Teachers voice concerns amid special sessions

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(WBKO) -- Uncertainty surrounds teachers and state employees amid special sessions addressing the pension reform.

Following day two of Gov. Matt Bevin's special session he called Monday night, lawmakers aim to address the pension reform.

State employees await the outcome, and many teachers specifically are being vocal about their concerns in Frankfort as well as here locally.

"'This is not the way to govern, fa la la la la," chanted teachers at the Capitol Monday night.

Teachers flocked to the Capitol Monday night and Tuesday to protest the special session which some are calling unnecessary.

"He has pulled them back together to have this knee jerk reaction to what the Supreme Court has done," said Patrice McCrary, kindergarten teacher at Cumberland Trace Elementary School.

The concern of the special session stems from what they say came without notice and too close to the holidays, not to mention costing taxpayers over $60,000 a day.

"They were going to go into regular session in 21 days where they could have easily taken up this reform bill again if they had chosen to in 21 days," said Kim Coomer, president of the Warren County Education Association.

With the overall process of Senate Bill 151 being ruled unconstitutional, some teachers are still concerned about a similar bill that Governor Bevin is looking to pass.

"It puts a burden on the school district to pay a portion of the new cash hybrid plan for new hires that wasn't there before, and there's no funding mechanism for that to go into place," said Coomer. "And so, it's up to the districts to figure out how to come up with that money."

The scene at the Capitol the last two days, similar to that in the spring of this year, circling back around to the theme of feelings among state workers - uncertainty.

"It's been exhausting. And just when we thought we could breath a sigh of relief, it's reared it's ugly head again," said Coomer.

Lawmakers and state employees now wait for what, if anything, will come from these special sessions.

"Teachers are frustrated, teachers are frightened," said Coomer.

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