After thousands of teachers rallied at Kentucky's state capitol on Friday, the state's governor said their absence from the classroom did serious harm to children.
Kentucky isn't the only state where politicians are facing off against teachers. Crosby Stills, Nash and Young's hit "Teach Your Children" bellowed from the loud speakers.
After a long day of teacher rallies across Kentucky, WHAS11 was able to speak with the governor to hear his opinion on the demonstrations.
"I saw a lot of people hanging out, shoes off... smoking, hanging out, leaving trash around, taking the day off". Do you know how many hundreds of thousands of children today were left home alone? Bevin asked. "I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them".
"I guarantee you somewhere today a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were home alone because a single parent didn't have any money to take care of them", he added.
He expressed how appalled he was that people "discarded what's truly best for children", claiming that there were people who knew so many children were home and "took advantage of that". "It's not improving education: We're still 16 percent below where we were a decade ago on education funding", said Jason Bailey, executive director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.
The striking Kentucky teachers won a major battle on Friday, when legislators cemented a $480 million tax bill that includes a boost for public school funding. But Gov. Matt Bevin vetoed the funding and sales debts, calling the latter "sloppy" and "non-transparent".
Bevin vetoed both bills because he said the new taxes won't generate enough money to cover the new spending.
The impasse between the governor and the Republican lawmakers kicked off earlier this month, when the state legislature unveiled a tax package to dramatically cut income and business taxes in the state.
"You can stand here all day and act like you are all for (education) until it comes time to pay for it".
"The OEA doesn't get to decide when I'm finished", said middle school choir teacher Renee Jerden. "We have to have this revenue to fund our schools".
For different explanations, although Democrats sided with the Senate. They said the tax increase disproportionately harms the poor while benefiting the wealthy. That the vetoes were desired by them to endure, which would've pressured the Senate to call a special session of the State Legislature to pass a new funding.
The increase is possible because of the tax increase approved in a separate bill, House Bill 366. In a dramatic moment, Senate President Robert Stivers cast the decisive vote for the override.
The Republican-controlled House voted 66-28 to override Bevin's vetoes of House Bill 200. The bill raises revenue for the state over the next two years.
In Arizona, after weeks of teacher protests and walkout threats across the state, Gov. Doug Ducey promised a net 20 percent raise by 2020. She said teachers will push to elect candidates that will put more money towards public education.
Pension is often the only income source after leaving the school system; according to the Herald-Leader, retired teachers in Kentucky can not collect Social Security.