Kentucky’s two largest school districts announced late Wednesday evening that they’ve been forced to close Thursday, after a large percentage of teachers called in sick.
In a tweet, JCPS said it wouldn’t be able to safely cover all of the absences with substitute teachers.
Due to significant teacher absences and the inability to safely cover a large number of classes with substitute teachers in many of our schools, all @JCPSKY schools will be closed Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.@YMCALouisville CEP “Snow Day” sites will be open: https://t.co/uJqXCP2onF pic.twitter.com/9cG8Mb9L31
— JCPS (@JCPSKY) February 28, 2019
Fayette County Public Schools said as of 8:00 p.m., 40 percent of the district’s employees had called in.
As of 8 this evening, roughly 40% of our school employees have reported that they will not be at school tomorrow, which leaves our district without enough substitutes to cover all of the absences. As a result, all Fayette County Public Schools will be closed on Thursday, 2.28.19.
— Fayette County Public Schools (@FCPSKY) February 28, 2019
Advocacy group KY 120 United called for the “sickout” in response to House Bill 525; a piece of legislation that would remake the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System board. The group called on teachers to rally in Frankfort Thursday, as the measure is expected to be heard in committee. Teachers took similar steps last year in response to legislators’ attempts to pass pension reform; the legislation ultimately passed, but was struck down late last year by the Kentucky Supreme Court.
But in a Facebook post late Wednesday, the official KY 120 United page cautioned local media that Thursday’s planned sickout is about more than “one pension board bill.”