Pensions Causing Tension


Teacher JT Lewis wearing his #APensionIsAPromise shirt. He also attended the rally in Frankfort.

Emmy Ralph and Ryley Ortega


It seems like teachers are being put on the backburner.

The recent senate bill affecting kentucky teachers will have a great impact on the future of education. The way the bill was passed has teachers furious and the Kentucky Teacher Association has named the operation “ a classic legislative bait and switch.” More than 20 counties closed school on April 13 to allow teachers to go protest at the capitol.

Senate bill 1 has many effects on teachers, but one of great concern are pensions. Teachers opposed the reducing benefits proposed in SB1. So in order to get the bill passed, legislatures replaced content of SB151 which was a local provision of wastewater services bill, with the harmful benefits of SB1.

The changes made to pensions has many teachers and their families worried about retirement. Although these changes don’t necessarily effect current teachers as much, it has them worried for the future of education. “Since i’m already in the system the bill didn’t affect me as much but I am still going to look into getting a little bit of extra padding just to make sure nothing like this comes up again and I don’t get caught off guard,” said physics teacher J.T. Lewis.

“I can’t imagine why anyone would go into education right now, it’s a frustrating thing,” said Larry Steinmetz, whereas before he was passionate about teaching and advising people to go into the profession.

Pensions being one of the attractive features of the teaching profession will greatly impact the future of education. A teacher doesn’t go into the job for the money they go into it for the kids. Without the benefits of the pension, it will be harder to entice people into wanting to do the job. “You do it because you like teaching, but the retirement was a nice incentive,” said Lewis.

Many teachers from our staff went to the capitol on friday to protest the governor’s veto on the proposed budget bill. This bill increased funding towards public schools and and the teachers were able to sway the legislators into overriding the governor’s veto. “I think it’s just a shame we had to do it in the first place,” said Lewis.  

Even if they weren’t absolutely for overriding of the veto, many teacher’s put in their sick day as a way to show support for the teachers choosing to rally.

Another harmful benefit included in the new pension plan was the removal of teachers’ sick leave. New teachers coming in will no longer get paid for the sick days that they take. Current teachers will only get paid for the sick days that they have saved up so far. “ if you’re a new teacher you’re never going to have that benefit and that is disappointing,” said Steinmetz.