Kentucky teachers rally over retirement cuts, warn of strike

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Hundreds of teachers in central Kentucky have rallied in front of public schools to protest proposed cuts to their retirement benefits in what could be a precursor to a statewide strike.

Kentucky state Senators on Wednesday took the first step toward passing a bill they say would save taxpayers $3.2 billion over the next 20 years and stabilize one of the country’s worst-funded public pension systems. But most of those savings would come from a 33 percent cut to the annual cost-of-living raises for retired teachers, who are not eligible for Social Security benefits.

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Thursday was the first organized protest at public schools in front of parents and students. It came just days after a nine-day statewide teacher strike in West Virginia was settled when lawmakers there approved 5 percent raises.