The Latest: Teachers make small gains in Kentucky
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Latest on teachers running for office in the Kentucky legislature (all times local):
At least nine current or former teachers have won seats in the Kentucky legislature eight months after educators closed nearly two dozen school districts to protest changes to their pension system.
At least 36 current or former teachers were on the ballot. But the “blue wave” Democrats had hoped for failed to materialize. At least 20 of the teacher candidates, most of the Democrats, lost.
Unofficial returns show two teachers defeated Republican incumbents in the House of Representatives. Tina Bojanowski defeated GOP Rep. Phil Moffett in District 32. Meanwhile Democrat Jim Glenn was ahead by just one vote against Republican D.J. Johnson in District 13. Johnson told The Associated Press he plans to ask for a recanvass in the district.
Republicans appeared poised to maintain their majorities in the state House and Senate.
At least 36 current and former educators highlight state legislative races in Kentucky eight months after thousands of public school teachers closed nearly two dozen districts to protest changes to the pension system by the Republican-dominated legislature.
Republicans won a majority in the state House of Representatives in 2016 for the first time in nearly 100 years. The GOP then passed bills allowing charter schools and making changes to the struggling retirement system for teachers. Thousands of teachers protested at the Capitol, and dozens more filed to run for office in what Democrats hope is a “blue wave” on Tuesday.
Republicans argue Kentucky’s pension system is among the worst funded in the country. Since Republican Gov. Matt Bevin took office, the legislature has spent billions of dollars in the teachers’ retirement system.