Governor Beshear Makes Efforts to Give Educators a Raise Through the Neglect from the State.


Governor Andy Beshear speaking at a press conference. Picture taken by WDRB.

Colton Harbolt, Design Editor

When your salary doesn’t keep up with inflation and paying for essentials become more and more difficult with each year, there might be a problem.

The state legislature has failed to deliver a mandated raise to educators, making paying for essentials such as food, gas and electricity difficult as inflation increases each year.

On April 11th, Governor Andy Beshear issued a line-item veto on several parts of House Bill 1 with one of the most important being the 8% raises proposed to government officials and state employees due to the exclusion of teachers in this raise. This neglect of Kentucky’s teachers makes them feel unappreciated and neglected for the hard work they do within their communities. Especially with all of the hard work our teachers do throughout the year, it is important that they know how grateful and appreciated they are as educators.

House Bill 1 gave an 8% raise to Kentucky’s six elected constitutional officers and various state employees like state police and campus security officers, but failed to consider a mandated raise for Kentucky’s educators. “Overall compensation — that’s salary plus all the per diems and the rest for legislators — has grown to a swollen $60,000-plus a year on average, That is more than double, or close to double, what an average Kentuckian makes,” Beshear said in a press conference concerning his line-item veto. Beshear feels that the lack of a mandated raise for teachers has lasted too long and it’s time to give these teachers the raise they deserve for the important work that they do. Since this veto was put in place, it has been overridden.

Along with the issue of no mandated raise for teachers, Beshear also spoke on his line-item veto of House Bill 243, the legislative budget bill. He feels the state legislature gave themselves a raise while the budget could have focused on providing a raise to Kentuckians that could use it more, such as teachers. “The raise they attempted to give themselves,” Beshear said. 

After Beshear’s efforts to speak out on the lack of a raise for teachers and the veto being overridden, teachers within our school have formed their own opinions on these actions by the governor and the state. “ I was encouraged that he was willing to stand up for teachers…. He knew that the veto would be overridden but he did what he could for teachers,” social studies teacher Michael Brangers said. Even through the efforts made by Beshear were overridden, Brangers feels that Beshear did what he could.

While Brangers feels that the governor did what he could for teachers, Nathan Tackett, who teaches in the business department feels that these efforts do not carry as much weight. “It was simply a political statement. I think it was a waste of time for Beshear to veto the measure because the legislature with the super majority will just override it and make it law anyway,” Tackett said. Tackett feels that Beshears motives for the veto were for his public image leading up to his reelection. “It is more of a political move than anything just so Beshear can attempt to shore up teacher votes for his reelection,” Tackett said. 

Disgreguarding the motives behind Beshears line-item veto, teachers have certainly gone too long underpaid and unappreciated. “I feel very under-appreciated when our legislature gives us a 0% raise when inflation sky rockets to 8% while at the same time giving themselves two raises (8% this fiscal year and 11% the next fiscal year). I feel under-appreciated when, year after year, we get increases in pay that are much less than the rate of inflation, meaning we don’t even get a Cost of Living Adjustment,” Tackett said. The long Kentucky teacher’s salary goes neglected by the state, the longer these individuals go with the insufficient funds to pay for essentials while living comfortably at the same time. 

The work teachers do in order to ensure that their students are well educated while helping them feel loved and cared for has made a large impact in the lives of all of their students has not been reflected in their salary but they continue to work and care just as much. It is time that we as a community show our appreciation in any way we could and advocate for the well-deserved raise these teachers lack. Do what you can to support these individuals throughout the time you spend with them in high school, it may mean more than you think.