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Kentucky Teachers Fill Streets For Massive Rally

Teachers protest pension bill on March 30, 2018.
Teachers protest pension bill on March 30, 2018.

Thousands of Kentucky teachers filled the streets near the state Capitol in Frankfort on Monday to rally for education funding.

Teachers and other school employees gathered outside the Kentucky Education Association a couple of blocks from the Capitol chanting "Stop the war on public education" and holding or posting signs that say "We've Had Enough."

"We're madder than hornets, and the hornets are swarming today," said Claudette Green, a retired teacher and principal.

The rally is happening after hundreds of teachers called in sick Friday to protest last-minute changes to their pension system.

Teacher unrest is not just limited to Kentucky. Educators in Oklahoma were gearing up Monday to march on their state capital as well. Earlier this year, teachers in West Virginia walked off the job for nine days to secure a 5 percent pay raise.

Teachers have rallied several times during this year's legislative session to protest a pension bill, but Monday's event is shaping up as their biggest event as lawmakers try to reach agreement on a new budget.

Some school districts have called off classes Monday, but much of the state is on spring break.

Erica Sudduth, a 29-year-old elementary school teacher in Kenton County, said frustration has been building for years.

"What used to be the way my grandmother used to teach, things used to be different, things used to be a lot simpler," Sudduth said. "And for years they have been adding more and more and more on to teachers and we have been putting up with all of it. We have held our tongue this whole time and now it is just coming to a boiling point."