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April 2, 2018

The Latest: Kentucky teachers fill streets for massive rally, traffic slowed to a crawl

The Associated Press

Updated 26 minutes ago (11:30 am)

Teachers and state employees have jammed Frankfort roadways this morning (April 2, 2018) and there is a two hour wait to get to capitol.Teachers and state employees have jammed Frankfort roadways this morning (April 2, 2018) and there is a two hour wait to get to capitol.


FRANKFORT, KY. -- The Latest on a rally by Kentucky teachers at the state Capitol (all times local):

 

10:40 a.m.

Thousands of Kentucky teachers are marching from the Kentucky Education Association office to the steps of the state Capitol to protest last-minute changes to their pension system as lawmakers meet to consider a new state budget.

Chanting "enough is enough" and "we'll remember in November," the line of teachers and school employees stretched for blocks as they traveled toward the Capitol building holding signs.


Teachers have rallied several times during this year's legislative session to protest the pension bill, but Monday's event is shaping up as their biggest.

Many Kentucky school districts are on spring break this week. But some districts not on break had to cancel classes because of teacher absences.

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9 a.m.

Thousands of teachers have gathered in Frankfort to put the political heat on Kentucky lawmakers.

Teachers and other school employees filled the streets outside the Kentucky Education Association office Monday. They held signs and prepared to raise their voices as lawmakers returned to the Capitol to possibly vote on new two-year state budget.

The school employees plan to march to the Capitol, a couple of blocks away, on a cold, overcast day.

Teachers have rallied several times during this year's legislative session to protest a pension bill. But Monday's event is shaping up as their biggest event as lawmakers try to reach agreement on a new budget.

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8:30 a.m.

Kentucky teachers are gathering for a massive rally in hopes of putting political heat on state lawmakers who are returning to the Capitol to possibly consider a new two-year operating budget.

The Kentucky Education Association says a rally is set for Monday at union headquarters in Frankfort, followed by a march to the Capitol.

A small group of teachers and school employees gathered early Monday outside the Capitol Annex, where lawmakers have their offices. A large sign displayed outside the Annex said: "We've Had Enough." Outside the Capitol, a sign said: "You Make Us Sick."

Teachers have rallied several times during this year's legislative session to protest a pension bill. But Monday's event is shaping up as their biggest event as lawmakers try to reach agreement on a new budget.

Many Kentucky school districts are on spring break this week. But some districts not on break had canceled classes Monday because of teachers traveling to the Capitol.

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2:30 a.m.

Kentucky teachers are heading to the state Capitol to rally for education funding.

The rally Monday is happening after hundreds of teachers called in sick Friday to protest last-minute changes to their pension system.

The protest caused nearly two dozen districts to close. Some school districts have called off classes Monday, but much of the state is on spring break.

Lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene Monday to possibly vote on a two-year operating budget.

Teachers' union president Stephanie Winkler said last week that if the budget is not in the best interest of public education, students and public service, "then we will react."

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The Kentucky school closures come as thousands of Oklahoma teachers are expected to walk off the job and just a month after West Virginia teachers carried out a nine-day strike. Recent educator uprisings have swept states where Republicans control both the statehouse and the governor's office — leading some to say the events are part of a "red state revolt."

On Friday, dozens of Kentucky school districts, including Lawrence and Martin Counties were forced to shut their doors after hundreds of teachers staged a "sickout," calling in sick to protest the pension reform measure, which was tacked onto a sewage bill in committee on Thursday and passed within hours by both chambers of the legislature.

 

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