JEFFERSON COUNTY – Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin weighed in on teachers intentionally calling in sick, forcing several schools to shut down in the state, in a Monday video.
“There’s no reason to be walking out on students, leaving students in the lurch, hurting them and their parents and the many businesses in Kentucky that are affected by this,” Bevin, a Republican, said in the Facebook video “Sick of ‘Sickouts?’”
Teachers in the state have been staging “sickouts” since the end of February. Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), the largest district in the state, was shut down for the fourth time over the course of two weeks, according to the Louisville Courier Journal. The district postponed an ACT exam set for Tuesday, affecting nearly 6,000 high school juniors.
“The teachers’ union in Jefferson County, for example, is pretending that they’re not supporting this, but meanwhile are reloading sick day hours into the accounts of teachers so that they can call in sick when they’re not sick, walk out on the students when they’re not sick, pretend to be doing this for the students when it’s not and then the teachers’ union pretending ‘ah, we’re not really supportive of this, oh but, don’t worry we’ll make you whole and give you some more sick days,’” Bevin said in the video.
One bill many are not happy about is House Bill 525, which would decrease Kentucky Education Association’s (KEA) representation on a board in charge of teachers’ pensions, according to the Journal. The KEA currently oversees the nomination process for most members on the 11-person board.
Another bill Kentucky teachers are worried about is House Bill 205, which would give tax credits to those who contribute to scholarship funds for low-income, middle-income, foster care and special needs kids to attend private schools, The Associated Press reported.
“The governor has been well quoted for his disdain of the legislative process and the activism of those who have opposed some of his policies,” KEA President Stephanie Winkler said in a statement Tuesday. “Educators are sick and tired of being brushed off and vilified by this governor who has repeatedly disregarded our input and importance to the future of our Commonwealth.”