As Kentucky teachers declare victory after the Republican-dominated legislature overrode vetoes from the state’s GOP governor on a spending plan that included new money for education, the question going forward is whether teachers will be able to sustain their momentum into the fall elections, when Republicans will try to defend their supermajority.
Teacher Karen Schwartz brought a sign to Kentucky’s state capitol on Friday declaring “Support our Schools.” But it was her shoes, a comfortable pair of Crocs, that had a bigger message for state lawmakers. “They think we are going to get tired and go home,” she said. “We’re not going to get tired.”
Teachers had been booing Republicans for months after they passed changes to the teachers’ pension system. But Friday, teachers cheered as Republicans voted to override Gov. Matt Bevin’s vetoes.
Those cheers were dampened later when Bevin decried teachers for leaving work to protest at the Capitol, causing more than 30 school districts in the state to close for the day.
Thousands of teachers rallied inside and outside the Capitol on Friday. The rally took on a festival-like atmosphere as some teachers sat in lawn chairs or sprawled out on blankets. The Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young hit “Teach Your Children” bellowed from the loudspeakers. (AP)