Gov. Matt Bevin proposes more money toward Kentucky pension systems

The people who teach your children say they’re thankful Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin promised more money to the state’s pension systems. This comes after Bevin announced more than $650 million in spending cuts to other areas.

The budget proposal includes a substantial funding increase for their retirement plans. By 2018 the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System alone will get more than $500 million, with more than $300 million in the 2017 fiscal year and more than $291 million the next year.

After spending a few semesters student teaching at McNabb Elementary School, Natalie Atkison hopes to one day be a full-time teacher. "It is the most rewarding thing that you can do to get out there and work with kids," she said.

The pension systems state workers and teachers rely on to retire face a $30 billion shortfall, making it a discouraging time to become a teacher and, in Atkison’s case, a mother who sends her children to school. 

"(It’s) terrifying because you want to your children to have a good education, and we need teachers to do that," Atkison said.

Teachers and retired teachers like Charlotte Benton found some relief in Bevin’s proposal to put more money into the state’s pension systems.

"Basically, the only thing we have to rely on is our pension," Benton said.

Teachers say this promise will help them continue to give your children the best education possible, but Kentucky Education Association President Stephanie Winkler says a gap still needs to be filled.
 
"It’s obviously not the plug that’s going to fill the hole completely. We’re still interested in dedicated revenue streams," Winkler says.

Aspiring teachers like Atkinson say Bevin’s proposal is a start.

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