Louisville, Kentucky: Kentucky’s largest school system will be forced to shut down Thursday after thousands of teachers called in sick as part of a statewide “sickout.” Jefferson County Public Schools said late Wednesday night that it does not have enough substitutes to cover the number of absences reported.
Fayette County Public Schools, the state’s second largest district, also announced it would close due to teacher absences.
The closures come just hours after a grassroots group urged teachers to call out sick so that they could travel to Frankfort, the state capital, to protest of a bill that would restructure the board that oversees the state’s teacher pension system.
KY 120 United, a group that formed during last year’s teacher protests, called for the sickout Wednesday evening on social media.
“Please call in sick tomorrow and text your co-workers to do the same,” the group wrote on Facebook.
The group said it is protesting a House bill that would restructure the board for the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System.
“This bill is as destructive to our pension assets as any bill could be,” the post said.
Image: Teacher Robin Burr leads a chant to during Friday’s protest and rally. Thousands of Kentucky public school teachers rallied Friday to protest possible budget cuts for education. ‘(Lawmakers)’ treat us like mushrooms,’ said Nancy Peden, a fourth-grade teacher from Jefferson County Public Schools. ‘They keep us in the dark and then feed us a bunch of crap.’