Governor Beshear touts education plan in Boyd County
BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - With nearly 11,000 teacher positions in Kentucky vacant, Gov. Andy Beshear is touting an education plan he says would help make those positions more attractive.
Beshear promoted the plan Monday evening at Boyd County High School.
The plan includes a 5% pay raise for all public school workers.
“We’ve got to fill every one of these vacancies,” Beshear told a crowd at the school. “We have to pay all of you a whole lot more.”
Kentucky dropped last year from 42nd to 44th in the country in teacher pay.
“The General Assembly can claim they’re providing a bunch of money, but they’re not providing nearly enough,” Beshear said.
The Democratic governor is calling on the Republican-led legislature to reopen the state budget to include the raise and other incentives, which he says would still leave the state with one of the largest budget surpluses it’s ever had.
“If the people of Kentucky raise their voice and say loud and clear this has to be done and we cannot wait, the Legislature better act, otherwise they’ll face the people the next year,” Beshear told WSAZ.
Republican Senate President Robert Stivers has spoken out against doing a pay raise this way, preferring to allow individual districts to have more control over how raises are handled.
Tracie Salyers is the school counselor at Cannonsburg Elementary and also spoke at the event Monday at Boyd County High School.
“It’s just overdue, the raises for teachers, so that we can hire and retain the best and the brightest and the most talented teachers and educators we can for our schools,” Salyers said.
Lawmakers reconvene in Frankfort next week. The legislative session will run through late March.
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