LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)-Teachers were back out in Frankfort Friday, not for pension protests, but to rally for the budget bill.
More than 20 school districts shut down so educators could continue advocating in what has been a busy few weeks for them both in and out of the classroom.
Some teachers parked a mile or more away then took school buses to get to the Capitol. There were fewer teachers inside this time, though, that is because state police say they’re trying to keep the building safe. Still, there were thousands outside and inside, telling lawmakers to vote yes to the budget bill they once told them to vote against.
Getting lawmakers’ attention is exactly what teachers, students, and supporters want.
“It’s about kids” is the phrase they’re saying over and over.
“Why am I here? I’m here to make sure there’s funding for our kids,” Fayette County teacher and parent Tom Brennand said.
Many teachers want lawmakers to get that funding by overturning the governor’s veto on a budget bill teachers originally didn’t support.
It’s better than nothing, they say.
“Sometimes you have to accept what you have,” Brennan said.
“They need this funding because they’re building future generations,” Xavier Moore said.
His Mom teaches in Woodford County. Students are fighting alongside their teachers and parents.
“I came from nothing. No school. Bad education. Me and my father moved here to get an education and I will not stand here and let them take my education,” a student speaker said to the crowd.
Some lawmakers came outside, but teachers want in to make sure their opinions are heard.
State police say they’re limiting the number of people in the capitol , though, for safety.
It took Jefferson County elementary teacher Allyson Hamilton an hour to get in.
“We are here for our kids. We are here for no other reason today. This isn’t about the pension bill,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton says for her it’s just about getting the funding she needs to give her students the best education possible, an education she says has the power to lift many of them out of poverty.
“Education for a lot of kids is their only way out so cutting it is nonsense,” Hamilton said.
Her district was one of more than 20 that called off on Friday so teachers could be in Frankfort. She says she’s heard many people call that selfish.
“I guess this is where it’s emotional for me because that’s so far from the truth,” Hamilton said through tears.
She says teachers go above and beyond for the students. She hopes lawmakers will do the same.