Educator: Pension bill signing could lead to 'mass exit' of teachers from Ky.

FRANKFORT, KY (FOX19) - Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Wednesday he filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Matt Bevin's newly signed pension reform bill.

Bevin signed Senate Bill 151 into law Tuesday night.

Many Kentucky teachers are worried about what lies ahead now that state's pension reform bill has been signed

The new law will drastically change teacher's pension plans leading to retirement.

For months thousands of teachers have been rallying, hoping they could stop Senate Bill 151. However, it wasn't enough, as Bevin signed the bill on Tuesday.

"I'm just really shocked right now," said Debbie Winkler.

Winkler is the president of the Covington Education Association and has taught at the district for more than 20 years.

Under the new law, teachers hired after July 1 would see the biggest changes. They must be a part of a 401k-style plan. New teachers will need to contribute 9 percent of their salaries toward the plan, with an additional 6 percent of payroll coming from the state and 2 percent from the local school district.

"It's taking away the pension we paid into. We don't get social security and the state made the promise that if we pay our pension back and it's our money. It's not theirs. We just want what's rightly ours," said Winkler.

Active teachers will see a cap on sick days starting Dec. 31.

Pension benefits won't change for current retirees but Winkler says that will have a big impact for kids in the classroom.

"You will have a mass exit of teachers who are ready to retire and who wouldn't be retiring," she said.

She fears it will be difficult to attract new teachers.

"We're a border state. It would be easy to live here in Covington and work in Indiana, Ohio, or West Virginia. I think you will see a mass exit of teachers out of the state of Kentucky," said Winkler.

Bevin has slammed the groups leading rallies at the state Capitol.

"They are absolute frauds. They are not looking out for the best interest of their teachers. They're looking out for the best interest of themselves," said Bevin.

Teachers aren't giving up either. Covington Independent Schools are currently on Spring break. Teachers and parents are planning to go to Frankfort on Friday to show lawmakers their disapproval.

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