‘This isn’t right’: Clark teachers stage walk in to protest SB 151

Published 12:57 pm Thursday, April 12, 2018

Clark County Public School teachers made sign after sign Tuesday evening advocating for support of education as well as rallying in protest against the passing of Senate Bill 151, which Gov. Matt Bevin signed into law Tuesday.

“Defend Public Education,” “Support our valued education,” “Support Public Schools,” “Support Teachers,” “Wear Red for Ed,” “Find Funding First,” “A Pension is a Promise,” the signs read.

Teachers hung the signs around George Rogers Clark High School before an open house. Some teachers and students even stood outside as parents and children walked into the building.

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Brian Foudray, an English teacher at GRC, wrote in an email that the Clark County Education Association hosted the walk-in to let the community know educators in Clark County are still engaged in the debate over the state’s role inadequately funding public education and public pensions.

The association chose to do a walk-in to show the community how educators decided to be in school to support students, families and the community, according to the email.

“I can’t speak for everyone, but I think most who participated in the walk-in agree that the recent anti-public education and anti-teacher proposals, bills, vetoes and comments coming from Frankfort are not in the best interests of our schools, our students or our communities,” Foudray said. “We wanted to let the parents of our students and all of Clark County know that we feel there is no less than an assault on public education and teachers happening right now in our state. We intend to fight it, but we need the help of everyone in our community to prevail.”

SB 151 puts teachers hired after Jan. 1, 2019, on a hybrid cash balance plan, which differs from a traditional pension. It would also require teachers to work longer before becoming eligible for retirement and would limit new sick days teachers can put toward their retirement.

Foudray said during this legislative session, there have been several “anti-education and anti-teacher proposals” put forth in Frankfort. The proposals included a plan to shift large portions of the financial burden for public education, including bus transportation for students and retired employee health care costs, from the state down to the counties and local school districts, he said.

“This isn’t right,” Foudray said. “It isn’t fair to our students, our families, our community or our state.”

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email lashana.harney@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0015.

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