Bevin destroying education instead of raising revenue

Published 8:43 am Thursday, February 1, 2018

Dear Editor,

There is no doubt about it — the Bevin administration is targeting education to avoid raising revenue in our state. 

Take for instance the threat to health insurance for current and future retired teachers. Under Gov. Bevin’s two-year budget proposal, the $145 million subsidy to help fund insurance for retired teachers under 65 would be eliminated. 

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The teachers who taught your children could well find themselves retired, trying to support a family, and paying three to four times as much for their health insurance. 

According to state budget director, John Chilton, health benefits are not part of the “inviolable contract” that protects teacher’s pension benefits. He was quite clear that there were not enough funds to satisfy “all the needs and desires that people might project into the budget” — needs and desires like caring for yourself and your family in medical emergencies. 

Where will this stop? Will active teachers begin losing their benefits next? 

Thousands of teachers retired after having received the promise of subsidized health benefits. They planned their retirements, confident that the funds would be there.  

In fact, in 2010, all Kentucky teachers — retired and active — began paying more for health care to help ensure benefits for retirees.

Now we are being told there are still not enough funds. Why not?  

Look to the Bevin budget proposal for an answer — there are no requests for increased revenue anywhere to be seen.  

Instead Bevin’s proposed budget took an ax to teacher benefits, along with 70 other programs, 40 of them related to education.   

Why would any talented teacher want to work in Kentucky? Why would a young person become a teacher in the first place? Perhaps it is time to ask another question, “Why does Bevin want to destroy education in this state? Why?”

Linda Porter