Northern Kentucky teachers rally in Frankfort to oppose education cuts

Several NKY schools closed Friday
Posted at 2:38 PM, Apr 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-13 13:11:32-04

ERLANGER, Ky. -- Armed with signs, about 100 Lloyd Memorial High School teachers boarded buses Friday morning to rally in support of public education funds at the Capitol. 

Several Northern Kentucky school districts are closed Friday so teachers and other personnel can rally in Frankfort. 

Watch as teachers depart for Frankfort in the player below: 

Teachers from across the state who rallied in Frankfort last week said they plan to rally there again as lawmakers consider overriding Gov. Matt Bevin's veto of tax and budget measures that would've restored many of the funding cuts Bevin recommended.

Melanie Gleason, a teacher at Tichenor Middle School, was among those who left for the Capitol Friday morning. Gleason said she’s going to rally because she’s hoping for an override of the governor’s veto of the budget.

“If you look back to the governor’s original budget, our district would stand to lose $3 million and overall, Northern Kentucky districts would lose about $30 million,” Gleason said.  

Gleason said the possibility of losing extended school services and materials for students is heartbreaking. Issues surrounding teachers’ retirement and pension also affects students, Gleason said, because it could discourage would-be educators from pursuing teaching. 

Gallatin County Schools and Erlanger-Elsmere Schools announced Wednesday they would not be open Friday.

Gallatin school officials wrote in a Facebook post that the "majority of our staff, along with statewide employees, believe that funding cuts and other decisions may negatively impact our district, school and teachers."

Erlanger-Elsmere officials said Bevin's cuts would "severely reduce" kindergarten and preschool services, extracurricular activities, counseling and after-school tutoring, among other programs.

Dayton Independent Schools and Owen County Schools also announced late Thursday night they would close Friday, although neither district specified the walkouts as the reason.

Bellevue Independent Schools will also be closed Friday, Superintendent Robb Smith said on Facebook Thursday. Smith said legislation could impact family after-school programs, kindergarten and preschool services and faculty and staff. 

Other local school officials have also said they would lose significant funding under the plan. Beechwood Superintendent Mike Stacy said that district will lose between $500,000 and $800,000 next year if lawmakers override the veto. Boone County Superintendent Randy Poe said cuts would force the district to lay off 110 staffers.