Several school systems in Kentucky had to be closed on Friday as absenteeism due to mounting protests over laws that educators say would ruin pension plans.
Teachers from across the state plunged into the capital in Frankfort, outraged by what they described as a surprising step toward passing laws. Their union said Friday would mean that existing employees would pay more for pension payments and new employees would not get the same plan as previous generations.
The demonstrators hung a sweeping banner from a Capitol balcony – "Kentucky deserves better" – as hundreds merged into Louisville Courier Journal (19459011). A rally is scheduled for Monday when lawmakers return to the Capitol and most of the teachers are in Spring Break, union representatives said.
The act in Kentucky came as the latest point about pay and benefits for the nation's teachers. In West Virginia, educators completed schooling for nine days as they carried out a 5 percent salary increase, which they won in March for teachers and all civil servants.
Recently, Arizona's worst-paid teachers have been on strike for overcalls and cuts in school programs. Oklahoma teachers are planning a Monday strike if they did not get what they want before.
In Kentucky, teacher absences led to degrees in the state's largest school systems in Louisville and Lexington. School officials in Lexington said more than a third of school attendants did not show up on Friday and they did not have enough to replace.
The Courier Journal found more than 20 districts on Friday announcing school closures. Kentucky has 173 school systems in 120 counties
The 45,000-member State Teacher Union, the Kentucky Education Association, had not asked teachers to skip the working day, but issued a sharply worded statement on the legislative measures.
"This type of backroom trade is shameful," the statement says. "Fighting the interests of current and future educators against the interests of the government is cowardly."
John Darnell, director in Bellevue, Kentucky, south of Cincinnati, He said his schools were open on Friday, but "there is no wrong decision today for teachers "and called the legislation" a slap ".
"Our entire public education system is under attack," said Darnell
Union Officials said retirement pensions had nearly died out in March and suddenly flared up again on Thursday, when Republican lawmakers linked them to another bill that was going on to sewage services and not to teachers' pensions.
They compared the sudden resurgence of the bill to a classic "bait and switch" that left no time for a public review. The union first looked at the bill for the 291 document.
Republican lawmakers described the measure – which was aimed at repairing the state's broken pension system – as a compromise that would address the concerns of a previous bill on the Lexington Herald Leader.
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed the law passed to Governor Matt Bevin (R).
Bevin signaled his support and tweeted: "Tonight, 49 members of the Kentucky House and 22 members of the Kentucky Senate have decided not to cancel the pension problem, and anyone who gets a pension check in the coming years owes it A deep thankfulness to 71 men and women who did the right thing. "