As efforts continue to rebuild the eastern Kentucky economy, the quality of the educational system, so dependent on the excellence and commitment of the region’s educators, is a critical part of the solution, as is adequate state support for health care, social services, public protection, and economic development. WMMT aired this report on a Dec. 2, 2017 rally by Letcher County teachers and other state workers who opposed a plan put forth by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and GOP leaders that would drastically overhaul the public pension system, and, the educators say, make it much more difficult to attract and retain the most qualified teachers and other public servants.
At the rally, speakers called on the legislature to keep its promise to provide a livable pension after years of public service, and to address the real issue facing the state – the need for tax reform that raises the revenue necessary to support a high quality educational system and the public services that benefit all Kentuckians. Gov. Bevin did not succeed in calling a special session in 2017, but the issue of pension reform is high on the agenda as the 2018 General Assembly begins. For more information, the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy has outlined possible revenue options to fund the Kentucky pension system, education, and other essential services.