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LOOK: Kentucky teachers take over Frankfort to protest pension bill

Today, thousands of school teachers from across the Commonwealth descended upon Frankfort to protest the pension reform bill that was slipped onto the docket Thursday night. Matt, Ryan, and Drew did this morning’s radio show from the Capitol to take in the scene, which was even crazier than they anticipated. Here’s a roundup of pictures and videos, including some really clever signs, many of which reference Kentucky Basketball:








For more on the pension bill, watch the “Hey Kentucky!” segment from last week:

And then listen to today’s podcast if you missed the show this morning:


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

87 Comments for LOOK: Kentucky teachers take over Frankfort to protest pension bill

  1. KTR2786
    1:04 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    Any pension promise made to someone today should be upheld, but given the failings of KY public schools and the growing cost of maintaining a public worker pension system, I find it hard to justify continuing the program. Teachers are vastly important, but they seem to be failing children in this state and the job benefits are incredible.

    • empiremaker
      1:27 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Privatize everything? No performance no pay? and how are teachers failing children? where are parents?

    • Mathlete
      1:38 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Kentucky has been ranked in the top 20 in education nationally the last few years compared to the high 40s 20 years ago. How are we failing, exactly?

    • kittycats9111
      1:40 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Uh, how are the job benefits incredible? They make poor salaries and some have terrible health care plans. I know my wife’s health care plan at her previous district was horrible.And before you say they get summers off: many of them work 10-12 hour days every week during the school year (my wife is a teacher and does this routinely, including weekend work). Average it to 11 hour days and they work 1,980 hours during a 180 day school year. The typical work schedule for a full-time salary job is 2,080 hours.

    • Jiminy Crickets
      2:00 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Teachers do not AVERAGE 11hour days, nice twist from your wife does it “routinely” to “averaging”. Most teachers work about 45 hours a week, with every holiday, spring break, fall break, Christmas break, snow days, “teacher days”. When actual hours worked are compared to their annual salary, they make over $20/hr. Then after 20 years, they retire, and can still teach double dipping the system.
      Is being a teacher a lucrative job? Nope, but I bet they are paid higher HOURLY than 60% of the people on here.

    • njCat
      3:14 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      And those 60% will qualify for social security, unlike the teachers.

    • Cmstew502
      3:54 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Why would they need social security if they’re already getting paid?

    • east-ky-boy
      6:40 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      They won’t draw social security when they retire because Ky won’t allow them to pay into it. My wife is a teacher and if I pass away she can’t even draw mine. Their only source of retirement is the pension that will eventually be taken away. And for the record, 13% of their pay goes to a pension that has been robbed.

    • catdaddyd
      12:29 am April 3, 2018 Permalink

      They have a college degree, go out and get a real job.

    • wesmorgan1
      3:49 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      “the growing cost of maintaining a public worker pension system”?

      You did read the actuarial report prepared on the system before this bill was pushed through, didn’t you?

      You know, the one that showed that the pension fund would basically “self-heal” in the next 20-25 years as long as current funding levels were maintained, with no cuts to benefits?

      The one Bevin and the GOP ignored?

      That report?

    • wesmorgan1
      4:20 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Hey, Jiminy Crickets: My daughter is an elementary teacher.

      Her typical “school day” is 0700-1630, and she deals with 130+ students every day. (The “school day” ends around 1515, but she has to ‘recover’ her room from the day and prep for the next day.) Then, she usually brings home work (papers to grade, lesson plans to review, etc.) that consumes 6-8 additional hours each week. 2-3 hours on Saturday or Sunday afternoon are consumed with review/planning for the week to come.

      If you’re counting, we’re up to a lowball estimate of 49.5 + 6 + 2 = 57.5 hours/week. Oh, wait, we forgot to add time for the after-hours staff meetings, meetings with her mentor teacher, parent conferences, and other mandatory school events as they arise (e.g. concerts, performances, PTA nights, etc).

      They’re on spring break this week – and, as I’m typing this, she’s in the next room laminating/cutting materials for her classroom. She spent two weeks before school began getting her classroom and materials in shape. She went in for several days over fall break and Christmas break to prep her room/materials for the students’ return.

      So, yeah, 60 hours/week. Easily.

    • east-ky-boy
      6:06 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      You are an idiot!!!!! My wife can’t draw social security (she’s a teacher). Not even mine if I die. Her ONLY source of retirement is the pension she has been paying into for years. Let someone steal from you and see what you would do you stupid moron

  2. catsarerunnin
    1:09 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    I fully support teachers

    • 4everUKblue
      1:45 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink


    • Cletis75
      7:40 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Would like to see all teachers take a full week off. Shut down the schools state wide for one week and see where ol’ one termer Matt Bevin turns to next!

    • Cletis75
      7:44 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      The only way they get anything is to stand united. Just like the state flag says. Our forefathers warned us of all of the corrupt a$$holes that would be coming.

  3. sprtphan
    1:32 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    This problem should have been addressed years ago but dems had no balls for it. Thank you Steve and Andy for no action. Alternative is do nothing and let plan go broke.

    • Mathlete
      1:37 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      It was actually doing fine until late 2007/early 2008 when every market simultaneously took a sharp dive during the recession. Nearly every pension system across the country took a devastating hit at that point

    • Jiminy Crickets
      2:03 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      And so it is. Many private companies no longer offer pensions. Ford and GM were both quoted during the bail out that over 20% of the cost of every vehicle sold was directly paid to employees that no longer worked there.

    • sprtphan
      5:59 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      None match the 40 BILLION that this fund is in the hole.

  4. Eazy
    1:35 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    Wow, this is awesome. Bevin and his cronies are pathetic. They only care about the wealthy and big business.

    • bigblue6
      2:27 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Some of them may also care about not raiding yours, and mine, and everyone’s paycheck to continually prop up a broken pension system that pays people for years not to work…. but i guess it is easier when they are all just evil.

    • east-ky-boy
      6:41 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Dude, these teachers paid into the pension themselves, our state “borrowed” from it and never paid it back. So it’s going bankrupt. Obviously you’re ignorant to this

  5. sprtphan
    1:38 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    Where else can you work for 10 years and get a pension at 55. Wonder why plan is bankrupt.

    • Mathlete
      1:40 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Where can you work 10 years and get a pension? Besides the legislators’ pension fund, that is. The Teachers’ fund requires 27 years of service (at well below market pay).

    • RealCatsFan
      2:31 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Seriously? Sign me up!

    • ClutchCargo
      4:23 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      That’s not accurate, Mathlete. You can actually retire at age 60 with at least 5 years of service time.

    • east-ky-boy
      6:42 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      But not draw much at all. Your pension pay is based off how much you paid in. Y’all don’t know what you’re talking about.

  6. bigblue6
    1:38 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    Pensions are quickly becoming obsolete. It simply makes no sense for a company or government to pay someone not to work (in some cases several decades). Put them on a 401k system like almost everyone else and let them take some responsibility for their own retirement. Should there be some transition to help teachers in their 50s and 60s who can’t easily change their retirement strategy? Sure. Should a 30 year old who has been teaching for 5 years or so plan on getting a pension? Absolutely not.

    And one last point, it is off putting seeing children in these protest. They are unknowingly advocating to indebt their own community and raise there future taxes. Pass.

    • Mathlete
      1:41 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      If you’re going to transition to a private system, you have to start paying them at market rate and allow them to qualify for social security or you’ll have no one wanting the job

    • bigblue6
      1:44 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Mathlete, agree on social security 100%. Was surprised to learn they were not in it in the first place. On a side note, I’d gladly turn my own SS off if I could invest it myself.

    • lexslamman
      3:38 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Pensions are already unsustainable. As we go through the demographic crunch caused by the retirement of Baby Boomers (Fewer working people per retiree), pensions are going to come crashing down and bankrupt many states and communities. We have to do away with pensions.

    • antiquefurnitureandmidgets
      4:24 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      What market Mathlete?

  7. Decker
    1:38 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    See the problem is people still don’t get what the bill did and didn’t do and what the teachers are protesting. As it turns out NOTHING with the pension plan was changed for any CURRENT teacher. Only small exception was sick days being paid out in the pension.

    Now the teachers realized this albeit a bit late since they, rightly so, were angry since. One was given a heads up about the bill and had assumed the worse

    So why are they still protesting? Because they feel schools are underfunded for all levels of programming. Now that’s probably a decent argument but people this is not about pension being taken away from teachers that had been given or promised it already.

    • Mathlete
      1:48 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      There’s (at least) 2 reasons to protest –

      1) The legislators crapped all over the process that’s legally required to happen in order to pass this bill. They literally bypassed every requirement for a bill that’s designed to affect any of the pension systems to vote on it at the 11th hour of a failed session.

      2) Teachers aren’t short-sighted enough to care only about their own necks. The bill guts the main reason new teachers stay in the profession – a guaranteed pension and fairly young retirement. They’re badly underpaid, they work insane hours, and they put up with infinite amounts of nonsense (imagine a low-paying customer service job that mostly deals with children, gets micromanaged by someone who has never done the job, and also requires you to get a Masters degree to get it).

      The new system will push young teachers out of the state. The full effect won’t be felt for probably about 10-15 years, but there will be a severe shortage of teachers and a whole new crisis to deal with then.

    • bigblue6
      1:59 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Mathlete, I am not unsympathetic to your cause but must take issue with your second point. Dealing with children who you have at least some authority to discipline is easier then dealing with competitive adults and customers in the business world. My statement is obviously not true in all circumstances but the point is that teachers put with no more nonsense then any other job and likely experience less pressure since there is rarely money, jobs, contracts etc on the line. And i believe the pay reflects that.

      I just fine the woe is me mentality off putting, especially after fraudulently using sick days to cancel entire school districts, deputizing children to protest, etc

    • wesmorgan1
      4:25 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink


      “the point is that teachers put with no more nonsense then any other job”….HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!

      By all means, tell us how teachers who (for instance) have to deal with 130+ children every day “put up with no more nonsense than any other job”.

      You seem to have a mental image in which the students file into class, take their seats, and are immediately (and fully) receptive to learning…which they all complete as expected while treating both their teachers and other students with respect.

      In other words – Fantasyland.

    • bigblue6
      5:00 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      I’ll see if I can think of some Wes:

      -Some salesmen have to put up with absurd requests from clients (late/early calls, strip clubs, travel), have to compete with other salesmen and have to meet difficult quotas. Likely no pension and their pay is tied to success.

      – Some manufacturing supervisors have to work alternation shifts, navigate union rules for their workforce, wrangle malingerers and lazy workers, and deal with crass language. No pension.

      – Construction foremen deal with all the above and add in working outside year round. No pension

      – Military NCOs deal with grueling hours, long travel, disciplining young and unruly Soldiers, negotiating with shrewd and potentially dangerous foreigners. They do get a pension but only if they can keep getting promoted for 20 years which is competitive and requires staying in good health and physical condition.

      – Prison guards, no shortage of nonsense here. I’d guess most get a pension.

      – Restaurant owners, young and often transient staff, ultra competitive industry, complaining customers. Lots of nonsense, no pension.

      Look no one is saying teaching is easy, but they certainly don’t have a monopoly on dealing with nonsense!

  8. david8577
    1:56 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    We need to keep the pension for everyone that got the promise, but ditch it for everyone else (new hires). Pay them a bit more, match some amount to a 401k, the way the rest of industries work. My 401k is never underfunded unless I don’t fund it. There’s a lot of peace of mind knowing that the money is in YOUR account.

    • Kernel Sanders
      2:25 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Do you also have peace of mind knowing that if your chosen 401k investments completely tank that you will still have a monthly check from Social Security? Because with this bill, the new hires will not.

    • yitbos93640
      2:40 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Kernel…I would tell them, welcome to the real world. Nothing is 100% safe, be smart with your investments, and don’t depend on SS, because it’s not going to be there for you when you retire. I’m already told by the government to expect 75% of my “benefit”. When I retire, I will be lucky to get 50% of my “benefit” that I’ve paid in to for 45+ years.

    • njCat
      3:12 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Everyone out there with a 401(k) can also count on monthly income from social security… except the future teachers in KY.

      And with the lousy salaries they are paid, how much are they going to be able to contribute to their pensions. These folks are going to be homeless when they retire.

    • wesmorgan1
      4:27 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Did you read the actuarial report on the current system (before the Bevin/GOP changes)? Basically, the system was on track to self-heal and reach “fully funded” state 20-25 years from now, with no cuts in benefits, as long as current funding levels were maintained.

      Under the Bevin/GOP “reform”, it will actually take six years longer and require an additional $5 billion to reach that state.

      In other words, they kicked the can down the road AND hosed future teachers.

  9. wildcatfan20
    2:01 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    The guy posing with his kids while wearing a “Thug?” shirt looks like Kyle Wiltjer 10 years after his playing days are over…

  10. huehue
    2:14 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    So much crying – it’s ridiculous.

    I seriously hope the teachers are OK after they transition their outdated pension plans into 401k’s. The silver lining is that even if they are sad – they are the only profession out there that can take off 3.5 months per year to heal.
    Even now, teachers complain while being off work for “Spring Break” ROFL.

    That Government teet sure it tough to be weaned off of.

    • Kernel Sanders
      2:29 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      How would you feel if your boss told you that you could participate in that 401k yet never collect Social Security? You think anybody will teach children for that cushy teat?

    • huehue
      2:46 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      I’d just be an adult and move on. If I was that upset about it – I’d find employment elsewhere.
      OR, I’d just take my 3.5months off per year, figure out my salary if I worked a full year like everyone else, and then laugh myself to sleep.

    • Dragon
      6:07 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      So try to be an adult and move on from the teachers situation. Doesn’t concern you right? Also 3.5 months… tell? Sounds a tad mad since I’m sure you signed up for your job at McDonald’s knowing you would eventually get a vacation

    • Kernel Sanders
      2:58 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      That’s asinine. Have you considered the future of this state when huge #’s of teachers and prospective teachers decide to just find employment elsewhere? Good grief, I guess it’s not hard to understand why Kentucky perpetually lags in education.

    • Bobbum Man
      3:04 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      HueHue mad

    • huehue
      3:07 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Asinine? Really?
      I worked a sales job for a brief stint. I feel like it’s a pretty easy pitch as-is:
      “Would you like ~$10k/yr above the state average salary, better benefits than most employers, and an “asinine” amount of time off work?

      Also I’m pretty sure there are programs out there to help forgive college loans.
      To summarize, more than average pay working way less than anything out there.

      Change always gets people thinking emotionally. Try to not think of the deal they had vs the deal they have.. but instead, the deal to a student entering the workforce who hasn’t already been teat-fed.

    • Dragon
      6:09 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Yes there are programs however, each teacher is required to get a masters but not all will receive that grant

    • Kernel Sanders
      3:46 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Huey you still fail to grasp the point. You give great advice to anyone that is looking to avoid being a teacher. Please explain, going forward with new teacher hires that will not have the ability to collect social security, how exactly this state will attract and retain quality teachers. Would you advise your child to get an Education degree, have to continue to get a Masters, take continuing Ed classes, and not be eligible for Soctal Security? Probably not. Now look at it from the perspective of the crippling effect running off quality teachers will have on this state, rather than the perspective of “well those prospective teachers can just go do something else if they can’t make ends meet and have no retirement future”.

    • J-Dub421
      3:54 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      You weren’t required to have an expensive Masters degree for your sales job. All teachers are required to have a Masters degree. Also, are you going to stay home and teach/educate your own children when there are no more teachers?

    • huehue
      4:06 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Again – I think it’s an easy pitch.

      I would encourage my kid to investigate all options and make an informed decision. IF they wanted to make better than an average salary, and have far more time away from work than any other profession known to man – then they would become a teacher.

      Some people like to explore multiple facets in life. What other profession offers you the ability to just peace out for months on end and do what you want? There is none.

      Consider this… In KY, someone and goes and gets a standard business degree that everyone has. They will be lucky (especially in the short-term) to come away with a job @ equal pay to teachers and you best damn well believe they wont be taking off huge chunks of the year and being off 90% of weekends.
      They also likely won’t have the guaranteed job that comes with being a teacher for 5 years in a location (tenure).

      Again, guaranteed employment with guaranteed raises (although reduced as of this bill), and guaranteed absurd amounts of time off.
      That is so much better than most of the gigs out there.

      @J-dub421, I only did sales in college. I only got a bachelors and there were no programs in place to help me pay back my loans (as are in place for teachers). Your second statement is based in emotion and isn’t worth responding to. No matter what this bill does, as stated earlier, the teacher gig is still better than most out there unless your only concern is big money…

  11. Kernel Sanders
    2:34 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    Now that this sewer bill is public, here are some effects (from a teacher):

    1) it cuts benefits for ALL state workers (including firefighters, police, and first responders).
    2) gets rid of a state funded death benefit for ALL state workers.
    3) it makes all changes that SB 1 would have that were not illegal in regards to teacher pensions.
    a) it caps sick day accruals at of the end of this year
    (disproportionately affecting women who have chosen
    to take maternity leave).
    b) disallows the sick day accumulation payout to be
    calculated in with your top 5 years for pension (lowering
    the pensions of all current teachers).

    All somewhat okay, but…

    c) it moves all new teacher hires into a cash-hybrid
    retirement plan with no defined benefits (plans that
    shift all risk onto a retiree, and one who is not eligible
    for the defined benefit everyone else gets of social
    d) it does away with the inviolable contract for all new
    hires (meaning the state can decide to lessen their
    contribution at any time because there is no contract
    protecting the rights of the worker).
    e) it shifts a larger burden of the funding to local cities,
    districts, and communities (over 2/3 of which are
    already struggling to stay afloat with inflation,
    dwindling tax base, and fewer dollars in state help)

    What does this bill NOT do?

    Make any meaningful dent in our unfunded state pension liability, as that can only be done with more revenue, which was not discussed. However, we wouldn’t know for sure because there is also no released actuarial analysis or local impact statement for this bill (as is required for a bill to be passed). Most meaningful impact stated (and it was a guess) is that this bill will save the state $550 M over 20 years by switching to the new cash hybrid plan the total unfunded liability of all pensions ($41B-$60B, of which $15B is for teachers).

    So why pass it?

    Gives Governor and GOP a seeming win that they promised with pension reform.

    Improves our credit rating by shifting funding responsibility and future liability away from state (and onto local communities).

    Strips new teacher hires of an inviolable contract, leaving them vulnerable to future smash and grabs, as all other state workers were as of 2013 (and this bill reduces their benefits because they don’t have that contract).

    Further weakens the loud collective voice of the Kentucky worker by stripping new teachers of that inviolable contract that they can collectively fight for.

    This started in 2016 by making Kentucky a right to work state. Then passing charter school legislation. This is the ALEC playbook that we have seen devastate state workers and teachers in places like Kansas, Oklahoma, Michigan, North Carolina, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Bust unions, take away the power these groups have to collectively bargain, raid pensions, and bring in charter schools to “save” the underfunded, beleaguered public school system.

    Sad day for our legislature in how this bill was passed, but a sadder day for public education, as this will affect our ability to hire and retain the best teachers for years to come.

    • bigblue6
      2:59 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Thanks for the analysis as I enjoy reading both sides arguments.

      Regarding your point C- All risk of retirement should be on the retiree. This is a good thing. No one should get paid 60 years for 40 years of work. it would be nice, no doubt. But it doesn’t make sense. There is a reason its not working, there are reasons virtually no company does this any more.

      Again I am not unsympathetic- it is unpleasant that pensions are becoming obsolete and there is certainly stress in taking on the responsibility of one’s own retirement. But it can be done.

    • njCat
      3:23 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      There is going to be a REAL crisis in the future when people try to survive for 40 years on just their savings. 98% of the public is not capable of managing their own pension accounts. Many will leave it in money market funds earning .05% after they see the stock market do what it’s done the past two months.

    • Mathlete
      4:04 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      98% of the population isn’t capable of effectively managing a monthly budget while they’re still working, let alone putting money away for the future

    • 3Goggles
      3:36 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Doesn’t the hybrid plan allow for a 19% match from the state?

    • Kernel Sanders
      3:53 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Bigblue6, I did not write that, just copied it. Are you eligible for Social Security? I would be fine if they dumped the pension, instituted a 401k plan AND allowed the new hires to be Social Security eligible. They will have NO guaranteed retirement income because all future teacher hires (as well as current teachers) do not participate in Social Security retirement. So any prospective teacher will likely be moving to a different state.

    • bigblue6
      4:46 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Good points Kernel, I do have social security but don’t forget that Social Security is no more guaranteed then the KY pension system was before the vote, it is merely beholden to the whims of a different legislative body. If I could op out I’d do it.

  12. nybrasky
    2:40 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    All I know is that Jacqueline deserves a raise for that Biggie sign alone. Phenomenal!

  13. rickwhitetx
    3:30 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    Kentucky SPORTS Radio … Not Kentucky Politics Radio

  14. pillsboy
    3:31 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    To the clown who said teachers only work 45 hours a week. I’m a true trump supporter and and married to a dedicated teacher who leaves the house at 7 am and comes home on average about 6:30 pm. And works many Saturdays, and does grading 2 hours minimum a night. I estimate she works all total of 90 hours a week. You are stupid to make such a foolish stament!!!!

  15. lexslamman
    3:36 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    1) I don’t mind seeing this kind of content on KSR, but KSR has never pretended to be objective. I would prefer objective journalism covering these kinds of topics to cheerleading for a particular side of the argument and a specific world view.
    2) Public pensions are ridiculous and should have been phased out years ago, but they weren’t. And so this is the mess we find ourselves in. Defined benefit plans don’t make sense in today’s world – healthcare, child care, retirement, long-term care, disability care and social welfare should all be individual responsibilities based around choice, not social mandates that restrict individual choice.
    3) Pay people what you promised them, then phase out pensions for everyone else.
    4) Further restrict the striking power of public employees’ unions, like those which represent teachers. The state can’t accept this kind of disruption.
    5) The way this was done is shady and unfair to Kentuckians. The politicians should be ashamed of themselves.

  16. ART
    3:38 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    I log on to KSR for University of Kentucky Sports.
    So sick of politics and division. Can find that anywhere anytime everywhere whenever I want.
    Your blowing a golden platform idea that has over the top success covering UK Sports. Please go back to when all we received from KSR was information about Kentucky Athletics. Please stop the political messages and reporting.
    If Matt is so interested in running for office and it’s in his blood so deep that he can’t get up in the morning without thinking about it, he should just do it and stop promoting politics on KSR.
    Many of us just want to get away from politics, for just a little bit, and follow our beloved Wildcat Program “all by itself”!
    Remember when KSR began? Covering UK Sports was all it was and look what happened.
    Thank you for this opportunity.

  17. mhs1964
    3:38 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    This state and I’m not sure any entity can continue to guarantee a lifetime pension plus health benefits that can start before one reaches the age of fifty. My wife was a teacher out of college. Other teachers who started with her retired, many at age 49, with immediate full benefits. Many then sought jobs in the private sector and are eligible for social security benefits as well. With the current life expectancy for women, they stand to collect a pension for more years than they taught. As has been said on this forum the tax payers no longer have pensions and I find it unfair that government workers think it is their right though those of us paying for it have had their’s rescinded in the past few years.

    • Kernel Sanders
      4:00 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      To clarify, your wife will get zero credit for social security wages due to her teacher’s salary. Yes of course she can pay into SS for work after she retired from teaching. Seems right. Taxpayers mostly don’t have pensions, they have 401k’s with Social security to supplement that. Fair would be ditching the pension, goING to a 401k option AND figuring out how to let them pay into and later collect SSI as a defined benefit.

  18. cal1
    3:39 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    I certainly love our teachers and can sympathize with them losing some benefits going forward. That is not in question.

    They, however, seem to present a protest that’s somewhat “tone deaf” to those that pay their salaries and risk a backlash at some point.

    First, they will be getting 401k defined contribution plans going forward. Most tax-payers have 401ks that are mostly self-funded, not the defined benefit pensions that the teachers have been receiving. A typical worker would need hundreds of thousands sitting in an 401K account to receive the kind of life-time pension benefits that teachers are receiving. So, is it the teachers union’s answer to raise the burden on the tax payers; those who don’t have these cadillac benefits and who work “insane hours” for twelve-month years in the real world? I would rather the teachers negotiate their compensation packages with their employers and pursue other opportunities if they aren’t satisfied with what they have, like everyone else.

    The state is said to be 3 billion dollars in debt. This mess was created long before Matt Bevin became governor. It landed in his lap and he is the first governor willing to admit the grim reality of state’s finances. The massive debt load is there due to 5+ decades of grossly-negligent management. Prior administrations made promises without providing for adequate funding or financial prioritization. Unfortunately, the governor and the current state legislature must now make the unpopular and painful cuts to avoid credit downgrades, or face massive tax hikes or bankruptcy. Where are the protests aimed at the prior administrations that weren’t looking out for the teacher’s best interests?

    I only wish the Federal government could also come to grips with reality before it’s too late. Unfortunately, though, acting like a responsible adult puts a legislator at high risk of losing elections.

    • wesmorgan1
      4:40 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      “Tone deaf to those who pay their salaries”?

      You do know the salary schedule for Kentucky teachers, right?

      The state minimum salary for a new teacher (with BA/BS degree) is $29,804.

      Now, they have to start their MA/MS in their first 5 years and complete it within 10 years, or they lose their teaching certification. The state minimum salary for a MS/MA + 10 years’ experience? $40,900.

      Kentucky has 173 school districts. Some are comparatively wealthy and can pay well above the minimum, but many more districts are not. So, there isn’t much parity across school districts when it comes to pay.

    • cal1
      8:05 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Yes, “tone deaf”.

      The state minimum salary for a new teacher (with BA/BS degree) is $29,804. – That’s certainly more than the starting salaries for most jobs in small town Kentucky. Also, yes that’s a rather defined salary expectation and so becoming a teacher would be a choice taken by a free person with that expectation. Hey, if that doesn’t satisfy someone, they can choose something other line of work, or another job that requires work for 9.5 months per year and has a DB pension plan that pays full benefits at age 50 (hey, there aren’t any). Again, teachers should be free to negotiate their own compensation package based on their record of performance and free-market salaries, like anyone else. More power to them!! However, relying on taxpayers to to continue an asinine pension plan that pays teacher over their lifetimes for leaving the profession at an early age only to be employed somewhere else will lead to sure financial ruin when these teachers live to 85-90 years old.

      In the real world, when a business is swimming in debt due to incompetent leadership, very hard decisions must be made to cut expenses and carve out a direction for the company to survive. Those decisions may cause stress, anger, and heartache for those that are impacted and those that must manage through the situation. People in the real world deal with this or move on, they don’t “protest” and skip out on work. Governments are losing their immunity from this reality only because the state and country are in such dire straits financially that it can no longer be hidden by the incompetent politicians that caused the problems. No longer can we taxpayers stick our heads in the sand and listen to emotional sound bites for direction.

      So how else does the state hope to cut its expenses? Medicaid? Health and Hospitals? Police? Jails? Highways? Do we cut those so that teachers can continue to receive lifetime pensions?

  19. jaws2
    3:50 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    I’m 65 and paid into SS from the time I was 17. No one ‘matched’ this money, the US government stole from the fund, and moved the target date for maximum distribution. I’m confident the government hopes I die prior to 70-75 so the payouts will cost them less.I took early SS because it only cost me $90 a month. I’ll cut back on a few quality cigars a month!
    There are several issues I have with this teacher ‘protest’:
    1. No one made these people choose their occupation.
    2. They ALL knew it was a low paying job.
    3. They ALL knew they could get early retirement AND still work, therefore double dipping.
    4. I’ve paid for MY SS taxes for 47 years AND paid for the teachers retirement those 47 years. Oh, and I have to continue to pay taxes on my SS that I ALREADY paid for!
    5. NO ONE is paying decent health insurance cost for the rest of my life but me. I’ll STIL be paying for teachers!
    6. What’s been MY ROI from the public education system for the last 47 years? Well, we’re better than Mississippi! Riddle me this; if KY public teachers are so valuable and deserve more pay and unbelievable benefits, than why are our students uneducated?
    7. Other than some European countries, who gets a month off very year let alone 3?!
    8. Public schools totally lost me with revisionist history, the elimination of civics, dropping school prayer (even coaches on the field or locker room), and dropping the pledge of allegiance.
    9. Oh, and sending kids out to protest on my dime for issues they haven’t been taught to even comprehend.
    I have zero empathy for another group of ‘entitled’ people in America. Supposedly they’re all adults, so grow up and move on.

    • wesmorgan1
      4:42 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      10. GET OFF MY LAWN!

    • peaches76
      4:47 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Jaws, you’ve revised some history there yourself. A lLOT of educators don’t agree with what’s happened to public education thanks to liberals and the ACLU. But the vast majority still try to perform their jobs…unlike the birth mothers and fathers of the children delivered to their classrooms each day. But let’s blame the teacher.

    • jaws2
      6:47 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Nope, I didn’t revise anything. The ‘educators’ and the teachers union LET the ACLU do their thing. Because, well, that’s what they do!

  20. John Henry
    4:14 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    Simple solution. You need revenue to fund pensions. That is the problem in Kentucky, lack of funds. Since a state can not print money the only money they can get is through taxes. So let the people, all of the people who are eligible voters, vote. Put a special tax on the ballot and see how it goes. If the residents of Kentucky want to fund this they can vote to raise state taxes. If not, then the teachers can march and protest till the cows come home. Or find another job.

    • jaws2
      4:35 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Nah, all they have to do is end the ridiculous notion of busing in Jefferson county. That’ll do it.

    • antiquefurnitureandmidgets
      4:39 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      John Henry nailed it. Don’t believe the public rhetoric. Everyone can support the teachers on KSR and twitter but if the public REALLY supported teachers the way it virtue signals, this problem wouldn’t exist.

    • wesmorgan1
      4:47 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Kentucky gives away more in tax deductions, credits, exemptions and incentives than it collects in tax revenues.

      Every single year.

      We’re talking more than $2.5 billion/year in tax revenue that the government gives up.

      Tourism credits (hotel renovations), sales tax incentives (like Ark Encounter), property tax giveaways (oh, you’ll build a Wal-Mart? No property taxes for 10 years!), film incentives…and on and on and on.

      They could increase revenue from quite a few of those sources, without touching individual taxes.

      Instead, the GOP just raised taxes on a LOT of Kentuckians (everyone in the 2%, 3%, and 4% brackets will now pay 5% income tax) while giving yet another tax cut to the rich (corporate income tax cut to 5%, individuals in the 5.6% and 6% income tax brackets will now only pay 5%). Oh, and they also eliminated the deductions for local taxes paid, medical expenses, after-tax health insurance premiums…

    • wesmorgan1
      5:03 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Oh, wait, there’s more!

      Taking your car to the mechanic? That’s going to be taxed now.

      Taking your dog or cat to the vet? That’s going to be taxed now.

      Having your suit dry cleaned? That’s going to be taxed now.

      Going to a movie, play, concert or sporting event? Those tickets will now be taxed.

      The exemption from taxation of the first $41K of pension income? That’s cut to $31K, so more retirees will have to pay taxes on some portion of their pensions. (Average KTRS teacher’s pension currently pays $37K/year)

    • sprtphan
      6:08 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

      Unfortunately that’s what takes to fill a 40 billion dollar hole created by previous administrations.

    • 3Goggles
      9:02 am April 3, 2018 Permalink

      That is patently false. The tax rate was just CUT not raised. If you made $75,001+ you were taxed at 6%. If you made $8,001 – $75,000 you were taxed at 5.8%. Everyone that makes more than $8,000 will not be taxed at 5%. 5.8%>5% just in case you werent sure.

      Oh and your sales/service tax? That is a tax on what is SPENT, as it should be. It should be the earners decision where their money goes. Taxes on dry cleaning, golf courses, private clubs and luxury services are CHOICES. Who spends more on these services? Those that make less than $75,000 a year? No! The wealthy spend on these services. This is an indirect tax on the wealthy, but that doesnt fit your CNN narrative, does it.

  21. east-ky-boy
    6:48 pm April 2, 2018 Permalink

    My wife just got home from protesting. For the record, this is more than just pension stuff. They are fighting for public education in general. Our governor HATES public schools. He ultimately wants to go to private and charter schools only.

    • 3Goggles
      9:12 am April 3, 2018 Permalink

      Hates public school? The new pension plan doesn’t affect any current retirees or current employees. New employees will get an 18% contribution to a 401(k) that will be guaranteed up to 85%! My employer doesn’t contribute anything, instead they match…up to 6%. This change in retirement plan is on pace with everyone else in the country as a best practice. We are late in adopting.

      As for school funding….it doesn’t look like they cut anything unless i’m mistaken. Any proposed cuts were not included in the budget. They want more, but unfortunately, there isnt any more to give since the pension problem has been kicked down the road for 40 years. The bell is tolling now on those sins.

      Now, there are several major sources of income that the GOP refuses to consider that is hurting Kentucky big time:
      1) Casino’s/Gambling in Kentucky
      2) Legalize marijuana and tax the hell out of it
      3) Politician pension and pay reform

      Do this, and there is more money to invest in our school system and teachers.

  22. catdaddyd
    12:28 am April 3, 2018 Permalink

    Those who can’t do , teach.

    • 3Goggles
      9:04 am April 3, 2018 Permalink

      This adds nothing. Teachers are the backbone of society and should be regarded as such. The career sacrifice they make in order to educate generations is one of the greatest gifts to our community.