Kentucky governor says teachers' strike left children vulnerable to sexual assault

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He doesn't feel the teachers are setting a good example for our children.

Bevin also dissed protesting teachers for "hangin' out, shoes off. smokin', leavin' trash around, takin' the day off". More than 30 school districts said they were forced to close because they didn't have enough teachers.

"I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today, a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them", Bevin said.

"Surely as we're having this conversation, children were harmed. some physically, some sexually, some were introduced to drugs for the first time, because they were vulnerable and left's offensive, frankly, it really is", Bevin told the Courier-Journal. Bevin, who offered no evidence for his claims, said he was offended that caretakers would so "cavalierly... skip work" to attend the protest.

A spokesman for the Kentucky Education Association declined to comment on Bevin's remarks.

Protesters overwhelmed Frankfort this past week, crowding the state capital and chanting "A pension is a promise", in response to a surprise bill reworking teachers' pensions.

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"There is no rational comment I could make to that", Winkler said.

Kentucky lawmakers have officially finalized an override of Gov. Bevin's veto of the $480 million tax hike that helps pay for increases in public education spending. But Bevin vetoed both the budget and the money in it, calling the bills "sloppy" and "non-transparent".

The veto puts Republican lawmakers in a tough position, asking them to vote a second time on a tax increase in an election year. On Friday, the state house and senate reversed the veto.

"We have to get this revenue to finance schools", explained a Republican and middle school special education teacher, consultant Regina Huff.

It also seemed odd watching Democrats voting to support a Republican governor, one a lot of them strongly dislike.

"Who is he suggesting would harm kids in this way if they were home or not in school?"

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He acknowledged Bevin's promise to call a special session to enact a better budget if lawmakers sustained his vetoes but then reminded colleagues Bevin promised to call a special session on pension reform.

The House and Senate each voted in two steps to override Governor Matt Bevin's vetoes of the tax increase and the overall budget. Senate President Robert Stivers throw the decisive vote. The vote was 66 to 28 in the House with only four Democrats joining 62 Republicans and 26-12 in the Senate. The demonstrations were inspired by West Virginia teachers, whose nine-day walkout after many years without raises led to a 5 percent pay hike. On April 2, thousands protested at the state Capitol in Frankfort.

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

Pension is often the only income source after leaving the school system; according to the Herald-Leader, retired teachers in Kentucky can not collect Social Security. They are instead focused on education funding and a battle over their pensions.

The measure, sometimes referred to as a "rate-collar", will provide the pension relief government entities desperately needed in order to phase in, over a maximum of 10 years, the full increase in rates passed by the Kentucky Retirement System board last December.

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