A weight lifted …

We have an ally in the governor’s mansion now. Beshear wields a mighty weapon, the veto.

I don’t think I was the only teacher in Kentucky that went to work Wednesday feeling lighter. A weight was lifted from our shoulders Tuesday night when Andy Beshear was declared the apparent winner in Kentucky’s race for governor.

The anxiety and stress level dropped, despite Matt Bevin’s most recent shenanigans. He’s not ruining this moment for me, or the tens-of-thousands of public school teachers. Let him have his re-canvass. We’ll deal with any additional idiocy from our out-going governor when the time comes.

With Beshear, comes hope these halls in Frankfort can remain void of protesting teachers.

For now, let’s consider the ramifications of Beshear’s victory on teachers’ well-being. We were all staring at the elephant sitting in the middle of the room – a potential strike come 2020. A re-elected Bevin and a Republican dominated House and Senate would have thrown everything at us, including pension reform, charter school funding, tax credits and vouchers. Teachers would have had little recourse, but for a moment, we can breathe.

We have an ally in the governor’s mansion now. Beshear wields a mighty weapon, the veto. In a perfect world, Beshear will bridge the divide between republicans and democrats and work in a bipartisan way to correct the ills facing public education and public employee pensions. If not, he can, and should, reject any legislation that harms our public schools or cuts benefits to educators. I truly feel Beshear is genuine in his concern for public education, understands its importance to the future success of Kentucky, and will do right by us all, educators and non-educators alike.

We aren’t out of danger. There is so much more to do. However, we can exhale and focus on our jobs, and see the task ahead clearly, to educate the public, to promote our cause, and elevate public education in Kentucky.

Lastly, when the legislative session begins, whatever legislation is thrown our way, we can be more at ease and not concerned about how many are calling in to sick out, who’s promoting a strike, who in JCPS is going to take the lead (a little jab at my own disrict), or which posts on social media are accurate. We can take our time and do our due diligence, and respond appropriately to bills. We can hold the line until legislation works in our favor or a veto is needed.

Here’s to the possibility of all of us getting out for summer before June. Our luck, we’ll get record snow.