Last night and today have been tense and frustrating. First, I’d like to thank all the teachers who made it a point of getting organized and going to Frankfort today and being in meetings and the Capitol Rotunda. However, there are several recurring issues with the current Assembly members and the Governor himself. The comments from elected officials who deem public regress should be noted and challenged openly. If bills continue to be held in secret and then produced quickly for a committee vote, you should expect any group to #RiseUp and protest. No matter what your job, public or private, Constitutional rights are always present.
The bill in question is a bit complicated for anyone on the outside of KTRS and grossly unnecessary. Currently, there are 11 seats on the Kentucky Retired Teachers System board of directors. Three of those seats are controlled by whoever is the governor, Chief School Officer, and 2 Nominated officials. One is the KY State Treasurer (an elected official). The other 7 seats are directly elected by teachers through a system monitored by Kentucky Educators Association (KEA). This system would be replaced by 7 nominated seats KEA 1, KAPE 1, KRTA 1, KSBA 1, KASS 1, Ky Bankers Assc 1, and Ky Soc. of CPAs 1. That means what used to be 7 seats held for teachers will be replaced with 2 teachers, 1 retired teacher, 2 Ed Leaders, and 2 business leaders.
Rep. Upchurch who sponsored the bill should know that this entire process was completely unnecessary. Since he did not approach KEA or KAPE beforehand, there was no process to find a real middle ground for changing the nomination and election system currently in place. Therefore, teachers have every right to be in Frankfort to listen and engage their elected officials during the process.
Teach Frankfort To Pay Their Debts is a graphic from the KRTA advocacy page go here to see how you can get involved.