Amid Teacher 'Sickout' Protest, Kentucky Education Chief Is Taking Names
By Adam Beam
Kentucky’s education commissioner wants the name of every teacher who used a sick day to force 10 school districts to close so educators could protest at the state legislature.
At least 10 Kentucky school districts were forced to close several times since Feb. 28 after so many teachers used their sick days that officials could not find enough substitutes to cover classes.
Jefferson County Public Schools, one of the country’s largest districts with more than 98,000 students, has closed six times in two weeks as hundreds of teachers packed the state Capitol to protest several proposals that impacted the pension system and education funding.
The protests are part of a wave of teacher activism across the country that began last year in West Virginia and quickly spread to other states, including Oklahoma and Arizona. This year, teachers in Los Angeles and Oakland, California, went on strike.
Kentucky teachers did not go on strike. But they used their sick days to close schools in protest of several education bills. They included a proposal to change who manages the teachers’ pension fund as well as legislation that would have indirectly supported private schools with tax credits for scholarship funds.