on pension reform is called

12/03/2017 10:32 AM

While there’s uncertainty as to if and when a special session will be called by Gov. Matt Bevin to address pension reform, one thing that is certain is that Kentucky teachers plan to be at the state Capitol to voice their concerns to legislators about any changes to the plan.

A number of districts in northern Kentucky have announced plans to close on the second day of a special session to allow their teachers to travel to Frankfort to voice their concerns, in person, to members of the General Assembly.

Two of the first districts in the region to announce plans to shut down are Ludlow Independent and Newport Independent.

Ludlow Superintendent Mike Borchers believes that it’s important to give teachers in his district an opportunity to express their opinions and concerns in person to legislators about something which is so important to their lives and careers.

“These are decisions which will affect every staff member in our district for their lifetime, so it’s not something that we take lightly,” Borchers said. “We feel that our teachers need support, our board felt like they wanted to support our teachers. In essence, it will be like a snow day, and we would make it up for our teachers down the road.”

Borchers, like many superintendents and teachers around the state, favor a shared responsibility plan.

“We have to ask our teachers to give a little more to get the benefits that we are used to getting, our districts are going to have to put more towards it, and have the state change the way that they have operated some things to make an improvement as well,” Borders said. “Regardless of what the new plan is, we are all still aware that there is going to have to be some changes in sources of revenue to help fill the problems of the current pension system.”

Newport Teacher’s Association President Jenna Koroly admits that the current pension talks have been a distraction for educators in the classroom.

“Their focus has been on what’s happening in the legislature and it’s been deflating for some teachers to think, here I am teaching, and I’m working really hard with these students, and is it going to matter?,” Koroly said.

Other northern Kentucky districts joining Newport and Ludlow in taking a “snow day” during a special session include Bellevue, Dayton, Covington and Campbell County.

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