School districts across the state close as teachers call-in after pension bill passes

03/30/2018 08:58 AM

One-by-one school districts across central Kentucky announced their closure the day before spring break, as Republicans in the House and Senate rammed through a mystery pension reform bill.

The 291 page bill was not made public, and was inserted into a waste-sewage piece of legislation on Thursday, and then sent though the lower and upper chambers with Republicans carrying the bill.

Fayette County schools was among the first to announce a closure on Thursday night, as more than a thousand teachers called in sick from work and there were not enough substitutes to cover the absences.

“All Fayette County Public Schools will be closed on Friday, March 30, 2018 due to having more than a third of our school employees out,“the school district wrote online just after the bill passed the Senate floor.

Clark County, Jessamine County, Scott County and others quickly followed suit. On Friday morning, Jefferson County Public Schools and outlying districts also called off schools as teachers called-in in protest of the General Assembly’s move to slash benefits.

In total more than a dozen schools canceled on Friday.

Teacher’s have come out in mass in recent weeks at the state Capitol to protest the legislation. The teacher’s have promised to vote-out lawmakers voting for the pension bill.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

3 Comments

Comments

  • Heza Putz wrote on March 30, 2018 10:15 AM :

    First of all, for years, when Democrats ran everything, “mystery bills” were inserted into bills because of cut offs for new bills to be introduced, and no one knew what was in it except for leadership. Not a great way to do things, but OK for Democrats I guess. Secondly, today, working parents all over the state are scrambling for day care and many are probably having to take off and maybe even lose pay.

  • Cicero wrote on March 30, 2018 03:51 PM :

    I am one of those working parents who was informed via text message at 6 AM that our school was closed. It astonishing to me that the hardship placed on literally tens of thousands of parents across KY is not even mentioned in the news. Clearly the needs of the parents and obligations to the taxpayers WHO PAY THEIR SALARY, much less the children they supposedly claim is their highest priority, come before politics and selfish personal interests. By all means protest the actions of elected officials and exercise your 1st amendment rights, but do it on your own time – not the taxpayer’s time. In fact, the legislature is in session on Monday, go scream and yell all you want, but you won’t see many of these folks who called in “sick” because spring break plans are more important; which shows you how much of this choreographed PR stunts. You could have used today as a “teachable moment” to discuss the complexities of the pension issues at hand, but instead the “grown ups” who are instructing our state’s children chose to throw a pointless temper tantrum at the expense of the public. What are kids on free or reduced lunch supposed to do today to get a meal? How about children that don’t have a safe place to go? What about a single parent working a minimum wage job and has no savings, much less a guaranteed taxpayer-funded retirement supposed to do? I suspect there are several teachers who don’t agree with what happened today, but the actions of many of their colleagues show you why parents are increasingly getting fed up with public schools across the country and want charter schools.

  • Dee W. wrote on March 31, 2018 01:07 PM :

    I thought Governor Bevin’s comments were over the top and inappropriate toward teachers…but apparently at least some of them want to prove him correct.

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