Teachers protesting in Frankfort today for education funding

One Kentucky school district cancels for Friday rally. Where do others stand? | Lexington Herald Leader

Several schools in northern Kentucky are closed Friday as teachers rally in Frankfort.

The House voted 57-40 to override the veto of the tax increase and 66-28 to override the veto of the budget.

"My team and I have spent the past 10 days with tax experts, as well as legislative leaders and staff, analyzing, scoring and attempting to correct House Bill 366, the revenue bill that Gov. Bevin vetoed", State Budget Director John Chilton said in a statement released by Bevin on Twitter.

More than thirty districts across the state have already canceled classes in response to a surge of teachers requesting time off.

"I cannot support a proposal that ignores fiscal reality and continues to kick the can of financial responsibility down the road", Bevin said previously of his decision to veto the budget and tax bills.

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If every one of the 212 film projects approved so far this year gets made, the resulting bill to taxpayers would be enough to wipe out nearly all of the $500 million in new revenue the state expects to collect over the next two years from a tax overhaul plan lawmakers approved last week to help balance Kentucky's budget. But Bevin vetoed both the budget and the money in it, calling the bills "sloppy" and "non-transparent". Observers expect close votes on the overrides. But not rejecting the vetoes means the state government won't have money to operate for the next two years.

Lawmakers have the opportunity to override the vetoes on Friday or Saturday, but haven't indicated whether they will, except to say Bevin's interpretations of the bills are "misguided".

"Crickets", Bevin tweeted, adding he vowed to call a special session to pass a new budget if lawmakers approved his vetoes.

The unrest comes amid teacher protests in Oklahoma and Arizona over low funding and teacher pay.

In Oklahoma, teachers ended two weeks of walkouts on Thursday, shifting their focus to electing pro-education candidates in November.

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Kentucky teachers haven't asked for a raise.

Earlier this month, thousands filled the Kentucky Capitol to oppose pension changes. The tax bill also proposes a 6% sales tax on a variety of services, including auto and home repairs and funding for education.

Kentucky's lawmakers have struggled with the complexities of passing a two-year state budget, searching for education funding and trying to fix one of the country's worst-funded pension systems.

Teachers are also upset over cuts to pension benefits for state workers - the biggest cuts will be felt by future teachers, who will be moved out of the conventional pension system.

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