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Barefoot students rally for higher education

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Students from eight different colleges and universities in Kentucky shed their shoes Tuesday at a rally for higher education at the state capitol in Frankfort. The students were barefoot, signifying to lawmakers that education cuts fulfill the stereotype that Kentuckians are poor and uneducated.

"This year UofL has a special theme, it's called the barefoot campaign," said student body president Kurtis Frizzell. "What that is it's basically a statement to our representatives and senators that education cuts are Kentucky's way of fulfilling our own stereotypes."

Lauren Schoenbachler wrote 6.4 with a circle and a line through it on her foot. It stands for the 6.4 percent Gov. Steve Beshear is proposing to cut in post-secondary education, which is a less drastic cut, however, than many state agencies.

"I'm the first person in my family to go to college and if tuition keeps going up, it's not going to happen," said Schoenbachler.

One of the youngest legislators addressed the students.

"Less than two years ago I paid tuition and I graduated from UK," said Rep. Ryan Quarles, R-Georgetown. "I know what it's like to take out a student loan and I can empathize with you."

UofL students helped write House Bill 152 that would define affordability. House members also heard a resolution on the floor recognizing college affordability.

This may have been the largest higher education rally in Frankfort. 160 students attended from UofL. There were so many people that State Police asked some to move upstairs.

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