Kentucky Teachers Discontent Swells Over Pay and Benefits

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – More than a thousand Kentucky teachers and other public workers have rallied at their state Capitol almost daily against proposed changes to the state’s woefully underfunded pension system.

Public employees are protesting Senate Bill 1, which would cut benefits for some retired teachers while making structural changes some lawmakers say are necessary to save the retirement system from collapse. Discontent has swelled among teachers around the country in recent weeks after a strike by West Virginia teachers who won a pay raise.

Kentucky’s bill would seek to save taxpayers $3.2 billion over the next 20 years – mostly through a temporary reduction in annual cost-of-living raises for retired teachers.

Opposing teachers have rallied daily, and lawmakers Monday ended up sending Senate Bill 1 back to committee for more work.