Beshear still sees a way through for targeted educator raises, despite Republican skepticism
Gov. Andy Beshear is holding out hope that his central reelection campaign promise could still materialize — in some form — despite a less than enthusiastic response in the GOP-led legislature.
The House's biennial budget boosts education funding, including moving to 100% coverage for school transportation by the second year. But it left out two of the governor's biggest campaign pushes: guaranteed pay raises for teachers and access to preschool for every 4-year-old.
While the latter appears unlikely to gain traction, Beshear suggested the possibility of targeted teacher raises isn't dead just yet.
"There are a number of potential ways to make that happen, a number of potential deals between superintendents, school boards, the administration, and the legislature," the governor told reporters Tuesday. "So I still hold out some real hope that we can get to a place where we have a promised raise to all of our educators."
For now, budget measures would bolster per-pupil funding for schools, but would leave it up to local school districts to decide whether and how much they might want to allot for teacher raises.
Fayette County Superintendent Demetrus Liggins has said the proposed education increases fail to adequately address the growing demands on Lexington's school system.