Kentucky School Districts Sending Teacher Delegations or Closing in Support of Rally

Apr 12, 2018

Kentucky teachers rally at the state capitol April 2, 2018.
Credit Ryland Barton, Kentucky Public Radio

Teachers from across Kentucky are planning to travel to Frankfort on Friday to rally for better funding for schools. Educators are protesting Governor Matt Bevin’s vetoes of bills that impact schools and communities.

Some school districts are closing so teachers can attend the Frankfort rally on April 13 while others, like Bowling Green, are holding regular classes and sending delegations of teachers. 

Twenty teachers from seven schools in the Bowling Green Independent School District are going to Frankfort to participate in the rally. Superintendent Gary Fields said those teachers will represent all of the 600 employees who work in Bowling Green schools.

“When we go in our school buildings we look at everyone as educators. Some may have the title of teacher, some may have the title of bus driver, cafeteria worker, custodian, school secretary or school nurse. But they’re all educators and I think we see ourselves as one when it comes to these issues,” said Fields.

He said teachers will voice concerns about several issues, including the governor’s veto of a bill that would allow phasing in of increased costs for the County Employees Retirement System, or CERS, that includes bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria workers.

“The big issue for us as a school district is it’s very important that the legislature overturn the vetoes of the budget bill, the revenue bill and the bill that allowed us to phase in CERS contributions for school districts and municipalities,” said Fields.

He said the phasing in would allow an increase of 12 percent per year in the district budget. If phasing in is not approved, the Bowling Green district would have an increase of about 50 percent next year, or about $600,000.

Owensboro and Daviess County schools are holding regular classes and sending a delegation of teachers.

Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Pulaski County and Somerset schools will be open Friday.

Here's the status some Kentucky school districts, which are subject to change.  Districts that plan to be open may have to close if teachers call in to take a sick day and there are not enough substitutes to keep the schools open.

Counties that have announced that schools will be closed Friday, April 13: Allen, Bath, Bell, Bullitt, Christian, Clark, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Gallatin, Garrard, Grant, Jessamine, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Meade, Mercer, Own, Pike, Scott, Trimble, Warren, Washington and Wolfe.

Marion and Nelson County schools plan to operate on a half-day schedule.