Teachers ask lawmakers to vote for bill they’re against

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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.

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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.

 

 

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!