From the KEA: Educators helped make the difference on Tuesday

KENTUCKY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION

The 45,000 members of the Kentucky Education Association volunteered their time and energy over the last few months talking with their fellow Kentuckians about the importance of public education issues in this election, and made the difference in the race for governor. Educators canvassed homes, placed phone calls, wrote tens of thousands of postcards and held get-out-the-vote events in nearly every one of Kentucky’s 120 counties.

“Voters all across the state supported Andy Beshear and Jacqueline Coleman because they respect their fellow Kentuckians and the work they do,” said Eddie Campbell, KEA President. “Teachers, education support professionals, parents, and their friends and families went to the polls and sent a clear message; Kentucky deserves a governor that respects and values its educators.”

“We are proud of Andy, Jacqueline, and all the educators and working-family households who helped make this outcome possible,” said Campbell. “We believe the people of Kentucky have spoken. Educators came out in force to change the negative public education policies espoused by Matt Bevin. We look forward to the final official vote count.”

Beshear’s victory is the culmination of the rise of educator activism in Kentucky, spurred by the “sewer bill” that cut teacher pensions and planned to move new teachers from a defined-benefit retirement plan to a hybrid 401(k) style plan. Led by Attorney General Beshear, the law was thrown out by the Kentucky Supreme Court in a unanimous decision.

“Those cuts and personal attacks on our profession woke up educators and our communities, and that’s what made the difference in this race for governor,” said Campbell. “It’s time for Kentucky to move toward a brighter future for our children and our communities. That starts when we work together to find solutions that make our schools better and our professions stronger.”