Kentucky education group criticizes budget proposal

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The state budget was one of the issues taking center stage during Gov. Matt Bevin's State of the Commonwealth address Tuesday night.

He proposed cutting more than 6 percent statewide and getting rid of 70 state programs.

That news was met with some criticism by those impacted by the cuts.

Gov. Bevin says his goal is to fully fund the state's pension obligation while balancing the budget.

The governor's office explained that instead of making large across the board cuts he did a priority analysis, cutting out whole programs that had what they call 'low priority' or did not have good return investments.

Among the programs being cut is the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program as well as funding for "textbooks," which the Kentucky Education Association says covers much more than books. The group is concerned with those cuts as well as many others laid out in the bill.

"In the long run, I think a lot of these things will be used as bargaining chips and we cannot bargain with public education in Kentucky," said KEA president Stephanie Winkler. "We have to keep our eye focused on finding new revenue streams so that we don't keep having this problem biennium after biennium."

Click here for a full list of the programs included in the proposed cuts.

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