FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky’s schooling commissioner needs the identify of each instructor who used a sick day that pressured 10 faculty districts to shut so educators might protest on the state legislature.
At the least 10 faculty districts have been pressured to shut a number of instances since Feb. 28 after so many academics used their sick days that officers couldn’t discover sufficient substitutes to cowl lessons.
Jefferson County Public Colleges, one of many nation’s largest districts with greater than 98,000 college students, has closed six instances in two weeks as a whole lot of academics packed the state Capitol to protest a number of proposals that impacted the pension system and schooling funding.
On Thursday, Training Commissioner Wayne Lewis despatched letters to 10 faculty districts, asking for the names of each instructor who used a sick day on the times the districts have been pressured to shut. He additionally needed copies of all affidavits and physician’s notes.
“The Kentucky Division of Training takes the closing of colleges very severely,” Lewis stated. “Whereas it will be significant that directors, academics and college students make their voices heard about points associated to public schooling coverage, advocacy ought to by no means be placing a cease to studying for total communities.”
Emilie Blanton, an English instructor at Southern Excessive College in Jefferson County, stated she didn’t use a sick day, however got here to the Capitol to protest as a result of the district was closed.
“I feel it is an intimidation tactic,” she stated. “It simply goes to indicate that they will attempt to silence the sick out motion as greatest as they’ll.”
It is unclear what state schooling officers might do with the knowledge. A information launch from the Kentucky Division of Training notes state legislation permits the commissioner entry to data of all academics and has authority to report “mismanagement, violation of legislation, or misconduct to the Kentucky Board of Training.”
The Kentucky Training Affiliation, which represents 43,000 educators throughout the state, stated in a information launch that superintendents might self-discipline academics who used sick days to return to the state Capitol “to train their First Modification rights.”
“It’s our hope that they will not,” the affiliation stated in a information launch. “Making educators — who’re all residents of this Commonwealth — select between holding their livelihood and exercising their constitutional rights is despicable.”