Kentucky’s attorney general is promising public school teachers a clear contrast from the current administration if he’s elected governor.
Democrat Andy Beshear brought his “Stop the Bullying” tour to Bowling Green on Tuesday. Speaking at the local Kentucky Education Association office, Beshear accused Republican Governor Matt Bevin of bullying and degrading teachers who protested pension reform that would have impacted their benefits in this year's legislative session.
Beshear called teachers selfless public servants and promised $2,000 across-the-board pay raises for them if elected.
“I believe that leadership is about leading for every family and understanding that just because someone disagrees with you, that doesn’t make them your enemy," commented Beshear. "It’s time we have a governor that acts like an adult.”
Beshear also promised to create a student loan forgiveness program and expanded opportunities for continuing education that he believes will help recruit and retain educators as the state struggles to fill vacant positions. Asked how he would pay for the initiatives, Beshear simply stated it would be in the budget.
“This governor gave a $50 million tax break to banks, he gave $15 million to Braidy Industries, he gave a tax break to some of the wealthiest Kentuckians, and he all fit it within a budget, and we’re going to do the same," he remarked.
Beshear’s running mate is Jacqueline Coleman, an assistant principal in Nelson County. During their stop in Bowling Green, the ticket also pledged a new education commissioner and board of education on day one of their administration.
Beshear is challenging Bevin in the November 5th election. In a campaign video, Bevin says he’s the first governor ever to fully fund the Kentucky pension system and that his predecessor, Andy Beshear’s father “stole the teachers’ money and spent it elsewhere, billions of dollars." Beshear also boasted that 100% of lottery funds have gone toward education and per-pupil public education funding has risen during his first term in office.