teachers

J. Tyler Franklin/WFPL

Gov. Matt Bevin has crafted a new version of the pension bill he vetoed last month and is expected to call a special session for lawmakers to consider the issue soon.

The measure is similar to the one that Bevin rejected last month. It allows regional universities and agencies like health departments to exit the state’s pension system to avoid a spike in the amount of money they have to contribute to it.

Prichardcommittee.org

Members of a legislative budget subcommittee got a status report on teacher training Thursday.  Officials representing elementary, secondary and postsecondary teachers testified before the House panel.  

Taylorsville Representative Jim Tipton chairs the subcommittee. “We hear a lot that a lot of our communities and schools are having challenges, having qualified applicants for teaching positions,” said Tipton.

Local health departments, mental health agencies and domestic violence shelters are asking state lawmakers to shield them from massive pension contributions that they say will bankrupt them or severely limit services.

As of last July, most state agencies pay 83 percent of employee salaries to Kentucky’s pension system. That means on top of paying an employee’s salary, state agencies have to send an additional 83 percent of that salary to pay for state worker retirements.

Ky.gov

A judge has denied Gov. Matt Bevin’s request to reconsider a ruling that struck down changes to Kentucky’s pensions system. 

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd blocked the pension law last month, saying that lawmakers had violated the state Constitution by not following proper procedure when they passed it.

Bevin asked Shepherd to amend his ruling to determine if the pension bill violated the state’s “inviolable contract”—a provision that protects state worker benefits from being tinkered with after they’ve been hired. 
 

A bill that would allow a select number of Tennessee teachers to carry guns in school is 

advancing in that state’s legislature. 

The measure passed a Tennessee House subcommittee at a time when the nation is debating gun control measures following the killings in Parkland, Florida. 

The Tennessean reports the bill would empower school boards and school directors to create policies that allow select staff members to carry a concealed firearm on school grounds. 

Under the measure, schools could have one employee with a gun for every 75 students. 

Kentucky.com

Retired teachers are voicing concerns about the ability to for Kentucky schools to hire quality teachers should a core component of the proposed pension plan be enacted. Kentucky Retired Teachers Association Executive Director Tim Abrams says having teachers switch to 401(a) plans would be a drain on taxpayers and offer fewer benefits.

Abrams said many teachers are willing to forgo cost-of-living adjustments to help fix the system. That is, he said, until he tells them what it would mean to their bankbook.