New teachers union announced after lawmakers override veto on controversial school choice bill

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 3:15 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - In the wake of lawmakers overriding Governor Beshear’s veto on the controversial school choice bill, some educators are banding together and forming a union.

Member of Kentucky 120 made the announcement they are partnering with the American Federation of Teachers to create an educators union in the commonwealth.

Jeni Bolander is KY 120′s Co-Zone Leader for District 6.

“For us, it was sort of the next step in our advocacy that we’ve been doing for three years,” Bolander said. “This wasn’t always the plan but it fits a lot of questions that we had. The future of our state is in our classrooms every single day and to think that we don’t have an understanding or a pulse on the heartbeat of what will move this commonwealth forward is sad.”

The Kentucky group joins groups from Ohio and West Virginia in affiliation with the American Federation of Teachers.

Bolander says the resources from forming a union will take advocacy to the next level, increasing the power and representation that all teachers have.

“We listen to our members, all 38,000 of them, and we come back together and we hash it out,” Bolander said. “What do they want? What are they asking for? What are the needs they’re identifying? We try to give voice to that. We feel like this will only amplify our voice and that’s exactly our goal.”

Officials say they plan on having a seat at the table by the time the next legislative session begins in January.

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